There is no nurse more famous than the venerable Florence Nightingale. The English nurse known as “The Lady of the Lamp” was not only was the first woman in history to be given the Order of Merit from Edward VII, but tirelessly worked to reform the hospitals of her time. She also established a nursing school and home for nurses after the Crimean War, and received the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria.
The reason why this photo of Flo, which was taken not long before her death, is so special is because the famous nurse was not fond of publicity and there aren’t many photographs of her in existence. The historical image, was by popular photographer of the time, Lizzie Caswall Smith, was taken at her home in London in 1910, when she was 90 years old. It was inscribed at the back by Ms. Smith saying:
‘Taken just before she died, house near Park Lane. The only photograph I ever took out of studio. I shall never forget the experience.”
The photo’s provenance is excellent, coming directly from the family of Ms. Caswell Smith. It will go on sale at Dreweatts auction house in Newbury on November 19th.