British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - B
A selective directory, to be revised regularly, 1st edition 2006, 2nd edition 2008, 3rd edition October 2011 (*revised entry, **new entry). Contributions and corrections are welcome, to Jacob Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*William Badger, 97 Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London NW 1871-1887 as carver and gilder, 49 Dorset St, Portman Square 1877-1888 as manufacturing artists’ colourman. Badger & Eatwell, 192 Broadhurst Gardens, Hampstead by 1892-1925 as picture dealers and artists' colourmen.
William Badger (1849-1922) began trading as a carver and gilder at 97 Boundary Road. His predecessor as an artists’ colourman at 49 Dorset Sq was William Eatwell (qv), as acknowledged on his canvas stamps, which read ‘W. BADGER/ LATE EATWELL’. In 1877 he was listed both at Boundary Road as carver and gilder and in Dorset St as colourman but he gave up both businesses in the late 1880s, re-emerging as a picture dealer by 1891 (see below), and presumably a partner in the business of Badger & Eatwell, thus suggesting an ongoing link with the Eatwell family. Badger & Eatwell are generally listed in directories as artists’ colourmen until 1899 and then as picture dealers from 1900.
William Badger had an account with Roberson, March 1877 (Woodcock 1997). In the 1881 census he was recorded as ‘Carver Gilder & Artists Colourman (Master)’, of 97 Boundary Rd, age 31, married to Mary, with two young daughters and one son, William, age 4. In subsequent censuses he can be found as a picture dealer, in Willesden in 1891 and 1901, and in Neasden in 1911, by now age 61. He died at the age of 73 in the Willesden district in 1922, leaving an estate worth £135.
Numerous Badger canvas marks have been recorded from the 1870s and 1880s (information from Cathy Proudlove). In the National Portrait Gallery marked canvases include Henry Weigall’s Sir William Quiller Orchardson, c.1878-81, stencilled: W. BADGER/ LATE EATWELL/ 97, BOUNDARY ROAD/ ST. JOHN'S WOOD/ & 49, DORSET STREET/ PORTMAN SQUARE, and Sir Moses Montefiore, 1881, marked as above, Edwin Long’s 1st Earl of Iddesleigh, 1882, marked as above, and Lowes Cato Dickinson’s Sir Charles Lyell, 1883, indistinctly marked. Another example is Edwin Hayes (Storm Clearing Off, exh.1883, Lady Lever Art Gallery, see Morris 1994). No canvases with the mark of the later business of Badger & Eatwell have been found.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
John Westcote Bampfield, see Joseph Cole
**Jacob Banks senr 1811, Jacob Banks senr or junr 1828-1836, Banks, Foster & Co 1833-1850, Banks Son & Co, Banks & Co 1850-1916 or later. At Keswick, Cumberland by 1811, Greta Pencil Works, Keswick by 1846-1916 or later. Black lead pencil manufacturers.
**Mrs Ann Banks 1861-1873 or later, A. Banks 1883-1884, Ann Banks Ltd 1887-1893. At Keswick Pencil Works, Main St, Keswick 1861-1893. Black lead pencil manufacturer.
In 1843, Banks, Forster & Co was one of four pencil manufacturers described as enjoying the highest reputation, along with Brookman & Langdon (qv), Airey of Keswick and Mordan & Co (William Waterston, A cyclopædia of commerce, mercantile law, finance, and commercial geography, 1843, p.525, accessed through Google Book Search). An unnamed artist writing to the Art-Union in 1840 claimed that in Scotland ‘the pencils made by Banks, Foster, and Co., of Keswick, are almost exclusively sought after, and very deservedly enjoy a first-rate reputation’ (Art-Union, January 1840 p.5). The business advertised in 1840 that it had been made pencil manufacturers to Queen Adelaide (Caledonian Mercury 13 August 1840). At the Great Exhibition in 1851, the business was singled out: ‘Among the best English makers… were Messrs. Banks, Son, and Co., of Keswick…, who had specimens of pure Cumberland lead and composition used in the manufacture of black-lead pencils, specimens of the various stages of manufacture, from the raw material to the complete pencil, and pencils in various styles of finish (Reports by the juries on the subjects in the thirty classes into which the..., Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851, 1852, p.450, accessed through Google Book Search).
Two generations of the family were active in pencil making: Jacob Banks senr, certainly in business by 1811; Jacob (c.1792/6-1850), his son; Joseph (c.1807-1860), probably another son, and Joseph’s widow, Mrs Ann Banks.
By 1829 Jacob senr appears to have retired and it was his son, Jacob, who was listed as a black lead pencil manufacturer. Jacob Banks, presumably the son, was made bankrupt in 1836, described as a black lead pencil manufacturer (London Gazette 13 September 1836, 7 April 1846). In the 1841 census, he was listed in Keswick as a pencil maker, age 45 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census). He died in 1850 in the Cockermouth district.
The business traded as Banks, Foster & Co, blacklead pencil manufacturers, from 1833, according to a later lawsuit (see Sources below). It was formed as a partnership between Joseph Banks, William Foster and Robert Gibson, which was dissolved on 11 October 1850 (London Gazette 15 October 1850). Joseph Banks and Robert Gibson then entered into a further partnership, initially as Banks Son & Co, and then as Banks & Co. Joseph Banks promoted the business by advertising his visits to Scotland in 1840 and 1843 and Ireland in 1845 (Caledonian Mercury 13 August 1840, 7 January 1843, Freeman’s Journal 7 April 1845). He was wounded in a train crash in 1848 (The Times 15 February 1848). In census records, Joseph Banks was listed in Keswick, in 1841 in Front St as a pencil maker, age 30 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census) and in 1851 at 37 Main St as a blacklead and sealing wax pencil manufacturer, age 44, employing 42 men, 17 boys, one woman and four girls, a substantial local business, with his wife A. Banks, age 39, and several children including a daughter, Ann, age 19.
Joseph Banks died in June 1860 and his widow, Mrs Ann Banks (c.1811-1871?), continued the business in partnership with Robert Gibson until 1864, according to testimony in a subsequent lawsuit between her and Gibson (see Sources below). When the partnership was dissolved, they signed an agreement, dividing the stock-in-trade equally between them, destroying the trade labels and stamps, and passing the machinery, etc. at a valuation to Gibson, who would continue to occupy the business’s premises. Mrs Ann Banks then sought to prevent Gibson from trading under the name, Banks & Co, but judgement was given that the name was a trademark and, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, both parties were entitled to use it.
