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Cock fighting

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (probably, printed)

  • Date:

    early 20th century (photographed)
    1973 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)
    Maltby, John, born 1910 - died 1980 (printers (people))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatine-silver print, glued on cardboard

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund

  • Museum number:

    E.803-2005

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 980, box G

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
Pitcairn-Knowles was interested in documenting local habits and customs, especially in the catching and consumption of fish and other sea animals. A brochure offering Pitcairn-Knowles’ photographs to publishers of illustrated works describes the photographer and Gordon Pitcairn-Knowles (his son and assistant), seeking to record off-beat local customs and practices: ‘They leave it to others to deal with subjects which meet the eye in every picture-card shop and in the daily newspapers, penetrating into out-of-the-way corners and little travelled parts, getting into close touch with the people and obtaining an insight into their occupations and methods, their pleasures and pastimes. Thus from the point of view of picturesqueness, quaintness and human nature interest, the results obtained are remarkable. The thousands of photographs and the written records of Mr. Pitcairn-Knowles’ countless experiences in those parts of Holland, Flanders, France, Corsica, etc., where the fascinating old-world doings and practices are still in existence, add considerably to the interest of this valuable collection.’

Physical description

This photograph shows three bended men, each holding a cock in front of them. A crowd of onlookers (mostly boys) are watching.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (probably, printed)

Date

early 20th century (photographed)
1973 (printed)

Artist/maker

Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, born 1871 - died 1956 (photographer)
Maltby, John, born 1910 - died 1980 (printers (people))

Materials and Techniques

Gelatine-silver print, glued on cardboard

Marks and inscriptions

'25/3'
Donor's reference, verso, pencil.

'Cock Fighting'
Donor's writing, verso, pencil.

'COCK-CROWING'
Donor's writing, verso, pencil.

'ANDREW PITCAIRN-KNOWLES 1871-1956 / PRINT FROM ORIGINAL GLASS NEGATIVE / COPYRIGHT / Richard Pitcairn-Knowles / 46 Greenhill Road Otford Sevenoaks TN14 5RS / 01959-523154 / NO UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION'
Verso, stamp.

Dimensions

Height: 40.3 cm, Width: 50.4 cm

Object history note

Pitcairn-Knowles Archive purchased from Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles' grandson Richard Pitcairn-Knowles.

Historical context note

Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles (born Rotterdam 1871, died Hastings 1956) was a pioneering photographic journalist who published his work in the new illustrated magazines of the late 19th and early 20th century. From the turn of the century he travelled around Europe, living in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Jersey. With his eye for detail, timing and geometry, he accurately captured the leisure activities, sports and customs of the period. Besides their documentary value, his photographs have a quirky and almost surreal quality.
Pitcairn-Knowles was interested in documenting local habits and customs, especially in the catching and consumption of fish and other sea animals. A brochure offering Pitcairn-Knowles’ photographs to publishers of illustrated works describes the photographer and Gordon Pitcairn-Knowles (his son and assistant), seeking to record off-beat local customs and practices: ‘They leave it to others to deal with subjects which meet the eye in every picture-card shop and in the daily newspapers, penetrating into out-of-the-way corners and little travelled parts, getting into close touch with the people and obtaining an insight into their occupations and methods, their pleasures and pastimes. Thus from the point of view of picturesqueness, quaintness and human nature interest, the results obtained are remarkable. The thousands of photographs and the written records of Mr. Pitcairn-Knowles’ countless experiences in those parts of Holland, Flanders, France, Corsica, etc., where the fascinating old-world doings and practices are still in existence, add considerably to the interest of this valuable collection.’

Descriptive line

'Cock fighting', photograph by Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles, early 20th century, printed 1973.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pitcairn-Knowles, Richard. The Edwardian eye of Andrew Pitcairn-Knowles 1871-1056. Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd, 2000.
Pitcairn-Knowles, Andrew, ’Cock Fighting and Finches Festival’ in Belgium the Glorious, part IV, 1920?

Subjects depicted

Cocks (birds); Cockfights

Categories

Photographs; Entertainment & Leisure; Games; Sport

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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