British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - M
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 email@example.com.
*Mrs Mary Dennis MacEwen, see Joseph Middleton
Updated March 2013
William Macgill, 7 Hanover St, Edinburgh 1841-1859, 103 Princes St 1860-1866. Artists’ colourman, printseller and stationer.
William Macgill (c.1818-66) traded as an artist’ colourman in Edinburgh in the mid-19th century. He was born in January 1818, the son of John and Mary Macgill (information from Edwina Milner). Initially he worked for Alexander Hill (qv), as would appear from two accounts that he receipted on Hill’s behalf in 1836 for supplies to Lady Penuel Grant (National Archives of Scotland, GD248/613/13, Seafield papers).
Macgill was in business independently by 1841. He used his invoice paper in 1848 to advertise a range of drawing and painting materials including watercolours by the first London makers, drawing papers, finest London card and mounting boards, tracing papers, improved solid sketchbooks, ivories, cases and frames for miniatures, oil colours in tubes, prepared canvas for oil painting, Academy sketching boards and French lay figures, also offering to mount drawings. William Macgill’s trade label can be found on the millboard used for Tavaernor Knott’s Rev. Norman MacLeod, 1848 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery). Marked canvases have been recorded, c.1867-79 (information from Cathy Proudfoot).
Macgill published a trade catalogue from 7 Hanover St, c.1856 (William Macgill’s List of Materials for Oil Painting, 16pp, appendix to Mrs William Duffield, The Art of Flower Painting, Winsor & Newton, 1856). He had an account with Roberson, 1850-66, initially from 7 Hanover St and then from 103 Princes St (Woodcock 1997). In censuses, he was recorded in 1841 in Scotland St as an artists’ colourman, with his two younger siblings and Mary Macgill, perhaps an aunt rather than his mother, in 1851 at 6 South Castle St as a master stationer employing one man (probably his brother, Thomas), and in 1861, age 43, at 103 Princes St as an artists’ colourman, with his premises described as Photographic Studio and Shop. He died in 1866; his will indicates that the photographer, John Moffat, paid him rental for premises at 103 Princes St, and indeed Moffat advertised his move to this address in 1861 (Caledonian Mercury 25 February 1861).
Macgill’s business was continued by P. Westren, jeweller, as Macgill’s Gallery of Art (Post Office Edinburgh & Leith Directory 1867, advert p.49). W.S. Ross, apparently William Sinclair Ross (1839-94), described himself in 1884 as late of Macgill’s Gallery of Art (information from Edwina Milner).
Sources: Scottish Book Trade Index on the National Library of Scotland website. Information kindly provided by Edwina Milner, February 2011, February 2013. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
**Charles Macintosh, Glasgow. Chemical manufacturer and inventor of mackintosh waterproof fabrics.
The leading Glasgow chemical manufacturer, Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), known for his Prussian Blue, wrote at length to Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1810 concerning the preparation of permanent colours for painters (Royal Academy Archive, LAW/1/240; see also Lawrence's materials and processes on the National Portrait Gallery website). Charles Macintosh gave his name to the mackintosh coat, as a result of his patent for waterproof cloth in 1823.
For further details of Macintosh’s life, see The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol.7, 1835, pp.166-7, accessed through Google Book Search; George Macintosh, Biographical Memoir of the late Charles Macintosh, F.R.S. of Campsie and Duxchattan, Glasgow, 1847; R.B. Prosser, ‘Macintosh, Charles (1766–1843)’, rev. Geoffrey V. Morson, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 (www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/17541, accessed 9 May 2011).
Daniel McIntosh, 15 South Saint Andrew St, Edinburgh 1799-1810, 16 Saint Andrew St 1811-1816, 49 Princes St 1817-1822. Carver and gilder, printseller.
See British picture framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
*Madderton & Co 1890-1896, Madderton & Co Ltd 1896-1939. At 37-39 Baldwins Hill, Loughton, Essex 1890-1939, also 156 King’s Road, Chelsea, London 1915-1918. Artists' colours manufacturers.
‘The manufactory of artists' colours to mediaeval recipes was established in 1891 by A.P. Laurie in the cottages Nos 37-39 Baldwins Hill. The firm was named after one of the pigments madder and not after the owner. Its products, known as "Cambridge" colours, had a high worldwide reputation. Brushes and other accessories were later added to their products list. The factory was gradually extended, though the original cottages can still be identified in the composite structure now existing. It ceased to operate during the Second World War when the managing director retired and the building was taken over for light engineering’ (source: The Hills Amenity Society Discovery Trail, at www.hillsamenitysociety.co.uk/detail/disctrail.htm).
