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British picture framemakers, 1600-1950 - H

An online resource, launched in 2007, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2022. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].

Introduction Resources and bibliography

[HE] [HI] [HO] [HU]

William Hallett, Great Newport St, Long Acre, London 1732-1752, St Martin’s Lane 1752-1755. Cabinet maker.

William Hallett (c.1707-1781) was apparently born in Somerset, the son of William Hallett of Crewkerne. His life and work have been explored by Geoffrey Beard, to whom this account is indebted. Hallett was a significant figure in the cabinet-making world, working from Great Newport St, 1732-52 (Geoffrey Beard, ‘William Vile again’, Furniture History, vol.11, 1975, p.114). He occasionally acted as an auctioneer, including selling the Earl of Cholmondeley’s furniture from his Richmond house in 1748 and William Leybourne’s house and furniture in 1751 (London Evening Post 29 March 1748, General Advertiser 3 April 1751). He gained sufficient funds to make purchases at the demolition sale of the Duke of Chandos's great mansion of Canons at Edgware in 1747, to purchase much of the surrounding estate in 1747 or 1748, reportedly for £7,700 (Remembrancer 23 July 1748), and then to construct himself a new house on the site. He retired from business in the mid-1750s.

Hallett’s portrait with his family, holding a plan of his new house, was painted by Francis Hayman in about 1756 (private coll., repr. Brian Allen, Francis Hayman, 1987, p.104). His son, William Hallett the younger (1730-67), continued in business for a time but died before him. His grandson commissioned Thomas Gainsborough’s double portrait, The Morning Walk, 1785 (National Gallery). He himself died on 17 December 1781; in his lengthy will, made and proved 8 January 1782, William Hallett of Canons left his house to his grandson. He was described by his grandson as ‘an upholsterer at the corner of Long Acre and St Martin’s Lane… in business about 20 years and as he assured me, was never in bed more than four hours in any night during that time’ (Judy Egerton, British School, National Gallery, 1998, p.126, n.11).

Framing work: Hallett was only an occasional picture framemaker, as an examination of the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers make clear. For the Duchess of Montrose in 1742 as part of a larger order he supplied 13 black frames with gilt edges for pictures for £2.9s.6d (National Archives of Scotland, GD220/6/899/63). For Sir William Beauchamp Proctor in 1748 he provided carved and gilt picture frames for £9.10s, again as part of a larger order. It is however for his work at the Foundling Hospital in London in 1746 and 1747 that he is included here.

William Hallett supplied much of the carved work in the Court Room at the Foundling Hospital. His charges included £11.4s on 15 November 1746 for '8 Carved Oval Frames for Pictures'. These very fine oak-leaf-and-acorn frames, matching the door friezes but smaller in scale and gilt rather than painted, were used to house the small landscapes which were presented to the hospital over the next few years, including Thomas Gainsborough's The Charterhouse (1748).

William Hallett made other charges for work at the Hospital which are not so easily linked to surviving picture frames. On 15 November 1746, in the sequence of payments for work for the Court Room, he charged £20 for '4 Carved Whole Length Frames for Pictures & Altering D[itt]o'. Subsequently, on 16 December 1746, he supplied a 'Carved Frame to go over a Chimney' at £3.15s, conceivably for Joseph Highmore's Thomas Emerson in the Picture Gallery. Two weeks later on 31 December he charged the same sum 'For Altering a Frame & Carving the Moldings & an Ornament to the Bottom', with a further unaccounted charge of £5 on 31 March 1747, 'For 1 Picture Frame new Gilt'. For a fuller analysis, see Picture frames at the Foundling Museum on the National Portrait Gallery website.

Sources: Geoffrey Beard, ‘The Quest for William Hallett’, Furniture History, vol.21, 1985, pp.220-8.

Richard Harding, see Isaac Dallain

James Harnell (b. c.1838), see A.R. Skillen

*John Harris 1787-1814, Harris & Pearse 1814-1828, Samuel Pearse 1826-1834, Pearse & Biggs 1834-1835, William Biggs 1835-1852, Biggs & Sons 1853-1856, Biggs & Son 1857-1868, W.H. Biggs & Co 1869-1884, Walter Henry Biggs & Co 1885 (as fine art dealers). At 38 Dean St, London 1787-1790, 28 Gerrard St 1792-1808, 26 Gerrard St 1799, 30 Conduit St 1805-1809, 31 Conduit St (‘one door from Bond Street’) 1810-1878, 7 Maddox St 1879-1884, 65 Mortimer St, Cavendish Square 1885. Carvers, gilders and framemakers, picture restorers, print publishers, later picture dealers.

