Changes between Version 2 and Version 3 of Bourne & Shepherd


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Timestamp:
Mar 1, 2012, 7:49:06 PM (9 years ago)
Author:
Lawrence Liang
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  • Bourne & Shepherd

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    56Calcutta-based company; oldest and most prominent still photography dealers in India, set up in 1840 as a studio by Samuel Bourne. Charles Shepherd and A. Robertson started a Photographic Artists Studio in Agra (1862) which became Howard & Bourne in Simla (1863) and finally Bourne & Shepherd in Calcutta (1868). Both were photographers, making portraits of political and arts personalities, urban scenes of Calcutta and royal Durbars and were dealers in equipment and stock. They produced photographic variants of Company School painting for the popular art market: Hiralal Sen’s career started when he won a Bourne & Shepherd photography competition in 1887.  
     
    1819In 1870, the year when Bourne went back to England [22], Bourne and Shepherd were operating from Shimla and Calcutta. Soon he started cotton-doubling business at Nottingham, and founded the Britannia Cotton Mills, and also become a local magistrate. He sold off his shares in studios, and left commercial photography all together; we also left behind his archive of some 2,200 glass plate negatives with the studio, which were constantly re-printed and sold, over the following 140 years, until their eventual destruction, in a fire at Bourne & Shepherd’s present studio in Calcutta, on February 6, 1991. After Bourne’s departure, new photographic work was undertaken by Colin Murray from 1840 to 84, following which in 1870s Charles Shepherd continued to photograph and at least sixteen Europeans are listed as assistants. 
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    2025Later the Bombay branch was opened in about 1876, operated by Charles Shepherd until his own departure from India around 1879, the branch continued operations till about 1902. In 1880, they even brought their services to as far as Lahore for a month, where they advertised in a local newspaper, in fact newspaper advertising has been a primary reason of the success of many photographers of that era [23]. Soon their work was widely retailed throughout the subcontinent by agents and in Britain through wholesale distributors [4]. Between 1870 and 1911 the firm sent photographers to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Burma, Nepal and Singapore, had also become Art Publishers, with titles like 'Photographs of Architecture of Gujarat and Rajputana' (1904-5) [24], and were now employing Indian photographers as well [25]. 
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    2429In the following years, the studio changed hands several times, so much so the sequence of owners has been all but lost, however the last European owner, Arthur Musselwhite who took over the studio in 1930s [26], later after a major business slump following the independence, and exodus of European community and the end of princely states, he held an auction in 1955, in which it was bought over by its present owners, and today the building itself is a heritage property [13]. 
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