Ann Banks traded, as of the late firm of Banks & Co, at the Keswick Pencil Works, Main St, Keswick, claiming the business to be by appointment to the late Queen Adelaide, the King of Saxony and the King of the Belgians (John Askew, A guide to the interesting places in and around Cockermouth, 1866, advertisement, accessed through Google Book Search). Ann Banks died at Keswick in 1871, leaving an estate worth under £2000. Ann Banks Ltd was incorporated with many local shareholders in 1887, prior to which the business was carried on by the executors of the late John Dennis Wivell; the business continued until it was wound up voluntarily in 1893 (National Archives, BT 31/3987/25353). John Dennis Wivell (1818-79) had married Jane Banks in 1858.
The rival business, Banks & Co, continued at the Greta Pencil Works, but its subsequent history is not traced here beyond noting that Thomas Keenliside was listed as manager in 1883 and Henry Birkbeck in 1901 and that by 1921 the Greta Pencil Works were occupied by Billinge & Co.
Pencils and other products: Banks & Foster’s pencils were advertised by Morris & Gore (qv) of Birmingham and William Freeman (qv) of Norwich in or about 1840. In 1846, the business supplied the Dumfries architect, Walter Newall (1780-1863), with pencils etc to the value of £2.3s, after a 4s discount (Dumfries and Galloway Libraries, Information and Archives, Walter Newall papers, information from Cathy Gibb, March 2009); their invoice paper described the business as black lead pencil manufacturers to Queen Adelaide and to the King of Saxony and agents for Reeves’ watercolours, also claiming to be the only pencil manufacturer to hold shares in the ‘far-famed Black Lead Mine in Borrowdale’. Their range of pencils is set out in their trade sheet, dated October 1844 (Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 960-1993, insert at p.415 of MS 944-1993). Banks, Foster & Co had an account with Roberson in 1844 through their London agent, Mr Dunglenson (Woodcock 1997).
The successor business, Banks Son & Co advertised in very similar terms, offering to supply ‘every description of Black-Lead and Slate Pencils, Sealing Wax of all Colours (manufactured on the premises), Leads for Pencil Cases, and an immense variety of Steel Pens and Pen Holders’ (Hand-book to the English lakes, 1853, p.89, accessed through Google Book Search). Their premises and pencil manufacturing process were described in some detail in an illustrated article in 1853 (Illustrated Magazine of Art, vol.3, 17 December 1853, pp.252-4, copy in British Library).
Sources: Banks v. Gibson, judgement by the Master of the Rolls, 1865, see The Law Journal reports for the year 1865, vol.43, 1865, p.591, accessed through Google Book Search. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Camille Barbe, Charles Barbe, Barbe Lechertier, see Lechertier Barbe
*Jabez Barnard 1837-1860, Jabez Barnard & Son 1860-1875, J. Barnard & Son 1876-1941. In Oxford St, London 1837, 339 Oxford St 1842-1881, street renumbered 1881, 233 Oxford St 1881-1886, 19 Berners St W 1870-1908, 82-84 Old St EC 1909-1941. Wholesale dept at 115 Great Titchfield St 1868-1870. Works at 11 Winsley St, Oxford St by 1857-1875, 67 Stanhope St, Hampstead Road NW 1868-1899, 141a Stanhope St 1903-1908. Artists’ canvas makers at Sutterton Road, Caledonian Road N 1889-1891. Manufacturing artists’ colourmen, printsellers and publishers.
Jabez Barnard (1800-94) advertised in 1842 that he had opened his Artists' Colour Warehouse in Oxford St with 'an entirely new and extensive Assortment of every requisite for Oil and Water-colour Painting; comprising Metallic and other Tubes for Oil Colours, and all the new Vehicles at present in use’, and mentioning his ‘fine White, prepared for Oil Painting’ (The Art-Union January 1842 p.18), subsequently advertising materials for fresco painting prepared under the direction of Mr Aglio, and also a papier-maché palette (The Art-Union December 1843 p.301). He was, however, already in business in Oxford St by 1837 when he appeared as a witness at the Old Bailey concerning the theft of bronze powder from Sarah Druke, a leading manufacturer (Proceedings of the Old Bailey, information from Sally Woodcock).
Jabez Barnard was born in December 1800 and christened in February 1801 at the Meeting House at Billericay. In the 1841 census he was listed in Oxford St as Colourman, with wife Mary, in 1851 as Colourman, employing six hands, in 1861 at 339 Oxford St as Colourman, age 60, born at Great Bursted, Essex, wife Mary, a daughter and two shop assistants, George Smith and Leonard Pike. Both Jabez and his wife reappear in the 1881 census at the age of 80, now living at Chase Side Villa, Edmonton, Middlesex, with their widowed daughter, Nancy Fairhead (1835-1928), who is described as Dealer in Fine Art, employing 15 people. From 1860, Jabez Barnard traded in partnership with his son William Barnard (qv), until the partnership was dissolved in 1875 (London Gazette 4 June 1875); thereafter, according to the London Gazette notice, Jabez Barnard continued to trade at 11 Winsley St, while William Barnard continued at 339 Oxford St and 19 Berners St. William Barnard also traded independently in Edgware Road from 1859, advertising some of Barnard & Son’s materials.
Jabez Barnard died in 1894 (London Gazette 7 September 1894). He was described as a wholesale colourman in his will; probate on his considerable estate, worth £20,288, was granted to Joseph Thurgood, oil merchant, and Thomas Claude Fairhead, artists’ colourman.
Jabez Barnard advertised in his trade catalogue of c.1860 a wide range of materials for oil and watercolour painting and also photographic watercolours (Price Catalogue of Materials for Oil & Water-colour Painting & Drawing, 32pp, appended to Edwin Jewitt, Manual of Illuminated and Missal Painting, copy in British Library, 1267.b.5). Later trade catalogues can be found appended to other instruction manuals in the years before 1900. The business advertised in 1870 as ‘Manufacturing Artists’ Colourmen, Drawing Paper Stationers. Lead Pencil Makers. Publishers of Works of Art. Importers of every Article connected with the Fine Arts’, giving their addresses as 339 Oxford St, manufacturing steam works at Stanhope St and wholesale dept at 19 Berners St (The Artists’ Directory for June 1870). Advertisements from 19 Berners St in 1892, now their main retail premises, featured their improved oil sketching box and superfine oil colours (The Year's Art 1892, and subsequently).
The business had an account with Roberson, 1862-1907 (Woodcock 1997). By 1893 and until at least 1900 another part of the business was separately listed as Barnard & Son, varnish and colour manufacturers, 183 Great Portland St and 67 Stanhope St (65 1/2 Stanhope St in 1900). Heaton & Son, glass painters’ colours, shared Barnard’s premises at 19 Berners St 1902-1908, subsequently being listed at 141a Stanhope St.