A.P. Laurie (1861-1949), Principal of Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh, and Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Academy 1912-36, was the author of The Materials of the Painter's Craft in Europe and Egypt from earliest times to the end of the 17th century, 1910, among other publications (see Carlyle 2001 pp.310-1). He founded Madderton & Co by 1890, with a workshop in Falcon Yard, Cambridge (Pall Mall Gazette 22 April 1892), and he had an account with Roberson, c/o Madderton & Co, in April that year (Woodcock 1997). The business became a registered company in 1896, with Vincent Nello junr as managing director in 1897 (Barbara Pratt, ‘The Loughton firm that manufactured artists materials’, Essex Countryside, vol.28, no.280, May 1980, p.46).
Madderton and Co advertised its Cambridge Colours in The Year's Art 1892-6, as prepared under the personal supervision of A.P. Laurie, the outcome of a series of experiments undertaken to increase the durability of paintings. They stated that their colours were ground in linseed oil, cold pressed from pure seed, and sun refined, and invited artists to examine the colours during preparation at the laboratory; also referring to a new permanent Lake, the colour of French Marigolds, and a rare quality of Umber, directly imported from Cyprus. The company subsequently advertised its new Flake White (1894).
Madderton and Co used M. Hübner & Co (qv) as wholesale agent in London, 1893-5, followed by Messrs C.F. Maret & Co Ltd (qv), 1896. The business published Madderton’s Notes for Artists 1897-1907, and Tracts for Artists, 1901, which included advertisements featuring ‘Agents for Cambridge Colours’, including in 1897 Aitken Dott & Son (qv), W.H. Monk (qv), Chas D. Soar (qv), Chas H. West (qv), Percy Young (qv), C.F. Maret & Co Ltd as Sole Agent for the Trade, and in 1903 John Bryce Smith (qv). The business began advertising an extended range including brushes, palettes, knives, paper etc in 1903 (Madderton’s Notes for Artists, no.27, September 1903) and by 1913 was advertising a very wide range of products (Price List of Cambridge Materials for Artists, May 1913, 183pp). It had an account with Roberson, 1903-8 (Woodcock 1997).
Cambridge Colours were exported from about 1910. They featured in the trade catalogues of a number of companies in the United States including A.H. Abbott & Co, Chicago (Catalog of A.H. Abbott & Co., … Artists’ Materials, School Supplies, Drawing Materials, c.1922, 266pp), B.K. Elliott Co, Pittsburgh (Elliott’s Artists Materials, 1930s, 102pp), E.H. & A.C. Friedrichs Co, New York (Descriptive Price Schedule Artists’ Materials Drawing Materials Drawing Instruments, 1932, 191pp), The Hirshberg Co, Baltimore (Illustrated Catalogue. Artists, School and Engineering Supplies of the Latest Design and Manufacture, 1939, 127pp) and Henry M. Taws, Philadelphia (Catalog of Artists and Draughtsmens Materials, c.1915, 102pp). In Australia Cambridge colours were stocked by Geo. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co Ltd, Adelaide (Catalogue Artists’ Materials, 1913, 16pp). In Canada by the Artist’ Supply Co, Toronto (Price List of Cambridge and Madderton Oil Colours, 1928, 4pp). In Italy by Ditta Luigi Calcaterra, Milan (Catalogo Generale. Colori. Vernici. Pennelli. Articoli per Belle Arti, 1921, 376pp).
The business closed in 1939 but Cambridge Colours continued to be available in the United States, manufactured by Winsor & Newton (see E.H. & A.C. Friedrichs Co’s trade catalogue, Artists Materials and Colors by Fredrix No. 85, 1953, 76p), suggesting that Winsor & Newton may have bought out the remaining goodwill in Madderton & Co Ltd. The company was wound up voluntarily in 1943 (London Gazette 19 February 1943).
Madderton’s links with artists: A.P. Laurie, the business’s founder, was in correspondence with G.F. Watts 1890-3, concerning his new colours, in 1890 sending the artist a sample of his first colour, a Madder Lake, which he said was available from T.H. Lucas at 6 Falcon Yard, Cambridge and the School and Guild of Handicrafts, 34 Commercial St, Whitechapel (National Portrait Gallery, Watts letter book, vol.8), and in 1892 he visited the artist (Hackney 1999 p.92). For the Guild of Handicrafts, see British picture framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
John Brett is documented as using ‘Laurie’s Venetian red’ in 1892 (Lowry 2001 p.40). Other artists are mentioned in Madderton’s publicity material, which included a testimonial from Frederick Leighton PRA in 1893, and subsequently from Millais, Burne-Jones, Watts, Holman Hunt and many other artists who are reported as having praised the quality of Cambridge Colours (1896). Later, by 1913, testimonials were provided by Harold Speed, Edwin Abbey, George Clausen, Luke Fildes, Briton Riviere, Edward Stott and J.W. Waterhouse (Harris, Scarfe & Co Ltd’s catalogue, see above).
