British picture framemakers, 1610-1950 B part 3
A selective directory, 3rd edition December 2012 (*revised entry, **new entry). Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Edwin B. Brown, see Frederick Henry Grau
**Frederick Brown senr, 36 Charlotte St, Fitzroy Sq, London W 1869, 22 Charlotte St 1870-1871, 32 Charlotte St 1872-1886, 179 Wardour St W 1896-1911, 24 Park Terrace 1898, 80 Park Road, Regents Park NW 1899, carver and gilder, picture framemaker. Frederick James Brown, 32 Charlotte St, Fitzroy Sq, London W 1886-1913, carver and gilder, picture framemaker.
Frederick Brown and his son, Frederick James Brown, traded in London as carvers and gilders and picture framemakers, with the son taking over the father’s premises and the father apparently moving elsewhere.
The father: The carver and gilder Frederick Brown (b. c.1839), traded initially at 36 Charlotte St, previously the address of another carver and gilder, William Stannard, before moving to 22 Charlotte St and then to 32 Charlotte St. In census records he was recorded in 1871 as a carver and gilder at 24 Charlotte St and in 1881 as a framemaker at 32 Charlotte St with his wife and six children. From 1886 his son took on the business at 32 Charlotte St and he himself appears to be identifiable with the carver, gilder and picture framemaker, Frederick Brown senr, trading at 24 Park Terrace in 1898, 80 Park Road, Regents Park in 1899 and 179 Wardour St 1896-1911.
Frederick Brown senr’s frame trade label from 32 Charlotte St as 'Framer', can be found on Frederick Sandys' drawing, Morgan le Fay, c.1863 (Betty Elzea, Frederick Sandys 1829-1904, 2001, pp.176-7, perhaps reframed) and as ‘CARVER & GILDER, FRAME MAKER &c’ on John William Waterhouse, Saint Eulalia, exh.1885 (Tate, N01542). A different label, in the form of a cherub holding up a cloth pinned to branches, reads 'FREDERICK BROWN SENR., Practical Carver and Gilder, Picture Frame Maker, 179 WARDOUR STREET (12 doors from Oxford Street.) W, LATE of 32, CHARLOTTE ST' (example on Joseph Mordecai's Sir Arthur Pinero, exh.1891, National Portrait Gallery).
The son: Frederick James Brown was born in about 1862. In 1886, he took over the business at 32 Charlotte St. He married Jessie Baynes in 1890 at St John Fitzroy Square and they had four children, 1891-6. In the 1871 census, he was recorded in his father’s household at 24 Charlotte St. In subsequent censuses, always at 32 Charlotte St, he can be found in 1881 still in the household of his father, now described as a framemaker, in 1891 in his own household as a carver and gilder, with his wife Jessie, in 1901 as a carver and gilder and employer, with his wife and three children, and in 1911 as a picture framemaker trading on his own account from his home, still with three children.
Another individual, Frederick Brown, picture restorer and gilder, was recorded in the 1901 census at 37 Grafton St, St Pancras, age 29.
Sources: Kathleen Cheesmond, a relative of Frederick James Brown, kindly provided details of his marriage, children and the 1911 census entry, in February 2012.
James Honeyman Brown 1871-1873, J.H. Brown & Co 1874-1883. At 67 Berners St, London 1871, 4 George Yard, Princes St, Soho 1872-1875, 40 Cranbourne St, Leicester Square 1873, 121 Wardour St 1875-1878, street renumbered 1878, 193 Wardour St 1879, 197 Wardour St 1880-1883. Picture dealer, subsequently carvers and gilders, picture framemakers, drawing mounters.
James Honeyman Brown (c.1838-1884) married Rose Love in 1868 in the Camberwell district and, secondly, Rosa Elizabeth Coton in 1872 in the Kensington district. In censuses he was recorded in 1871 in Peckham as a fine art merchant, age 32, born in Scotland, with wife Rose, age 28, and in 1881 in Shepherds Bush, age 42, as a master carver and gilder employing six men and one boy, with wife Rosa, age 30, and three young children. He died in 1884 at the age of 46 in the Hendon district.
James Honeyman Brown’s partnership with Colin Rae Brown (1821-97), the writer and publisher, perhaps his older brother, trading as frame manufacturers at 4 George Yard, was dissolved in 1873 with James Honeyman Brown carrying on the business (London Gazette 7 November 1873). James Honeyman Brown, picture frame manufacturer of 121 Wardour St, sought a meeting with his creditors in 1876 under the terms of the Bankruptcy Act (London Gazette 14 November 1876).
