Royal Observatory Greenwich – postcard collection

Estimated date
Anonymous: attributed to Henry Richardson, Greenwich
Publisher's title
Observatory, Greenwich Park.
Nominal size
5.5 x 3.5 inches (real photograph)
Publisher/printer ref.
83 (33?)
Website ref.
Images from different publishers with the same style of handwritten captions

Although postmarked 1919, the photo used for this card was probably taken in 1911. A chimney known to have been removed from Flamsteed House in 1911 in not present. The original image has been cut out along the skyline, meaning that some details have been obscured. this is particularly true of the "crown" of the great equatorial dome (left). The scaffolding on this dome suggests that it may have been being painted. Painting is known to have taken place in 1907/8, 1910/1 and 1917. The size of the rows of trees running diagonally up the hill from left to right would suggest that 1911 is the most likely date that the photo was taken. The back of the postcard is is similar to those sometimes used by the publisher Henry Richardson. The writing on the front is also identical to that used on several of his cards. Although there is no definite correlation between serial numbers and the dates of the photographs, this card carries a serial number 83, whilst a second card (serial number 17) which is believed to be from the same series and also has a 'cut out' skyline can definitely be dated to 1911. The card was also published by J.M. Vauxhall. The text on the front of a known copy is in the same hand and reads 'Observatory, Greenwich Park. 83. J.M Vauxhall.' It was posted in 1913.