A BLACK and white photograph of a North-East poet is set to raise more than £3,000 in a New York auction.

The 1860s photo of Sir Henry Taylor from Bishop Middleham in County Durham will be auctioned by Christie's at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York on Wednesday, February 12.

Sir Henry was born the son of a farmer in 1800. His mother died when he was a baby and he began writing years later when his father remarried and moved to Witton-le-Wear.

He married in 1839 and eventually retired to Bournemouth, although his father remained in the North-East until his death in 1851.

Sir Henry worked as administrator in the colonial office until 1872 but wrote plays, prose and poetry throughout his working life.

He gained notoriety with his published work, including The Eve of the Conquest in 1847 and The Statesman in 1836.

The photo going to auction in New York is expected to fetch such a high price because it was taken by Britain's greatest female photographer Julie Margaret Cameron.

Ms Cameron, who was born in 1815, did not get her first camera until she was 48 but she went on to become one of the most well-known photographers of her day.

She was well-known for her shots of famous people including Sir Henry's great friend Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin.

The picture of Sir Henry is expected to attract high bids but it is unlikely to reach the price paid for a photo by Ms Cameron in 2001.

The picture of Kate Keown sold at Sotheby's in London for a £174,000 which set a new record for Ms Cameron's work.

Dr Juliet Hacking, one of Sotherby's photography specialists said: "Cameron is one of the best known photographers of that time and that is unusual because she was a woman.

"During her life she broke and changed the conventions of the day. She pioneered the techniques of soft focus which were unpopular at the time."