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Speaight Ltd

(active 1904-1940)

Artist associated with 105 portraits
Richard Neville Speaight took up photography at the age of 12 while still at school. He subsequently worked for two years with the camera-makers Sands and Hunter, and at the age of 17 became apprenticed to the theatrical photographers Martin and Sailnow, who were based in the Strand, London, where they took photographs on the stage of the old Gaiety Theatre. In 1896, with his brother, Speaight started the firm of F. & R. Speaight in Regent Street. In 1902 he moved to palatial galleries in Bond Street to become Speaight Ltd. As President of the Professional Photographers Association, Member of the Council and Treasurer, he devoted a huge amount of effort to raise standards and promote portrait photography. A regular exhibitor at the London Salon and RPS, Speaight published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Court Photographer, in 1926, the year in which he took the first official photographs of the future Queen Elizabeth II. In the Edwardian era he was dubbed the 'Photographic Laureate of Children's Photographers'. In 1911 he purchased Alice Hughes's collection of 50,000 original negatives of aristocratic portraits of children and their mothers to add to his similar collection of work numbering more than 100,000. This archive, which weighed more than 17 tons, was destroyed during World War II.

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Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x199589

Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood

by Speaight Ltd
chlorobromide print, late 1900s
NPG x199589

Prince George, Duke of Kent; Prince John, by Speaight Ltd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd - NPG x138941

Prince George, Duke of Kent; Prince John

by Speaight Ltd, published by Rotary Photographic Co Ltd
bromide postcard print, 1908
NPG x138941

Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram, by Speaight Ltd, published by  J. Beagles & Co - NPG x197663

Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram

by Speaight Ltd, published by J. Beagles & Co
postcard print, circa 1908
NPG x197663

Countess of Ilchester with her two children, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x126419

Countess of Ilchester with her two children

by Speaight Ltd
matte print on photographer's card mount, circa 1908
NPG x126419

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x68908

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty

by Speaight Ltd
sepia matte print on photographer's card mount, circa 1910
NPG x68908

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x68909

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty

by Speaight Ltd
sepia matte print on photographer's card mount, circa 1910
NPG x68909

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x68910

Katharine (née Morrison), Lady Gatty

by Speaight Ltd
sepia matte print on photographer's card mount, circa 1910
NPG x68910

Queen Mary, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x22385

Queen Mary

by Speaight Ltd
vintage print, 1910
NPG x22385

Queen Mary, by Speaight Ltd - NPG x199585

Queen Mary

by Speaight Ltd
bromide print, 1910
NPG x199585

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Liz Rollins

4 July 2015, 17:16

I came across a speaight platinum photo of my grandmother and her two sons all in profile and wondered about it. She was Beatrice Tremaine Rollins Dournovo, Princess Adoievsky and they were Douglas and Gordon Rollins. She was born in 1896 in New York. Do you want the photo for this collection?

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