British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - T

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 jsimon@npg.org.uk.

Resources and bibliography Introduction




Updated September 2012

*John Taylor 1826-1849, John Taylor & Son 1850-1898, John Taylor & Son (Edinburgh) Ltd 1899-1940. At 100 Rose St, Edinburgh 1826-1827, West Thistle St (also called south-west Thistle Lane) 1828-1835, 55 George St (‘opposite the Assembly Rooms’) 1835-1850, 54 George St (under the Assembly Rooms) 1841-1850, 109 Princes St 1851-1911 or later, 110 Princes St 1870-1940. Wright, then picture framemakers, printsellers, auctioneers, later furniture makers and upholsterers.

John Taylor (1802-1853) was born in Milnathort, Kinrosshire, in May 1802, the son of David Taylor, wright, and his wife, Isabel Whyte. His frame label from the 1830s describes him as ‘Joiner, Cabinet Maker and Undertaker’, and also as a licensed appraiser (example, Dundee City Art Gallery, copy after Smirke’s Mrs Henry Siddons, information from Gerry Alabone). Taylor was elected a fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts in 1842 (Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, vol.33, October 1842, p.411, accessed though Google Book Search). Taylor advertised frequently. In 1841 he announced that he taken out a license as an auctioneer, referring to his experience in trade in the previous 17 years; he advertised that he would shortly be opening a saleroom under the Assembly Hall at 54 George St, opposite his premises at 55 George St (The Scotsman 20 November 1841).

In censuses Taylor can apparently be traced as a cabinet maker living in India St with his wife Marion and six children, in 1841 as age 39, in 1851 as age 48, born Milnathort, employing 90 men and four apprentices, with his eldest son John an apprentice cabinet maker. Taylor died in 1853, leaving a settlement made 7 November 1833 and registered 18 May 1853, in favour of his wife Marion and his then children.

Artists’ materials and picture frames: John Taylor offered framed prints, picture frames and cabinet furniture, and advertised ‘Prepared canvass, panels, drawing-boards, easels, and palettes, &c., for Artists’ (The Scotsman 7 February 1838). In 1839, he advertised 'superior prepared Mahogany Panels of the extraordinary size, 90 x 48 inches, in one board', as well as London prepared portrait, landscape and miniature frames (The Art-Union, October 1839, p.158).

In 1841, he announced that he had prepared frames in ebony, rosewood, satinwood, maple and other fancy woods for the engraving issued to subscribers to the Scott monument (Edinburgh Evening Courant 5 July 1841). In 1842, he described his establishment for frames as ‘the largest and most select’ in Scotland, and advertised that he stocked the newest and popular prints in handsome frames as soon as published, naming The Slave Market and Heroism and Humanity, both engraved from pictures by Sir William Allan, and The Expected Penny after Alexander Fraser senr (The Scotsman 26 November 1842). He had an account with Roberson 1838-50 (Woodcock 1997).

A few works bear John Taylor’s label. Charles Lees’ The Golfers, 1847, has the frame label: JOHN TAYLOR/ Joiner, Cabinetmaker/ and UNDERTAKER/ Picture Frame Maker and Gilder/ Maps mounted. Packing Cases Ready Made/…/AUCTIONEER AND APPRAISER (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, as recorded by John Dick, 1997). Sir George Harvey’s Covenanters’ Communion has a printed panel label, datable to the 1840s: John Taylor/ Joiner, Cabinet Maker/ and/ Undertaker/ Edinburgh/ Licensed Appraiser (National Gallery of Scotland).

By 1850 the business was trading as John Taylor & Son and the following year advertised new and extensive premises at 109 Princes St (The Scotsman 20 August 1851). An undated painting by Samuel Edmonston has the impressed stretcher stamp: JOHN TAYLOR & SON/ MANUFACTURERS/ EDINBURGH. The business ceased to supply artists’ materials. It continued for many years as furniture makers, advertising as upholsterers to Her Majesty. It later advertised as artistic house furnishers (Royal Scottish Academy, 86th exhibition, exh.cat., 1912 and subsequently). For a pair of chairs made by the business, see Regional Furniture, vol.7, 1993, p.82. The business continue to trade in one form or another until 1945, when finally wound up in (Edinburgh Gazette 30 October 1945).

Sources: With particular acknowledgements and thanks to Helen Smailes to whom details of marked works in the National Galleries of Scotland are due, as well as some newspaper references.

*John Taylor 1843-1856, Joseph Robert Taylor 1856-1886 or later. At 20 Cross St, Manchester 1843, 19 Ridgefield 1843, 15 Brazenose St 1847-1886 or later. Picture restorers, carvers and gilders.