Of particular interest is the extended feature in Madderton’s Notes for Artists, ‘Some Artists’ Palettes’, running between 1902 and 1904, specifying the colours, mediums and materials used by more than 100 contemporary artists (Madderton’s Notes for Artists, nos 21-31, March 1902-September 1904); these artists were, using the style adopted in Madderton’s Notes, P.W. Adam RSA, Mrs H Allingham RWS, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema RA, Reginald Barratt ARWS, Miss Rose Barton ARWS, Sir Wyke Bayliss PRBA, Robert Anning Bell ARWS, Georg H. Boughton RA, Basil Bradley RWS, Frank Bramley ARA, F. Brangwyn ARA, Arnesby Brown ARA, A.K. Brown ARSA, G. Lawrence Bulleid ARWS, Robert Burns ARSA, George Clausen ARA, RWS, Rex Vicat Cole RBA, Hon. John Collier, Margaret Murray Cookesley, Hubert Coop RBA, M.R. Corbet ARA, John Da Costa, H.W.B. Davis RA, Louis Davis ARWS, Alfred East ARA, Mrs Will. Fagan, David Farquharson ARSA, Mark Fisher, Vignoles Fisher, Lewis G. Fry RBA, Arthur Hacker ARA, W. Matthew Hale RWS, Oliver Hall RE, J. Whitelaw Hamilton RSW, W. Lee Hankey RI, Charles Martin Hardie RSA, Alfred Hartley RE, A.S. Hartrick, C. Napier Hemy ARA, Sydney Herbert, Samuel J. Hodson RWS, William Hole RSA, J.C. Hook RA, Arthur Hopkins RWS, H.S. Hopwood ARWS, Francis Howard, E.R. Hughes Vice-President RWS, J. Young Hunter, Louise Jopling, George W. Joy, R. Talbot Kelly RBA, Miss L. Kemp-Welch, Augustus Koopman, John Lavery RSA, B.W. Leader RA, Arthur Lemon, Sir James D. Linton RI, Robert Little RWS, Horace M. Livens, A. Ludovici, Seymour Lucas RA, Robert W. Macbeth ARA, Mrs Mary McEvoy, J.M. Macintosh RBA, J. MacWhirter RA, Alexander Mann, Harrington Mann, W.H. Margetson, H.M. Marshall RWS, Miss Edith Martineau ARWS, John Mastin RBA, J. Coutts Michie ARSA, Alex G. Miller, H. Morley, R.B. Nisbet ARSA, RI, John William North ARA, James Patterson ARSA, Sir Francis Powell PRSW, Sir Edward J. Poynter Bart PRA, Valentine Cameron Prinsep RA, Wellwood Rattray ARSA, R. Payton Reid ARSA, Cuthbert Rigby RWS, Briton Riviere RA, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Walter Severn RCA, Byam Shaw RI, Frederic Shields, Lionel Percy Smythe ARA, Solomon J. Solomon ARA, Harold Speed, Frank Spenlove-Spenlove RCA, Marcus Stone RA, George Adolphus Storey ARA, Edward Stott, Alf. W. Strutt ARE, William Strutt RBA, Leslie Thomson RI, R. Thorne-Waite RWS, Henry Scott Tuke ARA, Frank Walton RI, Sir Ernest A. Waterlow RA, G.F. Watts RA and William Lionel Wyllie ARA.
The Californian artist, Alexander Francis Harmer, used a sketchbook supplied by Madderton & Co, c.1900 (with Michael Sharpe Rare Books, Pasadena, January 2009). Lucien Pissarro ordered Flake White from Madderton’s while staying in France in 1934 (Ashmolean Museum, Pissarro archive, 12 May 1934). Cambridge colours were favoured by Piet Mondrian while working in London, 1938-40; according to Winifred Nicholson in her contribution to a series of reminiscences ('Mondrian in London', Studio International, vol.172, December 1966, p.286): 'Mondrian bought Cambridge colours not because they were less expensive than others, but because he thought that Oxford and so also Cambridge was the most reliable English commodity'.