This long-standing business was founded by John Harris in the 1780s. It was active in Conduit St for much of the 19th century in a changing series of partnerships, as framemakers, picture restorers and latterly picture dealers.

John Harris, Harris & Pearse, to 1828: John Harris (c.1758-1826) traded independently until he took Samuel Pearse into partnership in about 1814. It is likely that John Harris is the carver and gilder of this name recorded in Dean St and Gerrard St, whom the artist George Morland sometimes visited, using his address at 28 Gerrard St for his Royal Academy exhibits in 1797. Harris published prints by Thomas Rowlandson from 38 Dean St, 1787-90, etchings and other prints of Morland’s work from 38 Dean St and 28 Gerrard St, 1790-9 (advertised in The World 17 January 1794, 21 May 1794; see also British Museum collection database), and seemingly other engravings, including a satirical print, A charge at Ascot, in 1800 (BM Satires no.9575), and William Ward's mezzotint of Robert Muller’s George Morland in 1805. His advertisement from 38 Dean St in 1789 refers to prints etched by Rowlandson after Morland (World 7 August 1789), which could also be purchased from Mr Harris, printseller in Sweetings Alley, suggesting a relationship between him and his namesake, the print publisher at 3 Sweetings Alley, Cornhill. Subsequently, Harris & Pearse published J.R. Smith's Stephen Hemsted in June 1814 (J.C. Smith pp.1469, 1474) and S. Pearse published Place de Fiacres, after Charles Cooper Henderson, 1827 (British Museum collection database).

John Harris used Robert Brown for picture restoration and some other services, c.1797-1810, and evidently knew Joseph Marchi, Joshua Reynolds’s assistant, since he testified in 1808 as to the handwriting of Marchi’s unwitnessed will. For both Brown and Marchi, see British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website. Harris took John Vokins (qv) as an apprentice, perhaps in about 1802. Harris subcontracted work on fourteen frames to an unidentified framemaker in 1808 and 1809 on the evidence of a fragmentary framemaker’s account book (see ‘Unknown maker’ in this online resource). Like many framemakers, Harris & Pearse were good customer of the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1815-7, ordering runs of ornament, whole frames and composition details for decorating frames including in 1817 an ‘Earls coronet & cushion’ and a Princess’s coronet (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1). Jackson apparently used some of Harris’s own designs in supplying ornament to other makers so that the terms, ‘Harrises corners’ and ‘Harrises mid[dle]’, appear in Jackson’s account book, 1813-4.

John Harris used his frame label to advertise: ‘Pier Glasses, Picture Frames & Mirrors, Girandoles, &c. Drawings Mounted, Pictures Clean’d, Lined & Repaired’ (example on Andrew Robertson’s miniature, Joseph Gwilt, 1810, National Portrait Gallery). He may be the J. Harris who charged £69.6s.6d for framing a painted altarpiece for St John’s College chapel, Cambridge, in 1799 (R. Willis and J.W. Clark, The Architectural History of the University of Cambridge, vol.2, 1886, p.296, note 2). Customers of Harris & Pearse included the Hazlerigg family of Noseley, Leicestershire, who were billed for picture frames in June 1819 (Leicester and Rutland Record Office, DE 3168/256; Sotheby's Noseley Hall sale, 28 September 1998 lot 209, for a picture by James Northcote), and Lord Crewe of Crewe Hall, who was charged for framing work in 1828 (DEFM).

In 1825, the partnership of Harris & Pearse was represented at a meeting of more than fifty master carvers and gilders who resolved to resist the demands of journeymen for an increase in wages (The Times 30 June 1825). John Harris of Conduit St died in 1826, age 68, and was buried at St George Hanover Square on 3 July. In his lengthy will, made 8 April and proved 14 August 1826, John Harris described Samuel Pearse as his business partner, making him one of his executors and leaving him the leases of his house in Conduit St and another in Bruton St where the partnership also carried on business; he also made a bequest to his godson, John Pearse, Samuel’s son.

