British picture framemakers, 1600-1950 - G
A selective resource, 3rd edition December 2012 (*revised entry, **new entry), last updated March 2016. Contributions welcome, to Jacob Simon at email@example.com
Thomas Gabb (active 1746, d.1783) of St Martin-in-the-Fields took as apprentices Robert Ansell (qv) in 1746 and Thomas Gabb, presumably his own son, in 1758. He can be found in rate books in Long Acre, 1746-52, and in Oxendon St, 1757-65. In 1763, Gabb received a bequest of £60 from his friend, the carver, Jean Antoine Cuenot (qv). Gabb described himself as a gilder of St Marylebone in his own will, made 16 January 1782 and proved 1 August 1783, referring to Robert Ansell as having borrowed his three wheel lathe.
Updated March 2014
J. Garbanati, 4 Great Russell St, Bedford Square, London 1800-1802 or later, carver, gilder and printseller. Joseph Garbanati, 202 High Holborn 1805-1808, 89 High Holborn 1808-1809, 404 Strand 1809-1826, 37 Southampton St, Strand 1826-1852, 39 King’s Rd, Chelsea 1851. Carver and gilder, looking glass and picture framemaker.
Joseph Garbanati (c.1775-1852) was one of several Italian carvers who settled in London, Manchester and Edinburgh in the years around 1800. He was possibly in partnership as ‘Messrs Anone & Garbonati’ in Holborn in 1799 according to the rate book (Francis Anone can be found trading at 26 High Holborn in 1803 (DEFM). Garbanati was presumably the ‘J. Garbaneti’ (variously spelt), who published caricatures from Great Russell St in 1800 and 1801 (BM Satires no.9536; British Museum collection database). He had a son, Joseph Charles Garbanati, in 1801. Garbanati took Robert Emmett an apprentice for a premium of £15.15s in 1808. He advertised his removal from 89 High Holborn to 404 Strand, opposite the Adelphi, in 1809 (Morning Chronicle 17 August 1809). In 1825, ‘J. Garbonati’ 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). Joseph Garbanati, 37 Southampton St, picture framemaker, took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office in 1826. He was also listed at 22 High Holborn in 1808 (DEFM), perhaps a typographical error, and as a cheesemonger at 37 Southampton St in 1827.
Like many of his contemporaries, Garbanati was a customer of the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1813-7, and perhaps subsequently, ordering parts such as ‘24 Princesses Coronets’ at 4s.6d each in 1814, as well as whole sets of ornament for picture frames, notably ‘1 set of Cutters foliages, Jordans shells & under do for corners & centre, and Cutters large flowers with husks out of Bowers foliage from corners, &c &c as before’ in 1817, the parts apparently named after the design’s originator (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1, pp.102, 106, 246, 278, 306, 362, 465-6; punctuation inserted in quotation above).
Garbanati’s prices were contrasted favourably with those of John Smith (qv) in 1826 or later, by the auctioneer, George Robins, who demanded of Smith, ‘Now, upon what pretext do you call upon me for £5.10s’, when Garbanati had said that he could make a frame ‘quite as good’ for £2.10s (Charles Sebag-Montefiore, A Dynasty of Dealers: John Smith and Successors, 1801-1924, 2013, p.59).
Joseph Garbanati’s daughter, Amelia, married another immigrant Italian carver and gilder, Charles Andrew Nosotti (qv), at St James Westminster in 1827. His son, Paul Garbanati (qv), set up in business independently as a carver in or before 1839. Joseph Garbanati was listed in the 1851 census, age 76, as born in Italy, plate glass warehouse at 37 Southampton St, with another son, Joseph, age 12, the natural son of his old age. In his will, made 29 May 1848 and proved 5 August 1852, he described himself as carver and gilder, instructing his executors to auction much of his estate, including his stock-in-trade, the residue of the estate to be used for the maintenance, education and apprenticeship of his son, Joseph Garbanati, by his former servant, Mary Callighan.
Framing work: Not a great deal is known about Garbanati’s customers. He advertised on his early trade card from 202 High Holborn, and therefore c.1805-8, ‘Carver, Gilder & Picture Frame Manufacty, Looking Glass-Mirrors and Girandoles’, also offering to clean pictures and regild frames (Heal coll.), and on a subsequent card, 'A Choice Collection of French Carved Picture, Chimney & Pier Frames, also French Carved Console & Pier Tables, Cabriole Chairs, Sofas' (Landauer coll., Metropolitan Museum, New York, see DEFM). In 1807 he supplied looking glass frames for Sir John Geers Cottrell and in 1826 he supplied a 'Handsome French Frame' to the Duke of Norfolk (DEFM). He made a rococo revival frame for George Hayter’s study of Teodoro Majocchi for The Trial of Queen Caroline, c.1820 (Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth, information from Charles Noble, 2004); the label on this frame, from 404 Strand, opposite the Adelphi, describes him as ‘Carver, Gilder, Looking Glass & Mirror Manufacturer’, also offering to clean pictures and regild old frames and to polish and silver old glasses. In 1835, the banker, Thomas Wright of Upton Hall, near Newark, also a writer and amateur artist, commissioned Garbanati to frame three paintings by Etty that he had purchased from the artist, a landscape of Tobias and the angel, a single lady in an oval (‘Garbanati will call for the dimensions… in order to make a frame’) and, apparently a Psyche (York City Library, transcription kindly made available by William Dixon Smith).
Sources: DEFM; Non-conformist BMD (birth of son in 1801); London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 510. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Garbanati & Sargood 1839-1840, Paul Garbanati 1840-1877. At 19 St Martin’s Court, London 1839-1845, shop 130 New Bond St 1844-1845, 91 Newman St 1846-1848, 1852, 92 Newman St 1848-1851, depot 21 North Audley St 1850-1851, 385 Oxford St 1851-1855, 31 High St, St Giles 1856, 14 Marylebone St, Regent’s Quadrant 1857-1863, street renamed and numbered 1863/4, 36 Glasshouse St 1864-1870, not listed 1871, 7 Great Russell St 1872, 125 Wardour St 1873, not listed 1874, 72 Princes St, Leicester Square 1875-1877. Carver and gilder, picture frame and looking glass manufacturer and plate glass factor.
Paul Charles Garbanati (1813-77) advertised that he was ‘the son of the late Mr J. Garbanati, established 1795’ (The Times 13 March 1862), but a direct link with his father’s business remains to be established. Initially he was in business with Joseph Sargood (1808-74) at 19 St Martin’s Court, but the partnership was dissolved in 1840 (London Gazette 11 February 1840), leaving him to carry on the business. The partnership advertised gilt and fancy wood picture frames as Garbanati & Sargood, working carvers, gilders and picture framemakers, featuring a ‘Richly ornamented and swept frame, half length, 50 inches by 40 inches, six-inch moulding, £3 10s', and other sizes, and offering a printed list of the prices of gilt mouldings, maple, rosewood, and other fancy woods (The Times 28 November 1839). Sargood was subsequently recorded as a picture framemaker at 17 St Ann’s Court, Leicester Square in 1839, and as a carver and gilder, active in Walworth in the 1840s, and as a photographer in the 1850s and 1860s.
Paul Charles Garbanati married Mary Ann Williams in 1840 at St Martin-in-the-Fields and they had six children between 1846 and 1857. He had recurrent financial problems, being made bankrupt or found insolvent in 1846, 1848, 1855, 1861 and 1870 (London Gazette 24 July 1846, 17 August 1848, 17 April 1855, 9 August 1861, 14 October 1870). From his bankruptcy notices, it is apparent that he tried his hand at other trades, also being listed as a ‘photographist’ and a dealer in fancy fowls in 1855, and as a picture dealer in 1861. In the 1851 census Paul Garbanati, carver and gilder, age 37, born St Martin’s, Middlesex, was listed at 92 Newman St with wife and three daughters, in 1861 at 14 Marylebone St now with five daughters, and in 1871 at Croydon. He died at the age of 64 in 1877 in the Pancras district.
Garbanati advertised the 'Cheapest and best manufactured picture frames in the world', of every description of ornamented, gilt and fancy wood picture frame, offering a list of the prices of plate glass, gilt and fancy wood picture frames, room mouldings etc (The Art-Union March 1841 p.42). In response to an advertisement by C.F. Bielefeld (qv), featuring three designs for The Saint's Day, an Art Union of London print, Garbanati offered a list of prices and descriptions of 18 different frames for this engraving and others, in burnished gold, oil gold, imitation of old carved oak, and fancy woods such as rosewood, maple, satinwood or Russian maple, etc (The Art-Union February 1843 p.29). Later, he advertised as the ‘Cheapest House in the Kingdom for Chimney Glasses, Window Cornices, Console Tables, Picture Frames, and every article connected with carving and gilding’ (The Art-Union Advertiser January 1848 p.xxiii).
In a leaflet dated May 1864, enclosed in a letter to the artist John Linnell, Garbanati claimed that his business had been established in 1837 and advertised his services as a ‘Practical Carver and Gilder, Plate glass factor, and Picture frame manufacturer’, also offering to clean, repair or regild looking glass and picture frames, to reline and restore paintings and to restrain, clean and restore old engravings and drawing (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 12698-2000).
Updated March 2016
George Geldorp, Antwerp by 1610, London by c.1623, parish of St Peter the Poor (Broad St ward) 1625, 1635, Blackfriars 1636, 1639, 1644, Orchard St, Westminster 1645-1653, 1663-1666, Wharf St, Westminster 1647, Drury Lane 1650, Archer St, Westminster 1653. Portrait painter, picture framemaker, picture dealer, later picture mender and cleaner to the King from 1662.
George Geldorp (active 1610, d.1665) was born in Antwerp or Cologne, perhaps in about 1590. He was admitted as a master of the Guild of St Luke in in Antwerp in 1610. He married Anna, daughter of Willem de Vos, the painter, in 1613 and she subsequently undertook the gilding of some of his picture frames. He came to London in about 1623 where he was active not only as a portrait painter but also as a dealer, copyist and collector over a period of forty years. It would appear that Geldorp encouraged Robert Voerst to produce engravings after his work in the late 1620s as a form of self promotion. His name is found spelt Geldorp, Geldrop, Geldrope, Gildrop, Gildroppe, Gildrupp and Giltrope.
Geldorp had excellent connections. Van Dyck is said to have stayed with him on a visit to London (Vertue vol.2, p.97) and Jan Lievens lodged with him when visiting London in 1632. Everhard Jabach used Geldorp as an agent in 1637 and 1638 in commissioning Rubens to paint an altarpiece, The Crucifixion of St Peter, for the church of St Peter in Cologne (R.S. Magurn, The Letters of Peter Paul Rubens, 1955, letters 240, 243) and Cardinal Mazarin employed Geldorp as his London agent for picture purchases during the Commonwealth. Peter Lely is said to have worked for Geldorp when he first came to London and the painter, Isaac Sailmaker, was his apprentice (Vertue vol.1, p.74).
Geldorp met with considerable success. George Vertue recorded that in 1650 he was living in a large house with a garden in Drury Lane at a rent of £30 a year, and that he was 'mighty great with people of Quality in his Time & much in their favour, he used to entertain Ladies and Gentlemen with wine & hams, & other curious eatables, & carryd on intreagues between them' (Vertue vol.5, p.44, from a record made at the time by a state commission, and vol.1, p.116, from information from Michael Rosse). Richard Symonds recorded that there were numerous copies of portraits by Van Dyck in his house in June 1653 (Margaret Whinney and Oliver Millar, English Art 1625-1714, 1957, p.76).
