British picture restorers, 1630-1950 - L

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



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Jerome Lanier, Greenwich. Musician, artist and occasional picture restorer.

Jerome Lanier (d.1657), son of Nicholas Lanier the Elder, was appointed in 1599 as a Musician in Ordinary to Queen Elizabeth I on woodwinds and sackbut, a post he held until 1643. He lived in Greenwich. John Evelyn, in his diary in 1652 noted ‘Old Jerome Lennier' as formerly in the household of Queen Elizabeth I, describing him as a man ‘greatly skill'd in Painting and Musique' (E.S. De Beer, The Diary of John Evelyn, Oxford, 1955, vol.3, pp.74-5).

Jerome Lanier married twice, firstly in 1610 to Phrisdewith or Friswith Grafton, daughter of William Grafton, who died in 1625, and secondly to Elizabeth Willeford in 1627. His children from his first marriage apparently included the musician, William (b.1618), and from his second marriage, three sons, Endymion (c.1628-83), Jerome (b. c.1631) and Arundel (1633-4), and six daughters. Jerome Lanier died in 1657. In his will, made 11 August and proved 15 December 1657, he mentioned his ‘poor little estate', most of which had been lost in the Civil War.

Jerome Lanier worked on the Gonzaga pictures from Mantua, apparently damaged by a spillage of mercury during their transport to England; he tried cleaning them with spit, then with a warm milk mixture and finally with aqua vita, according to Richard Symonds's account of a conversation which took place in 1644 (Vertue vol.1, p.112). When Charles I's collection was dispersed, Lanier purchased several paintings that had been acquired for the king by his nephew Nicholas Lanier, in order to safeguard them. John Evelyn recorded in his diary (see above) seeing Jerome Lanier's ‘rare Collection of Pictures' at Greenwich, noting that some pictures ‘surely had been the Kings'. In April 1657, shortly before his death, he sold three pictures, including a Correggio, to the Earl of Northumberland for £120 (Wood 1994 p.312).

Sources: Lionel Cust, ‘Lanier', Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, 5th ser., vol.6, 1926-8, pp.375-83. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Herbert Lank (b.1925). Picture restorer in private practice.

Not included here since outside the scope of this directory.

Francis Leedham, 83 Berwick St, Soho, London 1831-1837, 3 Little Edward St, Wardour St 1838-1840, 3 Duck Lane, Edward St 1839-1857. Picture liner and cleaner.

Francis Leedham was the leading picture liner of his day. As early as 1838, he was described as 'that ingenious artist Mr Francis Leedham' in Christie's sale catalogue of the Northwick collection (see below). In 1847, in discussing wood panels, Charles Eastlake singled out Leedham, 'whose skill in lining pictures, and in transferring them from wood to cloth, is well known and appreciated' (Charles Lock Eastlake, Materials for a History of Oil Painting, 1847, p.416).

Francis Leedham (1794-1870) has been the subject of study by Lorne Campbell, to whom this account is indebted. The son of Francis Leedham and Dorothy Miller, he was born at Tutbury, Staffordshire, and baptised there 18 August 1794. He was recorded in the 1851 census at Duck Lane with his wife Annie, 49, born Montgomeryshire. By 1858 his business at 3 Duck Lane had been taken over by George Morrill (qv), whom Charles Eastlake called 'Leedham's successor' in a letter to Ralph Wornum of 5 January 1859 and who evidently knew Leedham well enough to make him one of the executors of his will. Leedham retired to Portsea, Hampshire, where he appears to have remarried in 1865 to Mary Earwaker. He died there on 30 September 1870; his will was proved 20 January 1871 by his widow Mary, with effects under £100.

‘Leedham picture liner' at 83 Berwick St was listed in an insurance policy taken out by William Jackson and James Pinbury Wilkinson on 11 October 1832 (Guildhall Library: Records of Sun Fire Office, vol.538 no.1143975). Leedham's business appears to have been relatively modest from the insurance values, amounting to £40 for stock and utensils and £15 for a chest of carpenter's tools; the policy also includes musical instruments, separately insured for £21, but it is not clear whether everything on the premises belonged to Leedham.

