Albumen print, 10⅞ x 8⅜ inches (27.5 x 21.2 cm.); signed C.A. Co Ltd, Ceylon and titled and numbered Caryota Urens (Kitul) 144 in the negative; titled Ceylon in pencil on the mount; Apothecaries Co Ltd blindstamp.
US $328 €279
Charles Scowen arrived in Ceylon around 1873 and was initially an assistant to R. Edley, the Commission Agent in Kandy before opening a photographic studio around 1876. By 1885 his photography firm had studios in Colombo and Kandy. Scowen was a later arrival to Ceylon than Skeen and his work is less well-known, but: ‘Much of Scowen’s surviving work displays an artistic sensibility and technical mastery which is often superior to their longer-established competitor. In particular, the botanical studies are outstanding…’ (Falconer, J. and Raheem, I., Regeneration: a reappraisal of photography in Ceylon 1850 –1900, p. 19). In the early 1890s the firm was being run by Mortimer Scowen, a relative of Charles Scowen. By about 1894 the firm’s stock of negatives had been acquired by the ‘Colombo Apothecaries Co Ltd’. This print is likely to have been made in the 1890s from negatives made earlier.
You may also be interested in...
History of Photography in China: Chinese Photographers 1844-1879.
This book is the ﬁrst extensive survey of early Chinese photographers in any language. It is profusely illustrated with more than 400 photographs, many of which are published here for the ﬁrst time, including a ﬁne selection of Foochow landscapes from the studios of Lai Fong, China’s leading photographer during this period, and Tung Hing. Early chapters introduce the historical milieu from which the earliest Chinese photographers emerged and illuminate the beginnings of photography in China and contemporary Chinese reactions to its introduction.
History of Photography in China: Western Photographers 1861-1879.
The second volume in our series on the history of photography in China, this is the most extensive general survey of Western photographers working in China in the 1860s and 1870s. Over eighty different photographers are discussed – from well-known professionals to little-known amateurs – with previously unpublished biographical information. The book also includes documentary appendices of the photographers’ published works, a bibliography, chronologies and a biographical index.