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Robert Burns

Carte de Visite Card of The Lass of Ballochmyle

19th Century

A sepia toned monochrome photographic print of a steel plate engraving on a carte de visite card of Robert Burns and Wilhelmina Alexander, "The lass of Ballochmyle".


The original subject of this photograph is a steel plate engraving of an imagined encounter between the poet, Robert Burns and Wilhelmina Alexander, the subject of his song, "The Lass of Ballochmyle".


Wilhelmina Alexander was the sister of Claud Alexander, a local landowner who lived close to Burns' farm at Mossgiel, Mauchline. Seeing her out walking one evening, Burns was inspired by her beauty to write the song. He sent it to her in a letter and although she never replied it was to become one of her most treasured possessions.


This carte de visite was produced by the photographer, James Rae of Dumfries and comes from the album of a local family. Carte de visite cards were produced to be sold or exchanged and were collected in elaborate albums, specially made for the purpose, often with window mounts to display the cards. This carte de visite card dates from the 1870s when they were at the height of their popularity.

width: 60 mm, length: 88 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Carte de Visite, Misc Album, Robert Burns / 2
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
c 1870
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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