See British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website.

Updated September 2012
Taylor & Norie,
head Carruber’s Close and West Register St, Edinburgh 1800-1804, High St and Register St 1805-1810, 141 High St 1811-1814, Robert Norrie & Son, 141 High St by 1816-1845, West Register St 1820, 24 West Register St 1845-1846, 30 West Register St 1848-1849. Painters and colour shops, also floorcloth manufacturers, described as colourmen from 1811.

The Norie or Norrie family ran the most successful Scottish painting business in the 18th century, completing many notable decorative interior schemes. James Norie’s trade card from the early 18th century offered colours, oils, varnish, brushes, pencils, etc for painting and japanning (repr. James Holloway, The Norie Family, National Galleries of Scotland, 1994, p.5); one of Norie’s customers was Cosmo George, 3rd Duke of Gordon, whom he supplied with watercolours, brushes, paper, etc in 1736 (National Archives of Scotland, GD44/51/465/2, item 10, 6 March 1736, information from Richard Stephens, August 2010).

James Norie was followed in business by his son, Robert Norie (d.1766), whose partnership with Alexander Runciman was dissolved in 1766 at his death (Caledonian Mercury 28 April 1766). Robert Norie’s son, also Robert Norrie (1766-1821), by his wife Hellen Mealls, was born in June 1766, after his death.

James Taylor, apprenticed to Robert Norrie in 1755, became a Burgess in Edinburgh in 1768. He may perhaps have entered into partnership with Norrie’s son, the second Robert Norrie, a Burgess from 1786. In any case, Norie & Taylor, painters, feature in Edinburgh directories from 1793 to 1801, and then as Taylor & Norie from 1800. In 1804 Robert Norie was listed as painter at West Register St and Mrs Taylor as colour shop, head of Carruber’s Close; Norie was again listed as painter at 2 West Register St 1812-15 and West Register St continued to feature as the address for the painting activities of the business. The partnership between Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Norie as Taylor & Norie, painters and floor cloth manufacturers, was dissolved in March 1814 (London Gazette 19 November 1814). Robert Norie then announced that he had taken his son into partnership (Caledonian Mercury 14 July 1814). Robert Norrie, painter, died intestate in November 1821. The estate of Robert Norie, house painter in Edinburgh, was valued at almost £198 as reported at Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court in May 1822.

The third Robert Norrie was born in June 1790, the son of Robert Norrie, painter, and his wife, Jean Wright. When the business advertised in 1820, it was as Robert Norrie & Son, with a floor cloth warehouse at West Register St and an oil and colour shop at 141 High St (Caledonian Mercury 27 May 1820). The business continued until 1849, and was followed at 30 West Register St by Lawrie & Glover, painters, from 1850.

The business’s role in supplying artists with materials remains to be elucidated. David Wilkie in his youth is reported to have bought his canvases and colours from Taylor & Norie, as also Raeburn and Nasmyth (John Burnett, ‘Recollections of My Contemporaries: The Early Days of Wilkie', Art Journal August 1860 p.237).

Sources: Charles Watson, ed., Register of Edinburgh Apprentices 1701-1755, Scottish Record Society, 1929, p.86; Charles Watson, ed., Roll of Edinburgh Burgesses and Gild-Brethren 1761-1841, Scottish Record Society, 1933). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

James Tillyer (1816-83), see John Sherborn

The ‘Titian’ Medium Manufacturing Co, 37 Surrey St, Sheffield 1901. Supplier of artists’ medium.

This business advertised 12 varieties of medium, describing their products as highly spoken of by the late Lord Leighton, the late Sir John Gilbert and others (The Year’s Art 1901). ‘Titian’ medium was used by J. MacWhirter for A Glacial Stream (The Magazine of Art, 1901, p.572), and by John Mastin RBA and Byam Shaw RI (Madderton’s Notes for Artists, no.24, December 1902, no.30, June 1904). The business advertised from 37 Surrey St but this was perhaps an accommodation address since it has not been found in the Sheffield directory. It advertised as its agents J.B. Smith (qv) in London, R. Jackson & Sons (qv) in Liverpool and John Heywood (qv) in Manchester (The Magazine of Art, May 1902).

P.W. Tomkins, 49 New Bond St, London 1793-1805, 53 New Bond St 1807-1826, 41 Howland St 1830-1831, 25 Osnaburgh St from 1832. Engraver, printseller and draughtsman.