Samuel Pearse, Pearce & Biggs, 1826-35: Samuel Pearse (c.1788-1834) may perhaps be the 'Mr Pearse' referred to in Turner's correspondence in 1827 (John Gage (ed.), Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner, 1980, p.108). He offered to clean, line and repair pictures (DEFM). He invoiced the future Lord Hampton, of Westwood, Worcestershire for framing work in 1832 (DEFM). He died in 1834, when he was 42 (The Times 12 July 1834), referring in his lengthy will to his partnership with William Biggs.

As Harris & Pearse, the business invoiced Dulwich College for repairing picture frames in 1821, as Pearse & Biggs for cleaning and repairing frames in 1834, and as 'Mr Biggs' for cleaning, gilding and repairing frames, and relining and cleaning pictures in the Dulwich Gallery, 1835-53 (information from John Ingamells, 2005).

The business framed Thomas Phillips’s 6th Earl of Plymouth, 1834 (Knole House, Kent), which is labelled, 'Pearse & Biggs, Late Harris & Pearse, Carvers and Gilders', and his Lord Byron in Albanian dress, 1840 (John Murray collection), labelled, 'William Biggs, late Pearse & Biggs, Carver and Gilder. No 31 Conduit Street, One door from Bond Street'.

William Biggs, Biggs & Sons, Biggs & Son, W.H. Biggs & Co, from 1835: William Biggs (c.1797-1851) married Charlotte Elizabeth Goding at St George Hanover Square in 1824 and was described as a carver of Coburg St when his second son was christened in 1827. They had four sons christened at St Pancras Old Church between 1825 and 1833, including William Joseph in 1825, Alfred in 1827 and Henry in 1828, and two further sons, George c.1834, and Walter c.1836. William Biggs was listed in the 1841 census as a carver and gilder, and again in 1851 when his age was given as 54. He died later that year, leaving instructions in his lengthy will for his business to be carried on under certain conditions, and making bequests including to William Joseph Biggs.

William Biggs used the composition ornament maker, George Jackson & Sons (qv), 1836-43 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/3).

The partnership between Biggs’ widow, Charlotte Elizabeth, and their sons, William Joseph and Alfred, trading as Biggs & Sons, carver and gilder, printseller, dealer in pictures and drawings was dissolved on 1 January 1857, in so far as regards William Joseph (London Gazette 23 January 1857). William Joseph appeared before a court for insolvent debtors later that year (London Gazette 4 December 1857). In the 1881 census, William J. Biggs, age 53, was listed as an auctioneer.

Alfred Biggs (1827-1880?) was recorded at 31 Conduit St in the 1861 census as a carver and gilder, employing six men and one boy; his household included his mother, Charlotte, and his two brothers George and Walter, both listed as commercial travellers. Alfred and his mother were subject to debt proceedings in 1868 as carvers and gilders of 31 Conduit St (London Gazette 4 August 1868). In the 1871 census, both Alfred and Walter Biggs were listed in the same household as carvers and gilders.

Walter Henry Biggs (c.1836-1900?) advertised as W.H. Biggs, picture framemaker, established in 1795 (The Artists' Directory, 1874, p.10) and as W.H. Biggs & Co, picture restorers, picture framemakers, carvers, gilders and decorators ([Charles H. Savory], The Illustrated Carver and Gilder’s Guide..., 1st ed, ?1874). W.H. Biggs & Co had an account with the artists' suppliers, Roberson, 1878-82, from 7 Maddox St (Woodcock 1997). In the 1881 census, Walter H. Biggs, was listed as a fine art dealer, age 45. Walter Henry Biggs, trading as W.H. Biggs & Co, picture dealer, picture framemaker and carver and dealer, of 7 Maddox St, entered into liquidation arrangements in 1883 (London Gazette 9 January 1883). In the 1891 census he was listed as an auctioneer and valuer.

Reginald Easton's watercolour, William IV, c.1838?(National Portrait Gallery) has an elaborate frame, with the label of William Biggs. The artist, George Bernard O’Neill, sold works to Biggs, 1857-62 (G.B. O’Neill, art expenses notebook, V&A National Art Library, MSL/1972/4395).

