British picture restorers, 1630-1950 - J

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

Resources and bibliography

Charles Francis James, 32 Edward St, Portman Square, London 1841-1843, 9 Upper Berkeley St 1844-1847, 107 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury 1848-1849, 35 Princes St, Soho 1851-1878, 63 Wardour St, Soho 1879-1889. Picture restorer from 1841, also carver and gilder from 1855, picture dealer and importer.

Charles Francis James (1812-86), the son of Francis and Sarah James, was christened at St Clement Danes in December 1812. He would appear to be the Charles Francis James, 96 (late 14) Gloucester Place, Kentish Town, artist, who took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office on 11 October 1838 (Guildhall Library: Records of Sun Fire Office, vol.559 no.1283391).

In censuses, Charles James was recorded in 1841 in Edward St as an artist, with wife Eliza; in 1851 at 35 Princes St as a picture restorer and dealer, wife Eliza, age 41, and a son and three daughters; in 1861 again at 35 Princes St as a picture framemaker and picture restorer, a widower, with his son Charles B. James, picture framemaker, age 22, born Kentish Town; in 1871 at 37 Gresham Road, Brixton as an artist, with his second wife Frances; and in 1881 at 74 Gresham Road as a picture restorer. He died in 1886 at the age of 73 in the Reigate registration district. His business, presumably continued by his son, continued to be listed until 1889, when it was followed at 63 Wardour St by Polak & Co (see British picture framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website).

James worked for the National Portrait Gallery in 1857, describing himself as a carver and gilder, picture importer and restorer, when he lined, cleaned and varnished Allan Ramsay's Dr Richard Mead for £3.10s, among other work (National Portrait Gallery records, Duplicates of Accounts, vol.1, p.9).

Henry Gould James (c.1794-1842), see John Taylor, Manchester

H.L. Jennings Brown, see under Brown

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