At some stage the business ceased to be owned and managed by members of the Barnard family. In 1908 a partnership between Harold King Smith and Noel Heaton, artists’ colourmen and glass colour manufacturers, trading at 19 Berners St, 141a Stanhope St and 16 Cumberland Market as J. Barnard & Son and as Heaton & Son, was dissolved with Harold King Smith paying all debts (London Gazette 19 June 1908).
Customers included James Ward (Proudlove 1996, where a stencilled canvas as Barnard & Son is reproduced). Example of marked canvases are M.E. Ashburner’s A duck and snipe on a shelf, 1896 (Bonhams 27 November 2007 lot 247), William Orpen’s, Anita, 1905 (Tate, see Morgan 2008 pp.134-5) and Jessie Algie’s Pinks and Sunflowers, exh.1906 (Walker Art Gallery, see Morris 1996).
Sources: Peter Bicknell and Jane Munro, Gilpin to Ruskin: Drawing Masters and their manuals, 1800-1860, Fitzwilliam Museum, exh.cat., 1988, p.73; Katlan 1992 p.454; Proudlove 1996 and note by Cathy Proudlove. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*William Barnard, 59 Connaught Terrace, Edgware Road, London W 1859-1868, road renamed and numbered 1868, 119 Edgware Road 1868-1899, 126 Edgware Road 1899-1926. Stationer, artists' and needlework repository.
William Barnard (b.1832) was the son of Jabez Barnard (qv) and Mary (Non-conformist registers, Dr Williams Library); what may be his marriage, to Jane Mary Welby, at St James Westminster was recorded in 1854. He was listed in the 1861 census at 59 Connaught Terrace as Colour Manufacturer, age 29, with wife Jane, age 31, and no children. In London directories, he was listed as a Stationer in 1860, Artists' repository in 1869, and Fine Art repository in 1879. William Jabez Barnard (?1862-1928?) may perhaps be his son and successor.
William Barnard advertised c.1860 as ‘Berlin Wool and Ornamental Needlework Repository’, describing himself as a manufacturer and importer (advertisement bound in with Jabez Barnard, Price Catalogue of Materials for Oil & Water-colour Painting & Drawing). Like his father, he published or advertised a number of handbooks, which featured his own products, including those related to needlework, as well as Barnard and Son’s art materials. These handbooks include Photo-Chromography: an easy method of colouring photographs, 1868 or before (British Library, 787.c.68, with 6pp adverts), V. Touche’s The Handbook of Point Lace, 4th ed., 1871 or before (British Library, 7742.b.47, with William Barnard’s Catalogue, 10pp, describing the business as Artistic Needlework Repository) and Colibert’s Terra Cotta Painting, 1883 or before (Bodleian Library, with Priced Catalogue of Colours and Materials for Painting, Drawings, &c, 22pp).
William Barnard also traded with his father, Jabez Barnard (qv) as Jabez Barnard & Son, artists’ colourmen, until the partnership was dissolved in 1875 (London Gazette 4 June 1875); thereafter, according to the London Gazette notice, William Barnard continued to trade at 339 Oxford St and 19 Berners St, while Jabez Barnard continued at 11 Winsley St.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Barnhalt, see Care & Barnhalt
Matthew Bateman, The Sugar Loaf and Pallate, Tower St, Seven Dials, London, 1743. Colourman.
‘Matt. Bateman’, advertised that he was leaving off house keeping, offering at prime cost primed cloths, brushes, pencils, all sorts of dry colours, poppy oil, fat oil, stones, mullers and pallates (Daily Advertiser 18 June 1743). He may possibly be the Mr Bateman whom Arthur Pond paid in November 1739 to take mildew off a copy Guido by Goupy (Louise Lippincott, ‘Arthur Pond’s Journal of Receipts and Expenses, 1734-1750’, Walpole Society, vol.54, 1991, p.250).
Baynham, see Joseph Cole
**George Beacher, parish of St Giles, London 1735, Gray’s Inn Lane 1736, Holborn Hill 1739-1741, parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, probably at the Bible and Crown, Drury Lane, facing Long Acre 1743. Copper plate printer.
George Beacher (flourished 1735-43) issued a remarkable trade card, made by Jacob Bonneau, showing copperplate prints being run off a press for inspection, with a print on the wall which may represent King George II (Heal coll. 99.25). The British Museum collection database describes the print as follows: ‘Trade card of George Beacher… showing his workshop with a man turning the wheel of a press while a client examines a freshly printed broadside watched by an older man, presumably Beacher himself. Prints hang from strings above the press and an engraved portrait is attached to the wall; in the foreground are bales of paper labelled, "Royal", "Imperial" and "Atlas"; to the left, the inking table beneath a window; in the background beyond an open door, is a man at the top of a staircase with another bale of paper on his head.’ Beacher promoted his services: ‘Carefully Prints all manner of Copper Plates For Printsellers Booksellers Stationers &c Tickets for Balls, Plays, Funerals.’ The British Museum also owns an example of a print made by Beacher on the Thames during the 1739-40 Frost Fair when the Thames was frozen over.
George Beacher married Elizabeth Jackson in 1735, when he was described as a printer of the parish of St Giles (Non-conformist BMD). They had four children, Jane in 1736 when living in Gray’s Inn Lane, Sophia in 1739 and George in 1741 when in Holborn Hill, and Elizabeth christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1743, probably when they were living at the Bible and Crown, Drury Lane.
Charles Beale, King St? Covent Garden, London 1655-c.1659, Hind Court, Fleet St c.1659-c.1670, Next to the Golden Ball, Pall Mall from c.1670. Occasional dealer in colours.
Charles Beale (1632-1705) acted as studio manager for his wife, the portrait painter Mary Beale (1633-99). He supplied quantities of Lake of his own making and of Ultramarine to Peter Lely, 1671-6, and of Lake and Pink to Thomas Manby, landscape painter, 1677 (Vertue vol.4, pp.170, 172, 173, 175). He purchased colours and brushes from Phine (qv) and Smaley (qv), colours from Williams (qv) and canvas from Owen Buckingham (qv) and Dod (qv) (Talley 1981).
Charles Beale's portrait was painted several times by Mary Beale. An early example, c.1663, is in the National Portrait Gallery.
Sources: Talley 1981 pp.277, 284; Bustin 1999. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2013
Thomas Beckwith (1731-86), see George Riley
Samuel Bedford (active 1822-1833), Castle St, Bristol 1820, 73 Castle St 1822, 48 Corn St 1830-1840. Oilman and artists’ colourman.