Geldorp’s wife may have been dead by the time of the 1635 Return of Strangers in London since Geldorp (‘Giltrope’) is listed with four children but no wife. She had estates in Flanders, referred to in their son’s will, made 10 September 1654 and proved 4 February 1656; this son, John Baptist Geldorp, Gentleman of the City of Westminster, left most of his estate to his own wife Elizabeth, and to his father. Geldorp himself died on 14 November 1665 (Kollman 2005 p.198). Geldorp is recorded as ‘Gildrupp’ in Westminster rate books at Wharf St in 1647 and Orchard St, 1645-9, and 1663-5.
Framing work: As a picture framemaker, Geldorp worked for various patrons from the 1620s to the 1640s. He was working for the Earl of Salisbury in 1626, supplying pictures and frames for Hatfield, for the Earl of Middlesex in about 1636, framing and copying the work of Van Dyck, for Sir Arthur Ingram 1636-42, the Earl of Northumberland 1638-44, the Earl of Huntingdon in 1639 and the Earl of Lothian in 1649, a notable roll-call of leading patrons, discussed in more detail below. His bills are in French, of an anglicised nature: 'les carved fraems d'orre', and his prices suggest work of considerable elaboration: 'ung autre bordure tout dore pour la bergeere de Mr. van dyck' cost Lord Middlesex £6.10s. How much of the framing work Geldorp actually undertook himself is not known, but in 1626 his wife was responsible for gilding seven frames for Lord Salisbury: 'pour la dorure de 7 bordures que ma femme a dorée pour l'or et ouvrage' (for the gilding of seven frames that my wife has gilded, for gold and workmanship).
In 1626 Geldorp painted a pair of full-length portraits of Lord Salisbury and his wife (Auerbach 1971 nos 82, 84), listed in his bill to Salisbury for 10 or more portraits and various frames totalling £105, referred to above as being gilded by his wife (Auerbach 1971 pp.84-5). He was also paid for supplying several dozen glasses and some embroideries.
In about 1636 Geldorp drew up a bill to the Earl of Middlesex for seven pictures and seven frames, totalling £114.10s. By far the most expensive items were the royal portraits, that of Charles I and Henrietta Maria in royal robes with its rich gilt frame costing £45 while The Three Eldest Children of Charles I with its frame cost £17, both perhaps copies after Van Dyck. Also supplied was a flower piece for the Countess’s closet at £4, a frame for a Van Dyck, called ‘la bergeere’, and various family portraits including a copy after Van Dyck of the Countess’s portrait at £12 and a separate frame for Van Dyck’s original portrait at £6, two smaller framed copies at £4 each, a portrait of a dead infant at £10 and a rich picture frame for an original by Van Dyck at £6.10s (National Portrait Gallery, Archive MSS coll.; another version, Kent History and Library Centre, U269 A454/4, information from Edward Town). For for for
Probably in 1638 Geldorp painted Sir Arthur Ingram’s portrait at full-length (still at Temple Newsam House, Leeds), receiving payment of more than £40 for this and other work (David Connell, The Collection of Painting made by the Ingram Family at Temple Newsam from the 17th to the 19th century, Leeds University PhD, 1992, pp.79-80, reference kindly supplied by James Lomax). The frame on this portrait, apparently the original, is a particularly large example of a standard auricular type (see Simon 1996 p.153).
In 1639 the Earl of Huntingdon paid ‘George Gildrop, the picture drawer in Blackfriars’ £4 for a picture of Lady Stanhope, a gilded frame at 10s and a case at 4s (Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of the late Reginald Rawdon Hastings, 1928, vol 1, p.389).
For the Earl of Northumberland, Geldorp carried out work, 1638-43, usually being referred to as Mr Gildrop or Mr Gildroppe in the accounts. In the year to 25 January 1639, his name is associated with that of Van Dyck (‘Pictures and frames bought of Sr Anthony Vandyke and Mr Gildrop’, £21). Geldorp was paid £48 for pictures in the year to 16 January 1639, £10 for pictures and £10.9s for picture frames in the year to 24 January 1640, £8 for ‘a little picture of Pullingburg [Poelenburgh]’ and 22s for a gilt frame for a picture in the year to 24 January 1641 and £4.10s ‘for finishing 2 pictures and for frames to them’ in the year to 17 January 1643 (Wood 1994 pp.309-10, see also Millar 1955 p.256; all years are New Style).
Information on his work for the William Kerr, Earl of Lothian comes from a letter to him from Robert Inglis, 29 May 1649, referring to an order to M. Geldrope for pictures (National Archives of Scotland, GD40/2/2/82, Lothian papers), and what may be Geldorp’s reply, a long letter in French dated June 1649 (Robert Wenley, ‘William, Third Earl of Lothian: Covenanter and Collector’, Journal of the History of Collections, vol.5, 1993, pp.31-2). Subsequently, in 1654 Lady Elizabeth Carr wrote that she had got from Mr Geldrop some of Lord Lothian’s pictures, which she describes, adding that she daily expected the rest (National Archives of Scotland, GD40/2/2/87).
At the Restoration George Geldorp helped track down those of the King's pictures that remained in the country. He was rewarded with the appointment on 27 November 1662 as picture mender and cleaner to the King, or more specifically ‘Painter for the mending and making clean of his Majesties Pictures’ (Bucholz 2006). He was similarly listed in the royal household in 1663 as ‘Painter for making cleane of pictures’ (Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, vol.19, 1944, p.24). He was followed in post by Symon Stone in 1666 (see British picture restorers on this website).
Sources: L.H. Cust, ‘Geldorp, George’, rev. P.G. Matthews, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; Antony Griffiths, The Print in Stuart Britain, 1998, p.82; Irene Scouloudi, ‘Returns of Strangers in Metropolis 1593, 1627, 1635, 1639’, Huguenot Society Quarto Series, vol.57, 1985, p.289; Jeremy Wood, 'Van Dyck and the Earl of Northumberland: Taste and Collecting in Stuart England', in Van Dyck 350, ed. Susan J. Barnes and A.K. Wheelock, Jr., Studies in the History of Art, vol.46, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994, pp.309-10; Kollmann 2000 pp.198-9. Westminster rate books, accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk, are subject to any misrecording in the original rate book or in the digital transcription. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2014
Charles Gerard, Church St, Soho, London 1798-1812, 27 Church St 1805-1811, 17 Frith St, Soho 1820, living in Chelsea from 1813/14, Leader St, Chelsea 1814, Jubilee Place, Chelsea 1816-1818, Francis St, Chelsea 1820. Carver and gilder.
Charles Gerard or Gerrard (active 1798-1820), or to give him his full name, Charles Augustus Gerard, can be found in rate books in Church St, Soho, 1798-1812. He married Catherine Elizabeth Vardy at St Anne Soho in 1809. Her father appears to have been the minor architect, John Vardy junr, her grandfather the better-known architect, John Vardy senr, and her uncle the carver, Thomas Vardy. Charles and Catherine Gerard’s daughter, Charlotte Frances, was born in 1810 and christened at St Anne Soho in July 1813 (IGI). ‘Charles Augustus Gerard’, carver and gilder at 17 Frith St, Soho, was recorded as a creditor of the bankrupted jeweller, James Ledieu, in 1820 (Leeds Intelligencer 13 November 1820, accessed through British Newspaper Archive, information from Raymond Foster, February 2014).
From 1813 or 1814 it would seem that Gerard worked in Soho but lived in Chelsea, where his sons were baptised, Charles Augustus later in 1814, Charles George in 1816 and Philip Augustus in 1818. Their father was recorded as a carver and gilder of Jubilee Place in the latter two cases, and in Francis St in the rate book in 1820. It is worth noting that in census records his wife and daughter were recorded in 1841 on their own and his wife as a widow in 1851, suggesting that gerard may have died before 1841 and in any case by 1851. The above biographical details draw on information kindly supplied by Raymond Foster, May 2013, and can be found in parish registers, tax records and censuses available at www.ancestry.co.uk.
Charles Augustus Gerard may be the individual christened in September 1774, the youngest son of Nathaniel and Mary Gerard of Whepstead in Suffolk, and later of Waxham in Norfolk, as has been suggested by Raymond Foster. He may be the Charles Gerrard who was apprenticed to the Norwich carver and gilder, Jeremiah Freeman (qv), in January 1791 (Stabler 2006 p.140; see also pp.8-9 for a discussion of age at apprenticeship).
No connection has been found to Ebenezer Gerard (c.1783-1826), a portrait painter who exhibited in London, 1813, Norwich, 1814-7, and Liverpool, 1822. Charles Gerard’s daughter, Charlotte Frances, bequeathed a portrait of the 17th-century judge, Sir Thomas Malet, to the National Portrait Gallery in 1887.
Framing work: Charles Gerard (or Gerrard) supplied frames to the 3rd Earl of Egremont in 1807-8, at a cost of £130 for various paintings: three by J.M.W. Turner (including the sea-piece, probably Margate, formerly above the chimneypiece in the Turner Room), a large Claude landscape, John Hoppner’s conversation piece of Lord Egremont’s children and portraits by Thomas Phillips. He undertook further work for Lord Egremont, 1808-10, including a ‘Rich frame for Mr Turners Gallery’, and in 1811 supplied additional picture frames (West Sussex Archives, PHA/11,194).
Sources: Gervase Jackson-Stops, 'Great Carvings for a Connoisseur: Picture Frames at Petworth', Country Life, vol.168, 1980, p.1032; Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts, ‘Notes on Turner’s picture frames’, Museum Management & Curatorship, vol.17, no.3, 1998, p.325 (for the 1808-10 bills). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Gething & Gainsboro 1889-1891, Gething & Taylor 1891-1896. At 29 Lower Temple St, Birmingham 1891, 102 Charing Cross Road, London 1892-1893, 61 Queens Road, Bayswater W 1894-1896. Picture framemakers and dealers in artists' materials.
The changes in this short-lived business can be traced in its accounts with the artists' suppliers, Roberson, 1889-98, from Gething & Gainsboro, to Gething & Taylor and then to H.W. Taylor & Co (Woodcock 1997). The partnership between William Norman Gething (b.1857) and Walter Ernest Hewitt (1865-1919), trading as Gething & Gainsboro at 29 Lower Temple St, Birmingham, as manufacturers and retailers of artists' materials, art works, paintings, copperplate etchings and artistic frame manufacturers, was dissolved in January 1891 (London Gazette 20 February 1891), with the business being carried on in London as Gething & Taylor by William Norman Gething and Harry Walter Taylor (qv). Their partnership was dissolved in April 1896, when the business was continued by Harry Walter Taylor (London Gazette 5 May 1896), trading on his own account at 61 Queens Road, Bayswater.
Gething & Taylor advertised 'entire oak frames for oils, water-colours, and all prints', and 'the usual gold frames, but of right workmanship and motif in design', claiming that 'The House of Gething & Taylor should be visited by those who know how desirable it is to show tasteful intelligence in choosing such frames to inset their pictures as will rightly lend themselves to the decorative scheme of their rooms' (The Year’s Art 1893).
