History

Reginald A. Malby, F.R.P.S.

(1882-1924)

 

Eleanor Malby

(1886-1956)

 

Henry Thomas Malby, father of Reginald.

(1845-1928)

 

Reginald A. Malby was introduced to profession by his photographer/artist father, Henry Thomas Malby.  

They descended from a long line of artists, inventors, musicians and entrepreneurs, including Malby & Sons, the famous globe-makers, and Walter N. Malby, who pioneered in the very infancy of photography.

 

Later, in 1890, the Company, Reginald A. Malby & Co. was formed based in Chelmsford Road, Woodford, Essex, and Reginald soon became the youngest person to become a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (F.R.P.S.), the highest level of membership to this noble photographic establishment.

The Company also soon estabished themselves as the official photographers for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), who was their main client.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early photography by Walter N. Malby (roll over it!)

 

The Woodford Studio

 

As the firm grew, so did the family; Reginald’s wife was soon also an expert photographer (she later won the prestigious Veitch Medal.
Reginald was retrospectively described as the ‘leading horticultural photographer of his era’ in a recent gardening journal and his images appear in books right up to the current day.

The firm soon employed Colourists who applied colour to the 5cm square black & white images in staggering detail using a magnifying glass and fine paint-brushes.

Reginald also authored many of his own books books which can be found in rare book collectors archives today. including:

 

  • ‘A Story of My Rock Garden’ (published by Headley Brothers. London – 1920)
  • ‘With Camera and R├╝cksack in the Oberland and Valais.’ (published by Headley Brothers. London – 1920)
  • ‘Saxifrages or rockfoils’(published by Headley Brothers. London – 1920)

Sadly, Reginald died aged only 42, but during his relatively short years had made many achievements, and after his death his wife Eleanor continued to guide the company into recognition and success.

Together they also formed the Woodford Photographic Society which still continues to this day.

 

In his memory, Reginald Malby had a hybrid Sempervivum (A.K.A. ‘Houseleek’ or a ‘Succulent’) of the ‘Hens ad Chicks’ type named after him (see right).

 

The Reginald Malby Sempervivum

Family:
Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee)

Genus: Sempervivum (sem-per-VEE-vum)

Cultivar: Reginald Malby

The Company were consistently decorated for their photography throught the years it existed:

The VEITCH MEMORIAL MEDAL

The prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal, won by Eleanor Malby in 1941.

Since 1870, the Veitch Medal has become one of the highest international accolades in horticulture.

Inscription Reads:

TO
MRS MALBY
FOR HER
PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK
ON GARDEN SUBJECTS
DECEMBER 1941

The GRENFELL MEDAL

The RHS awards excellent exhibits of pictures, photographs, floral arrangements or floristry with the Grenfell range of medals, the highest being the Gold (as seen above).

They were initiated in 1898, and re-designed in 1929 in memory of Field Marshal Lord Grenfell, President of the Society, 1913 to 1919.

Inscription reads:

TO
MESSRS.MALBY & CO.

FOR

COLOURED

TRANSPARENCIES

JAN.26.1926

 

 

The ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY MEDAL

Created by the Royal Mint in 1836, this medal was awarded to the Malbys in February 16th, 1915

Inscription reads:

TO MESSRS
MALBY & SON.
FOR
PHOTOGRAPHS OF
ALPINE PLANTS &c.
FEB 16. 1915.

 

Reginald A. Malby; a true Renaissance Man

 

The Malby family at leisure!

 

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