Restoration work: Like many picture liners, Leedham's work is not well documented, other than by his use of an impressed stamp on the stretchers of the pictures he relined. This stamp, in italics, generally took the form, F. Leedham/ Liner, or sometimes Leedham/ Liner or F. Leedham.

Leedham was evidently used and appreciated by Lord Northwick, whose collecting activities have been the subject of recent study (Oliver Bradbury and Nicholas Penny, 'The picture collecting of Lord Northwick', Burlington Magazine, vol.144, 2002, pp.485-96, 606-17). Unusually, Leedham was singled out in the sale catalogue of part of the Northwick collection in 1838 (Christie & Manson, A Catalogue of the... Gallery of Pictures... of the Right Hon. Lord Northwick; removed from Connaught Place, 24-26 May 1838, lots 54, 73, 109). His work was said to have 'perpetuated very many valuable paintings in this collection'. It included the transfer from panel to canvas of the so-called Giorgione Musical Party and of Daniele da Volterra's Deposition from the Cross, and the relining of a Bronzino fresco.

Leedham worked for the National Gallery, 1855-7. In December 1856, he was paid £45 for lining three pictures, including Andrea Mantegna's Virgin and Child with Saints and Federico Barocci's Madonna del Gatto, and for other work (National Gallery Archive, NG13/1/3, Cash Book 1855-66). In February 1857, the Gallery's Trustees resolved that Leedham should have Turner's paintings to line, one at a time, work which would be better done on his own premises, and by September he had lined 15 of them at a cost of £124.14s (National Gallery Archive, NG5/215/1-2, NG13/1/3). For Charles Eastlake personally, Leedham prepared a cradle for Rogier van der Weyden's Exhumation of St Hubert (National Gallery) in 1847 or later (Campbell 1998 p.407).

Works with Leedham's impressed stamp or otherwise marked are quite often found. Examples include: in the National Portrait Gallery, William Beechey's Sarah Siddons and Edward Penny's Richard Wilson (Ingamells 2004 pp.432, 490), and the Godfrey Kneller studio Thomas Betterton (Ingamells, Later Stuart Portraits, forthcoming). At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mason Chamberlin's Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Gainsborough's A Pastoral Landscape (Richard Dorment, British Paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1986, pp.44, 133). At Kenwood, Joshua Reynolds's Lady Louisa Manners (Bryant 2003 p.329). At Pollok House, Glasgow, Murillo's Virgin and Child with St John (Stirling Maxwell collection, information from Dr Hilary Macartney, February 2009).

It would appear that Samuel Mawson (qv), Lord Hertford's agent, sent various pictures to Leedham to be relined in the years to 1855. Paintings in the Wallace Collection lined by Leedham include London: Northumberland House after Canaletto, John Hoppner's George IV as Prince of Wales, possibly lined in 1855, After Titian, The Rape of Europa, lined before 1857 and Murillo's Joseph and his Brethren, lined 1854 (see Ingamells 1985 pp.250, 111, 366, 393). Leedham also cradled the panel of Govert Flinck's A young Negro Archer (Ingamells 1992 p.120), lined Jacob van Ruisdael's Landscape with a Village and Jan Weenix's Dead Game and Springer Spaniel (Ingamells 1992 pp.342, 421) and lined Fragonard's A Boy as Pierrot (Ingamells 1989 p.159).

For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

John Leedham 1838-1865, Francis Leedham 1866-1871. At 14 Shouldham St, Edgware Road, London 1838-1871. Picture liners.

John Leedham (1808-65), younger brother of Francis Leedham (qv), was baptised at Tutbury, Staffordshire, 5 June 1808. He traded initially as a carpenter. In the 1861 census, he was recorded with his wife Sarah, 51, and their unmarried daughter Jane, born Marylebone. John Leedham, carpenter and picture liner, died 28 April 1865, leaving effects under £200 (information from Lorne Campbell). He was followed by Francis Leedham, perhaps a son, who remains to be traced, rather than his brother who had retired to Portsea in 1857.