Samuel Bedford (c.1790-1841) advertised primed cloths, bladder colours, brushes, crayons, chalks and everything for painting and drawing in 1822 (Bristol Journal 2 March 1822, see Fawcett 1974 p.53), subsequently also advertising, from his Artists’ Colour Shop and Repository, panels and millboards, easels, palettes etc (Bristol Mercury 21 June 1834). Bedford had an account with Roberson, 1830-33 (Woodcock 1997). In 1839 he was advertising London ground bladder colours, fresh every week, and watercolours by Rowney, Newman, Ackermann and Reeves (Bristol Mercury 4 May 1839). He died in Bristol at the age of 51 in 1841 (Bristol Mercury 5 June 1841). Betsy Bedford, who was listed at the Artists’ Repository, 7 Wine St in Pigot’s directory, 1842, and who advertised from this address in 1844 (Bristol Mercury 11 May 1844) was presumably his widow.
Sources: Pigot’s 1830 Gloucestershire directory, see www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/GLS/Bristol/Pigot1830.html. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*G.C. Beissbarth Son, 115 Leadenhall St, London EC 1877-1878, 7 Snow Hill EC 1879-1883, 39 Farringdon Road 1883-1887, retail at 12 Victoria Buildings, Pimlico 1881, 13 Victoria Buildings 1882-1887. Wholesale and retail brushmakers.
Beissbarth Son originated in Nurnberg and were exporting brushes to Charles Roberson & Co in London in the period, 1867-75 (Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 180-1993, 183-1993). They set up office in London in 1877 and subsequently advertised that their 'Superior Artists' Brushes, Artists' Colours & Materials are sold by Artists' Colourmen throughout the Kingdom’ (The Year's Art 1884, 1885, reproducing their trademark in 1885). The business had an account with Roberson, 1882-6 (Woodcock 1997).
Julias Beissbarth, a 28-year-old American brush merchant, born in Bavaria, was listed with his wife Amalie in the 1881 census at 5 Vinnie Villas, Belvoir Rd, Camberwell. He was manager or owner of G.C. Beissbarth Son, and probably also of the slightly later business of J.M. Beissbarth & Co, brushmakers, 6 King St 1888, 22 St Mary Axe EC 1889, and 14 St Mary Axe 1890. George Conrad Beissbarth married in the Shoreditch district in 1904.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
**Joseph Bell, Bigg Market, Newcastle upon Tyne 1778, Above Nun Gate 1782, The St Luke, High-Bridge 1782-1801 or later, The St Luke, Newgate St. Painter, artist, colourman.
Joseph Bell (c.1746-1806), painter, artist and colourman, died age 60 on 26 April 1806 according to the inscription in St Andrew’s church, Newcastle, referring to his talent as an artist (Eneas Mackenzie, A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Town and County of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1827, p.333, accessed through Google Book Search). He was a friend of Thomas Bewick who called him ‘a painter, poet & a Man of talents in other respect’ (Iain Bain (ed.), A Memoir of Thomas Bewick, written by himself, 1975, p.113). He has also been described as a portrait painter of some ability (Robert Robinson, Thomas Bewick: His Life and Times, 1887, p.115) and as a ‘painter in general and dealer in colours’ (Whitehead’s Newcastle and Gateshead Directory, 1787 and 1790).
Joseph Bell offered a wide range of services from High-Bridge, according to his billhead, dated in manuscript, 18 July 1789, with an engraved vignette of St Luke mixing his colours (coll. Jacob Simon; another example seen on market, dated 1782): ‘Joseph Bell… Who prepares & sells Colours of all sorts, Oils, Brushes, Pencils &c. Pictures carefully cleaned, lined & repaired, & Funeral Atchievments accurately Painted, and picture Frames neatly executed in Oil, or burnished Gold’. A later billhead of this kind has been identified as coming from the workshop of Thomas Bewick (Thomas Hugo, The Bewick Collector: A Descriptive Catalogue of the works of Thomas and John Bewick, 1866, p.360, no.2414).
Updated March 2013
David Bellis, father and/or son (active 1734-1753), The White Bear, Long Acre, London. Colourman and picture restorer.
There would appear to have been a family of colourmen by the name of Bellis, possibly father and son. Both David Bellis (d.1739) and Edward Bellis (d.1769) traded at the White Bear in Long Acre as colourmen and sometimes picture restorers.
David Bellis, colourman, took out insurance in 1734 on his goods and utensils in his dwelling house, at the White Bear on south side of Long Acre for £500. David Bellis, colourman, died in 1739, leaving his stock-in-trade to his son, also named David, as well as making bequests to his wife and other children. It was perhaps this son who voted in the 1749 Parliamentary election from an address in Long Acre (A Copy of the Poll Book for… Westminster, 1749, p.208). It remains to be established whether Edmund Bellis, colourman, was another son. He took out insurance from the White Bear in Long Acre in 1756. Edward Bellis, colourman of the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, died in 1769 (PCC wills).
David Bellis, father and/or son, worked for Arthur Pond (qv), 1737-50, restoring and supplying canvases (Lippincott 1983 pp.78, 92, 94, 184 n.49, Lippincott 1991). He lined a large picture belonging to Sir Rowland Winn for £3 in 1739 (Lippincott 1991 p.247), identified by George Vertue as representing Sir Thomas More and Family (Vertue vol.4, p.162), still at Nostell Priory, Yorkshire. ‘Bellis’ acquired pictures at two sales in 1744 and 1745, whether on his own part or as an agent (‘Sale catalogues of the principal collections of pictures..., 1711-1759’, ms, vol.2, V&A National Art Library, 86.OO.19). David Bellis was paid for cleaning pictures for the 3rd Earl of Burlington, according to payments made by Burlington’s agent, John Ferrett, 1750-4 (Chatsworth, Devonshire Archives, Burlington mss, information from Charles Noble, January 2013).
Sources: London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 41/11936, 41/63881, 114/151000. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
William Benham, 9 Devonshire Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, London 1863-1888. Artists' colourman, printseller, picture framemaker etc.
William Benham (1811-1878) began business in the East End, initially as a cutler and furnishing ironmonger and then as a bookseller and stationer, trading from 37 Assembly Row, Mile End, where he was recorded in the 1851 census, as age 39, with a son, William A. Benham, age 6, and two younger daughters. He was first recorded in Notting Hill Gate in 1863, in the same year as his final directory listing at Assembly Row. His new premises had been occupied by another artists’ colourman in 1860, John Symons & Co, and then briefly by a firm pursuing a different line of business. Benham was listed in the 1871 census as an artists’ colourman. He had an account with Roberson, 1872-83 (Woodcock 1997). He died in August 1878 described as an artists’ colourman, bookseller and stationer, leaving a will proved by his sons, William Avery and Arthur Alfred.