James Honeyman Brown & Co advertised as having ‘always in stock a large assortment of Mouldings of the newest designs’, also offering, ‘Gentlemen’s Collections Re-arranged and Hung’ (The Artists’ Directory 1875, p.186).
Thomas Brown, see Stewart and Brown
*John Brydon, 48 Brewer St, London 1780, 7 Charing Cross (‘opposite Northumberland House’) 1783-1801, 4 Charing Cross 1800-1805, 218 Oxford St 1805-1808. Printseller, print publisher, carver and gilder, picture framemaker, looking glass warehouse.
In 1780 John Brydon, carver and gilder, took out insurance at 48 Brewer St with the Sun Fire Office. He is perhaps to be identified with John Brydon, broker, who took out insurance at Great Windmill St, Golden Square in 1777. He is presumably the carver and gilder who took Giles Fry as an apprentice in 1785. There was also a John Brydon, enameler of Charing Cross, presumably connected, who took an apprentice, Richard Pitt, in 1797.
Brydon was trading from Charing Cross by 1783. Brydon advertised looking glasses, glass and picture frames and girandoles in 1784 (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser 12 February 1784). He also offered prints for sale from his ‘Looking-glass and Print Warehouse, opposite Northumberland-house, Charing-cross’, which he also described as his ‘Exhibition Room’ (The Times 10 November 1792, 19 January 1793). He distributed prints for Valentine Green from as early as 1783 (Clayton 1997 p.220; see also J.C. Smith p.592, BM Satires no.8243); Green's Duchess of Rutland was altered and republished in 1793 by Charlotte Brydon, 7 Charing Cross, as the Duchess of York (J.C. Smith p.583).
Brydon was responsible for framing Guy Head's full-length portrait, Viscount Nelson with a Midshipman, 1798-9 (National Portrait Gallery), for Nelson himself, who wrote to Emma Hamilton on 8 February 1801, 'I hope Mr Brydon has executed the frames to your satisfaction' (Simon 1996 p.166). Indeed, when advertising his forthcoming set of engravings of the Battle of the Nile in April 1799, Brydon claimed Nelson’s patronage, and his permission to dedicate the prints to him (Sun 30 April 1799).
In 1800 Brydon thanked his patrons for their favours received over the previous 18 years, and advertised that he had opened a house for furnishing funerals at 4 Charing Cross, where J. Brydon junr was in attendance (The Times 5 June 1800). Brydon was listed as a bankrupt in 1801 as William Brydon (The Times 17 June 1801), but in subsequent reports he was named as John Brydon. His extensive stock-in-trade as a bankrupt was advertised for sale, including paintings, drawings, engravings, copperplates, paper, printing presses and picture frames (The Times 3 September 1801), as was the lease of his ‘substantial’ house and shop, the premises described as upwards of 50 feet deep and four storeys high, at a rental of £150 a year (The Times 14 September 1801). He continued to make payments to creditors until 5 June 1804 (Maxted 1977 p.33). The business was listed as Brydon & Co, print merchant, 1802-1805, in some directories.
Sources: Maxted 1977 (giving the address, 7 Charing Cross in 1783); London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 289/436154, see DEFM, and note also an earlier policy, 257/383803, from 1777. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Buck & Scott 1876-1881, F.C. Buck 1881-1928, F.C. Buck & Son 1929-1962. At 76 Wigmore St, London W 1876-1888, factory 12 Marylebone Lane 1879-1880, premises renumbered 1880/1, 48 Marylebone Lane 1881-1890, 59 Wigmore St 1889-1900, 78 Baker St 1897-1900, 21 Baker St 1900-1923, 48 Baker St 1924-1962. Carvers and gilders, later fine art dealers.
Frederick Charles Buck (1850-1929) was born in Hackney in 1850 and died at the age of 79 in the Hampstead district in 1929. He was initially in partnership with Alfred Robert Scott, trading as Buck & Scott, carvers and gilders, printsellers etc, at 76 Wigmore St but this partnership was dissolved on 1 January 1881 (London Gazette 1 February 1881). In censuses, he was recorded in 1881 at 76 Wigmore St as a carver and gilder, age 30, in 1891 at 78 Baker St, in 1901 living at 93 Finchley Road with two sons and in 1911 as a fine art dealer and picture framemaker with his eldest son, Charles Frederick, age 20, assisting in the business. He is possibly the Frederick Charles Buck referred to in a court case concerning his father’s will in 1900 (The Times 26 June 1900). He himself died in September 1929, leaving effects worth £52,980, a considerable sum, with probate granted to his solicitor and to his son Charles Frederick Buck, fine art dealer.