Mention should also be made of John Thomas Leedham (1822-80), who came from slightly further north. The son of Charles James and Mary Leedham, he was christened at Manchester Cathedral. He traded as an artists' colourman and printseller at 2 Garden Row, Camberwell Road,1850-5, and subsequently at 418 Kennington Road, 1870-80, as a carver and gilder, framemaker, looking glass manufacturer, printseller and artists' stationer and colourman. Following his death, the business was continued by his wife, trading as Mrs J.T. Leedham & Son from 1881 and subsequently as Leedham & Co 1886.

Stanley Littlejohn, 75 Arthur Road, North Brixton, London 1901, 1909, Saunton, South Nutfield, Surrey 1913. Paper restorer.

Stanley William Littlejohn (1877-1917) was the subject of a remarkable obituary by Laurence Binyon and Sir Sidney Colvin, to which this account is indebted. It is one of the first, if not the earliest devoted to a restorer working in the public service. Littlejohn was described there as 'this uniquely gifted craftsman and valuable public servant, the head of the repairing and restoring workshop in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum'.

Stanley William Littlejohn was born in 1877 in the Camberwell registration district. He was listed in the 1881 census at 54 Trinity Square, Newington, Surrey, age 4, with his father, William Littlejohn, described as a 'clark of monumental engraver', and in 1901 and 1911 at 75 Arthur Road, Brixton, still with his father, both called ‘writing engravers' in 1901 but his father described as a copper plate engraver in 1911 and Stanley as a ‘Restorer (prints and drawings and paintings) European and Oriental, Civil Servant, British Museum'.

Littlejohn served an apprenticeship as an engraver at Layton & Co, where his father worked, before trying various other trades and travelling in many parts of the world. In 1904 he was appointed to the staff of the British Museum mounting department, of which he became head in 1908. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1917 and was killed in action later the same year.

Binyon and Colvin identified Littlejohn's brilliant work for the British Museum and his high reputation abroad as well as in England, claiming, 'In his own line he had no rival anywhere'. They singled out his work on the series of Domenico Tintoretto sketches, acquired in 1907, which involved the removal of successive layers of varnish but without any retouching, and on paintings by William Blake, notably the colour print, Glad Day. Privately, Littlejohn undertook restoration work on the Blakes in the Graham Robertson collection. Littlejohn made a close study of causes of discolouration in old prints and drawings and would sometimes treat changed or faded colours chemically.

Littlejohn became interested in Oriental painting, taking advantage of the visit to England in 1910 of leading Japanese wood engravers, colour printers and mounters for the Japanese exhibition at Shepherd's Bush. He set himself to master Japanese methods of mounting. He devised a method of backing Sir Aurel Stein's silk paintings in the British Museum with a neutral-tinted silk and mounting them on light stretchers.

Littlejohn worked for the National Portrait Gallery on two occasions, cleaning and mounting with ‘indurated' gelatine a drawing, apparently Alfred Stevens's Self-portrait, for £1.1s in 1909 and restoring in 1913 John Constable's pencil-and-chalk Self-portrait and George Richmond's chalk Cardinal Newman for £2 each (Duplicates of Accounts, vol.6, p.97, vol.7, p.121, on notepaper headed by a pseudo-oriental seal). He was paid £48 by the collector, George Salting, in 1909 for working on an album of 32 Clouet portrait drawings, ‘Removing stains & smoke tint, Restoration of colours', at £1.10s a drawing (Stephen Coppel, ‘George Salting (1835-1909)', in Griffiths 1996 p.198; see also Guildhall Library, MS 19474).

Sources: Laurence Binyon and Sidney Colvin, 'The Late Stanley William Littlejohn', Burlington Magazine, vol.32, 1918, pp.16-19. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Charles Lloyd, London by 1752, Park St, London 1773. Picture restorer.

Charles Lloyd married Jane Anderson, daughter of the picture restorer John Anderson (qv), in December 1752, apparently at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. They had six children christened at this church between 1754 and 1763, and apparently another daughter christened at St Paul Covent Garden in 1767. When John Anderson died in 1773, Charles Lloyd announced that as his son-in-law and partner he would be carrying on the business (Connell 2007 p.126, quoting Daily Advertiser 8 May 1773).

Noticed a mistake? Have some extra information? Who should be added to this directory? Please contact Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk.

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