The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co, By Nicholas Cooper

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The Independent Culture

The self-assured structures of an empire at its height were the stock-in-trade of Bedford Lemere & Co, the architectural photographers, whose archive of 20,000 glass negatives is the source for this bitter-sweet glimpse of a vanished world.

There are more than 250 images here, portraying Britain in transition as the Victorian age gives way to a time of bold craftsmanship, industrial dynamism and, eventually, to conflict.

Publishers English Heritage have teamed up with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Institute of British Architects to unveil more of the collection at an exhibition this June. Pictured is the ladies' boot department at Harrods, 1919.