William N. Gething can be traced in censuses, in 1891 at Kings Norton as an art dealer, in 1901 in Wimbledon as an artist, and in 1911 in Belper, again as an artist.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Contributed by Lynn Roberts
**Gillow, later Gillow & Co (changing partnerships), Lancaster from c.1730, and London from 1769. Cabinet makers etc.
Gillows traded from Lancaster but kept a London office. The business was founded by Robert Gillow (1704-72) and was continued by his sons, Richard (1734-1811) in Lancaster and Robert (c.1745-95) in London. For subsequent generations, see the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, where the business is treated at more length.
The best source of information on Gillows’ framing activities is the recent survey of the business’s work by Susan Stuart (see Sources below), assembled from the letters, sketchbooks and ledgers held in Gillows’ extensive archives (Westminster Archives). Use of descriptions of and invoices for frames, allied to identification of the actual framed works and fleshed out by extracts of letters to and from clients, have produced an extremely informative account of the provincial picture frame industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. ‘By the late 1760s’, Stuart notes, ‘Gillows’ picture frames were amongst the most important things they made’, and an inventory made at one point revealed that looking-glass and picture frames comprised almost a third of their stock. The styles of frames they offered are charted in the Estimate Sketch Books during the 18th century, but these tail off during the 19th century, possibly due to competition or ordering-in. In the early 1760s ebonized and parcel-gilt frames seem to have been most popular; these might be minimally ornamented or enriched at a customer’s request: for instance, with the gilded ornaments which ‘…cost us in London 7s. 6d.’ and which were acquired for an Ulverston client’s black frame.
Although small sketches and sections illustrate the available choices, ‘Gillow picture frames are difficult to research because they were obviously not stamped or marked and rarely illustrated.’ An important tract of information therefore depends on Gillows’ relationship with George Romney, who was locally-born and returned several times during the 1760s to paint the Lancastrian gentry. Between October 1760 and August 1761, ‘Mr Romney the painter purchased about twenty-four stretcher frames and an easel from Gillow’; his work on subsequent trips is housed in Gillow frames, and these correspond to the three main Romney frame patterns which have been noted as in use during the 1760s: a swept Rococo style, a hollow frame with cabochon top edge, and knulled frame. Stuart’s researches have identified ‘one of the most important Gillow frames made at this period, 1767’; this is the Rococo frame for Romney’s half-length portrait of Rev. Dr Daniel Wilson of Lancaster, pierced, with lambrequin corners and centres, its contour breaking into a cascade of ‘S’ scrolls and its sight edge defined with a chain ornament. Gillows’ ledgers record the anonymous carver’s and gilder’s time and cost (5½ weeks at £4.1s.6d), plus finishing (by ‘Chambers’: 2½ days at 4s) and materials; the ‘total estimate book cost for making and materials was £5.7s.8d’.
Another commission of the same year, recorded in a sketch, is an old-fashioned Kentian frame with pendant drops described as ‘…a neat carv’d frame with side pieces‘. This was made for Charles Strickland of Sizergh Castle for £1.15s.0d, being - apart from the drops – much less ornate than the Rococo frames; the frieze would probably have been sanded, or ‘frosted’ in the Gillow terminology. This ability to produce older designs for their more conservative clients did not prevent Gillows from trying the most up-to-date processes: by 1768 ‘the firm was obtaining papier-mâché for frame mouldings at 2s. for four yards’. In 1779 and 1780 they ordered lengths of gilded brass mouldings from ‘Messrs W[h]itworth Yates & Co.’ of Birmingham, informing them that it must be ‘…ready rabitted to miter together‘; and by 1790 Stuart finds reference to ‘composition moulding‘ in an estimate for a frame. This was the cheapest material of all at 1d to 3d per foot, although the labour in applying it was still costly: 9s.4d in 1801 for John Helme’s work ‘sticking composition when laid on in all 3 ½ days‘.
Gillows also used up-to-date styles: gadrooned hollow frames, for example, on portraits of the Rawlinson family of Lancaster by Romney, with which Stuart associates the mystifying term, ‘Gotherend’ or ‘Gothereade’, found in the ledgers. ‘Nulled ovals’ are also mentioned, in 1784 on an oval frame made for Mr Barrow, the painter, as are ‘cross flutes’. Carlo Maratta frames occur, too; a letter of 1769 from the Gillow brothers to William Shaw of Preston notes that they had showed him a ‘carved gilt & burnished Carlamarat… [at] 6s.6d. per foot‘, whilst their most expensive version of the frame was carved in 1773 for Romney’s portrait of William Lindow. This cost 8½ guineas, and was described as ‘…a very large & elegant picture frame Carlomarat’. The carver may also have been employed by Gillows on the fitting-up of Lindow’s house in 1772; this work had been done by a Mr Norris, and Stuart speculates that the 26 feet of ‘Carlamerat’ which Norris produced in 1773 may have been used for Lindow’s frames. She also notes that the frame now on the portrait may not be the original.
Frames for artists were also produced: for instance, a carved giltwood design for the painter Thomas Burrows, to whom the Gillows wrote that they had not been able to ‘tell what the picture frame would cost us as we never made up one of the same sort before‘. However, when pushed for time or unable to supply the right frame, the firm would sub-contract work or order from London. A letter of 1770 to the Gillows’ cousin Thomas in London asks for fashionable gilt frames of a particular size and price, and requests that offcuts be sent, so that the client can choose a pattern. Thomas is encouraged to apply to ‘Mr Rumney the painter’ for help in picking a framemaker. However, by 1780 Gillows themselves are supplying lengths of frame mouldings to local upholsterers and cabinetmakers.
Sources: By courtesy of Lynn Roberts, the above entry substantially repeats her review of Susan E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730-1840: Cabinetmakers and International Merchants: A Furniture and Business History, vol.2, Woodbridge, 2008, pp.34-45 (‘Part 2: Picture Frames’), see Annotated Bibliography of Frame Publications on the National Portrait Gallery website. See also Simon 1996 pp.143, 144.
*Thomas H. Gladwell 1835-1879, Gladwell Brothers 1880-1891. At 39 Newington Causeway 1835, 21 Gracechurch St, London EC 1836-1892, 87 Gracechurch St 1851-1865, 20 Gracechurch St 1880-1892, subsequent history not traced here. Manufactory 3 Mint St, Borough 1838-1839, 173 Bishopsgate St without 1840, 156 Borough High St SE 1881-1905. Carvers and gilders, picture and looking glass frame manufacturers, stationers, subsequently printsellers and art dealers.
Thomas Henry Gladwell (1811-79), son of Thomas and Ann Gladwell, was christened at St Sepulchre in 1812; he died in the Lambeth district in 1879. He was listed as a printer in 1835 and as a printer, bookseller and stationer in 1836 but as a picture framemaker by 1838. In the 1841 census, Thomas Gladwell, carver and gilder, was at 19 Gracechurch St. On his billhead from 21 Gracechurch St in 1840, Thomas Henry Gladwell advertised among other services gilt cornices and room mouldings, engraving and printing neatly executed, ‘Ornamental Kit-Cat & Three-Quarter Frames always ready’, modern prints framed in maple and gold, a liberal discount to artists and mouldings to any patterns for gilders (Simon coll.). His trade card from 21 Gracechurch St offered a somewhat similar range of services (Johnson coll. Trade Cards 24 (46)). In the 1851 census Gladwell was listed as a carver and gilder, employing five men, in 1861 as a stationer, with two sons as assistants, Arthur, age 24, and Thomas, age 19, and in 1871 as a stationer and publisher, employing five assistants. He died in February 1879, leaving a personal estate of under £16,000.
Following Gladwell’s death in 1879, the business passed to his two sons, becoming Gladwell Brothers. From 1881, they advertised as ‘Practical carvers and gilders, picture frame manufacturers …Looking glass frames. Picture frames… Re-gilt to equal new’ (The Year’s Art 1881-88). The partnership between Henry William Gladwell (1834-93) and his brother, Alfred Thomas Gladwell (1841-1906), carvers and gilders, printsellers and publishers, trading as Gladwell Bros at 20-21 Gracechurch St and 156 Borough High St, was dissolved in December 1891 (London Gazette 12 January 1892).
The subsequent division of the business into two rival companies, Alfred Thomas Gladwell and Gladwell & Co, is not traced here beyond the 1890s. Henry William Gladwell died in 1893, leaving effects worth £1415. The following year, Alfred Thomas Gladwell, the surviving brother, advertised that he, ‘though the younger brother, is by many years the senior in the business, will continue the same at 164, Fenchurch Street, with the same staff and manufactory as heretofore’ (The Year’s Art 1894), noting in 1895 that four of his old employees had been 'constantly in the employ of the firm for an aggregate of over one hundred and twenty years’ (The Year’s Art 1895) and issuing a disclaimer the following year about rivals trading under the Gladwell name, that he was ‘in no way associated with… other premises that have recently been opened, in the same name, in Fenchurch Street, and elsewhere’ (The Year’s Art 1896). Alfred Thomas Gladwell died in 1906, leaving effects worth £2205. A successor business, Gladwell & Co, still operates as fine art dealers from 68 Queen Victoria St today, claiming to have been established in 1752.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Glover & Ives, see Charles Ives
*Benjamin Goodison, The Golden Spread Eagle, Long Acre, London by 1727. Cabinet maker.
A carver and furniture maker rather than a picture framemaker, Benjamin Goodison (c.1700-1767) nevertheless produced some significant picture frames. He is treated at length by Geoffrey Beard in the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, to whom this account is indebted.
Benjamin Goodison referred to James Moore as his master in 1719 and 1720. He is probably the Benjamin Goodison of St Andrew Holborn, who married Sarah Cooper at St Bride's, Fleet St, in 1723, and had several children christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields, including a son, also Benjamin, in 1735. By 1725 he had his own business, taking Thomas Barber as an apprentice, and by 1726-7 he had succeeded James Moore in the service of the Royal Family. Goodison took his nephew, Benjamin Parran, as apprentice in 1741, and subsequently as partner. Goodison’s will was proved on 9 December 1767; he left a considerable house in Mitcham, and was able to bequeath his lawyer son £8000, or half his estate. His business was continued by Benjamin Parran in partnership with his son.
Goodison worked for Frederick Prince of Wales from 1735 until shortly before the Prince’s death in 1751, as has been surveyed by Kimerly Rorschach (see Sources below). In 1747/8 he framed Van Dyck’s Madam Cantecroix for the Prince, charging £10 for a whole-length frame, ‘Guilt in Oyl Gold with a sanded ground ornamented with Shells’. In 1748 he produced two very large burnished frames for two landscapes by Rubens, ‘ornamented with Festoons & flowers all round... with Mosaick work in ye Ground & a Canopy of Flowers at ye top’ for £63 each. His accounts for work for the Royal Household continue until 1760.
Other picture frames made by Goodison include that for Pietro da Cortona’s Coriolanus at Holkham Hall, Norfolk, for which the Earl of Leicester was billed £74 on 4 January 1757: 'A large picture frame carved & gilt in burnish’t gold with a scrowle pediment, festoons & other ornaments & iron plates & screwes to fix it togeather' (copy in V&A Furniture Dept Archive). He supplied a companion frame for Giuseppe Chiari’s Scipio in 1758 for £72.15s. He also made picture frames for the Earl and Countess of Cardigan at Deene Park, 1743-4, and produced work for Blenheim Palace, Althorp, Chatsworth, Longford Castle, the Mansion House and Bedford House.