Peltro William Tomkins (1759-1840) traded with his brother, J.F. Tomkins, as P.W. Tomkins & Co at his printshop at 49 New Bond St from 1793, publishing many fine books illustrated with stipple engravings. He produced an ox-gall ink for watercolours, described on the wrapper as ‘REFINED COLOURLESS OX-GALL hitherto a Desideratum for Painting IN WATER-COLOURS/ Rewarded by the Society… for the Encouragement of ARTS May 25. 1813’ (Banks coll. 89.44). Various artists provided letters of approval for this ink (Transactions of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, vol.31,1813, pp.132-40).

Sources: Maxted 1977; Timothy Clayton and Anita McConnell, 'Tomkins, Peltro William (1759-1840)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

*Arthur Tooker, Old Bailey, London 1664-1666 or later, at the Globe in the Strand 1669-1680 (see below), The Royal Hand and Globe, Strand, over against Northumberland House, corner of St Martin's Lane 1680-1687. Stationer, print publisher and bookseller.

Arthur Tooker (1638-1687) was christened in 1638 at Hambledon in Hampshire, the son of a clergyman, John Tooker. He was apprenticed to Edward Cole of Cannon Street for seven years in June 1655. He was made free of the Merchant Taylors’ Company in 1663. These details of Tooker’s early years come from Laurence Worms and Ashley Baynton-Williams, British Map Engravers: A Dictionary of Engravers, Lithographers and Their Principal Employers to 1850, 2011, p.671.

Tooker’s trade card by Richard Gaywood of 1664, headed ‘'The Picktuer Shope From the Ould Bayly', depicts a large celestial globe. The impression in the British Museum bears an apparently altered address at the foot of the card, which reads: Arthur Tooker Stationer at the Globe ‘in the Strand over against Salisbury hous’, with the words given here within quotation marks an early alteration. He appears in Old Bailey in one of the larger house in the 1666 Hearth Tax return (see Hearth Tax: City of London 1666 - St Martin Ludgate | British History Online). From the English Short Title Catalogue, the London Gazette and print publication lines (see British Museum collection database), it is possible to locate Tooker at the Globe in the Strand from 1669 to 1680, possibly always in the same premises but certainly in one vicinity in the Strand, variously described as near the New Exchange (1669), over against Salisbury House (1673, 1675, 1681), near Ivy Bridge (1673, 1675, 1679, 1680) and near the Savoy. He then moved to the corner of St Martin’s Lane.

Tooker published Alexander Browne's Ars Pictoria, 1669 (2nd edition, 1675), and sold artists’ materials supplied by Browne (qv), according to an advertisement in the 1675 edition (Talley 1981 pp.185-8). Tooker’s work as a publisher is treated on the British Museum collection database.

For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

**Francis Torond by 1751-c.1770, Mrs Torond c.1770-1776 or later. Parish of St Giles-in-the- Fields, London by 1742, The Acorn, West St, near Little St Martin's Lane, Seven Dials 1751, (The Acorn), Little St Andrew’s St, Seven Dials by 1763-1776 or later. Copper plate makers.

Francis Torond of St Giles-in-the- Fields, widower, married Sarah Austen of the same parish, widow, at St Gregory by St Paul on 11 June 1742. He married again in 1750 to Elizabeth Picard at St George Mayfair. ‘Torond’, presumably Francis Torond, reportedly employed the youthful Benjamin Whittow (qv) to carry plates to engravers, perhaps in the 1740s (‘Conversations on the Arts’, The Repository of Arts, December 1812, p.314). As a copper plate maker of St Giles, he took John Watts as apprentice in 1756 (Boyd). Mary Torond, presumably his widow and fourth wife, took Thomas Blower as apprentice in 1770. Francis Torond appears to have been dead by 1770 and certainly by 1776 when Mrs Torond advertised from Little St Andrew’s St for a copper plate maker (Public Advertiser 19 July 1770, Daily Advertiser 15 May 1776).

Torond supplied George Edwards with copper plates for many of the illustrations in A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, 1751, as Edwards recounted: ‘several People, in and about London, make it their Business to square and smooth Plates of all Sizes, for Persons who want them : And for the present Information of those who may want Plates, I shall put down the Name of a Person who has served me with most of my Plates; his Name, &c. is Francis Torond, Copper-Plate Maker for Engraving, &c. at the Acorn in West-Street, near Little St. Martin's Lane, by the Seven Dials’ (George Edwards, A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, 1751, p.231).

