King Bros.(King Bros. & Potts Ltd.)


Sailing boats & the Queens Hotel, Hastings

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Stationers and newsagents, Hastings and St Leonards. This firm was established soon after 1900 and had shops in Bohemia Road, King's Road and Queens Road. In addition, there was a printing works at 66 Norman Road, known as King Bros. and Potts. By 1939 King Bros. and Potts had taken over the running of all three shops.

King Bros. published black and white collotypes of Hastings, Fairlight Cove and Battle (some printed in France) as well as sepia-tinted collotypes with varnished surfaces that could easily be mistaken for real photographs (these were printed in Saxony). The firm also issued quite realistically coloured halftones, mostly with wide pink borders. In addition, there were coloured collotypes without borders, printed abroad, that were labelled "King Bros. & Potts Ltd." on the reverse. Postmarks indicate that some of the cards were on sale by 1906, and that production of cards continued until 1915 or later.

In June 1906 the Mayors of ten Normandy towns accompanied by other Frenchmen visited Hastings to take part in L'Entente Cordiale celebrations. Two cards showing the dignitaries and crowds of onlookers issued in the "H. Cross Medal Series" were labelled "Photo King Bros." suggesting that the brothers had made their photographs available to be used by other publishers, no doubt for a fee or some other consideration.

Hastings was home to many people called King, and more research is needed to determine who the brothers were and whether the firm was connected in any way with King Bros. of East London, who also published cards of Hastings.

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