IOW Photographers - Debenham


Photographer Arthur Debenham
Active Period c1868 - c1925
Lifespan Born:  1845   Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Died:  1936   Bournemouth, Hants
Studio Addresses 6 The Arcade, Union Street, Ryde (c1868)
28 Union Street, Ryde (from 1871)
72 High Street, Cowes
71 High Street, Sandown
Associates Edwin Debenham (brother)
Arthur William Debenham (son)
Trade History 1875 Kelly's Directory IOW
Arthur Debenham, photographer, 28 Union Street, Ryde

1898 Kelly's Directory IOW (page 455)
Arthur Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes; 28 Union Street, Ryde
& 71 High Street, Sandown

1899 Kelly's Directory of Hampshire & IOW (page 947)
Arthur Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes; 28 Union Street, Ryde
& 71 High Street, Sandown
Arthur Debenham & Son, photographers, Spencer Cottage, Newport
Arthur Debenham & Son, photographers, Spencer Cottage, Sea View, Ryde
Arthur Debenham, photographer, Palmerstone Road, Southsea

1910 Kelly's Directory IOW
Arthur William Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes
Arthur Debenham, photographer, 71 High Street, Sandown

1915 Kelly's Directory IOW (page 1089)
Mrs A J Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes
A Debenham, photographer, 69 Palmerston Road, Southsea

1921-22 Kelly's Directory of IOW (page 729)
Arthur William Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes

1924-25 Kelly's Directory of IOW (page 485)
Arthur William Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes

1927 Kelly's Directory IOW (page 1105)
Mrs A J Debenham, photographer, 72 High Street, Cowes

Awards 1889 - Odiham Exhibition - silver medal for marine photography (see press report below)
Evidence Found
1882 - annotated date of photo (3 Aug 1882)
           with address 'Debenham & Co, Rembrandt House, High Street, Sandown'
1899 - annotated date of photo (18 Nov 1899) having negative number 62811-1
1903 - annotated date of photo - see below
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc

An advertisement from the IW Observer 19 September 1903


ADebenham1f.jpg (19458 bytes)ADebenham1r.jpg (18005 bytes)
An example of an Arthur Debenham photo and back dated Aug 1903

My thanks to Angela McMurtry (Queensland) for the above photo.

The photo is annotated "HRH Queen Alexandra aboard my Great Grandfather's ship at Portsmouth, Aug 1903". Angela is puzzled by the appearance of this photo in her family album and would like to hear from anyone who can identify the ship or the event. <> Footnote: the ship is likely to have been the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert III.

Family History  
Further Notes We have great pleasure in noticing that our townsman, Mr Arthur Debenham, of the Royal Victoria Arcade, has had the honor of taking photographs of the Royal Palace at Osborne. One taken by him on Saturday last he has presented to us, and we may remark that it is an exceedingly beautiful photograph, combining such softness and delicate detail with a brilliancy and force only to be found in the works of the most talented masters of the photographic art. The picture represents the north side of the Palace, embracing the east and west wings, with the towers, the clock tower rising prominently in front, the upper and lower terraces, with the elegantly laid-out gardens in the foreground. We have before seen works by the same hand well worthy of notice, but have refrained from commenting upon them.
  -  IW Observer, 15 August 1868

MR. ARTHUR DEBENHAM wishes to direct attention to his Crayon and other enlargements, which invariably give satisfaction. Specimens can be seen at his studio. Any Photograph, Painting, Daguerreotype, or Miniature can be copied and enlarged, and a valuable picture produced therefrom in either Crayon, Water Colors[sic], or Oils.
6, Arcade, Ryde, October, 1868
  -  IW Observer, 27 March 1869

A PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEW OF THE GRAND DEMONSTRATION on Tuesday was taken by our townsman, Mr. Arthur Debenham, of the Arcade. The view is taken from a room window of the Pier Hotel, and, not only as a well-finished work of art, but as a production of local interest, it is exceedingly valuable. Although, in the dense crowd, the figures must necessarily be of a miniature nature, yet we are able to discover several prominent gentlemen, among whom are the Mayor (in his robes), Messrs. T. Dashwood, Harrington, J. and C. Colenutt, and others, as the processionists are on the point of dispersing. With the aid of a magnifying glass, a perfect picture is vividly brought out, and we are assured that the nominal price of this exceedingly interesting carte-de-visite will secure for itself a large demand.
  -  IW Times, 23 March 1871