William Manby, see Alexander Emerton
*William Marcellus, Strand, London from 1755, Hungerford Market, Strand 1764, The Colour Shop, 12 St Martin’s Lane 1772-1776, Chelsea 1776. Painter, later colourman.
William Marcellus (c.1731-1785) was the son of the shop sign painter, Robert Marcellus of 392 Strand. He was christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields in June 1733, and married Anna Amelia Moyer, or Moyse, at St Paul Covent Garden in January 1755, when described as an eminent painter in the Strand (Read’s Weekly Journal 11 January 1755). They had eight children, christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields between 1755 and 1774. By 1778 he was seeking release from imprisonment for debt (London Gazette 2 June 1778). He died in 1785, age 54, and was buried at St John the Evangelist Drury Lane (Boyd’s London Burials, accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk).
William Marcellus supplied colours for decorators but he also advertised primed cloths in 1772 (Gazeteer and New Daily Advertiser 15 April 1772), and three years later offered ‘India Rubber, for taking out black lead from paper, &c’ (London Evening Post 18 March 1775). As Marcellus & Co, at the King’s Arms, St Martin’s Lane, the business advertised paints for decorators, and also ‘Bladder colours and primed cloths for limners’ (Morning Post and Daily Advertiser 21 June 1775). He then put his lease and stock-in-trade up for sale, stating that he was ‘going to remove to the upper End of Church-Lane, Chelsea’ (Daily Advertiser 18 December 1775). A few weeks later, he advertised thanking his friends helping extinguish a fire on his premises in St Martin’s Lane (Daily Advertiser 8 January 1776), and the following month his stock, utensils and lease were offered for sale at auction (Daily Advertiser 27 February 1776).
*Messrs C.F. Maret & Co Ltd, 45 Old St, London 1895, 4 Golden Lane EC 1896-1897. Agents and artists’ materials wholesale dealers.
From 1887 to 1890 C.J. Maret and then C.F. Maret were listed as managers of the Artists’ Color Manufacturing Co, 27-31 Hatton Wall, London EC, and in 1891 and 1892 at 45 Old St. Carl Frederic Maret (c.1853-1894) married in 1892 in the Paddington district and died at the age of 41 in 1894 in Hammersmith, leaving an estate worth £2590. Following his death, his business as a dealer in fancy goods, artists’ materials and similar articles was acquired in 1895 from his widow, Jessie, by a new company, C.F. Maret & Co Ltd, in which Adolf Spanier, gentleman, and Max Hübner (qv) were the chief shareholders (National Archives, BT 31/6077/43005). In 1895 both C.F. Maret & Co and M. Hübner & Co were listed at the same address in Old St. Maret & Co acted as sole agent for the trade for Madderton & Co (qv), 1896-97, advertising in their literature as ‘Wholesale Dealers in Artists’ Colours, Brushes, Canvases & Artists’ Materials’. C.F. Maret & Co Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in June 1897.
Owen Marlow, The Mermaid, Southwark, London, late 17th/ early 18th century. Oil and colourman.
Marlow’s trade card, depicting a mermaid within a roundel, advertised ‘Owen Marlow,/ COLOUR MAN,/ At the Sign of the Mermaid in/ the Burrough of SOUTHWARK,/ Sells all Sorts of Painters Oyls/ and Colours, Primed Cloaths with/ all Sorts of Dyers Wood &c.’ (Banks coll. 89.19).
J. Maroger, see Lechertier Barbe Ltd
*Marsh & Beattie, 13 South Hanover St, Edinburgh 1850-1859. Booksellers, Catholic publishers, stationers and artists’ materials dealers.
This Edinburgh bookselling and publishing business was a partnership between Augustine Marsh (c.1822-1893) and David Beattie (b. c.1828). Bankruptcy proceedings against the business in 1859 provide details of its history (The Scotsman 20 July 1859, Edinburgh Gazette 24 June 1859). Augustine Marsh, senior partner and David George Beattie had commenced business in 1850 as booksellers and stationers, initially acting as agent for C. Dolman, London, but trading on their own account from September 1851. They first felt financially 'embarrassed' in 1857. 'Newman', presumably the colourman, was among their creditors.
