British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - Y
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.
Yallop & Grace, Old St, London by 1781-1787, 122 Old St 1788-1830 or later. Colour manufacturers.
One of the principal colourmen supplying Rudolf Ackermann (Ford 1983 p.46). Listed as Yallop & Grace 1781-90, Yallop, Grace & Johnson 1788-99, Yallop & Grace 1798-9, Yallop, Grace & Yallop 1799-1805, Grace & Yallop 1805-9, Yallop & Grace 1810-28, Grace & Yallop 1829-30; later directories have not been consulted. As a firm of manufacturers supplying the trade, rather than a supplier to artists, this business has not been examined in detail.
Updated September 2012
*Percy Young, 137 Gower St, London WC 1882-1904, 131 Gower St 1905-1920. Publisher, importer and manufacturer of artists' materials.
Percy Young (1854-1930?) served the Slade School of Art, which had opened in 1871. He was preceded at 137 Gower St by J.D. Hirst-Smyth & Son in 1881 and, like Hirst-Smyth, initially described himself in listings as 'publisher, depot for supplying the Slade School of Art with english and foreign artists' materials'. He advertised as being immediately opposite University College (The Year's Art 1892).
Young was recorded in censuses, in 1881 as a wholesale stationer, age 26, born Sydenham, son of a solicitor, Thomas Young, and in 1901 as a dealer in artists’ materials, age 46, wife Florence age 46, with two young daughters and a son. Young made claims for his business as having been established in 1826, according to an advertisement in the literature of Madderton & Co Ltd (qv), featuring Roché’s pastels among other products; he acted as an agent for Madderton’s Cambridge colours, 1897. He also sold Lefranc’s panels and canvases (trade catalogue, 1894, see Katlan 1992 p.269). He published J.G. Vibert’s The Science of Painting, 1892, and Jacques Blockx’s A Compendium of Painting, 1894. He had an account with Roberson, 1881-1908 (Woodcock 1997). In 1885 Young claimed to be ‘In direct Communication with six of the principal Continental Artists’ Material Manufactories’ (The Year's Art 1885), as well as selling Roberson’s oil colours and Winsor & Newton oil and watercolours and canvas.
Canvas marks have been recorded from the 1880s onwards (information from Cathy Proudlove). Among Young’s customers was Gwen John in her early years, e.g., the canvas for her Self Portrait of 1902 (Tate, see Hackney 1999 pp.105, 205 n.9).
Other canvases from the 1900s and subsequently include William Orpen’s George C. Beresford, c.1900, stamped: PERCY YOUNG,/ GOWER STREET,/ LONDON./ W.C. and his Night (no 2), 1907, impressed stretcher stamp: YOUNG/ 137 GOWER... (both National Gallery of Victoria), George Lambert’s Lotty and a Lady, 1906, stamped: PERCY YOUNG/ 137 GOWER STREET,/ LONDON/ WC (National Gallery of Victoria), H. Margaret Spanton’s Portrait of a Lady, c. 1900-10 (Dulwich Picture Gallery, see John Ingamells, Dulwich Picture Gallery. British, 2008, p.224), Walter Sickert’s La Hollandaise, c.1906, and L’Americaine, 1908, and Spencer Gore’s North London Girl, 1908/9, Mornington Crescent, 1911, Houghton Place, 1912, impressed stretcher stamp, The Cinder Path, 1912, impressed stretcher stamp, and The Artist’s Wife, 1913 (all Tate, see Morgan 2008 pp.134-5, see also ‘The Camden Town Group in Context’, research project, at www.tate.org.uk ).
From the 1910s and 1920s, Harold Gilman’s Interior with Mrs Mounter 1916/7 (Ashmolean Museum, information from Jevon Thistlewood), Lucien Pissarro’s Wild Boar Fell, Brough, 1914 (Manchester Art Gallery), Wise Lane, East Knoyle, 1917, stamped: PERCY YOUNG,/ GOWER STREET,/ LONDON,/ W.C. (Sotheby's 26 November 1997 lot 12), All Saints’ Church, Hastings: Sun and Mist, 1918 (Tate, see ‘The Camden Town Group in Context’, research project, at www.tate.org.uk ), Hastings: Mist, Sun and Smoke, 1918 (Ashmolean Museum, see Jevon Thistlewood, ‘Lucien Pissarro’s Paintbox’, Ashmolean Magazine, no.60, 2010, p.21) and Dartmouth, 1922 (Manchester Art Gallery), and Frederick James Porter’s Peonies in a Yellow Vase, 1921 (Ashmolean Museum, information from Jevon Thistlewood).
Other customers included Gwen Raverat (sketchbook, 1913, Fitzwilliam Museum, PD.56-1994), Stanley Spencer (sketchbook, British Museum, see Sources below) and Dora Carrington, who when in debt in 1916 wrote of 'Black abuses, and threats from Percy Young! Which threw me back again into despair'. The following year Carrington mentioned the death of Young's son and two nephews in the war and his fury against the government (David Garnett (ed.), Carrington: Letters and Extracts from her Diaries, 1970, pp.38, 74). The business closed in 1920 when Young reached the age of 65.
Sources: Duncan Robinson, ‘Stanley Spencer: Sketchbooks and a drawing from the Life Class’, National Art Collections Fund Annual Review… for year ended 31 December 1992, 1993, p.75.
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