This Picture is Framed (one only)
Framed Size: 77cm H x 87cm W
Limited Edition: Certificate Included
Beken and Cowes are the Official Marine Photographer to the Duke of Edinburgh.
Beken started their photography in 1888 when Alfred Edward Beken (1855-1915) came to Cowes & opened a pharmacy. It was his son Frank (1880-1970) who was so impressed by the classic yachts sailing off Cowes that he started the Beken Marine Photography Archive. In 1914 the ‘West’ collection of glass plates dating back to 1880 was purchased to add to his growing collection of negatives. By the 1930’s Frank’s son Keith (1914-2007) was busy 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. More recently in 2001 staff colleague Peter Mumford became actively employed photographing afloat adding to the modern digital colour library.
Up to 1970 the photographs were signed Beken & Son by hand in white ink. From 1970 when colour photography came to the fore, until the darkrooms closed in 2008, all photographs were signed Beken of Cowes again by hand with white ink.
Early 12” x 10” photographs dating from the turn of the last century up until the 1930’s, have fetched £1,000 at London auctions, more for larger or framed examples. These photographs were signed Beken & Son, carried an embossing stamp, were titled by Frank Beken himself and printed close to the date the actual photograph was originally taken.
In 2005 Beken changed to taking their photographs digitally. In 2008 with the advancement in the quality of digital printing came the move to supply all prints digitally too, and after 120 years of service the darkrooms were finally closed. Beken have a small range of Silver Gelatine Photographs left which they sell from their Gallery in Cowes. Virtually all the original glass plates & transparencies are intact and are individually scanned & enhanced to create today’s high quality prints which still receive a great deal of hands-on attention. Today’s digital prints are now signed simply: Beken & it is felt that these prints are every bit as good as those once produced in their traditional darkrooms. Beken now produce top quality signed & numbered Limited Edition archive Prints.