In most censuses from 1841 to 1891, Marsh was associated with the book trade, his Christian name variously given as Augustus, Augustine or Augustin. In 1841 as a bookseller living in Lambeth, in 1851 as a bookseller, age 29, living in Edinburgh, in 1871 as a publisher and stationer, age 49, born in the City of London, living in Islington with his wife and two daughters, in 1881 as a bookseller living in Islington and in 1891 as a manager and publisher living at 60 Newman Street, St Marylebone, by now a widower. Augustine Marsh (c.1822-1893) married Ellen Brewer in the Chichester district in 1851. He died at the age of 72 in the St Giles district in London in 1893. In the 1851 census David Beattie was recorded as a bookseller, age 23, born in Edinburgh.
Artists’ materials: Marsh & Beattie’s trade catalogue, c.1853, advertised their stock of artists’ materials, ‘comprised solely of Newman’s Celebrated Manufacture’, including Newman’s improved moist watercolours in gutta percha cups or patent collapsible tubes (with an extract from a commendation for these colours from the Art Journal May 1849), watercolours in cakes, liquid colours, boxes of watercolours, Newman’s celebrated drawing papers (with the initial N in the watermark to prevent deception, near the name of the maker J. Whatman), various boards, graduated tinted ivory paper, tracing papers, various pencils including Mr J.D. Harding’s drawing pencils manufactured with Brockedon’s patent pure Cumberland lead, oil colours, crayons, brushes, mathematical instruments etc, also featuring Lund’s ever-pointed pencils (Artist’ Materials, undated catalogue but containing a testimonial dated 1849, appended to the Catholic Directory for the Clergy and Laity in Scotland, Aberdeen, 1853)
Marshall, London, 1811. Colourman or artist.
Joseph Farington was shown samples of Marshall's Ultramarine by Thomas Lawrence and Marshall, 1811, and made a purchase, 1812 (Farington vol.11, pp.3884, 3897, vol.12, pp.4253, 4254, 4256). Later, in 1820 ‘Marshall’ wrote to Lawrence providing directions for making a 'Menstruum' for painting, with specified ingredients, ‘to be followed exactly if Sir Thomas Lawrence wishes to have the same success that Mr. Marshall has enjoyed for thirty years’ (Royal Academy Archive, LAW/3/130). Marshall may perhaps be identifiable with the sporting painter, Benjamin Marshall (1767-1835); see Lawrence's materials and processes on the National Portrait Gallery website.
Added March 2013
E. Mary et Fils from 1882, Georges Mary by 1894-1913 or later. At 26 rue Chaptal, Paris 1882-1913 or later. Manufacturing artists’ colourmen.
Continental suppliers used by British-based artists when abroad are treated in summary detail in this resource. ‘Mary’ was listed at 13 Bassin-Passy, Paris, 1860-4, and perhaps can be linked to E. Mary & Fils at 26 rue Chaptal from 1882. E. Mary & Fils, followed by Georges Mary, acted as Paris agent for Charles Roberson & Co (qv), and held an account with Roberson from July 1882 until 1908 from rue Chaptal with ateliers at 76 rue Blanche (Woodcock 1997 pp.viii, 144; see also Woodcock 1995). Mary & Fils’s extensive trade catalogues featured various Roberson materials (see, example, E. Mary & Fils Catalogue des Couleurs Fines, Toiles, Panneaux et Materiels Divers, July 1888, 7th year, 198pp). In 1889, the business was describing itself as ‘fabr. de couleurs fines pour la peinture à l’huile et à l’aquarelle, seuls concessionaires du PROCÉDÉ VIBERT pour la fabrication et la vente des couleurs inaltérable pour l’aquarelle… (Annuaire-Almanach du commerce…Didot-Bottin, 1889). The patent Vibert process was later taken over by Lefranc (qv).
Further research is required into the history of this business.
Materials used by artists from Britain: Whistler and his bride, Beatrice Philip, travelled to France on their honeymoon in 1888, buying materials at E. Mary et Fils, including prepared linen-covered boards that Whistler wanted to try out (Richard Dorment and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, 1995, p.232). He used supports from Mary et fils, c.1888-1900, for several watercolours on paper, mounted on card stamped: E. MARY ET FILS/ 26, RUE CHAPTAL, PARIS, including Grey and Green: A Shop in Brittany, c.1888, Two Pettigrew sisters asleep with a baby, 1890/5, Girl seated in profile to the left, c.1890-5, Two Breton women knitting, c.1893, and Blue and Silver: Belle Isle, c.1899-1900 (all Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow), A house with an open window, c.1888, on linen laid on card (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven), A Brittany shop with shuttered windows, c.1893 (Terra Foundation for the Arts) and Beach scene with two figures, 1893/7 (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery). Beatrix Whistler used E. Mary et fils’ paper for her chalk drawing, A nude in a cap reclining, c.1888-96 (Hunterian Art Gallery).