The drawing master and printmaker by the same name, Francis Torond (c.1743-1812), was his son (‘Conversations on the Arts’, The Repository of Arts, December 1812, p.313; see British Museum collection database for his attractive trade cards, and Sue McKechnie, British silhouette artists and their work, 1760-1860, 1978, pp.439-42, for his life and work).

Frank Trotman (1855-1943), see Brodie & Middleton and John Sherborn

*James Lawrance Turnbull & John Turnbull, 105 Bunhill Row, London 1822-1830, Holywell Mount, Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC 1830-1862, Frederick & Samuel Turnbull, Holywell Mount 1863-1875, not listed 1876, 151 Old St 1877-1879, Frederick & Samuel Turnbull & Co, Beaumont Mill, Leyton 1880-1891. Cardboard and board makers.

Despite later claims that the business had been founded in 1780 (see below), it has not been traced before 1815, when trading as Lucas & Turnbull; it was listed from 1816 as Turnbull & Lucas, stationers and booksellers, firstly in Chiswell St and then in Bunhill Row, becoming J.L. and J. Turnbull in 1822. The Turnbulls added ‘hot-press’ work to their trade description in 1828, and relocated to Holywell Mount in 1830, describing themselves as ‘Drawing-board & Card-makers & Hot-Presses’ from 1834. The business became the preferred supplier of Bristol, London and Crayon boards to most leading firms of artists’ colourmen. It had an account with Roberson, 1829-54 (Woodcock 1997), and Roberson were selling Turnbull’s products in the early 1840s, including London Drawing Boards, Superfine Bristol Paper, Superfine Bristol Boards, Superfine Crayon Boards, Fine Tinted Boards and white and coloured mounting boards (Charles Roberson & Co, Price List, n.d but early 1840s, copy in Hamilton Kerr Institute). Roberson continued to stock Turnbull products until the 1880s.

In 1853 James L. & J. Turnbull were listed as 'Makers of Playing Cards. Pasteboard. Paper Glossers and Pressers and Drawing Board Makers (including London Board)' (Bower 1999 p.117 n.7). From 1863 the business was listed as Frederick and Samuel Turnbull. There is a receipt of F. & S. Turnbull, 4 May 1874, in the Johnson coll. 1(46). In 1882 the business was listed as ‘Turnbull, F. & S. & Co. (J.L. Turnbull & J. Turnbull, of Holywell Mount), established 1780, paper & fine art cardboard manufacturers, inventors & patentees. The celebrated Bristol papers, London, Bristol, Crayon, Coronet & other drawing boards. Mounting boards, cards, &c. Beaumont mill, Leyton E’.

James Lawrance Turnbull (1788-1848) – most records use the spelling ‘Lawrance’ – married Hester Thorn in 1815; they had nine children between 1818 and 1834, of whom Frederick, who succeeded to the business, was born in 1828. John Turnbull (d.1862), presumably James Lawrance’s brother or cousin, married Christiana Mills in 1814 and had nine children between 1816 and 1836, all girls except Samuel, born the same year and christened at the same church as Frederick Turnbull. At his death in 1862, John Turnbull, cardboard manufacturer and hot presser, was worth under £3000.

We can trace the next generation in the 1881 census. Frederick Turnbull (1828-1908) was recorded at Victoria Road, Romford as paper agent, age 53, born St Luke’s, Middlesex, wife Eliza, three children aged 23, 21 and 20, with a son named James Laurence Turnbull after his grandfather. Samuel Turnbull was recorded at Thornwood Comn Lodge, North Weald Bassett, Essex as stationer, age 52, born Shoreditch, Middlesex, wife Ann, four children aged 13 or under. Frederick and Samuel Turnbull filed a list of their debts and liabilities under bankruptcy proceedings in 1869 (London Gazette 16 March 1869).

Turnbull boards featured in the catalogues of most leading London colourmen from the 1830s to the early 1890s, for example: Brodie & Middleton, 1873 (Illustrated List of Colors & Materials for Oil and Water Color Painting, &c., 80pp, in James Callingham, Sign Writing and Glass Embossing, 1874, 2nd ed); Dimes & Elam, 1843 (The Art-Union September 1843 p.252); Lechertier Barbe & Co, 1873 or later (List of Colours and Materials for Painting on Porcelain, and for Water-Colour Drawing, 55pp, in A. Lacroix, Practical Instructions for Painting on China); Reeves & Sons, 1830s (Every Description of Material for Drawing and Painting, broadsheet) and 1881 (Price List for the Trade Only, 200pp); Charles Roberson & Co, c.1871 (Catalogue of Materials for Drawing, Painting, &c, 32pp, in P.G. Hamerton, The Etcher’s Handbook, 1871); Rowney, Dillon & Rowney, c.1845 (List of Materials for Water Colour Painting, 10pp, in Henry O'Neill, A Guide to Pictorial Art. How to use the Black Lead Pencil, Chalks, and Water Colours); George Rowney & Co, c.1846, featuring Turnbull’s London Boards manufactured of Whatman’s picked drawing paper (Water Colour painting has of late years..., 44pp catalogue in R.P. Noble, A Guide to Water Colour Painting, 1st ed., 1850); George Rowney & Co, 1893 (Retail Catalogue, 210pp); and Winsor & Newton, c.1857-61 (Catalogue and Price List, 100pp).