The premises at 78 Baker St seem to have been used for trading in antique furniture. The business was listed in the Post Office London directory as fine art dealer by 1924 and antique picture frame dealer by 1941. F.C. Buck & Son's invoice paper in 1938 described the business as 'Dealer in Antique Furniture, Works of Art', specifying 'Chromos, Prints, Drawings &c Mounted, Pictures Cleaned, Lined & Restored, Looking Glasses & Picture Frames Cleaned or Regilded' (example in National Portrait Gallery records, RP 1935).
Framing work: The business supplied frames or materials for works by some well-known artists. Frederick Sandys's small panel, Hero, 1871, has the label, 'Prepared panel. Fredk. C. Buck. Dealer in Works of Art. Frame Maker. Wigmore St. London' (Elzea 2001 p.240). Frederick Buck was mentioned by William Holman Hunt in a letter, 1898, and he made the now lost frame for Hunt's The Miracle of Sacred Fire in the Church of the Sepulchre, exh.1899 (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA). The aedicular frame to the artist's design on Hunt's The Beloved, 1898 (Royal Collection) has the Buck’s label from 76 Wigmore St (Millar 1992 p.126: repr. Bronkhurst 2006 p.323, see also p.279 n.27). It is one of Hunt’s symbolic frames, incorporating pomegranates and mignonette, in a Renaissance scrolling design which would have been a test of the carver’s skill.
The collector, George Salting, purchased picture frames from Buck, 1881-1909, of which the most expensive was a carved French swept frame for a Ruysdael painting in 1903 (Guildhall Library, MSS 19742, 19747, Salting papers).
Philip de László used Buck as a source for old frames, for example in 1923, according to recent research into the De László archive (National Portrait Gallery). In 1933, the artist claimed that Buck had been supplying frames to his sitters for the last thirty-two years (De László archive, 076-0041), although the first mention of Buck in the archive is apparently in 1911. When de László’s portrait of Victor, 9th Duke of Devonshire, 1927-8 (Chatsworth) was copied in 1928, the artist recommended Buck as a dealer in old frames as one of two framemakers for the job but it was Emile Remy (qv) who got the commission on price (see Philip de Laszlo and picture framing on the National Portrait Gallery website).
In 1931 the business supplied the National Gallery with an old ‘reverse leaf frame’ for a picture by Moretto (NG 299), since removed from this work (Nicholas Penny, The Sixteenth Century Italian Paintings, vol.1, Paintings from Bergamo, Brescia and Cremona, National Gallery, 2004, p.177).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
A.E. Burling, 121 Great Portland St, London W 1897-1899, street renumbered 1899, 101 Great Portland St 1899-1900. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker and mount cutter.
Albert Edward Burling (b.1872) was born in Notting Hill. At the time of the 1891 census, he and his older brother James were recorded as picture framemakers living as lodgers at 113 Upper St, Islington. Albert Edward married in 1892 in the Islington district. He had set up in partnership as a picture framer by 1897, advertising in 1898 ‘Green Stained Oaks or Special Patterns made to Customers’ requirements’, as well as ‘French, Chippendale, Swept and Louis Frames in English Gold’ (The Year’s Art 1898), but the following year on 31 May 1899 his partnership with Ernest Walter Wesson (1873-1951), trading as A.E. Burling at 101 Great Portland St, was dissolved (London Gazette 29 September 1899). In the 1911 census, he was living in Walthamstow, as a picture framemaker (worker), confirming that he had ceased to trade on his own account, with his wife Annie and 18-year- old son, also Albert Edward, a cabinet maker.
There were other businesses going by the name of Burling, connection unknown, trading in frames at this time. Burling & Weatherall, picture framemakers, were listed at 99 Talbot Road W, 1895-9, and Burling & Co, picture framemakers, at 103 Talbot Road, 1899. James Burling, picture framer, age 30, was listed at 15 Theberton St, Islington, in the 1901 census.
