Brislington Community Museum

Marshall, Keene & Co

The series of postcards by Marshall, Keene & Co. that depict the convent of Arno's Court come from a company that is well-known for turning private commissions from organisations such as schools and religious organisations into postcards that served as a showcase which could be used for publicity and/or fund-raising.

The company was founded in 1902 (Historic England) and the back of these postcards bear the credit: "Photographed and published by Marshall, Keene & Co., 24/25, Hart St., Holborn, W.C." This definitely dates this set of postcards to before the company moved to Hove, Sussex, in the 1920s.

The only catalogued postcard from this series that was posted has an indistinct postmark, but its stamp - a George V - couldn't have been used earlier than 1911, or later than 1918.

Their local postcards include:

Interior of the chapel. Arnos Court Bristol, The Chapel. The reference isn't known (the back hasn't been seen).

Interior of the school room. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 856.

Interior of the cloisters. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 860.

View of the convent and grounds. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 864.

Exterior of back buildings. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 868.

The pool in the grounds. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 872.

The woods on the hill. Arno's Court, Bristol. Reference 13 876.

It's thought that the first two digits of the reference numbers on the postcards signify the year in which they were printed (Rendel Williams), which suggests these were printed in 1913. The second set of digits are, in the case of these postcards at least, separated by four, which perhaps was allow for up to three reprints of various sorts (so far as is known, no variants were published).

These monochrome postcards were printed in Saxony using a collotype process (at that time the Continent was renowned for high quality collotype printing). The outbreak of the World War in 1914 stopped most British companies from employing printers from any part of the German Empire (including Saxony), which tallies with the date proposed for the reference numbers.


Bibliography

Historic England 2022, Marshall, Keene and Company Collection, London, Historic England, https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/archive/collections/photographs/marshall-keene-and-company/ (accessed 15 Apr 2022).

Rendel Williams 2013, Marshall, Keene & Co., Sussex Postcards, http://www.sussexpostcards.info/publishers.php?PubID=187 (accessed 15 Apr 2022).