Mauretania Cunard Line Beken of Cowes originele foto
LeveringOphalen of Verzenden
Mauretania Cunard Line Beken of Cowes originele foto€ 175,00
|Type||:||Kaart, Foto of Prent|
Year published: 1907- 1930 No. 10698
Size: 28,5 x 23,5 cm (11.2” x 9.25”)
Condition: very good
Beken started their photography in 1888 when Alfred Edward Beken (1855-1915) moved from Canterbury in Kent to Cowes on the Isle of Wight & opened a pharmacy. It was his son Frank (1880-1970) who was so impressed by the classic yachts sailing off Cowes that he decided to photograph them & started the Beken Marine Photography Archive. Initially he used a half-plate bellows camera but by 1913 he had invented and was using his twin lens ‘bite-the-bulb’ big glass plate camera. In 1914 the ‘West’ collection of glass plates dating back to 1881 was purchased to add to his growing collection of negatives. By the 1930’s Frank’s son Keith (1914-2007) was photographing afloat and in 1970 Keith’s son Kenneth (b.1951) joined the Company. Each generation has earned the title “Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society” and the Company has held three Royal Warrants for excellence.
Up to 1970 the hand made silver gelatine photographs were signed Beken & Son by hand in white ink. Early printed 12” x 10” photographs dating from the turn of the last century up until the 1939 should have a typical value of around £500, more for larger or framed examples. Some photographs recognised as being signed & titled Beken & Son, by Frank Beken himself have fetched £1,000 at London auctions. Rub a finger-tip over the titling & signature to see if it is raised & thuis a genuine photo. Prints just bearing the ‘West’ name would have been printed before 1914. We cannot pass a value on those enlargements. Later Beken & Son, hand-printed enlargements, (ie 1945-1970) are estimated at a value of £250 to £500 depending on the size & subject depicted. Should you be considering the sale of any Beken & Son, or West photo, we would recommend you contact a good auction house to get an appraisal. The bigger auction houses in the UK usually hold regular local monthly valuations and advertise their dates in local newspapers or on their websites.
The Pharmacy was sold in 1970 & a now purely Marine Photography Company called Beken of Cowes stood alone. From 1970 to 2008, all photographs were signed Beken of Cowes again by hand with white ink. The colour photographs from that period were not colour-fast & would not be of any great value, but Sepia or Black & White photographs should be valued at up to £250
In 2001 staff member Peter Mumford became actively employed photographing afloat adding to the modern digital colour library. In 2005 Beken changed to taking their photographs digitally and in 2008 with the advancement in quality of digital printing, came the move to make all prints digitally too; so after 120 years of service the darkrooms were finally closed. Beken still have a quantity of hand printed Beken of Cowes silver gelatine Photographs left which they sell from their Gallery in Cowes.
Virtually all the original glass plates & transparencies are intact and are now individually scanned & enhanced to create today’s high quality digital prints which still receive a great deal of hands-on attention especially the Limited Editions. Today’s prints are now signed simply: Beken & it is felt that these prints are every bit as good as those once produced in the traditional darkrooms. Please be advised that Beken images have been published as Books, Calendars, Cards & Posters, which when framed can look like a real photograph but are not designed to last when exposed to strong light. They would have the titling & Beken or Beken of Cowes signature machine-printed at the time of production, ie not signed individually by hand with white ink. (gently rub a finger-tip over the titling &/or signature & you should be able to feel the raised ink of a hand-signed enlargement).
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