Thomas Butler, Oxford, see Robert Archer
*James Byfield 1777-1790, James and Thomas Byfield 1790-1799, Thomas and James Byfield 1802, James Byfield 1805-1808, Thomas Byfield 1809-1828, T.B. Byfield 1822-1824, T.B. Byfield & Son 1823-1827, James Byfield 1829-1834. At Wardour St, Soho, London 1777-1793, Wardour St (corner of Holland St) 1777, 16 Wardour St 1785-1793, Compton St 1795-1799, 39 Old Compton St 1802-1828, 37 Old Compton St 1819-1834, 11 Richmond Buildings, Soho Square 1836, 9 Richmond Buildings 1837-1840. Carvers and gilders.
This carving and gilding business in Soho, begun by James Byfield by 1777, continued over more than one generation, with a relative, Thomas, in partnership by 1790, and Thomas’s son James continuing the business subsequently. There were a number of men by the name of James Byfield active in London. Further research is required to clarify the history of this business.
James Byfield is probably the individual of this name who was apprenticed to Henry Doughty, carver and gilder of St Margaret’s Westminster, for £31.10s in 1771. His apprenticeship must have been for less than seven years for him to have taken out insurance with the Sun Fire Office in January 1777 as a carver and gilder at the corner of Holland St in Wardour St. ‘Mr Byfield’, Compton St, attended a meeting in 1795 of fifteen consumers and manufacturers of leaf gold which resolved to resist an attempt by journeymen goldbeaters to increase their labour charges (The Times 22 December 1795). It is not clear whether he is identifiable with the James Byfield who died in 1812 at 39 Frith St, leaving his estate to his wife, Nancy Ann.
Thomas Byfield (c.1752-1826), in partnership by 1790, may have been James Byfield’s brother, son or nephew. Like many framemakers, ‘Byfield’ used the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), to supply runs of composition ornament, 1812-7, including ’200 ft Large beads’ at 16s and ‘100 ft Rope & Bead’ at 10s in 1813, perhaps for decorating frames, and ‘24 ft 6 in of oak leaves acorn & rope’ at £1.13s.1d in 1815 for the cornice of an unidentified throne (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1). In 1825, Byfield attended a meeting of more than fifty master carvers and gilders who resolved to resist the demands of journeymen for an increase in wages (The Times 30 June 1825). Thomas Byfield of Compton St died in 1826, age 74, and was buried at St Anne Soho.
His son, James Byfield the younger (c.1803-1853?) continued the business. He was baptised at St Anne Soho in 1803, the son of Thomas and Mary Byfield. He would appear to be the individual listed at 37 Old Compton St as a cook in the 1831 poll book. He was listed in the 1841 census as a carver and gilder, age 37. He was recorded as a composition ornament maker at 5 George Yard, 23 Crown St, Soho, in 1841 and advertised his stock of looking glass and picture frames, stating that he had been several years mould carver to Messrs Jackson (qv) and to Messrs Criswick & Ryan (qv) (The Times 12 February 1841). In the 1851 census he appears as a carver and gilder, age 48, employing 3 men and a boy. Some of the Byfield frame moulds were auctioned by Criswick in 1863, according to the sale details (The Times 9 February 1863). He may be James Henry Byfield whose death, age 50, was recorded in the St Pancras district in 1853.
It has been suggested by Judith Butler that this carver and gilder was James Byfield (d.1813), who had six children by his wife, Susannah, between 1788 and 1800, christened at St Mary Marylebone, or at Providence Chapel, Great Titchfield St, three of whom became wood engravers, John, Ebenezer and Mary. However, it is recorded that this family was based in Clerkenwell, making it difficult to sustain the link with James Byfield the Soho carver and gilder.
Framing work: Thomas Byfield was carver and gilder to His Majesty, following on from William Robert Adair (qv), who died in 1807. His appointment was renewed in 1820 at the accession of George IV; he was followed at his death by James Byfield in 1826 whose appointment was renewed when William IV came to the throne in 1830 (National Archives, LC 3/69 pp.28, 92, 158). Thomas Byfield is recorded in the Royal Household accounts, 1808-27, supplying frames including for royal portraits for ambassadors and governors, totalling more than £4200 (DEFM; National Archives, LC 9/397). In December 1808 he provided the Lord Chamberlain with an account of work then in hand, namely a large rich picture frame for a portrait of the King for the Speaker’s House and two pairs of frames for portraits of the king and queen for the governors of Jamaica and Dominica (National Archives, LC 9/414 part 2).
Sources: London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 254/379756; Judith Butler, ‘Ingenious and Worthy Family: The Byfields’, The Private Library, 3rd series, vol.3, 1980, pp.149-50. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
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