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West (1 St. James Street)
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1784-1844)
1844 (ca, taken) 1861 (print)
Albumen print, in gilt metal frame
7.5 x 6.0 x 1.4 cm (whole object)
The Royal Collection
A pierced rectangular gilt metal photograph frame containing a photographic portrait of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1784-1844), father of Prince Albert (1819-61). The frame features a scrolling border decoration with lobed corners and beading. The back of the frame has an inscription reading 'Ernest I/ First Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha/ died 1844'.
The photograph is a copy of a daguerreotype, the only known photographic portrait of Prince Albert's father. The daguerreotype was casually found by Ernest II, eldest son of Ernest I, in Gotha. Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, later sent it to her father, Prince Albert, to be photographed in England. Prince Albert was 'quite overwhelmed' on receiving this precious souvenir of his father, and immediately had it copied. One print was sent to his brother, and several others still exist in the Royal Collection.