The London-based portrait painter, Sir Arthur Cope, exhibited at the Paris Salon, 1892-1934. His Sir William Perkin, 1906, has a circular stretcher label: Geo MARY, 26 RUE CHAPTAL, PARIS, and a canvas stamp under the stretcher bar: MARY, Paris (National Portrait Gallery).A number of artists used Mary et fils as a contact address when exhibiting at the Paris Salon, including Christopher Whitworth Whall in 1896 and Mrs Sydney Bristowe in 1906 (Béatrice Crespon-Halotier, Les peintres britanniques dans les salons parisiens des origines à 1939: Répertoire, Dijon, 2003).
Sources: Clotilde Roth-Meyer, Les Marchands de couleurs à Paris au XIXe siècle, PhD thesis, Université Paris Sorbonne, 2004 (for the business’s addresses); Margaret MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours, A Catalogue raisonné, 1995, nos 1178-9, 1299, 1364-5, 1368. For works in the Hunterian, see their database at www.huntsearch.gla.ac.uk/ consulted 4 March 2013.
*William Mason,Repository of Arts, 1 Ship St, Brighton by 1832-1838, 81 King’s Road 1839-1848 or later, 80 King’s Road 1848-1850, 108 King’s Road 1851-1873. Printseller and publisher, carver and gilder.
William Henry Goodburn Mason (1810-79) was born in the parish of St Leonard Shoreditch, London, in 1810, the son of William and Margaret Mason. He married Mary Dawe in the St Pancras district in 1838. He was listed in Pigot's Sussex directory for 1832-4, and as William Henry Mason, printseller, in 1839 and subsequently. In census records, he appears in Brighton as a printseller, with his wife Mary, in 1841 in King’s Road, with William Drummond, portrait painter, in his household, in 1851 at 22 Norfolk Road, by now with six sons and daughters, in 1861 with his son, William H., a photographic artist, age 21, and other children, and in 1871 with eight children, ages 14 to 31. Mason retired around November 1873.
Mason ran a Repository of Arts in Brighton for many years, publishing various prints. His premises feature in his ‘Panoramic View of Brighton’, published in 1833 (repr. www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/BTN-LaneWm). In his Fashionable Handbook for Visitors to Brighton, 1841, he described himself as ‘From Ackermann’s’, probably R. Ackermann & Co (qv), the celebrated Repository of Arts in the Strand in London, with whom Mason jointly published several works. He claimed a special appointment as printseller and stationer to Queen Victoria and offered such services as drawings lent to copy, drawing and painting materials of every description, including sketchbooks and colour boxes ‘in great variety’, as well as carving, gilding and picture framing. In the 1846 edition of his Handbook to Brighton, he described the leading feature of his establishment as the ‘constant supply of every work of art upon the day of publication’. The portrait and miniature painter, William Drummond, resided on his premises, and George Earp, teacher of painting, exhibited his work there. From 1854, the photographers Hennah & Kent operated from his premises.
Mason’s printed label has been recorded, c.1828-35 (information from Cathy Proudlove). The business had an account with Roberson, 1832-62 (Woodcock 1997), trading as W.H. Mason from Ship St, 1 Kings Road and 108 Kings Road, Brighton.
Sources: ‘William Lane (1818-1889) - Early Brighton Photographer’ at www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/BTN-LaneWm, providing biographical details for Mason, including his retirement, and illustrating his premises). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Massoul & Co, 136 New Bond St, London 1794-1799. Artists’ colourmen, print publishers.
Massoul & Co advertised in 1795 that their ‘Manufactory of Superfine Colours’ had been established the previous year, listing their ‘boxes of Colours…, and every article in that line, such as Marten Hair Painting Brushes, Ivory Pallets, Vellum, Drawing Paper, &c’ (The Times 19 November 1795). The business traded initially as La Tour, Massoul & Co, which advertised ‘superfine and everlasting water-colours, prepared as at Paris’ and also the ‘Physigraph… the new-invented perspective instrument of M. La Tour, miniature painter… as offered to the public for the first time in January 1794’ (To the lovers of the polite arts of drawing and painting…, copy in Kunglige Biblioteket, Stockholm, recorded in English Short Title Catalogue). La Tour, Massoul & Co advertised their never fading colours in 1795 (Morning Chronicle 16 May 1795). La Tour and Massoul may have been among the wave of French refugees who set up in business in London in the 1790s.
