This warm toned, black-and-white photograph is supported by a multi-layered mount: a smooth, translucent beige paper over a smaller sheet of black paper, on a moderately thick, textured, beige mat board; all of these show small stains and may have darkened with age and surface dirt. The photographer signed the front of the mount and stamped his name on the back.

The matte surface sheen of the photograph is achieved through a thick baryta layer underneath the gelatin binder. The image suffers from mechanical damage; localized surface abrasions and scratches near Nichols’ chest and left hand reveal the white baryta. If the image were to undergo conservation treatment, the areas of loss could be inpainted to reduce their visual impact. Further damage is prevented by proper storage.

The subject of the photograph is a young Beverley Nichols, who sat for London photographer Bertram Park. The soft focus and dramatic lighting are typical of the portraits Park produced of artists and royalty. This period marked the beginning of Nichols’ writing career. He would go on to publish several novels in later decades, particularly on the topics of gardening. Interestingly, Park was also passionate about gardening and roses, about which he published several books later in life.

          -Taylor Pearlstein