- STATUS: Amateur.
- BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: Appointed to manage the assay office and mint at New Westminster, Claudet arrived in the Colony of British Columbia from London in Feb 1860. In Jun 1860 he visited Dr. A.R. Benson in Nanaimo, an amateur photographer with whom Claudet was not impressed. Lady Franklin (1792-1875), who was visiting BC, purchased or was given photographs of New Westminster by Claudet on 13 Mar 1861. Her niece and travelling companion, Sophia Cracroft (1816-1892), called the views "very interesting."
Sent by Governor James Douglas to San Francisco in Nov 1861 to purchase equipment for the mint, Claudet may have obtained additional photographic supplies there; he had visited San Francisco earlier in the year and may also have purchased supplies then. Claudet returned to New Westminster from San Francisco with his mint equipment in Mar 1862 on the same boat which brought Richard and Hannah Maynard to Victoria.
Some of Claudet's photographs were sent to the London Exhibition of 1862 along with specimen coins from the mint. Claudet returned to London in 1873. He was married in Victoria on 22 Sep 1863 to Frances Fleury (1836-1899). The youngest son of talented portrait photographer, Antoine Francois Jean Claudet (1797-1867), one of Francis Claudet's sons, Frederick G. Claudet of Nanoose Bay, BC, preserved many of his father's photographs.
Thanks to Marcel Safier, an Australian photohistorian, the mystery surrounding by whom Frederick G. Claudet had some of his father's photographs copied in 1904 in London prior to a visit to BC has been solved. Frederick referenced the photographer by his last name of Dron. The photographer's full name was Andrew William Dron and between 1902-1921 he worked at 2E Dyne Rd. [Brondesbury], Kilburn, London NW, England. Marcel Safier cites an e-mail from British photohistorian Ron Cosens who cites Sandy Barrie's draft manuscript on British photographers. Barrie gave the address as 2E, but Cosens believes it should be 23; a local historian of Kilburn, however, informed me that 2E Dyne Rd. is the correct address.
- IDENTIFYING MARKS: some prints marked "Claudet."
- REFERENCES: HOW63; MAL68; MAL69; MAL71; Reid (1926); Cracroft (1974):35, 68; Mattison (1990a); Mattison (1990c); BVIPA Visual Records Photographer File.