In 1797 Constant de Massoul published A Treatise on the Art of Painting and the Composition of Colours, translated from the French, the first such work by a manufacturing colourman. In this handbook Massoul included a list of colours on sale at his manufactory in New Bond St and advertised that he could supply ‘every Article necessary for Painting and Drawing’ (Harley 1982 p.24, Carlyle 2001 p.283). The business was listed as Massoul & Co, manufacturer of colours, in 1799 (Kent’s directory; Holden’s Triennial directory).
*Henry Matley, 54 Long Acre, London 1815-1820. Artists’ colourman and brushmaker.
Henry Matley (c.1792-1820) married Hannah Culbert, presumably the daughter of his master, John Culbert (qv), in June 1814 at St Mary Lambeth, and they had two daughters, christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1816 and 1818. He died in 1820, age 28, and was buried on 17 March at St George Bloomsbury, described as of Long Acre.
Matley took over premises at 54 Long Acre from his master, John Culbert (qv), in 1815 or perhaps in 1814, and was followed by Charles Roberson in 1819 or 1820. He was listed initially as hair pencil maker (i.e. brushmaker), and from 1817 as ‘Colourman to Artists and hair pencil maker’. Another directory described Matley as ‘late apprentice to Mr J. Culbert’ (Underhill’s 1817). According to a notebook entry in the Roberson Archive, dating to after 1870, ‘Charles Roberson succeeded to Mr Matley in 1819 at 53½ Long Acre’ (HKI MS 785-1993, fol. 54v, information from Sally Woodcock).
Both Constable and Turner used Matley’s canvases on occasion, John Constable for his Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, c.1829, stamped: MATLEY/ 54 Long Acre (Tate 1814, information from Sally Woodcock; see also Reynolds 1984 p.228) and J.M.W. Turner for Richmond Hill with Girls carrying Corn, c.1819, stamped: MATLEY/ -- LONG ACRE/ ARTIST COLOUR--/ 1818 (or 1816, partly concealed by stretcher bar), The Grand Canal and the Rialto, c.1820, stamped: MATLEY/ 54 LONG ACRE (Tate 5546 and 5543, information from Sally Woodcock; see also Townsend 1993 p.18, Townsend 1994 p.146, for use in the 1820s).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Harry Edward Mealand 1894-1940, Mealands Knightsbridge Ltd 1941-1975. At 7 Knightsbridge Green, London SW 1894-1895, 6-8 (sometimes also 9) Knightsbridge Green 1896-1903, renumbered 1903/4, 11-13 Knightsbridge Green 1904-1940, 12 (sometimes also 11) Knightsbridge Green 1941-1975. Carvers and gilders, initially also paper hanging dealer, later also oil and colourmen.
Harry Edward Mealand (1862-1938) carried on business with Harry Jocelyn Jeffries as Lambert & Co, carvers, gilders, picture frame makers and decorators at 36 Albert Gate and 7 Knightsbridge Green until the partnership was dissolved in 1893 (London Gazette 3 October 1893). He then set up independently. He had an account with Roberson, 1900-8, from 4 & 6 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge (Woodcock 1997). He was an executor of the will of Frank William Trotman, who died in the army in France in 1916 and who was perhaps the son of Frank Trotman (see under John Sherborn). In census records, he was listed in 1901 in Putney as a picture framemaker, age 38, born Brighton, with wife, age 46, and two young daughters, and in 1911 in Wandsworth as a picture frame manufacturer, with a son Harry Gordon, age 20, a picture frame gilder. He died at Amersham in 1938, leaving an estate worth £4909.
The Mealand business acted as a distributor for Reeves in the mid-1930s, with the Mealand imprint found on Reeves’s trade catalogue (An Abridged Price List of British-made Artists’ Colours and Drawing Materials, 128pp, 1934 or later). By 1970 it had become a branch of Clifford Milburn Ltd, Reeves’s retail arm (The Artist, vol.80, November 1970, p.xi). A marked canvas has been recorded, 1899.
Dorothy Mercier, Silver St, Golden Square, London 1762, The Golden Ball, Windmill St, facing Silver St 1763-1764, 1767-1768, Cambridge St, Golden Square 1766-1767. Printseller and stationer.
