A ‘remarkable’ Victorian traveling photographer’s studio that once hosted 19th century seaside holidaymakers is set to fetch up to £12,000 at auction.

The rare horse-drawn carriage was used in Wareham, Dorset, from the mid-19th century, largely by visitors to the picturesque coastal town.

It was owned and operated by pioneering photographer John Pouncy and his son Walter, who counted Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, among their clients.

Photos show the studio both in its heyday and in its current state of disrepair.

‘Remarkable’ traveling Victorian photographer’s studio that once hosted seaside holidaymakers in the 19th century is set to fetch up to £12,000 at auction

The horse-drawn carriage was used in Wareham, Dorset, from the mid-19th century, largely by visitors to the picturesque coastal town.  It was owned and operated by pioneering photographer John Pouncy and his son Walter, who counted Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, among their clients.  Above: The Dorset workshop in the mid-19th century

The horse-drawn carriage was used in Wareham, Dorset, from the mid-19th century, largely by visitors to the picturesque coastal town. It was owned and operated by pioneering photographer John Pouncy and his son Walter, who counted Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, among their clients. Above: The Dorset workshop in the mid-19th century

John and Walter Pouncy, who lived in Dorchester, Dorset, took hundreds of photos of seaside visitors to Wareham while in possession of the studio.

The cart was then used by a series of other professional photographers before ending up in a field.

The current owner is also a photographer and had hoped to restore it so it could once again be used as a traveling studio.

It includes a small, dark room where the films would have been processed, as well as a glazed roof and a glazed side.

It also still contains the original hooks where the backgrounds of the photographs were hung.

John and Walter Pouncy, who lived in Dorchester, Dorset, took hundreds of photos of seaside visitors to Wareham while in possession of the studio.  Above: The cart in transit

John and Walter Pouncy, who lived in Dorchester, Dorset, took hundreds of photos of seaside visitors to Wareham while in possession of the studio. Above: The cart in transit

The studio has its original wooden floor and shelves where photographic equipment would have been kept

The studio has its original wooden floor and shelves where photographic equipment would have been kept

Photography expert Michael Pritchard, from the Royal Photographic Society, said Amateur Photographer Magazinee : ‘I had the privilege of seeing the studio in the summer of 2021 and meeting its current owner. It’s a remarkable survival.

“Walking in felt like stepping back 130 years.

“Although the current owner’s hope to restore it and keep it as a traveling workshop could not be realized, it has been lovingly maintained.”

Pouncy began his career as a painter and decorator, but was gripped by the then nascent science of photography when technology began to improve rapidly in the 1850s.

He developed a way to overcome the problem of photographs fading quickly after they were taken.

In addition to doing business with Prince Albert, Pouncy reportedly took pictures of famous author Thomas Hardy.

The current owner is also a photographer and hoped to restore it so that it could once again be used as a traveling studio.  Above: a painting representing the workshop (before)

The current owner is also a photographer and hoped to restore it so that it could once again be used as a traveling studio. Above: a painting representing the workshop (before)

The door to the studio has been used by dozens of Dorset visitors hoping to have their photo taken

The door to the studio has been used by dozens of Dorset visitors hoping to have their photo taken

His studio is expected to sell for between £8,000 and £12,000 at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset on August 4.

Auctioneer Richard Bromell said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to acquire what we believe is a unique piece of Victorian photographic history which would make a stunning studio or office.

“Not easy to value, a year ago we sold a Victorian shepherd’s hut for £13,000 and decided after some discussion to value this super rare studio at £8,000-12,000.”

Lots of light enters the studio through the glass roof.  A new owner could restore it to its former glory.  Photography expert Michael Pritchard, from the Royal Photographic Society, told amateur photographer Magazin e: 'I had the privilege of seeing the studio in the summer of 2021 and meeting its current owner.  It's a remarkable survival'

Lots of light enters the studio through the glass roof. A new owner could restore it to its former glory. Photography expert Michael Pritchard, from the Royal Photographic Society, told amateur photographer Magazin e: ‘I had the privilege of seeing the studio in the summer of 2021 and meeting its current owner. It’s a remarkable survival’

It features a small, dark room (above) where the films would have been processed, as well as a glazed roof and a glass-paneled side

It features a small, dark room (above) where the films would have been processed, as well as a glazed roof and a glass-paneled side

The studio is expected to sell for between £8,000 and £12,000 at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset on August 4.

The studio is expected to sell for between £8,000 and £12,000 at Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset on August 4.

The current owner bought the studio with the intention of restoring it so that it could be used by photographers again.  Above: The workshop in a field, where it remained until it was put up for sale

The current owner bought the studio with the intention of restoring it so that it could be used by photographers again. Above: The workshop in a field, where it remained until it was put up for sale

The studio is seen when still in use.  Auctioneer Richard Bromell said:

The studio is seen when still in use. Auctioneer Richard Bromell said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to acquire what we consider to be a unique piece of Victorian photographic history which would make a stunning studio or office’

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