During the 1850s and 1860s, before relocating to London in 1870, Naftel arranged annual previews in his home town of St Peter Port, Guernsey of his works that were then submitted to the Old Water-colour Society exhibitions in London. By inviting the Lieutenant Governor of the Island, the Bailiff, and other dignitaries, Naftel was often able to sell these exhibits before they reached the capital.
Naftel's faithful depictions of nostalgic views of the island brought him many important patrons including Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892). A review of Naftel's paintings in December 1860, published in the Star newspaper stated that '...such solid testimony to Mr. Naftel's talent needs no comment; but we have heard an anecdote which is quite flattering to his truth as a copyist of nature, and no less to the artist himself. A gentleman lately visiting Mr. Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, at his seat in the Isle of Wight, observed in his drawing-room a picture of a Guernsey water lane, which he at once recognised as the work of Mr. Naftel. 'I do not know who did it,' said the poet, 'but I bought it in a London Exhibition for the truth to nature which it displays in the forms of leaves and ferns'' (S. Furniss & T. Booth, Paul Jacob Naftel 1817-1891 A Biography, Jersey, 1991, pp. 36-37).