Sources: George C. Williamson, George Morland: his life and works, 1904, pp.78, 100. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

James Harnell (b. c.1838), see A.R. Skillen

William Haselden, see Bielefeld & Haselden

**Edward Hasse, 16 Boar Lane, Leeds, 1839, 16a/16½/17 Boar Lane 1840-1856, 31 Commercial St, Leeds 1856-1864, carver and gilder, picture framemaker, also printseller by 1847, picture dealer by 1855. Alexander Hasse, 31 Commercial St, Leeds 1856-1932 or later, carver and gilder, printseller and picture framemaker, later fine art dealer.

Edward Hasse (1816-64), followed by his nephew, Alexander Bülow Hasse (c.1846-1930), traded as picture dealers, framemakers and printsellers in Leeds in the mid-19th century, framing and dealing in the work of Atkinson Grimshaw, among others. While often known as ‘Hasse’, they used ‘Hassé’ fairly consistently in formal documents. The business was continued by Alexander Bülow Hassé and his son, Alexander Eric Hassé (1875-1935), into the 20th century.

Edward Hasse: Edward Hasse (1816-64) was one of the children of the composer and organist, Christian Frederick Hasse (1771-1831) and his wife Anne, who moved to the Moravian settlement at Fulneck, between Bradford and Leeds, in the early nineteenth century. Edward’s older brother, Alexander Cossart Hasse (1813-94), became a Moravian minister. His mother ran a ladies’ academy in Leeds following her husband’s death.

Edward Hasse advertised in 1839 that he had taken premises at 16 Boar Lane where he intended to carry on business in carving and gilding, offering a selection of ‘new, beautiful and Classical Designs for Frames’ (Leeds Mercury 17 August 1839). Hasse shared these premises with a long established jewellery business. He is variously listed in Leeds directories at 16a, 16½ and 17 Boar Lane in the 1840s and early 1850s, described as a picture framemaker in 1845 and fairly consistently as a printseller from 1847, calling his premises Hasse’s Print Rooms in 1853. Hasse acted as an agent for the Art Union of London (Leeds Mercury 19 March 1853, etc).

Hasse broadened his business into picture dealing as well as print selling. Like other provincial art dealers, he exhibited celebrated new works of art for a few weeks at the time, often in association with a recently published print. Examples include Charles Lucy’s Nelson at Trafalgar in 1853 and J.F. Herring’s The English Farm Yard in 1855 (Leeds Mercury 20 August 1853, 6 January 1855). Hasse announced the opening of his new Gallery in Commercial St in 1856 (Leeds Mercury 12 July 1856).

Edward Hasse was recorded in successive censuses, in 1841 as a carver and gilder living in the household of his widowed mother, Anne Hasse, in Wellington St, Leeds, in 1851 at 8 Blenheim Place, Leeds, as a carver and gilder, age 30, unmarried, a master employing six men, in 1861 apparently as a lodger, age 50, at Ilkley. Edward Hasse’s age as mistakenly given in the 1851 census would imply a date of birth of about 1821, in contradiction to his recorded birth and baptism in 1816 at the Moravian church at Fulneck (the 1861 census record can be disregarded since it was not completed by Hasse himself). Edward Christian Hassé, printseller, died in the Leeds district in May 1864, leaving effects worth under £3000, with probate granted to his older sister, Amelia.

Following Edward’s death, the business was initially continued by A.A. Hasse (advertising in Leeds Mercury 3 April 1865), presumably Edward’s older sister, Amelia Alexandra Hasse, before it was taken on by his nephew Alexander Hassé.

Alexander Hasse: Alexander Hassé would seem to have taken over management of Messrs Hasse or Hasse’s Gallery, as it was variously called, in 1865, when he would have been aged just 19 or 20. An Art Union advertisement in December 1865 refers to ‘Mr A. Hasse’ (Leeds Mercury 16 December 1865) and in a slightly earlier advertisement, ‘Mr Hasse’ announced that he would be showing Frith’s The Railway Station (Leeds Mercury 31 October 1865).