Following his death, the business was managed by his son, William Avery Benham (1844-1928), who was recorded as a stationer, age 36, in 1881 census. He was born in Southwark, married in Kensington in 1869 and died in Paddington in 1928. He was subject to liquidation procedures in the bankruptcy court in 1883 (London Gazette 10 April 1883).
A marked canvas has been recorded, Peter Graham's The Seabirds' Home, 1879, with address Whitehall, and additional stamp of Winsor & Newton (Walker Art Gallery, see Morris 1996). The watercolour artist, Alfred William Hunt, used two sketchbooks supplied by Benham in about 1881 (Ashmolean Museum, see Newall 2004 pp.174, 177).
Sources: Proudlove 1996. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Silas Bentley, see Daniel Green
*Lewis Berger by 1777-1797 or later, Lewis Berger & Sons 1799-1879, Lewis Berger & Sons Ltd from 1879. At Shadwell Market, London by 1777-1780, Carnaby Market 1778, 5 Ave Maria Lane 1781-1783 or later, 44 Bow Lane, Cheapside from 1785 or before, 7 Well Court, Queen St, Cheapside 1794-1928 or later. Factory at Homerton by 1780. Manufacturing colourmen.
The business was founded in the 1760s by a German immigrant, Lewis Berger (1741-1814), born Louis Steigenberger, who employed his brother, John, as foreman. Berger’s partnership with Philip Thomas Hoggins, trading as Berger & Hoggins, colour manufacturers of Homerton, was dissolved in 1781 (London Gazette 2 October 1781).
In the early 19th century, Berger was a significant supplier to Rudolf Ackermann (Ford 1983 p.46), James Newman (Berger 1910 p.10; see also Harley 1982 pp.112-3) and Roberson, including litharge, a drier used in preparing drying oil, 1830-53 (Carlyle 2001 p.42). The business had an account with Roberson, 1830-80 (Woodcock 1997). Its premises in Well Court extended through to Bow Lane (Berger 1910 p.15). This company of paint suppliers eventually became part of Crown Berger Europe Ltd.
As a firm of manufacturers supplying the trade, rather than a direct supplier of artists, this business is not examined in detail here.
Sources: Thomas B. Berger, A Century & a Half of the House of Berger, 1910; Bristow 1996, especially p.204. Note S. Carew-Reid, Lewis Berger & Sons (1766-1960): an English colour manufactory, unpublished diploma dissertation, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1997 (not consulted). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Added March 2013
Giuseppe Biasutti, San Luca, Venice 1879, Accademia no.1024 by 1882-1899 or later. Retail artists’ supplier and printseller.
Continental suppliers used by British-based artists when abroad are treated in summary detail in this resource. With Emilio Aickelin (qv), Giuseppe Biasutti was one of two artists’ suppliers listed in Venice in John Murray’s Handbook for travellers in Northern Italy in 1897. He was located close to the Accademia. Pietro Biasutti, perhaps his father, had been trading at Calle del Forno no.1024 as early as 1867 (Guida commerciale di Venezia, year 1, 1867, pp.19, 72). Further research is required into the history of this business.
Materials used by artists from Britain: John Singer Sargent turned to Biasutti for supports for several works, c.1880-2, judging from printed labels on their reverse: GIUSEPPE BIASUTTI/ PRESSO LA REGIA ACCADEMIA/ N. 1024 Venezia/ DEPOSITO OGGETTI/ PER/ PITTURA E DISEGNO, including The Onion Seller, c.1880-2, on canvas (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid) and Street in Venice, c.1882, on panel (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).
Sources: Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent, vol.4, Figures and landscapes, 1874-1882, 2006, pp.220, 321, 351.
John Bishop (d.1755), see Andrew Walker
*George Blackman 1790-1819, G.F. Blackman 1818-1823. At 31 Frith St, Soho, London 1790-1792, warehouse 482 Strand 1792-1793, 3 or 12 Hemming’s or Hemen’s Row, St Martin’s Lane 1794-1795, 403 Oxford St 1795-1801, 27 Berkeley Square 1798, 362 Oxford St (‘near the Pantheon’) 1799-1823, artists’ colourmen. George Frederick Blackman 1826-1845, Rebecca Blackman 1845-1852. At 13 St John St Road, London 1826-1829, 47 St John St Road 1831-1847, 53 St John St Road 1846-1850, 126 St John St Road 1851-1852 watercolour manufacturers and juvenile colour makers.
George Blackman was presumably born in the 1750s or early 1760s, given his claim to have been an assistant to Reeves for 14 years before setting up independently in 1790. George Blackman was primarily a watercolour supplier. He claimed to be son-in-law of William Reeves and tutor to James Newman. He advertised in 1790 that 'he had opened a shop, No. 31 Frith Street, Soho, for the sale of superfine watercolours that are equal if not superior to those of Mr Reeves’, offering every other article for drawing (Whitley papers vol.3, p.288, quoting the Morning Herald 28 July 1790), later advertising from the same address as ‘Superfine Cake Color Manufacturer to their Majesties’ Academies, also Sole Inventor of the Original Royal Liquid Blue’ (Morning Herald 10 May 1792). Blackman's contemporary trade card depicts a Bluecoat boy holding a scroll on which is written, 'G. Blackman/ SUPERFINE/ COLOUR MAN/ No 31/ Frith Street/ SOHO/ From Reeves.' (British Museum, Banks coll. 89.3, with added date 1790), while in a particularly elegant card, dating to about 1800 or 1801, he advertised as ‘G. BLACKMAN/ No 362 Oxford Street/ SUPERFINE OIL & WATER CAKE/ COLOUR Preparer to the ROYAL/ FAMILY her SERENE HIGHNESS the/ PRINCESS of ORANGE, Son in Law &/ 14 Years Assistant to Mr. REEVES and/ Tutor to Mr NEWMAN, Gerrerd St/ SOHO.’ (Banks coll. 89.1, with added date 1802, repr. Clarke 1981 p.16).
In 1793, Blackman advertised his newly invented oil colours (Morning Chronicle 6 July 1793). A year later, in June 1794, he was awarded the greater silver palette and 20 guineas by the Society of Arts for his method of making Oil Colour Cakes, which had been tested by Richard Cosway, Thomas Stothard and Mr Abbot over the course of the previous year (Transactions of the Society of Arts, vol.12, 1794, pp.271-9; see also Carlyle 2001 pp.113-4). Subsequently, in 1819 Blackman wrote to the Society concerning colours for painting on glass (Royal Society of Arts archive, PR.AR/103/10/262).
