Object of the month

Negative Cabinet Hernani

July 2024

Negative of the Cabinet Hernani


Infante Sebastián Gabriel de Borbón (1811-1875) (attributed).




70x50 cm



Type of object:

Photographic negative


Wet collodion


FBS Collection

Large format negative, which reproduces a piece of writing desk furniture (Cabinet Hernani) belonging to the Infante’s furniture heritage and which in 2018 was declared to be of exceptional interest. The piece of furniture, dated 1555

(see attached Report of the RABBAASF, 2018).

The uniqueness of the image lies in the fact that it documents decorative elements of the piece of furniture that have now disappeared, such as the top of the angel, the pinnacles of the vaults at the upper ends, or the vases in the niches of the central body.

Inventory photography is not only of an artistic nature but also documents heritage assets, along the same lines as the work carried out by Laurent and Mr. and Mrs. Clifford. An example of the latter is the photographic cataloguing of the Real Armería.

This photographic piece comes from the art market (Subastas Alcalá). There exists the possibility that the author of the image, the Infante Sebastián Gabriel de Borbón, was also owner of the piece, as we have suggested.

However, the Infante learned the photographic technique from José de Albiñana (active between 1845-1870), so it is possible that the negative could have been made by his teacher.

If this negative were by the Infante, it would be a unique work within his photographic production, which was mainly focused on portraiture.