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Damry: group of actors, Liège ca. 1865

Image of Damry: group of actors, Liège ca. 1865

A funny group portrait of 10 men, probably actors. They wear odd 'Napoleonic hats' and interact with each other. One is pulling another's hair, A wine bottle is visible,... many amazing details in this one!
Rare topic.

Print in good condition, ca. 6,5 x 10,5 cm

This Belgian photographer, Walter Damry worked in Liège between 1857 and 1873.

He invented several photographic improvements:
Patent of 31.12.1860 for "an apparatus designed to facilitate the printing of photographic positives".
Patent of 31.1.1863 for "a means of regulating sunlight in photographic operations" [behind the skylight illuminating the studio, place six mobile panels of similar glass each one third of its length, one behind the other (mat, frosted or blue panes)].
Patent of 1.4.1863 for "a photographic camera designed to produce an opaque tint on the rims of negatives, and a white tint on the rims of positives".

On a CV of Nadar, Rue d'Anjou Saint Honoré, he was recorded as his Liège "correspondent". In a letter of 5.11.1872 to Nadar, Van Monckhoven wrote of "our friend Walter" with respect to a journey to Liège. Damry left for Paris in April 1873, where he was employed by Nadar. As part of his divorce proceedings, an inventory was made of his studio in September 1873 (State Archives in Liège, Notary E. Renoz, 8.9.1873). On 10.3.1874, Damry was no longer with Nadar: "By withdrawing Walter from your studio, I believed I would please us all. I freed you from an absent-minded assistant" (letter from Van Monckhoven). Subsequently Damry was an operator in the Vanden Bemden studio in Antwerp until June 1874.

(info from: Directory of Belgian Photographers, 1997, p. 101)