Mr. Arthur Debenham, photographer and miniature painter, of the Arcade, has just opened his photographic studio at 28 Union-street, Ryde, and the beautiful specimens of life-like portraits on procelain, in all colours &c., are subjects of very favourable comment by all who favour themselves with half an hour's inspection of this establishment.
  -  IW Times, 8 June 1871

VIEWS OF THE ARCTIC SHIPS. - Mr. A Debenham, of Union-street, is now exhibiting views of the Alert and Discovery taken by him from on board the Heather Bell, as they rounded the Island.
  -  IW Times 10 June 1875

Amateur Theatricals at the Club House. - In connection with the above [report on Entertainment at Mount Street], we are pleased to notice that at the conclusion of the performance our neighbour, Mr Arthur Debenham, photographed the characters in their costumes with his usual artistic abilities, thus providing a lasting record of the interesting occasion, by means of his newly perfected artificial light apparatus.
  -  IW Times, 12 January 1888

THE CROWN PRINCE - A propos of the prevailing topic of the illness of the Crown Prince of Germany, Mr. Arthur Debenham has a splendid portrait of His Imperial Highness exhibited in the window of his studio in Union-street.
  -  IW County Press, 3 Mar 1888

WEST COWES ... PHOTOGRAPHY - A very handsome silver medal has been forwarded to Mr Debenham, of West Cowes, from the Odiham Exhibition. The medal in question was given by Messrs Mawson and Swan for instantaneous marine photography, and bears the arms of the borough, with a suitable inscription.
  -  IW County Press, 9 Feb 1889 (page 8)

One day this week Mr. Debenham photographed the staff of the Post Office in the Terrace Gardens. There were about 60 of them, including several lady telegraphists.
  -  IW Observer, 29 Aug 1891 (page 5)

Two of the magnificent Spanish Bullocks, which reside in the park at Osborne, and are the property of the Queen, will be immortalised in the form of a piece of sculpture. Miss Chaplain, the well-known sculptress, has received a commission to execute this work. The animals, distinguished for their enormous horns, will be modelled in a group. They are the same animals that Mr. Debenham has photographed and now shows at his establishment in Union Street.
  -  IW Observer, 10 December 1892

Messrs. Hughes and Mullins are now exhibiting at their well-known establishment, a picture in crayons, representing the “Morning Star,” one of the most admired of the tableaux vivants, at the Town Hall. It is a difficult subject to depict, but it is treated very artistically. Mr. Debenham also exhibits interesting photos of others of the same series of tableaux vivants.
  -  IW Observer, 10 December 1892

Our well-known townsman, Mr A Debenham, in addition to improving the front of his establishment and making it one of the most handsomest windows in Union Street, has just enlarged and improved his studio, by increasing its height, and by adding a balcony to it. There is not merely a splendid view of Spithead from the studio, but a magnificent north light.
  -  IW Observer, 20 May 1893

The Roll of Ministering Children - Mr. A. Debenham, 28 Union-street, Ryde, has been officially appointed the agent for taking the portraits of the children of this district who are anxious to be enrolled. The object of the movement is to encourage children, and those under 21, to begin to collect the hospital stamps that are being brought out yearly in support of the Prince of Wales's Hospital Fund, by forming an historical record of those who first assist in this charitable work. The great roll is being compiled by Messrs. F. and R. Speaight, photographers, 178 Regent-street, London, W., and their agents throughout the United Kingdom, and will consist of the portrait and name of the first 1000,000 children who possess the 6d. hospital stamp album with the 1897 1s. and 2s.6d. stamps fixed therein. It is intended to offer the roll, when completed, to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, in order that he may know and be able to keep, as a permanent record in the Royal Archives, the portraits and names of those young persons who thus first assisted him in his good work of helping the hospitals in commemoration of Her Majesty's reign of 60 years.
  -  IW Observer, 12 Mar 1898

Mr. A. DEBENHAM, a well-known photographer of Ryde, was commanded to attend on board the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert, off Cowes on Thursday, when he had the honour of photographing the King and Queen, and secured excellent portraits of their Majesties in yachting costumes.
  -  IW Observer, 8 Aug 1903 (page 5)

My thanks to Ann Barrett and Diana Wood for locating the above articles.


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