British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - E
A selective resource, 3rd edition October 2011 (*revised entry, **new entry). Updated selectively twice yearly, last updated January 2017. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated September 2013
William Eatwell, 49 Dorset St, Portman Square, London W 1855-1876. Artists' colourman.
Before setting up independently, William Eatwell (c.1816-92) worked for Thomas Brown (qv), until his employer went out of business in 1854. Eatwell’s early labels described him as ‘from Browns’ (Proudlove 1996), while Samuel Palmer in 1873 noted that Eatwell had been ‘with Brown for years and has been drilled by first rate artists’ (Lister 1974 pp.884-90). Eatwell had an account with Roberson, 1875-6 (Woodcock 1997).
Eatwell was listed in the 1851 census at 36 King St, St George’s Bloomsbury, as artists’ colourman, age 34, with his wife Mary, age 40, and in the 1871 census at 49 Dorset St. He was followed at this address in 1876 or 1877 by William Badger (qv), according to Badger's canvas stencil, but Eatwell continued to be listed there as a picture restorer, 1879-87. He was recorded as a visitor at Oakley Hall, Staffordshire in the 1881 census, as a picture restorer, age 64, born at Basad Hinton, Wiltshire, and he can be found ten years later in the 1891 census living at 10 New Quebec St, Marylebone. He died at the age of 76 at 10 New Quebec St in 1892, leaving an estate worth £4182, with probate granted to Nathaniel Castile, picture restorer (see British picture framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website), and Charles Eatwell, gentlemen.
Eatwell’s activities as a supplier: Eatwell’s customers included Landseer and Millais, both of whom had formerly patronised Brown (as observed by Cathy Proudlove), as well as Augustus Egg and Holman Hunt (to whom he sent a canvas with colours in 1875 and also supplied a muller, see Carlyle 2001 p.461 and Mary Bennett, ‘Footnotes to the Holman Hunt Exhibition’, Liverpool Bulletin, vol.13, 1968-70, p.44). The American artist, Jasper Cropsey, probably when in London in the 1850s, preferred Eatwell’s Flake White to Winsor & Newton’s (Katlan 1982 pp.504, 510). In 1857 Samuel Palmer described Eatwell as a supplier of mounting board (Lister 1974 p.527), later, in 1873, noting him as someone who knew how to make colours which were very finely ground and stiff (Lister 1974 pp.884-90).
Eatwell supplied materials for fresco painting to Lord Leighton, c.1862-4 (Woodcock 1996) and also the canvas for Leighton's An Italian Cross-bow Man, exh.1863 (Walker Art Gallery, see Morris 1996). His canvases were used for Stephen Pearce’s William Kennedy, exh.1854, Sir Francis McClintock, 1859 and Rochfort Maguire, 1860 (all National Portrait Gallery), Robert Braithwaite Martineau’s The Last Day in the Old Home, 1862, oval format stencil: W EATWELL/ --- ---/ 49 DORSET ST/ BAKER ST (Tate, information from Joyce Townsend), William Holman Hunt’s Mrs George Waugh, 1868, stencilled: W EATWELL/ Artist Colourman/ 49 Dorset St./ Baker St (Cleveland Museum of Art, see Louise d'Argencourt, European Paintings of the 19th Century, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999), Lowes Cato Dickinson’s Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, 1869, and Richard Cobden, 1870 (both National Portrait Gallery), Frederick Walker’s The Old Gate, exh.1869, marked on loose lining (Tate, information from Joyce Townsend), Edwin Landseer’s Doctor's Visit to Poor Relations at the Zoological Gardens, exh.1870 (Sotheby’s 13 November 2012 lot 18), John Everett Millais’ A Flood, 1870, and Winter Fuel, 1873 (both Manchester Art Gallery, information from Joyce Townsend re latter), George Richmond’s Baron Hatherley, 1872 (National Portrait Gallery), Michele Gordigiani’s 1st Baron Westbury, 1873 or before, stencilled: W EATWELL/ ARTIST COLOURMAN/ 19 DORSET St[?]/ BAKER St (National Portrait Gallery), G.F. Watts’s The Creation of Eve, 1860s, and Edward William Cooke's Venetian Fishing Craft caught in a Borasca, 1873 (both Walker Art Gallery, see Morris 1996).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Frederick Thomas Edwards (1833-95), Professor of Drawing, Painting and Perspective, was listed as an artist or teacher of art rather than a colourman, but canvases marked with his name have been recorded from the 1860s and 1870s. He had an account with Roberson, 1863-92 (Woodcock 1997). When he left Park St his premises were taken over by William Law (b. c.1833), listed as artists’ colourman 1870-8, to be followed by his wife, Mary Ann Law (b. c.1839) from 1879 to 1890 (1871 census, for approximate years of birth). They had an account with Roberson, 1868-90 (Woodcock 1997), and advertised Roberson’s Medium and Winsor & Newton’s colours (The Artists’ Directory for June 1870).
*Alexander Emerton 1725-1737, Elizabeth Emerton 1737-1746 or later, Alexander Emerton & Co 1746, by 1759-1794, Emerton & Manby 1796-1804. At the Bell over against Arundel St, Strand, London 1725-1762 or later, Strand to 1777, 270 Strand 1778-1803, 184 Strand 1804. Colourmen, also dry salters by 1796.
The primary interest of the Emerton family was as colourmen, rather than artists’ colourmen. It was later claimed that the business had been established in 1720 (advertisement in Morning Herald 26 May 1792). Alexander Emerton (c.1703-1737), the son of Joseph and Ann Emerton, was baptised on 12 September 1703 at St Bride Fleet St. He married Elizabeth Frances Hamersley in August 1725 at St Mary-le-Bow. He took out an insurance policy with the Sun Insurance Company in 1725 (Ayers 1985 p.129) and published a colour list in 1734. He advertised in 1728 as a house painter, additionally referring to ‘all Sorts of Water-Colours, prepared in Shells; and Liquid Colours, for Maps and Plans, &c’ (London Evening Post 5 November 1728, and subsequently). The business was continued after his death by his widow, Elizabeth, who advertised to this effect in 1737, and subsequently (e.g. Country Journal or The Craftsman 31 December 1737; see also Heal coll. 89.54). She appears to have remarried, as Mrs Baynham, according to a provocative advertisement in 1742, published by her late husband’s brother, Joseph Emerton (qv), who had set up in competition in or before 1738. He claimed that it was impossible for her as a woman to understand or do justice to a business which was managed by her servants (Common Sense or The Englishman’s Journal 13 March 1742). Elizabeth Emerton died in 1762 (London Evening Post 10 August 1762).
Alexander and Elizabeth Emerton’s son, also Alexander, was christened on 26 August 1734 at St Clement Danes. Alexander Emerton & Co, trading by 1746, issued a trade card from the Bell near St Clements Church in the Strand, referring to the proprietor’s late father Alexander Emerton (Banks coll. 89.54, Heal coll. 89.53). The business subsequently became Emerton & Manby, trading from 270 Strand, opposite Arundel St (trade cards, Banks coll. 89.9 and 89.10, with added dates 1792 and 1796, repr. Ayres 1985 p.129, Harley 1982 p.22, depicting a horse-powered mill for grinding colours). William Manby was a partner in 1796 (Proceedings of the Old Bailey). The freehold of 270 Strand was offered for sale in 1798, when the premises including a spacious shop and warehouse were described as in Manby’s occupation (The Times 7 November 1798). He was made bankrupt in 1806 (London Gazette 25 November 1806). Edward Manby, perhaps related, subsequently traded as an oil and Italian warehouse from 230 Strand.
Sources: Bristow 1996 pp.91-3. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated September 2014
Joseph Emerton by 1738-1745, Thomas Etteridge 1745-1753 or later, The Bell and Sun against Norfolk St, Strand, London. Colourmen.
Joseph Emerton set up in business after the death of his brother, Alexander Emerton (qv), in competition with Alexander’s widow, Elizabeth, who advertised that Joseph Emerton had been only a weekly servant to her late husband (Country Journal or The Craftsman 31 December 1737). He took out insurance for £200 on 22 August 1738 or 1739 on his household goods, utensils and stock in his dwelling house and vaults at the Bell and Sun, over against Norfolk Street, Strand, and a further policy on 12 October 1744, now also including stock in two warehouses in Water St (Sun Fire Office policy registers, 51/78013, 70/100298, Museum of London index, information from Richard Stephens, 2011).
Joseph Emerton advertised from the Strand, in a trade sheet of c.1744, giving directions for painting interiors, but also stating that he ‘Sells to the Ladies all sorts of Water Colours and Varnish, with every thing necessary for the New Japanning… Also Italian Powder for Cleaning Pictures, and fine Picture Varnish’ (Heal coll. 89.55, repr. Bristow 1996 frontispiece). A slightly different sheet with similar text bears the manuscript date 1742 (National Library of Scotland, acc. 7228/455-490).
Joseph Emerton died in 1745 making bequests to his son-in-law, Thomas Etteridge, who had married his daughter, Mary, in 1743, and to his daughter Elizabeth. Etteridge subsequently issued trade sheets as son-in-law to Joseph Emerton, stating that he had chiefly managed Emerton’s business in his lifetime. To avoid confusion with the business run by Alexander Emerton’s widow, he advertised that ‘His House faces Norfolk-Street, and not Arundel Street’ (Heal coll. 89.57-59, with bills on reverse dated 1747 and 1753).
Added May 2017
David Evans, 80 High St, Whitechapel, Middlesex 1834?-1837. Oil and colourman and dealer in tea.
Little is known of David Evans. He was operating independently for only a short time. He held an account with Roberson, 1834-7 (Woodcock 1997). He appears in the 1837 Post Office directory and, more informatively, in the London Gazette, 4 July 1837, where it was reported that he had been called before the Court for Insolvent Debtors: ‘David Evans, formerly of No. 80, High-street, Whitechapel, Middlesex, Oil and Colourman and Dealer in tea, and at the same time Clerk to Messrs. Forbes and Company, of Mansion-house-place, London, East India Merchants, and late of No. 80, High-street, Whitechapel, Middlesex, Oil and Colourman, and Dealer in Tea, Coffee, Spices, Soap, Candles and Turnery.’
Evans supplied the canvas for an anonymous portrait of George Fox, founder of the Society of Friends, which is marked: Prepared by/ D. EVANS./ OIL COLOURMAN/ No. ?0/ [faintly:] Whitechapel High St (information from Michael Long, February 2016).
It should be noted that there was a David Evans, oil and colourman, operating at 14 Fair St, Horsleydown, according to trade directories, from 1811 until 1825, but no relationship has been established.
*Allen Everitt c.1811-1812, Allen Everitt & Son 1815-1823, Edward Everitt 1828-1847. At Union St, Birmingham, c.1811-1818, 25 Union St 1828-1835, 66 New St 1839-1847. Artists’ repository and printseller.
This leading Birmingham business was selling materials supplied by Smith, Warner & Co (qv), London, as noted in Smith, Warner’s catalogue, c.1811-12. Allen Everitt is perhaps the painter listed in Livery St in 1797 (Universal British Directory) and the drawing master in Ann St in 1811 (Holden’s directory). He was a close friend of the watercolourist, David Cox, stocking his work from 1811 to 1830 or later, and paying him to give lessons to his son Edward (1791-1880) (N. Neal Solly, Memoir of the life of David Cox, 1875, pp.21, 24-5, 42, 47, 65).
In 1815 and 1818 Everitt & Son were listed at the Artists’ Repository, Exhibition of Pictures, Union St (Wrightson’s Triennial directories). In 1823, the partnership between Allen Everitt the elder and Edward Everitt, trading as Allen Everitt and Son, artists, drawing masters and printsellers, was dissolved (London Gazette 25 January 1823). Subsequently Edward Everitt, sometimes described as a picture dealer, was recorded at the artist’s repository, 25 Union St, and then at 66 New St. He may have been the holder of an account with Roberson, 1829-39, and possibly subsequently (Woodcock 1997). In 1846 Everitt was listed as a printseller and secretary to the Deaf and Dumb Asylum.
Subsequently, the business underwent a number of transformations becoming Everitt & Hill and, later still, Hill & Thrupp (Chapel 2008 pp.67, 83 nn.381-2).