Alexander Bülow Hassé, to give him his full name, was born at Kilkeel in Ireland, according to census records, the son of the Moravian minister, Alexander Cossart Hasse and his first wife, Marie Elisabeth Gottliebe von Bülow. At the age of 16, while attending the Leeds School of Art, he won a prize for freehand drawing (Leeds Mercury 23 June 1862); in the citation, he was described as a printseller, so suggesting that he was already working in his uncle’s business. He married in 1873 in the Shardlow district. In census records, he can be found as a publisher or fine art publisher in 1871, 1891 and 1911, and as a picture dealer or fine art dealer in 1881 and 1901; he was living at Baildon in 1871, 1881 and 1901 and at the Red House, Menston, Wharfedale in 1891 and 1911. Like his uncle, he continued to exhibit recent paintings at his gallery and occasionally to publish engravings, mainly of local interest, including four declared to the Printsellers’ Association, 1886-90 (Rodney Engen, Dictionary of Victorian Engravers, Print Publishers and Their Works, 1979, p.238). He also continued to act as agent to the Art Union of London.

Turning to the third generation, Alexander Bülow Hassé’s son, Alexander Eric Hassé (1875-1935) was described as Eric Hasse, fine art assistant (worker), in the 1901 census, and as Alexander Eric Hassé, fine art publisher, living with his father, in 1911. The father and son entered into partnership, trading as Alexander Hassé, picture and fine art dealers at 31 Commercial St. The father withdrew from this partnership in 1928, leaving his son to continue the business (London Gazette 4 May 1928). The father, Alexander Bülow Hassé, died in 1930, age 84, leaving an estate worth £15,664, with probate granted to his son, who himself died only a few years later in 1935, age 60 (see London Gazette 28 January 1936, for a notice to creditors on his estate). He left effects worth £2682.

Framing and related work: In 1840 Edward Hasse advertised a choice of frames for H.P. Parker’s Wesleyan centenary print, the one in gold, richly ornamented with at top centre an emblematic device containing the bust of Wesley, the other in Elizabethan style in oak and gold resembling ‘the Ancient Carving in British Oak’ (Leeds Mercury 14 November 1840).

Alexander Hassé exhibited Atkinson Grimshaw’s The Vintage Festival in 1872 (Alexander Robertson, Atkinson Grimshaw, 1988, pp.17, 58). His label, in one form or another, is found on works by Grimshaw, including The Strid,1867, label on backboard: HASSE,/ CARVER AND GILDER,/ Printseller and Picture Frame Maker,/ FINE ART GALLERY/ 31, COMMERCIAL STREET, /LEEDS. (Private coll.), A Wet Road by Moonlight, Wharfedale, 1872, label on panel (Sotheby’s 11 December 2007 lot 6, later frame) and Night Scene in Roundhay Park, 1872?, label on flat gilt oak frame (Sotheby’s 11 December 2007 lot 11).

Sources: John Simpson kindly provided extensive information, January 2011, on various members of the Hasse family, including quotations from the Leeds Mercury and information from census records.

*Charles Hauff 1899-1914, Charles Hauff Ltd 1915-1938. At27 Coptic St, New Oxford St, London WC 1899-1903, 69 Great Russell St, WC 1903-1911, 17 Gilbert St W 1913-1926, 62 Great Russell St 1915-1926, 42 Museum St WC1 1927-1938. Publishers’ agent and wholesale frame importer, also fine art dealers and publishers.

Charles Hauff, merchant, was living in Hackney when his first child, Frederick, was born in 1865. While trading as Charles Hauff & Co, dealer in prints and photographs at 93 London Wall, he entered into liquidation proceedings in 1873 (London Gazette 24 January 1873). Charles Hauff (c.1835-1905) was listed in the 1901 census as a fine art dealer, age 66, born Germany, living in Camberwell, with several children including a son, Charles, described as a clerk. He can be identified with Carl Heinrich G. Hauff who died in Camberwell age 70 in 1905. The business may have passed to Charles Hauff’s son, Charles Henry Hauff (1872-1955). It was wound up voluntarily in 1938 (London Gazette 5 August 1938). Charles Henry Hauff died in Ilkley, Yorkshire, in 1955, leaving effects worth £11,451.

It was claimed that Charles Hauff was the first to introduce Florentine frames into England (Fine Art Trade Journal, vol.1, 1905, pp.78ff, information from Jeremy Adamson, 1998). The business described itself in The Year’s Art as ‘Wholesale Representative for Great Britain to Messrs Braun, Clément & Cie., Dornach, Alsace, Paris, &c.,’ and advertised imported Florentine frames, ‘Hand-carved and gilt’, in ‘any design and size’ (1900), subsequently offering ‘New Art Frames’ (1903) and a pierced Florentine leaf frame (1905). Florentine styles were replaced by ‘American frames’ in Hauff’s advertising by 1908, and frames were no longer featured from 1909.

