Platinum print, Palladium print

A platinum print is made with paper containing light sensitive iron salts and a platinum compound, rather than the conventional silver salts, exposed in daylight in contact with a negative. The process was invented in 1873 by William Willis and made commercially available in 1879. A dramatic rise in the price of platinum after the 1914-18 war led to the decline of the process. They were in part replaced by cheaper palladium prints, the process for which was almost the same, but where a compound of the less expensive metal palladium was used for sensitizing the paper. These processes were valued for their range of subtle tonal effects and their permanence.

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Virginia Woolf
by George Charles Beresford
July 1902
NPG P222

Noël Coward
by Horst P. Horst
NPG P419

David Hockney
by John Hedgecoe
NPG P160

Fred Dibnah
by Paul Wolfgang Webster
NPG x132241

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