Blackman moved premises several times in the 1790s. He was listed at 3 Hemming’s Row in Wakefield’s Merchants and Tradesman’s General Directory of London, 1794. He advertised in 1795 that he was moving from his house in Hemen’s Row to 403 Oxford St, and in 1798 that he had opened a shop at 27 Berkeley Square (Morning Chronicle 8 September 1795, True Briton 2 April 1798). He was listed as superfine colour preparer at 362 Oxford St in Kent’s directory from 1801 and as superfine colourman to her Majesty in the 1806 Post Office directory. Blackman issued unusual advertising vouchers from 27 Berkeley Square and 403 Oxford St (Banks coll. 89.2, with added date 1798; see also National Portrait Gallery archive, typescript history of Reeves, supplied by Brian D. Wild, 1960).
It would appear that by 1820 George Blackman had been succeeded by his son, apparently to be identified with George Frederick Blackman, born 3 July 1798 and christened at St Anne Soho, the son of George Blackman and Louisa Williams, who had married in 1794. Evidence of the son's activity comes from the publication by G. Blackman Junr of a caricature from 362 Oxford St in June 1817 (BM Satires no.12955), and by G.F. Blackman of J. Bulkley’s A Treatise on Landscape Painting in Oil, 1821, an early instance of an instruction manual published by an artists’ colourman; the volume contains a single page at the end advertising, ‘Every article requisite for Painting, either in Oil or Water, may be had at Mr. Blackman’s, sign of the Blue Coat Boy, 362 Oxford Street’, referring to his oil colours in cakes which had won the Society of Art’s silver palette. However Blackman was not listed at this address after 1823 and in this final year he was described as G.F. Blackman junr. He was succeeded at this address by William Chapman, artists’ colourman, who was listed in Pigot’s directory from 1823 but not after 1827.
George Blackman married Rebecca Norris at Christ Church Newgate in 1828, when he was described as a widower. He was recorded as George Frederick Blackman, colour manufacturer, when he and his wife Sarah (daughter of Isaac Norris and presumably identical with the Rebecca Norris mentioned above), registered the birth in 1830 of their daughter Esther, who was christened at the non-conformist Maberley Chapel, Islington (National Archives, RG 5/161, accessed through Non-conformist BMD; IGI). George Blackman, succeeded by Mrs Rebecca Blackman, had an account with Roberson, 1820-36, from 13, 58 and 47 St John St Road (Woodcock 1997). George Blackman, watercolour manufacturer of 47 St John St Road, died in 1845. In his will, made 6 January 1836 and proved 2 September 1845, he bequeathed his estate to his wife, Rebecca, by whom he was followed in business. She was recorded in the 1851 census at 126 John St Road, as a widow, age 56, colour manufacturer, with a 21-year-old nephew Louis Noris.Sources: Whitley 1928, vol.2, p.362, Katlan 1992 p.454. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography
Added March 2013
Blanchet 1852-1865, Laurent Blanchet 1866-1867, Blanchet from 1868, Blanchet Frères from 1879, Emile Blanchet 1887-1910 or later, E. Blanchet & Fils by 1913-1922 or later, Robert Blanchet by 1927-1948 or later. At 46 rue de l’Arbre Sec, Paris 1853-1860, 39 rue Bonaparte (à la Palette d'or) 1861-1867, 17 rue de Grenelle-St Germain 1868-1890, 32 rue Bonaparte 1879-1887, 20/20bis rue St-Benoit, place St-Germain-des-Prés 1888-1904 or later, 38 rue Bonaparte by 1906-1948 or later. Workshops at Vaugirard. Manufacturing artists’ colourman.
Continental suppliers used by British-based artists when abroad are treated in summary detail in this resource. Blanchet was a leading supplier of canvases and artists’ colours in the second half of the 19th century, numbering Jean-François Millet and Théodore Rousseau as customers (Constantin 2001 pp.51-2). This historic business had its origins in that run by Étienne Rey (1761-1831), which was situated at 46 rue de l’Arbre Sec from c.1807, according to Labreuche’s very full account (see Sources below). Following Rey’s retirement in 1823 his business as a picture restorer and colour merchant was continued in other hands, trading from 1853 under the name of Blanchet (Constantin 2001 pp.51-2, 66), with Laurent Blanchet active in 1866-7.
The business’s 1922 trade catalogue (see below) claimed that it traded as L. Blanchet from 1834, P. Blanchet from 1852, Blanchet frères from 1879 and E. Blanchet from 1887. While L. Blanchet has not been traced at this early date in Paris directories, the identification of P. Blanchet, Blanchet frères and E. Blanchet’s roles in the business is helpful in understanding its history. Blanchet frères, at 32 rue Bonaparte, and Hardy-Alan (qv) were among only seven colour merchants listed in 1887 in The Art Student in Paris, a guide for American students published by the Boston Art Students’ Association, where it is stated that, at nearly all the studios, merchants made semi-weekly and sometimes daily visits (The Art Student in Paris, Boston, 1887, p.48, accessed through the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/stream/artstudentinpari00bost).
It would appear that in the late 1870s ‘H. Blanchet’ held accounts with the London firm of Roberson (qv) from two addresses, at La Palette D'or, 17 rue de Grenelle, St Germain, 1876-81, where an account had previously been held by Delaunoy, 1868-76, and at 32 rue Bonaparte, 1879-82 (Woodcock 1997). By 1880 the businesses at these two addresses were trading independently but both under the Blanchet name. In 1881 and 1882 in separate advertisements Blanchet (‘Ancienne Maison Brullon fondée en 1800’) can be found at 17 rue Grenelle-St Germain, while Blanchet was at 32 rue Bonaparte, with workshops at Vaugirard (advertisements in Louis Enault, Charles de Feir, Guide du Salon, 1881, 1882, accessed through Gallica). These businesses are examined in turn.
At 17 rue de Grenelle successors to the Blanchet name were listed in Paris Almanachs as F. Breton (1884-5), C. Chaveteau (1886) and L. Ponsin (1887-90). ‘Blanchet (maison, L. Ponsin successor)’ advertised in 1889 as ‘fabrique de couleurs fines à l’huile, à tableaux, toiles au plâtre, toiles à pastels, vente et location de chevalets, mannequins, etc…’ (Annuaire-Almanach du commerce…Didot-Bottin, 1889). The business seems to have ceased trading in 1890 or soon after.
Emile Blanchet (1852-1931) moved the business at 32 rue Bonaparte to 20 rue St-Benoit by 1888. He was born at Nantes. He married Marie or Félicité Cazaux in 1887, when he was described as of 39 rue Bonaparte, son of Jean Philibert Blanchet (Paris marriage banns, accessed through www.ancestry.co.uk; genealogical information accessed at www.rootsfinder.eu). In 1889 he was offering ‘couleurs extra-fines pour l’huile, l’aquarelle, etc, toiles à tableaux, chevalets, bottes d’artistes, brosses et pinceaux, huile grasse et bleu de lumière’ (Annuaire-Almanach du commerce…Didot-Bottin, 1889). He advertised in the 1896 Salon catalogue as ‘maison de la palette d’or’, founded in 1800, offering ‘Toiles a Tableaux de toutes largeurs, couleur extra fines’, with a factory and workshops at Vaugirard (Catalogue illustré du Salon, 1896). In 1922 the business was trading as E. Blanchet & Fils at 38 rue Bonaparte, with a factory and workshops at 78 rue Olivier de Serres and 8 rue Malassis, Paris Vaugirard, as listed in their trade catalogue (A La Palette D'or. Maison Blanchet. Couleurs Extra-Fines et pour Décoration Artistiques, March 1922, 22pp). Emile Blanchet was followed in business by Robert Blanchet, probably his son, but by 1927 it was trading as Robert Blanchet Succ[esseu]r, implying that it had changed hands (Salon de 1927, exh.cat., 1927, advertisement). The business apparently continued in one form or another until about 1965 (Constantin 2001 p.52). Further research is required into this business’s history.
Materials used by artists from Britain: Whistler came to Paris to study as a young man in 1855, moving to London in 1859 but often returned to Paris where he used a number of suppliers over the years, including Hardy-Alan (qv) in the 1860s and Maison Chapuis in the late 1890s. His paint box, with embossed stamp: H. BLANCHET PARIS, may perhaps date to about 1880 (Hunterian Art Gallery). Whistler used canvases with Blanchet's stretcher stamp from rue St-Benoit for The Blue Girl: Portrait of Connie Gilchrist, c.1879, stamped: BLANCHET/ RUE SAINT BENOIT/ PARIS, Harmony in Fawn Colour and Purple: Portrait of Miss Milly Finch, c.1885 (but perhaps an earlier canvas reused), stamped: BLANCHET/ 20/ RUE SAINT BENOIT/ PARIS, and Rose et argent: La Jolie Mutine, c.1890 (all three Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow), as well as a small panel with this stamp for Study for Three Decorative Panels for Boston Public Library, c.1892 (Boston Public Library). It remains to be established whether Blanchet was in fact trading from rue St-Benoit as early as these works would imply or whether Whistler employed Blanchet to restretch earlier canvases.
William Stott of Oldham exhibited in Paris at the Salon and elsewhere, 1878-99, using Blanchet at 32 rue Bonaparte as his contact address in the Salon catalogue in 1885. His Girl in a Meadow, 1880 (Tate) is on a canvas supplied by Blanchet. Samuel John Peploe studied in Paris as a young man and made subsequent visits to northern France and Paris. He used Blanchet for the support for his painting, Bathers (Etaples), 1906, canvas laid on board, stamped on board, Blanch[et]/ 38/ rue Bonaparte/ Paris (Hunterian Art Gallery). Wynford Dewhurst, another artist who studied in Paris, used Blanchet for his Summer Mist, Valley of La Creuse, c.1916, stamped by Blanchet from rue St Benoit 20 (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, information from Kate Lowry, March 2013). A number of other British artists used Blanchet as a contact address when exhibiting at the Salon, including William Brymner in 1885 and James Guthrie and John Lavery in 1889 (Béatrice Crespon-Halotier, Les peintres britanniques dans les salons parisiens des origines à 1939: Répertoire, Dijon, 2003).
For an illustration of Blanchet’s palatte-shaped canvas stencil, see E.F. Aman-Jean's Femme Couchée, c.1904, stencilled: BLANCHET/ -20-/ RUE SAINT BENOIT/ PARIS (National Gallery of Victoria).
Sources: Pascal Labreuche in Paris, capitale de la toile à peindre, XVIIIe-XIXe siècle, Paris, 2011, pp.179-96, 346; Clotilde Roth-Meyer, Les Marchands de couleurs à Paris au XIXe siècle, PhD thesis, Université Paris Sorbonne, 2004, for Paris Almanach addresses; Stéphanie Constantin, ‘The Barbizon Painters: A Guide to their Suppliers’, Studies in Conservation, vol.46, 2001, pp.51-2, 66; Andrew McLaren Young et al., The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, 1980, pp.133, 173, 176, for the paintings listed above, except The Blue Girl: Portrait of Connie Gilchrist, for which see the Hunterian database at www.huntsearch.gla.ac.uk/ consulted 4 March 2013; Roger Brown, William Stott of Oldham, 1857-1900: "A Comet rushing to the Sun", 2003, p.127.
**Jacques Blockx, Antwerp, Belgium from 1865, near Liege from 1905, Jacques Blockx Fils s.a., Terwagne-Clavier 1952, Le Tombeu 10, 4550 Nandrin 2011. Chemist colourmen.
Outside the immediate scope of this directory but summary details are included here for Blockx’s links with British businesses, thanks to detailed information received from Dr Brian D. Barrett. For a history of this family business, see www.blockx.be/en/histoire/historique.asp.
A firm of chemist-colourmen, Jacques Blockx Fils s.a. was founded in 1865 in Antwerp, and from 1905 was based near Liege. They did much of their business by mail-order, trading worldwide, yet had links to many other chemists, laboratory supply companies, as well as leading artists across Europe. Jacques Blockx traded with the following businesses in this directory: Aitken Dott & Co, from 1914, Lechertier Barbe, 1899-1924, H. Meunier & Co, 1894-1920, Reeves & Sons, from 1901, Charles Roberson & Co, from 1901, Rowney & Co, 1867-1904 or later, H.G. Sander & Co, 1894-1920s, Percy Young, 1892-1920 (information from Dr Brian D. Barrett). It was Percy Young who published Jacques Blockx’s A Compendium of Painting, 1894. Blockx also sold pigments to various leading artists in Britain, including Edwin Austen Abbey, Sir Luke Fildes, William Holman Hunt, Mortimer Menpes, Gustave Natorp, Lucien Pissarro, Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema and Henry Woods (information from Dr Brian D. Barrett).
J. Bryce Smith Ltd (qv) was stocking Blockx’s colours by 1935, and in 1952 advertised that they had again taken over sole agency for the distribution of these colours in the United Kingdom (The Artist, vol.42, January 1952, p.vi).
*John James Bonhote (active c.1760-1780), The Star, Hayes’s Court, Soho, London 1766-1780. Linen draper, hosier, hatter and glover; also pastel supplier.
John James Bonhote, of French-speaking Swiss origin, advertised on a receipt dated 7 June 1766, 'Jn. James Bonhote, (successor to Mr. Pache) hosier, hatter and glover, at the Star in Hays's Court, the lower end of Greek Street, Soho, London; sells all sorts of silk, cotton, thread and worsted hose,... The genuine Arquebuzade water from Switzerland,... Sells besides, the noted pastels, or Swiss crayons, by Bernard Stoupan, recommended for the best in Europe’ (Shakespeare Centre Library, Stratford-upon-Avon, Leigh MSS.DR.18/5, see Simon 1998).
The predecessor business, Lewis Pache & Co (qv), merchants, was listed at Hayes’s Court, 1765-67. Bonhote was described by John Russell in 1772 as the original importer of brilliant green crayons from Lausanne (Simon 1998). By 1773, Bonhote was advertising that his pastels, or Swiss crayons, were now being made by Charles Pache (qv) in London, formerly a partner with Bernard Stoupan at Lausanne, noting that Pache had obtained a premium from the Society of Arts and Sciences (London Evening Post 8 April 1773). Pache set up in business on his own the following year.
‘J. Jacques Bonhote’ was a member of the Swiss church in Moor St, off Compton St, where both he and Louis Pache were elders (Proceedings of the Huguenot Society, vol.17, 1942, pp.55, 58). Bonhote would seem to have married twice, firstly to Susanna, by whom he had children in 1763 and 1765, and secondly to Alexandrine Etienette Boinod in 1769 at St Anne Soho, by whom he had children in 1770, 1777 and 1779 (Non-conformist BMD). Bonhote’s son, Paul, born 1770, was christened at the Swiss church, with godparents Paul and Magdaline Burnard.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Boots Ltd, 1 Angel Row, Chapel Bar, Nottingham, Boots Cash Chemists Ltd, Station St, Nottingham. Chemists; also artists’ materials retailers and picture framemaker c.1894-1963 or later.
Jesse Boot, later Lord Trent (1850-1931), met Florence Rowe, the daughter of a bookseller and stationer in Jersey in 1885, marrying her the following year. She took an interest in the retail side of Boot’s business. New lines were introduced, such as books, stationery, fancy goods, artists' materials and picture frames.
Boots Ltd advertised as printsellers, carvers and gilders, picture frame manufacturers, artists' colourmen from 1 Angel Row, Nottingham (The Year's Art 1894, 1895). The business had an account with Roberson, 1901-7 (Woodcock 1997). Various Winsor & Newton products and Gunther Wagner Pelican inks were listed in Boots Cash Chemist Ltd’s 1908 trade catalogue (Price List of Artists’ Materials, 64pp). Boots were still selling artists’ materials as recently as 1963 (The Artist’s Guide, 7th issue, 1963, p.xxvii).
A marked canvas has been recorded, 1900 (Proudlove 1996). L.S. Lowry is said to have bought his materials from the Royal Exchange branch of Boots in Manchester (Elizabeth Walker, 100 years of shopping at Boots, 1877-1977, , p.16).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Bourgeois Ainé, Paris, see Lefranc & Co, Thomas Pavitt and G.H. Saunders
*George Bowden, also trading as Bowden & Hall until 1854, later sometimes listed as Bowden & Co, 1 or 1a Little Queen St, Holborn 1848-1856, not listed 1857-1859, 314 Oxford St (‘corner of Harewood Place’) 1860-1875; also 9 Holden Terrace, Pimlico 1871-1873. Artists' stationer and colourman.
In the 1851 census George Bowden (b. c.1826) was listed at 1 Little Queen St, as artists' sketchbook maker, age 25, employing three men, in 1861 at 314 Oxford St, as artist stationer, age 35, wife Ann Elizabeth, age 32, and son George William, age 9, and in 1871 as artists’ colourman with four younger sons and a daughter. As early as 1848, G. Bowden was advertising an easel drawing desk, describing himself as a maker of improved solid sketchbooks and every description of binding for artists, architects, etc (The Art-Union Advertiser October 1848 p.cxlvii). His partnership with Henry James Hall, trading as Bowden & Hall, artists' colourmen, at 1a Little Queen St, was dissolved in 1854 (London Gazette 28 March 1854). George Bowden was subject to insolvency proceedings the following year (London Gazette 12 June 1855). A further partnership, between George Bowden and John Reed Dickinson (1844-1926?) at 314 Oxford St was dissolved on 1 January 1869 (London Gazette 30 April 1869) and Bowden was again subject to liquidation proceedings in 1871 (London Gazette 31 March 1871). As Bowden & Co, the business had an account from 314 Oxford St with Roberson, 1871-2 (Woodcock 1997). It was succeeded at this address by George Squire (qv) in 1876.
George Bowden and John Reed Dickinson took out a patent for 'improvements in apparatus or means for protecting the points of brushes and pencils' in 1868, and George Bowden took out further patents in 1872 for ‘a new or improved writing and drawing slate' and in 1885 for printing an image for a painting on canvas etc (London Gazette 29 May 1868, 31 May 1872; Patents for Inventions; see also Katlan 1992 p.488).
The son, George William Bowden (1851-1935), set up in business as an artists’ colourman, trading at 47 Brompton Road 1878-99, moving to 194-6 Brompton Road in 1900. The business became Bowden Bros, being described as fine art dealers from 1892. It is worth noting the watercolour drawing dealer, George W. Bowden, who advertised as having been established in 1850 (The Year's Art 1920). He was at 740 Fulham Road from 1897, where he was recorded in the 1911 census as a fine art dealer, subsequently trading from 35 Duke St, St James's, 1915-39 or later. George William Bowden of 35 Duke St, St James's died in 1935 leaving an estate worth £1702, with probate granted to Bernard George Bowden and Horace Spurway Bowden, picture dealers, and Dorothy Kate Bowden and Rose Muriel Bowden, spinsters.
A canvas mark, apparently ‘GH Bowden’, can be found on Thomas Benjamin Kennington's Daily Bread, 1883 (Walker Art Gallery, see Morris 1996).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Thomas Bowen, The Golden Pallet, Shugg Lane, opposite Haymarket, London c.1768-1772. Painter and gilder, printseller, publisher and stationer.
Thomas Bowen advertised, among many other products, watercolours, black lead and hair pencils (trade bill, Heal coll. 100.18, another example Johnson Collection). The sale of the stock-in-trade and house of the late Thomas Bowen, stationer and printseller, was announced in 1780 (Morning Herald 15 November 1780).
Sources: Maxted 1977. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.British artists suppliers, 1650-1950 continued - Br
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