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Photograph: Parent Larches
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Title: Photograph: Parent Larches
Identifier: 2001.5.4
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1870-1876
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A black and white photograph titled 'Parent Larches. 6. J.V.' It depicts three large trees on a lawn in the centre of the photo. There are some other smaller trees on either side of them. There is a fence behind the trees and a stone tower to the proper left of them. A long, low building is visible in the background of the photo.

The parent larches were the two surviving trees from a group of Larches planted by the Dukes of Atholl on the hillsides around Dunkeld in the 18th Century. The young trees had been collected from the Tyrol mountains in central Europe in 1738. The Duke planted over 2500 trees on his property over several years. There is currently one surviving tree left and it can be found west of Dunkeldís cathedral. http://www.perthshirebigtreecountry.co.uk/places/dunkeld-birnam/parent-larch

This print was likely produced by Valentines of Dundee (J.V). Valentines of Dundee was a well-known photographic company which produced Scottish topographical views from the 1860s, and later became internationally famous as the producers of picture postcards. They were founded in 1851 by James Valentine (1815-1879). He added portrait photography to the activities of his established Dundee business, which had been based up to 1851 on the engraving, printing and supply of business stationery. About 1860 he decided to emulate the success of George Washington Wilson in Aberdeen in selling topographical view photographs. In 1866 James Valentine carried out his first Royal commission and received the Royal warrant in 1867. Valentineís target market in the nineteenth century was middle and upper class tourists. Valentine produced both drawing room albums containing selections of photographs arranged geographically and individual landscape prints. Stereoscopic views were also produced. Subjects concentrated on the genteel tourist sights and places in Scotland, then to England in 1882 and on to fashionable resorts abroad, including Norway, Jamaica, Tangiers, Morocco, Madeira and New Zealand before 1900. Under the leadership of Jamesí son William the company rapidly expanded in 1898 when in started publishing picture postcards. It closed for business in the 1970ís. http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/03021901.html

Travelerís in the 1870ís could not take their own photographs, so professional photographers would create albums with photos like these and sell them to travelers to commemorate their journey. In 1871 Elizabeth (Bessie) and Annie Harris (daughters of James Beveridge and Elizabeth) traveled to Europe to do a tour of Scotland, Ireland and England. In 1876, Lucy and Arthur Harris traveled to Scotland to visit their aunts in Perthshire. James Beveridge Harrisís sisters, Margaret Patton and Matilda Lindsay, both lived at Rose Terrace, Perth, with their cousin Margaret Anne Patton in the 1870s and 1880s. These photos could have come from any of those trips or have been sent by the Aunts, to the family at Benares.
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