Sources: DEF, vol.3, p.32; DEFM; Tessa Murdoch, ‘Goodison, Benjamin (c.1700–1767)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 (www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/39347, accessed 23 Nov 2007); Kimerly Rorschach, ‘Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707-51) as Collector and Patron’, Walpole Society, vol.55, 1993, pp.34-5. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated September 2014,
Matthew Goodricke, Old St, Cripplegate, London until 1622, Long Acre possibly by 1620, probably by 1632, 1639-1645. Painter and gilder.
Matthew Goodricke (1588-1645) was one of the leading decorative painters of his time and assisted the Serjeant Painter, John de Critz (qv), in his work for King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria in the 1620s and 1630s. His life has been studied by Mary Edmond and Edward Town, to whom this account is indebted. His name is also found spelt as Goodrich, Goodrick, Gooderick, Goodericke and Guidrick.
He would appear to be ‘Mathew Goodricke’, son of Samuel, who was christened in October 1588 at St Dionis Backchurch in the City of London. Like his father, Matthew Goodricke was a Freeman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company. He was a beneficiary under the terms of his father’s nuncupative will, made verbally shortly before his death in 1626 (London Metropolitan Archives, MS 09222/002, information from Edward Town; note that the will also names another ‘Mathew Goodrick’, a godson, meaning that caution is needed in assigning the following references).
‘Mathew Goodericke painter stayner’ had a son, Samuel, buried at St Giles Cripplegate in 1622. He may be the ‘Matthew Goodricke’, with wife Elizabeth, who had a son, also Matthew, christened in 1616 at All Hallows London Wall, and three daughters christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Elizabeth in 1620 (who presumably died young), a further Elizabeth in 1623 and Ann in 1632 (IGI, variously spelt as Gooderick or Goodrick). He is presumably the ‘Mathewe Goodricke the elder’ of the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, whose wife, Elizabeth was left a bequest of £3 by the sculptor, Nicholas Stone, their neighbour in Long Acre (Walpole Society, vol.7, p.144, will dated 30 January 1640). By 1642/3, Matthew Goodricke was described as ‘poore’ in the parish poor book. He is probably the ‘Mathew Gooderick’ buried at St Martin’s in December 1645. Matthew Goodricke, whether the father or the son, can be found in rate books, 1639-56, in several years located in Long Acre.
Interior painting work: Goodricke was an interior painter of considerable ability and apparently held in high regard by Inigo Jones and his contemporaries. In 1609/10 he can be found, like his father, working at St Katherine Colman, supplying cloth and his labour for a month (London Metropolitan Archives, MS 1124/1, information from Edward Town, see also Town 2014 p.92). His earliest known work as a painter was in Edinburgh, where in 1617, ‘Matthew Goodrich’ was paid £200 for painting and gilding the chapel of Holyrood House, part of a scheme carried out with Nicholas Stone, probably under the direction of Inigo Jones (Walpole Society, vol.7, 1919, p.44; see also Town 2014 p.92). As early as 1622 he was working for Charles Prince of Wales, later King Charles I (Croft-Murray 1962 p.203). From 1626/7 until about 1638, his name appears in the accounts of the Office of Works. He decorated the new chapel at St James's Palace in 1626-7 and other interiors, 1629-30 (Colvin 1982 p.249). His interior work at Somerset House from 1628 is described below.
Goodricke also helped decorate the interior of Inigo Jones's new church, St Paul Covent Garden in 1631-2. He painted and gilded the great staircase at Ham House in 1637-8, and later worked at Wilton House, where Zacharie Taylor (qv) was the carver (Vertue vol.2, p.59). He also worked at Holland House (Malcolm Airs, The Tudor & Jacobean Country House, 1995, p.152).
Framing work: Matthew Goodricke was described as his highness’s painter when receiving payment from Charles Prince of Wales for painting and gilding the organs at St James’s and diverse picture frames for £13.13s in 1621-2 (National Archives, SC 6/Jas.I/1685). For painting and gilding various frames for pictures and for other things in and about his highness’s cabinet and gallery at St James’s, he received a £26.12s.10d in 1624 and £6 for frames in 1625, as approved by Abraham van der Doort; ‘cabinet’ very probably refers to a cabinet room rather than to a piece of furniture (National Archives, SC 6/Jas.I/1687, SC 6/Chas.I/1630).
Subsequently, when Charles became king, Goodricke as a painter and gilder of picture frames worked extensively for him, framing contemporary works as well as paintings from the Duke of Mantua’s collection. Many of these frames were carved by Zacharie Taylor.
At Somerset House from 1628, Goodricke worked for Queen Henrietta Maria, decorating interiors and picture frames. He was responsible for the elaborate decoration of the Queen’s new Cabinet Room, painted and gilded in 1629-30 for £233, including framing mouldings for 218 panels of grotesques (Colvin 1982 pp.39, 262) and for painting ‘like walnuttree’ a large frame for a portrait of Charles I in 1632/3 (National Archivesa, E351/3266). Between 1631 and 1639, at least 66 frames were made, apparently for Somerset House, by Goodricke, Taylor and others, often working in partnership, including 20 for the Cabinet Room, 1631-3, as well as frames for the adjoining Cross Gallery, 1634-6, probably for full-length royal portraits (Colvin 1982 p.268). In more detail, for the Cabinet Room in 1631/2 Goodricke gilded frames and painted mouldings for them with leaves, flutes, beads, roses and other enrichments (Edmond 1980 p.175). With Edward Pearce (qv) and George Carew, in 1635/6 he painted 17 frames in stone colour and two for the Long Gallery in a dark lute colour with gilt edges and, grandest of all, a frame probably for Van Dyck’s Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, which was painted in a dark lute colour with a broad gilt edge at a cost of 1s a foot for 48 feet, making £2.8s (Edmond 1980 p.174).
At Greenwich, Goodricke painted and varnished frames for the Queen’s House with Benjamin Davyson in 1633/4. This work included painting frames in a dark lute colour and gilding the mouldings in oil, at 1s a foot for 106 feet, for The Finding of Moses and Potiphar’s Wife (almost certainly by Orazio Gentileschi) and The Muses for £5.6s.6d, and painting a frame of a lesser moulding, length 23 feet, for Tarquin and Lucretia for 11s.6d including varnishing and gilding the edges (National Archives, E 351/3267; see also George H. Chettle, The Queen’s House, Greenwich, London Survey Committee, 14th monograph, 1937, p.104; Colvin 1982 p.119).
At Whitehall Palace in 1632-3 he painted in dark lute colour and gilded two picture frames 31 feet in compass at 1s a foot, and the following year with John de Critz he painted and gilded three frames, one 27 feet in compass for a picture of St Margaret, perhaps by Titian (National Archives, E 351/3267, quoted by Edmond 1980 p.176). At St James’s Palace in 1635-6, with John Brocas he painted and garnished eight large frames for pictures in the Gallery, gilding a small fillet round each frame (Edmond 1980 p.175).
Goodricke worked for the widowed Duchess of Buckingham, billing her in February 1633 for decorative work at York House and for finishing the frames of five pictures, including painting, varnishing and gilding the frame for Van Dyck’s portrait of the Duchess, perhaps with her children, evidently a large picture since it was ’35 footte round’. He agreed with Nicholas Stone in August 1639 to colour and gild a picture frame for the Countess of Middlesex’s picture by Van Dyck for £6, which Zacharie Taylor was to carve, also for £6 (Kent History and Library Centre, Knole papers, U269 A462/5, from notes made by the late Gervase Jackson-Stops and by Edward Town). At Ham House in April 1638, he charged £320 for painting work, including £4 for ‘guilding with fine gould two picture frames over ye [Dining Chamber] Doores, the Carving worke being wholly guilt over’; these frames had been carved by the joiner, Thomas Carter for £2.10s, who had also supplied picture frames for the drawing room for £4 (photocopy bills in the V&A Furniture Dept Archive).
Sources: Mary Edmond, ‘New light on the lives of miniaturists and large-scale portrait-painters working in London in the 16th and 17th centuries’, Walpole Society, vol.47, 1980, pp.175-6; Howard Colvin (ed.), The History of the King’s Works, vol.4, 1485-1660 (Part II), 1982, pp.39, 119, 268; Philip McEvansoneya, 'Van Dyck and the Duchess of Buckingham's collection', Apollo, vol.140, December 1994, p.30. See also Town 2014 p.92. The above text has been prepared with help from Lynn Roberts. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
**Charles Goodwin, 62 Boxley Road, Maidstone by 1881-1901 or later. Carpenter, wood carver and picture framemaker.
Charles Goodwin (1840-1907?) was the third son of a Maidstone builder, Samuel Goodwin, and his wife, Rosetta. He was the brother of the artist, Albert Goodwin (1845-1932), who was a pupil of William Holman Hunt (Hammond Smith, Albert Goodwin RWS (1845-1932), p.63). He can be traced in Maidstone census records as a carpenter and joiner in 1861, a carpenter in 1871 and a wood carver in 1881, 1891 and 1901, living at his father’s address in 1861 and 1871 and at 62 Boxley Road thereafter with his wife, Anne, and their children. He may be the Charles Goodwin whose death at the age of 65 was recorded in Maidstone in 1907.
Framing work: Charles Goodwin made frames for his brother, Albert Goodwin, and through him for other artists. He can be identified with the Goodwin whom Arthur Hughes used for carving frames in 1873. Hughes told Ford Madox Brown in August 1873, ‘A brother of Goodwin's, a carpenter who is clever at carving and wants to get frames to do,... has made several for his brother and one or two for me, all of oak and with no plaster at all.... My Lady of Shallot had the only entirely carved frame in the Academy, I feel proud to say; ... it was a noble work.... My frames, after they were gilded, only cost me the same as if I had had them done in the old way.’ (South African National Gallery, manuscript quoted by Leonard Roberts at www.arthurhughes.org/addenda.htm, accessed August 2012). Hunt in turn mentioned Hughes’ carver to Frederick George Stephens in 1876 and 1877 (information from Lynn Roberts).
The frame for Holman Hunt’s The Triumph of the Innocents (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) has been identified as by ‘Mr Goodwin’, presumably George Goodwin, dating to c.1877-8, and that for the later version of this picture (Tate) as possibly by Goodwin, c.1885 (Bronkhurst 2006 pp.324-5, where the frames are reproduced). However, the frames are more likely to be by Charles Goodwin than the Soho framemaker, George Goodwin (c.1837-1907?), born in Cheltenham and trading in London, 1865-86.
The Gosset and Dallain families
Three generations of these related Huguenot families from the Channel Islands, and before that from Normandy, are treated here and under Dallain: Matthew Gosset (1683-1744), secondly his nephews, Jacob Gosset (1703-88), Gideon (1707-85) and Isaac (1713-99), sons of Jean Gosset and Susanne D’Allain, and thirdly Abraham Dallain (c.1727-1803), husband of Jane Gosset, and his brother, Isaac Dallain (c.1730-1791 or later). Isaac Dallain went into partnership with Richard Harding in 1782 as 'successors to Mr. Gosset'.