Turnbull boards were also stocked outside London, for example by Grundy & Fox in Manchester in 1827 (Manchester Guardian 28 April 1827), Freeman (qv), Norwich, about 1840, and in the United States by Carpenter, Woodward & Morton, Boston (Illustrated Trade Price List of Artists' Materials, 1890) and F.W. Devoe & Co, New York (Priced catalogue of artists' materials, 1878, 249pp) and Michael Knoedler & Co, New York (trade catalogue, c.1870, see Katlan 1992 p.351).

Artists and museums using Turnbull’s products: Some works by William Blake were mounted on Turnbull’s Crayon Board at an uncertain date (Townsend 2003 p.168). Their boards can be recognised from their blind stamp (see Krill 1987 fig.123 for a stamped London Board, c.1834). Examples are Samuel Palmer's watercolour, Ivy Cottage, Shoreham, 1828, on crayon board (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, see Raymond Lister, Catalogue raisonné of the works of Samuel Palmer, 1988, p.66) and, on superfine London board, Palmer’s The Sleeping Shepherd, c.1835? (Christies New York 27 January 2010 lot 57), Henry Bright’s drawing, Landscape (Norwich Castle Museum, see Bright p.10) and William Derby's miniature, Col. Abercromby, 1830s? (Bonhams 22 November 2006 lot 207).

The business was listed as contractors to H.M.S.O., the British Museum, the South Kensington Museum, the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique etc. Payments by the British Museum to Messrs Turnbull for mountboard are recorded during the 1850s and 1860s (Joanna M. Kosek, Conservation Mounting for Prints and Drawings, Archetype Publications 2004, p.8), while the National Gallery ordered 1000 mounting boards for Turner’s drawings in 1858 at a total cost of more than £62 (National Gallery Archive, NG13/1/3, Cash Book 1855-66).

George Turner, 24 Charing Cross, London. Drawing master.

Turner’s trade card of about 1780 advertised ‘Turner EVENING DRAWING ACADEMY for Ladies, on Mondays, & Fridays, for Gentlemen, on Tuesdays, & Thursdays, at the Ancient & Modern PRINT & PICTURE SHOP. N 24 Charing-Cross. NB, much IMPROVED COLOURS in CAKES &c, with every ARTICLE for drawing.’ (British Museum, repr. Clarke 1981 p.94).

*James Turner, 24 Millbank St, Westminster, London by 1786-1806. Colourman.

James Turner (d.1808) patented a yellow pigment in 1781 (Harley 1982 p.91). He marketed this in 1787 as his ‘Patent Mineral Yellow’, available at his manufactory at 24 Millbank St, claiming that it was superior to King’s Yellow and Naples yellow, and announcing that he would defend his patent following a successful court action, ‘Turner v. Winter’, in December 1786 (St James's Chronicle or the British Evening Post 4 January 1787). In 1789 he appointed Brandram, Templeman & Jaques (qv) as sole vendors of his patented mineral yellow colour, known by the name of the Patent Yellow (London Gazette 11 August 1789). He took out a further advertisement defending his patent in 1800 (The Times 8 February 1800). He is probably the James Turner who marketed an ‘ultramarine’ at 3 guineas an ounce which was said to include no lapis lazuli at all (Gage 2001 p.8).

James Turner of Millbank St died in 1808, leaving an unwitnessed will, made 23 April and proved 1 December 1808, bequeathing his possessions to his wife Hannah, together with the profits from his medium, pigments and processes, making it clear that his children were not to benefit from his will. Two witnesses were required to testify that the will was indeed in his handwriting, one of whom was Charles Turner, colour manufacturer of Millbank St.

Another member of the family, Daniel Turner, exhibited views of London at the Royal Academy, 1796-1800, using the same address at 24 Millbank St.

Found a mistake? Have some extra information? Please contact Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk.