British picture restorers, 1600-1950

A selective directory, to be revised and expanded regularly, 1st edition March 2009. Contributions and corrections are welcome, to Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk.

Resources and bibliography



This is a directory of leading picture, paper and sculpture restorers, active in Britain before 1950, who worked on major collections or who advertised extensively in art periodicals. Many worked in London but others were based in Bath, Derby, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hull, Leamington, Manchester, Nottingham and Plymouth. Picture restoration only became a specialised trade during the course of the 19th century. As such, this directory includes dealers such as John Anderson and John Bouttats and print publishers including Thomas Gaugain and Robert Guéraut. It also includes the few artists such as Arthur Pond, William Kent, Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Wright of Derby, to highlight the role of the artist. But it excludes most artists' suppliers and framemakers who only offered an occasional restoration service. The collections covered in some depth in this directory include the Royal Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Wallace Collection, the Soane Museum and the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood. It is hoped to treat the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Trust properties in more detail in a subsequent edition.

Format of individual entries
Name, business addresses, dates. Nature of business.
Business and biographical information. Summary account of restoration work for individual museums and collectors.
Sources: see
Resources and bibliography

Cross-references to other restorers are indicated by adding ‘(qv)’ after the relevant name. Addresses are taken from annual publications such as trade directories or periodicals except where monthly or daily publications or precisely dated documents are available. No adjustment has been made to street addresses to allow for the situation that many directories were compiled late in the year preceding the title date. This means that a supplier may have begun and ended business a year earlier than indicated here. Overlaps and gaps in date sequences for addresses reflect the availability of evidence. Many streets were renamed and sometimes renumbered in the 19th century and this is indicated in the listings.

Acknowledgements: It was the late Sir Oliver Millar who did so much for the understanding of restorers in documenting the Royal Collection. Similarly, John Ingamells has documented the many collections which he has catalogued and kindly supplied information on restorers working for Dulwich Picture Gallery. Grateful thanks to Lorne Campbell (for information on restorers working for the National Gallery), Alan Crookham (for assistance in the National Gallery Archive), Helen Dorey (for information on restorers working for the Soane Museum), Chloe Evans and Sophie Parsons (for research into various sources undertaken as interns), Sally Woodcock (for supplying extracts from trade directories) and all those named individually in the directory. Grateful acknowledgements are made to the descendants of various restorers and to other researchers named in individual entries.