Sources: For the Gosset family, see Mary H. Gosset, 'A Family of Modellers in Wax', Publications of the Huguenot Society, vol.3, 1892, pp.540-68, and Tessa Murdoch, ‘Courtiers and Classic: The Gosset Family’, Country Life, vol.177, 1985, pp.1282-3.
*Gideon Gosset, parish of St James Westminster, London by 1727, Berwick St probably by 1733, certainly by 1747 until 1749 or later, Paddington St by 1779. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker.
Like Isaac Gosset (qv) and Jacob Gosset (qv), Gideon, or Gedeon Gosset (1707-85), was the son of Jean Gosset and Susanne D’Allain, Huguenots from the Channel Islands. It would appear that Gideon, or possibly Jacob, and Isaac were brought up by their uncle, Matthew Gosset (qv), the carver and wax modeller, who was living in London by 1709 (Murdoch 1985 p.1282) and who was resident in Berwick St by 1716. Gideon and Isaac were bequeathed Matthew Gosset’s house on the east side of Berwick St in his will, made 1740 and proved 1744. Little is known of Gideon in particular but he appears to have been closely associated with his brother, Isaac, working in the same street, and possibly sharing the same premises. From the late 1750s he was living in Marylebone (Publications of the Huguenot Society, vol.11, 1914, pp.90-2, 110, 119).
Gideon Gosset married Anne Buisset in 1726; they had as many as twelve children between 1727 and 1745, the first two christened at St James Westminster, and the remainder from 1733 at the Berwick St Huguenot church. He took as apprentices Joseph Pujolas for a premium of £10 in 1725, John Lee for £10 in 1726, Richard Bernin for £21 in 1737 and Peter Morrell for £30 in 1746. Gideon was recorded in Berwick St in the 1749 Westminster poll book. In his will, made 2 March 1784 and proved 15 August 1785, Gideon Gosset made various bequests including to his daughter Mary Carter and his nephew Matthew Gosset. His daughter was also a beneficiary under his brother, Isaac's will in 1799.
Most documented payments relate specifically to Isaac Gosset, but it remains possible, indeed likely, that some early payments to ‘Gosset’ were to Gideon or Jacob Gosset. He may possibly be ‘Gousset, Carver’ who was paid £19.4s.6d in 1732 by Earl Fitzwalter including for frames for Fitzwalter’s own portrait by Enoch Seeman and his wife’s, both at full length (A.C. Edwards, The Account Books of Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter, 1977, p.189). It has been suggested by Lippincott, without explanation, that Gideon is the ‘Gosset the frame maker’ used extensively by Arthur Pond, 1735-49, for the supply of gilt frames and glasses for pastels; these ‘architrave gold frames’ can be found on several of Pond’s work (Simon 1996 p.62) and on some pastels by William Hoare and Francis Cotes, mainly dating to the 1740s. It has also been suggested that he is the Gosset whom Hogarth mentioned in a letter of 1748 when advising on the framing of his huge painting for the Old Hall of Lincoln’s Inn, Paul before Felix (DEFM), but this is now known to be the work of Isaac Gosset (see below). Gideon Gosset is credited as supplying frames for Petworth in 1744 and as receiving £19 for picture frames and glasses supplied to the Grimston family in 1747 (DEFM).
Sources: Louise Lippincott, ‘Arthur Pond’s Journal of Receipts and Expenses, 1734-1750’, Walpole Society, vol.54, 1991, p.323. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Isaac Gosset, Berwick St, London, probably by 1740, certainly by 1747-1774, 14 Edward St, Portman Square 1774-1797 or later. Picture framemaker and modeller of wax portraits.
Isaac Gosset (1713-99) is known for his work for or in association with leading artists: William Hogarth, Allan Ramsay, William Hoare and Thomas Gainsborough. He may also have worked for Arthur Pond (see Gideon Gosset above).
Like Gideon Gosset (qv) and Jacob Gosset (qv), Isaac was the son of Jean Gosset and Susanne D’Allain, Huguenots from the Channel Islands. He married Francoise Buisset in 1737, and they had five children christened at the Berwick St Huguenot church between 1740 and 1749, including a son Isaac, born 1745. Isaac and Gideon, nephews of Matthew Gosset (qv) were bequeathed his house on the east side of Berwick St in his will, made 1740 and proved 1744.
In 1751 George Vertue praised Isaac Gosset's skills as a modeller of portrait profiles in wax and referred to frame carving as his original business, adding that 'he still undertakes carving for persons that are willing to pay him well for his labours - which can be managed under his care' (Vertue vol.3, p.160). Vertue added that Isaac and his brother, whom he does not name, were brought up by their uncle, Matthew Gosset. Isaac Gosset's work as a modeller of wax profile portraits of distinguished public figures appears to range from the 1740s to the 1770s. He exhibited at the Society of Artists, 1760-78.
Isaac Gosset may have worked in partnership with his brother, Gideon. He took as apprentices Isaac Fabry for a premium of £21 in 1754, James Bradley for £25 in 1756 and Thomas Robinson for £21 in 1759 (Boyd), while James Guillet (qv) advertised in 1772 that he had been apprentice and foreman to Messrs Gosset in Berwick St. Isaac Dallain (qv) in partnership with Richard Harding in 1782 advertised as 'successors to Mr. Gosset'. In his will, made 11 August 1797 and proved 7 December 1799, Isaac Gosset, of Edward St, Portman Square, made various bequests including to his niece, Mary Carter, daughter of Gideon Gosset.
Framing work: Isaac Gosset was appointed Joiner of the Privy or Great Chamber on 10 January 1774 (Bucholz 2006). This official position in the royal household was abolished in 1782, but Gosset continued in his role as the King's framemaker until his retirement at the age of seventy-two in 1785. In this capacity he supplied frames at £32 each for Allan Ramsay’s full-length state portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte, as many as two dozen pairs, 1772-84 (Millar 1969 p.94; Simon 1994 p.453).
Isaac Gosset had close associations with several artists. In the case of Allan Ramsay, there are payments from the artist to Gosset himself in 1770 and 1779, and other payments linking the artist or his clients with the framemaker in 1759 and 1767, and with ‘Mr Gosset’ in 1750 (Simon 1994 pp.446-7). For example, the Findlater London accounts, 1758-9, include reference to payment, presumably by Lady Findlater, to ‘Allan Ramsay for my lord's picture and mine and for frames from Isaac Gossett’ (National Archives of Scotland, GD248/939/5, Seafield papers).
Isaac Gosset can now be identified as the ‘Gosset’ mentioned by William Hogarth in 1748 when advising on the framing of his huge painting for the Old Hall of Lincoln’s Inn, Paul before Felix, in view of a payment on 26 April 1751 in the Treasurer’s Accounts: ‘Paid Isaac Gossett for the Picture frame in the Hall by Order of Council the 24th Instant £25’ (Lincoln’s Inn Library, Archives ref. C2a31, information kindly supplied by the archivist, Josephine Hutchings, August 2012, see Hogarth’s Framemaker « the frame blog).
The Gosset name crops up in Gainsborough's correspondence in 1762, 1766 and 1768, and there are payments specifically to Isaac Gosset in Gainsborough's bank account in 1762 and 1763 (see Gainsborough and picture framing on the National Portrait Gallery website). Later, in 1788 one of the Gossets was a mourner at Thomas Gainsborough's funeral (see Sloman 2002 p.66).
Isaac Gosset was described by William Hoare as 'my framemaker' in 1763, when he received payment from Lady Egremont on the artist’s behalf, and there are other references in the artist’s correspondence to Gosset (Simon 1996 p.88). There are payments to 'Gosset' from Henry Hoare of Stourhead in 1753, apparently for the artist's profile pictures, and for gold leaf in 1769 (Wilts Record office, 383/6, Stourhead account book; Henry Hoare private account, information from Evelyn Newby, 1992). There are also references to 'Gosset' in William Hoare’s letters to the Hon. Charles Yorke in 1762 and 1764 (British Library, Add.MS 35636 p.252, 35637 p.50) and to Richard Hurd in 1765 (John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p.292).
Isaac Gosset supplied ‘a scetch of a frame and a Carlomaratt pattern’ to Robert Dingle in 1755 (Simon 1996 p.138, also p.144). ‘Gosset’ supplied Maratta frames to Edward Knight of Kidderminster in 1772 (Simon 1996 p.146). Isaac Gosset received a visit from Sir William Chambers, who was considering picture and mirror frames for the Duke of Marlborough in 1774 (Simon 1996 p.127). Other attributions are give in the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers.
Sources: Gunnis 1968 pp.175-6; E.J. Pyke, A Biographical Dictionary of Wax Modellers, 1973; Roscoe 2009 pp.535-40 (with listing of works in wax); Evelyn Newby, William Hoare of Bath, R.A 1707-1792, exh.cat., Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 1990, no.20a. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated September 2014
Jacob Gosset, Oxenden St, London 1726-1729, The Golden Table, Oxenden St 1727, Warwick St, Golden Square 1729-1767. Carver and gilder, cabinetmaker.
Like Gideon Gosset (qv) and Isaac Gosset (qv), Jacob Gosset (1703-88) was the son of Jean Gosset and Susanne D’Allain, Huguenots from the Channel Islands. Jacob Gosset married firstly Mary Fallet in 1727, having a daughter christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1729, and secondly Constance Farr in 1737, having daughters christened at St James Westminster in 1738 and 1745.
Jacob Gosset can be found in rate books in Oxenden St, 1726-29, and in Warwick St, 1729-67 (and possibly as late as 1782); the 1729 rate book for Warwick St is marked ‘Xmas’, which was probably the first quarter for which he was rated at these premises. He took out insurance as a carver, gilder and cabinetmaker from the Golden Table in Oxenden St in 1727 and from Warwick St in 1734 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 25/44049, 41/65212). He took Francis Le Fousey of Jersey (probably a misunderstanding by the clerk compiling the register for ‘Le Tousey’) as apprentice in 1726 for a premium of £15, John Vincent in 1737 for £21 (Boyd) and Robert Tull (qv) in 1745 for £42. Jacob Gosset or one of his brothers used Tull as a subcontractor in the 1750s (Simon 1996 p.143). Jacob Gosset was buried in Hampstead churchyard.
Jacob Gosset supplied elaborate frames for full-length portraits of Frederick Prince of Wales by Jacopo Amigoni in 1735, costing up to £35 (John Woodward, ‘Amigoni as Portrait Painter in England’, Burlington Magazine, vol.99, 1957, p.22, n.6; Roscoe 2009 p.540, incorrectly as by James Gosset). Jacob Gosset charged the Earl of Northampton £202.12s.4d for frames, lining and stretching pictures in 1760 (Beard 1981 p.261), but otherwise little is known of his output. Other attributions are give in the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers.
Sources: DEFM; Kimerly Rorschach, 'Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707-51) as Collector and Patron', Walpole Society, vol.55, 1983, p.36. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Matthew Gosset, parish of St Anne Soho, London by 1709, Berwick St by 1716, parish of St James Westminster 1740, Poland St. Carver and wax modeller.
The carver and wax modeller, Matthew Gosset (1683-1744), married Jeanne Ester le Touzay in 1700 (ODNB). He was living in London by 1709, when their daughter, Angelique Elizabeth, was christened (Minet 1921 p.10) and he is presumably the Mathieu Gosset naturalised the same year (Publications of the Huguenot Society, vol.27, 1923, p.85). He was the uncle of Jacob, Gideon and Isaac Gosset (qv). Described as a carver, Matthew Gosset took as apprentice in 1714 ‘Reney’ Stone, surely René Stone (qv), not Rodney Stone as sometimes claimed (National Archives, IR 1/3). In 1716 when resident in Berwick St he took out insurance with the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Company (DEFM) but subsequently he lived in Poland St, as is apparent from his wife’s will.
In the Holkham Hall accounts, Matthew Gosset is recorded as framing some drawings in about 1720, perhaps those mounted by René Pelletier (qv) (Murdoch 1997-8 p.370). Clearly, he knew Pelletier well for he was appointed to supervise the education of Pelletier’s children at his death in 1726 (Murdoch 1997-8 p.370).
In his will, as Matthew Gossett of St James Westminster, made 12 January 1740 and proved 29 March 1744, he left his house on the east side of Berwick St to his nephews, Gideon and Isaac. His widow, Jane Esther Gosset, died in 1748, leaving an interesting will, describing her&
In his will, as Matthew Gossett of St James Westminster, made 12 January 1740 and proved 29 March 1744, he left his house on the east side of Berwick St to his nephews, Gideon and Isaac. His widow, Jane Esther Gosset, died in 1748, leaving an interesting will, describing her deceased husband as late of Poland St. The will was witnessed by James L. Guillet (qv) and Abraham Dallain (qv). She refers to her sister Elizabeth Pujolas, who was presumably related to Henry Pujolas from Uzes, who married in 1691 (Minet 1921 p.25), to Joseph Pujolas, who was apprenticed to Gideon Gosset (qv) in 1725, and to another Henry Pujolas, who was apprenticed to Jean Antoine Cuenot (qv) in 1747. She also refers to her Le Touzay relatives.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2014
Philip Goyer, 21 Cumberland St, London 1778 or later, 41 Newman St by 1785-1794, 91 Newman St 1795-1799, carver and gilder. Benjamin Goyer, 42 Newman St 1804-1811, 68 Newman St 1813-1815, carver and gilder, organ builder.
Philip Goyer (c.1753-1823) took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office in 1778 from 21 Cumberland St (DEFM), in 1785 and 1786 from 41 Newman St and in 1789 from 3 Bennett St, Tottenham Court Road. He is presumably the Philip Gowyer who was listed at 41 Newman St from 1790. Philip Goyer of Middlesex St died in 1823, age 70, and was buried at St Pancras parish chapel. 'Goyer' supplied frames for Samuel Whitbread for Southill, Bedfordshire in 1796 and 1797, including a very rich trophy frame for £50 for George Romney's Blind Milton Dictating to his Daughters (repr. Country Life 28 April 1994 p.67; Oliver Millar, in Southill: A Regency House, 1951, p.46, n.4; Mitchell & Roberts 1996 pp.342-3).
Benjamin Goyer (c.1773-1822), carver and gilder, probably his son, married Sarah Ann Jones in 1799 at St Panras old church. He was working at 41/42 Newman St, 1805-11 (DEFM) and was listed in rate books at 42 Newman St from 1804 to 1811 and at 68 Newman St in 1813 and 1815. An organ builder, Bevington & Goyer, advertised from this address in 1808 (The Times 29 April 1808). By 1822 he seems to have retired to 5 Grove End Road, where he is listed in the rate book. He died in 1822, age 49, described in his will as Benjamin Goyer, carver of Newman St (London Metropolitan Archives, London Consistory Court wills, X019/030, information from Richard Stephens). A frame labelled by Goyer, carver and gilder of 42 Newman St, Oxford St can be found on the Anthonis Mor portrait of Mary Beaton in the Suffolk Collection (Suffolk Collection. Catalogue of Paintings, 1974, no.51). There was also a John Goyer, cabinetmaker and upholsterer at 42 Duke St, St James’s, in 1809 (DEFM).
Like many framemakers, both Philip Goyer and Benjamin Goyer were customers of the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1813-4, making modest purchases of composition ornament, perhaps to decorate picture frames, e.g., Benjamin Goyer’s order for a run of ornament, ‘250 ft Cheese Bead & space’ for £3.2s.6d in 1813 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1). Jackson apparently used one of Philip or Benjamin Goyer’s own designs in supplying ornament to other makers so that the term, ‘Goyers leaves’ appears in Jackson’s account book, 1816.
The carver and gilder, William Thomas (qv), claimed to be successor to ‘Mr. Goyer’, but whether Philip or Benjamin Goyer is not clear.
Sources: London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 266/402074, 331/508465, 338/521516, 363/564170. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
A short-lived framemaker, Frederick Henry Grau (1859-1895), was born in St Pancras in 1859, married in 1888 in the Fulham district and died in 1895, age 36, in the Chelsea district. He was followed at his Fulham Road premises by another carver and gilder, Edwin B. Brown, in 1896.
Grau made frames for James McNeill Whistler, 1888-92, as the artist's correspondence reveals. He is first mentioned in letters which have been dated to September 1888. Later, in November 1890, Whistler requested Walford Graham Robertson to 'send for Grau and tell him to make you at once one of my beautiful new frames for the Valparaiso’ (Centre for Whistler Studies, Online edition of Whistler's correspondence). This letter refers to Crepuscule in Flesh Colour and Green: Valparaiso, 1866 (Tate; see reference to an earlier frame for this work under Foord & Dickinson). In June 1892, Whistler told his New York dealer, E.G. Kennedy, 'my framemaker is Mr Grau, 570, Fulham Road... He is the only one who has the fine pattern of my frame' (Joyce Hill Stoner, 'Whistler's views on the restoration and display of his paintings,' Studies in Conservation, vol.42, 1997, p.111). In this letter (Online edition), Whistler wrote, 'You ought to have new frames made at once for The Westminster Bridge [The Last of Old Westminster, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston] and the Thames picture [Battersea Reach, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC]… Tell him [Grau] that the gold must be the pale yellow soft gold like the gilding of my Mother's frame [Portrait of the Painter's Mother, Musée du Louvre]'.
By 1895 Whistler had lost touch with Grau, writing to the art dealer, David Thompson, ' I wish now you would kindly find out for me, at once, Mr. Grau's address and send it to me here - You know Grau - used to be in the Fulham Road - You probably have his old address on your books at the time he was working for the Exhibition in Bond Street - It was said that he had given up frame making - but then again this was denied - and he has all my patterns'. But by this time Grau was dead.
A painting of 1891, Arrangement in Black: Reading (Metropolitan Museum of Art, see Natalie Spassky, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol.2, 1985, p.396), is inscribed in black paint on the back of the frame, F.H. GRAU/ LONDON, and two other paintings bear his frame label, Brun et or: De race and The Boy in a Cloak (both Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow; see Andrew McLaren Young et al., The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, 1980, p.218). Several Whistler watercolours have Grau’s frame label including Grey and Silver: North Sea and Grey and pearl: Bank Holiday Banners (both Fitzwilliam Museum), Blue and Silver (Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, Long Island) and Mother and Child: The Pearl (Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC). Whistler's Gold and Brown: Self-portrait, c.1896-8, has a frame signed by Grau (National Gallery of Art, Washington, see Torchia 1998 p.257; however, the frame would need to be earlier than the painting). For these watercolours, see Mary MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours, 1995, nos 937, 954, 1044, 1290, 1323.
Robert Gravel (d.1824), see Jabez Benson and John Piercy
*Joseph Green senr 1801-1840, Joseph Green junr 1840-1870, Joseph Green & Co 1870-1871. At 15 Charles St, Middlesex Hospital, London 1802-1825, 14 Charles St 1825-1871. Carvers and gilders, fine art packers.
This leading business claimed to have been established in 1801. It continued in operation under the founder, Joseph Green (d.1840), and his son, also Joseph Green (1808-1873?), framing the work of many artists, until about 1871 when it was acquired by W.A. Smith (qv).
Joseph Green senr, 1801-40: Joseph Green set up in business in Charles St, now Mortimer St, in the shadow of Middlesex Hospital. Little is known of his early years but he is probably the man who married Mary Byfield, possibly a relation of James Byfield (qv), in 1803 at St Mary Marylebone, and remarried in 1807 Mary Chuter at the same church, having children by her, Joseph in 1808 and Mary Hannah in 1810.
Green was a good customer of the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1812-7, and subsequently of George Jackson & Sons, as is apparent from two Jackson account books recently acquired by the V&A Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2012/1/2/1, 3). Green made more orders for sets and pieces of ornament to decorate picture frames, 1812-7, than any other of Jackson’s customers with the possible exception of Thomas Ponsonby (qv). Jackson apparently used Green’s own designs in supplying ornament to other makers so that the term, ‘Greens corners’, frequently appears in Jackson’s account book, 1812-7, as does ‘Greens middles’ in 1813. Similar descriptions, such as 'Greens French foliage', appear in the account book of John Smith (qv) from 1812 suggesting that Green was among the originating design sources for composition ornaments used by Smith for his picture frames, probably obtained through a subcontracting supplier such as Jackson.
In 1825, Eugène Delacroix stayed at Green’s address, 14 Charles St, during his visit to London (Stephen Duffy, ‘French artists and the Meyrick armoury’, Burlington Magazine, vol.151, May 2009, p.291). The same year Green 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). In his will, made 12 November 1838 and proved 30 May 1840, Joseph Green made bequests to his then wife Ann, his son Joseph and his daughter Mary Hannah.
Joseph Green invoiced the 3rd Duke of Dorset for a large rich ornamental picture frame in 1822, perhaps for a portrait by George Sanders (Kent Record Office, U269, A252/33, information from National Trust files). He supplied a picture frame to the 3rd Earl of Egremont in 1830 (West Sussex Record Office, PHA/10628).
Green worked for a number of artists. Sir William Beechey was employing a ‘Mr Green’ as his gilder and framemaker in 1826, according to a report of a court case (The Times 5 December 1827). Green or his son undertook work for William Etty and Daniel Maclise in the 1830s and 1840s: for Etty in print framing and for the York exhibition (letter from Green junr, 3 October 1837, York City Library, Etty collection, no.147), and for Maclise framing A Scene from Undine, 1843 (Royal Collection, see Millar 1992 no.486) and later acting as forwarding agent to Thomas Miller for another work by Maclise in 1856 (Royal Academy Library, 236/35/3/a-c).
Robert Ronald McIan’s A Girl attacked by Eagles, 1830s (Tatton Park, National Trust, information from Alastair Laing, February 2010), has Green’s framing label, as plate-glass dealer, carver, gilder, looking glass, picture and fancy wood framemaker from 14 Charles St, offering a wide range of other services including bordering for rooms, regilding of furniture, mounting and straining of drawings and prints, lining, repairing and cleaning old pictures, as well as packing of works of art.
Joseph Green junr, 1840-70: The younger Joseph Green appears in censuses, in 1851 at 14 Charles St as a carver and gilder, age 43, born Marylebone, employing 11 men, in 1861 at the same address as a gilder employing ten men and an apprentice, and in 1871 housed at the Camberwell lunatic asylum unless this reference is to another individual of the same age, name and parish of birth. In any case, in 1870 the business was trading as Joseph Green & Co, passing to William Augustine Smith (qv) by 1871. Joseph Green is perhaps the individual whose death at the age of 66 was recorded in the Camberwell district in December 1873.
Like his father, Green acted as forwarding agent for various provincial exhibiting societies and organisations. As early as 1836 the organisers of the 'York Exhibition of Paintings and Statuary' had selected Joseph Green junr as their agent (York Public Library, William Etty letters, nos 102-3). He acted for the Royal Manchester Institution for many years, his name being given in advertisements for their exhibition (e.g. The Art-Union January 1845 p.28, Liverpool Mercury 5 May 1866); there is a reference in George Price Boyce's diary to ‘Green's man’ returning a drawing from the Manchester Institute in 1869 (Virginia Surtees (ed.), The Diaries of George Price Boyce, R.W.S., 1980, p.49). He also acted for the Royal Scottish Academy, as is evident from correspondence concerning their exhibitions in 1844 and 1846 (York Public Library, William Etty letters, no.274, dated 5 January 1844; Royal Scottish Academy, correspondence files, dated 4 February and 12 May 1846). From 1852, the business was listed in trade directories as a carving & gilding manufactory and establishment for packing works of art. Green’s back workshops were consumed by fire in 1866 (The Times 24 May 1866).
The younger Green established strong links with the Pre-Raphaelites in the 1850s, working for William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown, as well as for other artists.
Holman Hunt used Green as his framemaker, possibly from 1852, but certainly from 1854 for the frame of The Awakening Conscience, 1853-4 (Tate), one of his earlier symbolic settings. It retains a label on the back, ‘Joseph Green, 14 Charles Street, Plate Glass Dealer, Carver Gilder, Looking Glass and Fancy Wood Frame Maker’, and Hunt’s letter to Thomas Combe survives, in which he sets out the inscription he wanted at the bottom of the frame, and even the colours in which Green was to paint it. He wrote in a similar vein in 1855 to Combe, ’I sent you a letter enclosing some sketches and particulars for Mr Green... for the frame of the Scapegoat’ (The Scapegoat, 1854-5, 1856, Lady Lever Art Gallery, see Bennett 1988 p.72). Green produced the frames for both versions of The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, framed 1859; Sudley House, Liverpool, framed 1865). These frames are reproduced in the section, ‘Frames’, in Bronkhurst 2006, see vol.2, pp.302-3, 314-5, also pp.304-5, 331-3). Hunt appears to have employed Foord & Dickinson (qv) in the early 1860s, but used Green again in 1869, and gave work to W.A. Smith (qv) when he took over the firm.
Rossetti used Green in the 1850s and 1860s, referring to him as early as 1853 but by 1868 writing of the 'wiseacre who now rules the destinies of "Green's"... His ways are of the shifty and mysterious order' (Fredeman, letters 53.6, 68.119, etc). Green provided a frame for Rossetti's early pencil Self-portrait, 1847 (National Portrait Gallery), with label, 'J. GREEN, Carver and Gilder, 14 Charles Street, Middx Hosptl. Established 1801'. He is documented as framing Sibylla Palmifera in 1868 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, see Bennett 1988 p.171) and from Rossetti’s letters it appears that he also framed Ecce Ancilla (Tate) in 1853 (Fredeman, letter 53.7), as well as The Beloved (Tate), Tibullus (private coll.), St George and Princess Sabra, 1862 (Tate, see Fredeman, letter 62.80), and Portrait of Mrs Leathart, 1863 (private coll., see Fredeman, letter 63.16).
Madox Brown wrote in 1863 that he had encouraged Green ‘to employ all or any of my patterns’ when reframing King Lear (Tate, see The Pre-Raphaelites, exh.cat., Tate Gallery, 1984, no.16). Later in 1872 he recommended that his portrait, Henry and Millicent Fawcett (National Portrait Gallery), be framed in a Venetian pattern, a variation on a Watts frame, by Messrs Green & Co (Simon 1996, p.174, fig.110). Green may also have worked simultaneously on the three frames for Burne-Jones’s triptych, The Adoration of the kings and shepherds (c.1860-61, frame 1862/3, Tate), the design of which is very close to that of Ford Madox Brown’s King Lear.
Some of G.F. Watts's work was framed by Green. The business's label as ‘J. GREEN. Carver and Gilder’ can be found on the frame now on Watts’s Portrait of Garibaldi, 1864 (Watts Gallery, Compton), and a later label, as ‘JOSEPH GREEN & CO., CARVING AND GILDING MANUFACTORY’ on the enriched Watts frame of Lady Constance Lothian and her sisters, 1862 (Earl of Ancram).
Green framed Simeon Solomon's Dawn, 1871 (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, repr. Stephen Wildman, Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, exh.cat., 1995, p.274).
Sources: This entry contains much information kindly supplied by Lynn Roberts. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Samuel Green, see Henry Critchfield
Green & Stone 1927-1932, Green & Stone Ltd from 1932. At 258a King’s Road SW3 1928-1939, 259 King’s Road from 1940. Artists’ materials suppliers and picture framemakers.
See British artists' suppliers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
Updated September 2014
Richard Greenbury, Aldergate St, London 1620, parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields by 1625-1628, St John St 1632, 1638, parish of St Sepulchre without Newgate 1632-1640. Painter, frame decorator and occasional picture restorer.
Richard Greenbury (c.1584?-1651 or later) has been described as ‘arguably the most successful native-born painter of the seventeenth century before William Dobson’, according to Edward Town, to whom this entry is indebted (see Town 2014 pp.95-7). Greenbury was the son of Richard Greenbury, a Yorkshire husbandman, and was apprenticed to Rowland Lockey (qv) for nine years from 29 September 1598. He was made free of the Goldsmiths’ Company on 9 October 1607. For the above history, for Greenbury’s activities as a painter and his various apprentices and for the Greenbury family’s activities as drapers in York, see Town’s account. The name is found as Greenberry, Greenborow, Greenburie, Greeneberry and Greenebury, among other variants.
Greenbury lost his wife, Elizabeth, in 1619, and her burial, as the wife of ‘Richard Greenberrey a pickture maker in Auldergate Streete neare the gate', was recorded on 1 January 1619/20 at St Andrew Holborn (Town 2014 p.95). He was Catholic and appears several times in court records for recusancy or non-attendance at church, generally identified as a gentleman or yeoman but in one instance in 1640 as a painter, allowing us to locate him in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1626 and the parish of St Sepulchre in 1632, 1638 and 1640 – more precisely in St John St in 1632 and 1638 (John Cordy Jeaffreson (ed.), Middlesex County Records, vol.3, 1888, pp.5, 131, 142, 154).
Greenbury was active as a painter over three decades. He worked for Oxford colleges on occasion between 1626 and 1638, despatching work from London as documented on one occasion. In 1630/1 he was described as painter to the Queen in a warrant of Charles I (Lane Poole, p.xvi, see Sources below). With a relative, Edward Greenbury, he patented a process in 1636 for painting in oil colours on different types of cloth for hangings. He was alive in 1651 and probably died before 1662 (Town 2014 p.97).
For Greenbury’s work as a portrait painter and copyist and as a stained glass painter, see the publications listed in Sources below. The following account focuses on his work in picture framing and picture restoration.
Framing and restoration work: ‘Richard Greenburie’ was due £100 by an order of 25 November 1629 ‘for guilding of divers of the frames of His Majesty's pictures at Whitehall’ (‘Extracts from the Pell Records’, The Athenaeum, 1838, p.761). In 1630-1 he was due the considerable sum of £312.10s for work for the Queen, which included, ‘carving painting & guilding one great frame for the Souldier at length by Titian; for painting & guilding one small frame for a woman’s picture thought to be of Leonardo, for painting & guilding one frame for a peece of Lott which was caryed to Greenwich…, for a strayning frame [made by a carver and joiner] for a great peece of Vandikes…’ (Lane Poole, pp.xvi-xvii; see also National Archives, E404/153, and Jeremy Wood, ‘Orazio Gentileschi and some Netherlandish artists in London: the patronage of the Duke of Buckingham, Charles I and Henrietta Maria’, Simiolus, vol.28, no.3, 2000-1, p.128, for current locations of the listed pictures).
In 1629/30 Mr Greenbury painter was paid by the Barber Surgeons’ Company for ‘new amending Mr. Ferrebras picture’ (Barber Surgeons’ Company accounts, microfilm at Guildhall, MS 5255/1) and in 1634 for restoring a series of 41 portraits of philosophers belonging to the Company (Croft-Murray 1962 p.204). On 9 March 1636/7, an order was issued to pay ‘Richard Greenburie’ £140 in full of £200 for work for Charles I in ‘recovering and mending’ pictures brought from Mantua by bill dated 22 May 1630 (William Hookham Carpenter, Pictorial notices, consisting of a memoir of Sir Anthony van Dyck…, 1844, p.185; National Archives, T34/2, f.14r).
Sources: Mrs Reginald Lane Poole, Oxford Portraits, vol.2, 1925, pp.xv-xxi; Croft-Murray 1962 p.204; Edward Chaney, ‘Greenbury, Richard (b. before 1600? d.1670)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, vol.23, 2004, p.556; Town 2014 pp.95-7.
William Grisbrook, 11 York Road, Lambeth, London 1864, 154 York Road 1865-1875, 6 Panton St, Haymarket 1876-1907, also trading from various addresses in Lewisham 1884-1901, 69 Endell St, New Oxford St 1908-1925. Print restorer, drawings restorer and mounter, picture restorer and framemaker, printseller and art dealer.
See British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
*Grundy & Fox 1827-1831, John Clowes Grundy 1831-1835, Grundy & Goadsby 1835-1838, John Clowes Grundy 1838-1867, Grundy & Smith 1868-1912. At 25 St Ann's Square, Manchester 1827-1829, 15 Exchange St 1829, 4 Exchange St by 1831-1912. Carvers, gilders, barometer and looking glass makers, artists’ colourmen, later printsellers, publishers and picture dealers.
John Clowes Grundy (1806-1867) was a leading Manchester printseller in the mid-19th century. He was christened at St Peter, Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire in 1806. Describing himself as late an assistant of Messrs Zanetti & Agnew (qv), he announced that he had set up in business in partnership with Charles Fox, artists’ colourman of Market St, as Grundy & Fox, carvers and gilders, colourmen to artists, printsellers and opticians (Manchester Guardian 28 April 1827). As Grundy & Fox, the business advertised their fancy repository of drawing materials, including Ackermann’s and Newman’s superfine watercolours, Turnbull’s London drawing boards, Whatman’s superior drawing paper, Brookman & Langdon’s drawing pencils, Brown’s bladder colours, among other products (Manchester Guardian 28 April 1827). The business also offered to clean, line and restore pictures, and featured ‘An extensive Collection of Modern Engravings, Prints for Scrap Books &c, Works of Art as soon as Published’ (Pigot & Son’s General Directory of Manchester, Salford &c for 1829). Grundy & Fox were appointed carvers and gilders to George IV at Manchester in 1829 (National Archives, LC 3/69 p.139).
Grundy's partnership with Charles Fox, trading as Grundy & Fox, sometimes described as Fox & Grundy, carvers and gilders, stationers, fancy stationers, printsellers and artists’ colourmen, at 25 St Anne's Square, Manchester in 1828, was dissolved in May 1831 (DEFM; London Gazette 31 May 1831). The partnership was a customer of the London specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1829-33 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/2). Charles Fox went on to trade independently as an artists’ colourman while Grundy was appointed carver, gilder and printseller to William IV at Manchester in 1832 (National Archives, LC 3/70 p.67).
