Harry Pointer (1822-1889, British)

Harry Pointer and his CatsHarry Pointer (1822-1889, British) is best known for his collection The Brighton Cats, which is a series of whimsical images that were used as post cards and meant to advertise his hometown. The 200 approximate photographs featured his own cats in various anthropomorphic poses.  

Born in Berkshire, Pointer’s father was an agricultural laborer. Initially, Pointer was a master at “Military Drilling”, and even gave private lessons.  It was not until the 1871 census that Pointer gave his profession as photographer. His photographs soon became well known and sought after.

“A good picture of pussy is always attractive… The long-haired white Persian cat is sitting on a newspaper, with an air of resentment for some slight indignity offered her. Who knows better than Mr. Pointer how to depict with the camera all the graces and attitudes of the cat, and to say a cat picture is by Mr. Pointer is to say it is good!”  The Photographic News, 31st October 1884


Brighton Cat Series Pointer The Shah, Harry Pointer

Brighton Cat Series The Shah


Harry Pointer died in Brighton of pericarditis at the age of 66. Philippe Garner writes that Pointer exerted a “…hypnotic spell on the cats who posed for him in every conceivable guise. ….It was a good idea so to train a number of cats as to make them excellent, attentive and obedient ‘sitters’….it seems as if each knew precisely what he wanted, is gentle and fierce, or listless or eager, or docile or angry, according to the character depicted.”


A Happy New Year, Harry Pointer


Be it ever so humble there's no place like home, Harry Pointer




Brighton Cat series kittens in a shoe, Harry Pointer


Bring Up the Dinner Betsy, Harry Pointer


Cat in Toy Pram Brighton Cat Series, Harry Pointer


Five o'clock tea, Harry Pointer


Happy Moments, a photograph of three young cats in a basket, a carte from The Brighton Cats series, Harry Pointer


Henry Pointer


Kitten, Harry Pointer


Ms. Tabby at the Rink Brighton Cat Series, Harry Pointer


Probably Harry Pointer's daughter Myra Pointer with cats 1880


Rinking on the Brighton Cat Series Harry Pointer


The Brighton Cats' series, photographed by Harry Pointer at his Bloomsbury Place studio in Brighton


The Old Stein's puss, Harry Pointer


The Photographer, Harry Pointer


Very Many Happy Returns of the Day, Harry Pointer


We Should Like a Little More, Harry Pointer


Scandal, Harry Pointer



I'm Monarch of all I Survey, Harry Pointer

Harry Pointer. British, 1870's


Want to know more about the cat in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 


Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats



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