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Plâté (Plate) & Cie

Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photographer, Publisher)

Plâté (Plate) & Cie was founded in 1890 by the German A. W. A. (Alfred William Amandus) Plâté (ca. 1859–1931) and his wife, Clara, who had traveled to Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Enthralled by the natural splendor and scenic beauty of the island and its ancient and diverse cultural heritage, they decided to pursue photography as a career. The original firm was in a small studio in the Bristol Hotel, Colombo, and moved to larger premises in Colpetty, Colombo in 1892. From 1910 until 1923, the company was run by Clara in partnership with her brother Herbert Heinemann and, later, his widow. In 1961, ownership of Plâté passed to Arthur P. Fonseka, a long-time employee of the company. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, many of the Plâté photographs were issued as postcards. By 1907, the company was producing half a million postcards annually. Many of the postcards were printed in Germany.

Plâté (Plate) & Cie Credit Line and Copyright
Plâté (Plate) et Cie Credit Line and Copyright

Alfred William Amandus Plâté (ca. 1859–1931)
Alfred William Amandus Plâté (ca. 1859–1931)