Grundy’s subsequent partnership with Charles Goadsby, trading as Grundy & Goadsby, was dissolved in March 1838 (London Gazette 6 March 1838). Grundy was an agent for the Art-Union magazine in Manchester in 1839 (The Art-Union, September 1839, p.141). The business had an account with the artists' suppliers, Roberson, 1828-1903, successively as Grundy & Fox, 1828-31, J.C. Grundy and, from c.1868, Grundy & Smith (Woodcock 1997). Other members of the Grundy family were active in art dealing (Chapel 2008 p.66).
In 1853 Grundy was listed as ‘print-seller and publisher, carver and gilder, artists’ colourman, fancy stationer, picture and plate glass dealer, and repository of arts’, and in 1863 as ‘ancient and modern print seller to Her Majesty, picture frame manufacturer, artists’ colourman, dealer in pictures, water-colour drawings and articles of vertu’. Grundy died in London in June 1867 at the age of 60, leaving effects worth under £20,000. Through Christie’s, his executors held a sale of his modern paintings and drawings and engravings (The Times 1 November 1867), including his private collection removed from Cliff House, Higher Broughton.
The successor business, Grundy & Smith, continued trading at 4 Exchange St until March 1912 when the firm was dissolved at the end of its lease (advertisement, Manchester Guardian 22 February 1912).
Grundy's frame trade label, as found on William Scott’s Robert Moffat, 1842 (National Portrait Gallery), described the business as 'J.C. Grundy. Carver, Gilder & Printseller To The Queen. Repository of Arts, 4, Exchange Street, Manchester'. Grundy & Smith’s label is found on Edwin Landseer’s A Random Shot, 1848 (Bury Art Gallery, information from Helen Smailes) and Andrew MacCallum’s The River of Life, 1850 (Manchester Art Gallery, information from Lynn Roberts). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Guild of Handicraft 1888-1898, Guild of Handicraft Ltd 1898-1908. At 34 Commercial St, London E 1888-1891, Essex House, 401 Mile End Road 1892-1902, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire 1902-1907, shop at 16a Brook St, Mayfair 1899-1909.
The catalyst of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, the designer Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in 1888. It initially made furniture, metalwork, and painted decorations. By 1892 the Guild had workshops at Essex House, Mile End Road and later opened a shop in Brook St, Mayfair. The description of the business in London directories changes from cabinet makers, to house furnishers in 1899 and to art metal workers and cabinet makers from 1900. In 1902 the workshops were moved to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds, but by 1907 the Guild closed due to lack of profitability in a saturated market for artisan crafts. The business traded as the Guild of Handicraft Ltd from 1898 until 1908 when the company was wound up voluntarily (National Archives, BT 31/8064/58132; London Gazette 6 October 1908).
C.R. Ashbee was listed in directories as Hon. Director of the Guild in 1890 and 1891, Frank Prout as Secretary in 1892 and 1893, and William James Osborn as manager from 1900 to 1902. The Guild of Handicraft Ltd advertised as an art school in The Year’s Art 1906 with Ashbee as ‘Consulting Architect and Designer’.
John Williams, one of Ashbee’s Guild workers, made repoussé copper frames to William Holman Hunt's design for the artist's May Morning on Magdalen Tower, both the large version at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, and the smaller one at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; the frames were exhibited on their own in 1889 and 1890 respectively (both repr. Wildman 1995 no.114; Brockhurst 2006, vol.2, pp.326-7). A parcel-gilt wooden frame for the photogravure of Hunt’s Triumph of the Innocents was also produced by Guild workers, c.1888 (Manchester Art Gallery, information from Lynn Roberts).
Sources: Alan Crawford, ‘Ashbee, Charles Robert (1863–1942)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. The minutes of the Guild of Handicraft, 1889-1919, are in the V&A National Art Library (L.2189-1975, L.5837-1975; not consulted). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*James Lewis Guillet, active by 1747, parish of St Anne Soho, London by 1754-1755 or later, Richmond, Surrey by 1768, Axford’s Building, Bath by 1771-1773 or later, carver and gilder, picture framemaker. James Guillet, London by 1790, Hollen St, Soho, by 1813, carver and gilder.
The Guillets traded as carvers and gilders over four generations, from the mid-18th to the late 19th century. While there are still some uncertainties around the 18th-century history of the family, the following account brings together the available information.
There were various members of the Guillet family in London in the mid-18th century. James L. Guillet witnessed the will of Jane Esther Gosset, widow of Matthew Gosset (qv), in 1748, and Maria Guillet received a bequest in this will. He also witnessed two marriages at the Huguenot church in Berwick St, in 1747 and 1749 (Minet 1921 p.39). His wife, Mary, gave birth to a son, William, christened at St Anne Soho in 1755. He can be identified with the James Lewis Guillet of the parish of St Anne Soho, who took an apprentice, John Lemaitre, for a premium of £15 in 1754, an apprentice who in 1758 transferred to Sarah Touzey (qv). James Guillet, presumably the same man, took William Cordy as an apprentice in Richmond for £26.5s in 1768 and Joseph Barnet in Bath for five years for £31.10s in 1775.
James Guillet set up in business as a picture framer in Bath in or before 1771, advertising in 1772 as 'Carver and Gilder, from Richmond in Surry (formerly Apprentice and Foreman to Messrs. Gosset’s, in Berwick Street, London)', selling ‘all Sorts of Picture and Glass Frames, Carlo Marat’s, Italian and other Mouldings' (Sloman 2002 p.66). James Guillet is recorded in the 1771 Bath general rate book and specifically as a gilder in Cruttwell’s The Strangers’ Assistant and Guide to Bath, 1773.
Another James Guillet (c.1758-1833), perhaps James Lewis Guillet’s son, was active in London by 1790 when he and his wife Frances had a daughter Mary Henrietta baptised in Marylebone, followed by two further children, including a son James Charles Guillet (qv) in 1796. Like many framemakers, Guillet used the specialist composition ornament makers, Thomas Jackson (qv) and his son George Jackson (qv). He used the father to make or complete a frame in 1812, and the son until at least 1818, ordering glue from him in 1805, runs of ornament and a sweep frame to Woodburns pattern in 1813, getting him to ornament frames in 1816 and 1817 and ordering miniature frames in 1817 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1).
Guillet died in Hollen St at the age of 74 in 1833. In his will made 1 May 1828 and proved 27 June 1833, James Guillet describes himself as formerly a carver and gilder. He refers to his wife, Frances, and appoints as executors his son, naming him as Charles James Guillet, his daughter, and his friend, Thomas Maxfield Temple (qv). Before administration of the estate could be granted, his son, actually named James Charles Guillet, had to complete an affidavit that he was indeed the only son of the deceased.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*James Charles Guillet 1819-1855, James Charles Guillet junr 1856-1897. At 5 Hollen St, Soho, London 1819-1820, 4 Hollen St 1823-1839, Silver St, Kensington Gravel Pits 1838-1839, 42 Bedford Place, Kensington 1846-1864, 8 Bedford Place 1865-1867, 71 Bedford Gardens, Kensington 1868-1897. Carvers and gilders, picture framemakers.
James Charles Guillet (1796-1878) was christened at St Anne Soho, the son of James Guillet (see above) and his wife, Frances; he married Mary Hawker at St Marylebone in 1821, and a son, also named James Charles Guillet was christened at St Anne Soho in 1824. However, this son must have died young, as did another son by the same name in 1828 (Non-conformist BMD). The framemaker, James Charles Guillet junr (see below), was born about 1833. In the same year, when a daughter was buried, Guillet’s address was given as 21 Silver St, Kensington Grove, suggesting that he was living in Kensington while working at that time in Soho.
In 1825, J.C. Guillet 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). Like his father, Guillet used the composition ornament maker, George Jackson & Sons (qv), 1836-40 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/3). In 1839 he acted as assignee for his father’s friend, the framemaker, Thomas Maxfield Temple (qv), who had been made bankrupt; Guillet’s address was given as Silver St, Kensington Gravel-pits (The Times 17 October 1839). In the 1851 census, he was listed as a gilder and picture framemaker, age 55, at 42 Bedford Place in Kensington, with two sons who were gilders, James age 18 and George age 16. He died at 71 Bedford Gardens in Kensington in 1878, leaving a personal estate of under £100, with administration granted to his son, James Charles Guillet.
James Charles Guillet senr worked for Sir John Soane, 1827-31, framing a picture by Augustus Callcott in 1830, The Passage Point (Sir John Soane’s Museum). In the same year, the engraver and landscape painter, Frederick Christian Lewis wrote to James Guillet concerning a framing bill and praised his work in a letter to Anne Bloxam as being very reasonable in price (Royal Academy Archive, Thomas Lawrence family papers, GAR/1/141, 181). Another leading artist, John Linnell, frequently used Guillet for framing from 1835 until 1846 or later, as is apparent from Linnell’s account books (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 21-2000, 22-2000), including for his portrait, Professor James Mylne, 1835 (probably Bonham’s Knightsbridge 8 April 2008 lot 62). It was perhaps the father who made frames or provided other services for George Bernard O’Neill, costing £17.18s.6d in 1855.
James Charles Guillet junr: The son, James Charles Guillet junr (c.1833-1918), would appear to have taken over the business in 1856; he continued to be described as ‘junior’ in trade directory listings until as late as 1882. As James C. Guillet junr, carver and gilder, he had an account with the artists' suppliers, Roberson, 1862-78, from addresses in Bedford Place and Bedford Gardens (Woodcock 1997). He was listed at 71 Bedford Gardens in the 1881 and succeeding censuses, in 1881 as a carver and gilder, age 48, employing two men and in 1891 as a picture framemaker and carver. He retired from business in 1897 but continued to live at 71 Bedford Gardens, appearing there in the Post Office London directory, and in the 1901 census as living on his own means. He was interred in Highgate cemetery on 7 March 1918, age 85 (information from Matthew Pridham, 24 May 2010). He left effects worth the considerable sum of £51,840, with probate granted to George and William Percy Guillet.
James Charles Guillet junr, rather than his father, seems to have worked for the marine painter, E.W. Cooke, 1869-78, and apparently for William Mulready, who wrote to the collector, John Sheepshanks in 1857 concerning a frame made by ‘Guillett’. Guillet framed John Phillip's Princess Beatrice, 1860 (Royal Collection, see Millar 1992 no.550).
Guillet was well known to the artist, Philip Hermogenes Calderon, who recommended him to the National Gallery in 1880 when it was seeking a new framemaker (Simon 1996 p.133). Some years previously, probably in 1863, Calderon was the subject of a caricature by Frederick Walker in which he is seen in front of a large picture marked GUILLET MAKER along the top of the picture’s frame (John George Marks, Life and Letters of Frederick Walker, A.R.A., 1896, p.40).
Sources: Sir John Soane’s Museum Archive, Account journals (7 December 1827, 20 January 1831); G.B. O’Neill, art expenses notebook (V&A National Art Library, MSL/1972/4395); E.W. Cooke ledger 1833-78, Royal Academy Library; see also John Munday, Edward William Cooke 1811-1880, 1996, especially pp.228, 375-9; Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'An Archive of Letters to John Sheepshanks', Walpole Society, vol.66, 2004, p.245. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Hermann Guttmann, see F.A. Pollak