The widow of the artist, Philip Mercier (1689-1760), it would appear that Dorothy Mercier went into business following her husband’s death, initially advertising as printseller and stationer, and from 1764 as ‘Stationer to the Society of Artists of Great Britain’, following her appointment as the Society’s stationer that year. Her handsome trade card, dating to the early 1760s, advertised among other goods, ‘all Sorts of Papers for Drawing, &c./ The best Black Lead Pencils, Black, Red & White Chalk./ Variety of Water-Colours, and Camels Hair Pencils./…English, Dutch, & French Drawing Paper, Abortive Vellum for Drawing,/ Writing Vellum, the Silk Paper for Drawing’ (Victoria and Albert Museum, repr. Krill 2002 p.70; Banks coll. 100.69, repr. Clayton 1997 p.112; Johnson Collection; the card is also found in a revised version following her 1764 appointment to the Society of Artists, photograph on file in Heal coll. 100.51). She acted jointly with other printsellers to sell, or take subscriptions for, various architectural and ornament books, according to newspaper advertisements from 1762 to 1767. She rented premises in Windmill St, until her retirement from business on 14 June 1768.
Sources: John Ingamells and Robert Raines, Philip Mercier, exh.cat., York City Art Gallery and Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, 1969, p.53. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2013
Henri Meunier 1900-1913, Meunier & Co Ltd 1913-1920. At 65 Edgware Road, London W 1900-1901, 24 Moore St, Edgware Road 1902-1905, 26 Nutford Place, Edgware Road 1904-1905, 14 Church St, Kensington 1906-1908, 26 Earl’s Court Road 1909-1920. Artistic cabinet makers, picture framemakers, importers of artists’ materials.
Henri Meunier (c.1841-1917) was trading as a cabinet maker in Chelsea by 1886 until 1895. 'H. Meunier' took out a patent for a particular type of easel in 1886 (Patents for Inventions), while ’Mr. Meunier’, of Bury St, Fulham Road, was supplying stands for sculptors in 1889 (E. Roscoe Mullins, A Primer of Sculpture, 1889, p.26). Meunier was listed at 484 Edgware Road in the 1901 census as Artist Cabinet Maker, age 59, born in France, and at 26 Earl’s Court Road in 1911 as an artists’ colourman.
In 1913, the business was incorporated as Meunier & Co Ltd, to acquire and take over as a going concern the business of artists’ colourmen carried on by Henri and Catherine Meunier under the style, Meunier & Co (National Archives, BT 31/21955/133147). The business’s share register in 1914 shows Meunier and his wife as the major shareholders but also includes eight artists holding the remaining shares, E. Bundy, A.J.W. Burgess, William P. Dickson, Edgar H. Fischer, W. Lee Hankey, Alfred Hayward and W.E. Webster. In 1915 the register also included John Singer Sargent with a significant minority shareholding, as well as C.C.H. Burleigh. Sargent is known to have used Meunier’s materials (see below) and presumably all or most of these artists knew Meunier or used his supplies. Henri Meunier died at the age of 76 in 1917, leaving an estate worth £305. The business was wound up voluntarily in 1920 (London Gazette 1 June 1920).
Trade in picture frames and artists’ materials: In The Year’s Art, 1904, Meunier offered ‘French Frame in Compos, made to order. Private Lessons given in Wood Carving’. This advertisement featured an image of a Classical aedicular frame on an easel, the frame holding a roll call of his skills, ‘Artistic Cabinet Maker, Importer of Artists Materials, Speciality of Carved Wood Frames Only, Imitation of Old Gilding, Early Italian, Renaissance, Queen Anne, Louis XIV, XV, XVI, Old Frames’, and making mention of his two bronze medals at the Paris Exhibition of 1900.
Progressively, artists’ materials took pride of place in Meunier’s advertising in The Year’s Art. He advertised superior prepared canvas from the Paris colourman, Binant, made in Normandy, and Bullier's superior French brushes etc (The Year's Art 1904), and other imported materials (The Year's Art 1906-7). In 1918, Meunier’s notepaper described the business as importers of artists’ materials (National Archives, BT 31/21955/133147). Marked canvases include Carton Moore-Park's William Wymark Jacobs, 1910, stamped: HENRI MEUNIER & CO.,/ Importer of Artists’ Materials./ 26 Earls Court [Road]’ (National Portrait Gallery) and three works by John Singer Sargent, the unfinished Edward Wertheimer, 1902, labelled stretcher (Tate), Hospital at Granada, 1912, stamped: HENRI MEUNIER & Co./ IMPORTERS OF ARTISTS MATERIALS/ 26 EARL'S COURT ROAD W and Autumn Leaves, 1913, stamped on stretcher: (around oval) H. MEUNIER/ 14 CHURCH STREET, KENSINGTON. (within oval): ARTISTS/ MATERIALS (both National Gallery of Victoria).
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