*Nick Hawker (1942-2006)

Outside the scope of this online resource but see Don Shakespeare, 'The Most Renowned Practising Framer in the United Kingdom', Art Dealer & Framer, vol.5, Illinois, April 1978, pp.9-13, 58. Hawker worked for Robert Sielle (qv) from about 1964 until 1980. He then set up independently before working for John Jones (see Simon 1996 p.189).

Edward Hawkins, see Edward Hill & Co

*Nicholson & Hay 1823-1828, D.R. Hay 1829-1847, D.R. Hay & Co 1848-1867. At 8 South St David St, Edinburgh 1823-1826, 51 George St 1827-1828, 37 George St 1829-1830, 89 George St 1831-1837, 90 George St 1837-1867. Decorative painters, picture restorers, picture framemakers; writer on art and design.

The leading decorative painter in Scotland, David Ramsay Hay (1798-1866) was working for Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford as early as 1820. He was recorded in partnership with George Nicholson at 8 South St David St by 1823 but the two men went their own ways in 1828, with his former partner trading independently as George Nicholson & Co from 51 George St. In 1838 a directory listing for Hay described him as ‘house painter and interior decorator to the Queen’, following his appointment the previous year as interior decorator at Edinburgh to the Queen (National Archives, LC 5/243 p.142). In the 1841 census he was recorded as a painter in George St, in 1851 as a master house painter, age 54, and in 1861 as a painter, age 63, employing 25 men and boys. He died in 1866 and was followed in business by Graham & Reith, who were listed in 1867 as successors to D.R. Hay & Co.

Framing and other work: In 1824, Nicholson & Hay, as ‘Plain & Ornamental House Painters’, from 9 South St David St, also offered ‘Drawing Materials and Ladies Fancy Works of every description’ and ‘Paintings, Prints &c Framed & Varnished’ (see billhead of account to Sir Walter Scott for decorating the dining room at Abbotsford, copy in Scottish National Portrait Gallery, AF Frames files). In 1826, Nicholson & Hay submitted an account to Lady Frances Erskine for cleaning, varnishing and repairing various paintings including three full-lengths, nine half-lengths, 30 heads and one drawing and six prints for £12.7s (National Archives of Scotland, GD124/20/30/1-2, Erskine papers).

Hay’s firm developed a picture framing department and in 1841 he applied to the Royal Scottish Academy, which he understood was about to appoint a framemaker, stating that ‘for the last 10 years’, he had practised ‘that art without sparing expense or trouble in my endeavours to improve it’. Subsequently, Hay advertised that he had engaged an experienced superintendent in the carving and gilding department and was now able to offer at a considerably reduced price picture frames without lowering their quality (The Scotsman 28 November 1846). Hay produced an estimate in January 1841 for the Royal Scottish Academy for producing labels at £7.10s in lacquer or Japan, £10.15s in gold powder or bronze and £14 in real gold leaf, reflecting the differing costs of materials (Simon 1996 p.46, mistakenly as referring to frames rather than labels).

Hay acted as Edinburgh agent and picture framemaker for David Roberts, who had been a fellow apprentice. In a similar fashion he handled and framed pictures which Robert Scott Lauder sent from Rome to be exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. These included his portrait of David Roberts in eastern dress, 1840 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery); Hay wrote about this picture in November 1840, ‘I have not yet got it framed, being fastidious about the pattern, and, therefore, intend making an intirely new one for it’ (National Library of Scotland, acc.10970, information from Iain Brown, 8 January 1996).

Sources: R.C. Denis, ‘Hay, David Ramsay (1798–1866)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; Lindsay Errington, Master Class: Robert Scott Lauder and his pupils,, National Galleries of Scotland, 1983, p.18. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Updated March 2020
John Hay 1811? 1822-1846, John and James Hay 1847, James and John Hay 1848-1854, John Hay junr 1855-1856, Hay & Lyall 1856-1922. At St Nicholas St, Aberdeen c.1820?, Union St by 1824, 77 Union St 1825-1836, 73 Union St 1837-1841, 2 New Market St 1842-1846, 2 Market St 1847-1890, 73 Union St 1891-1918. Carver and gilder, optical and philosophical instrument seller, later picture framemakers, artists’ colourmen and decorators.

This Aberdeen business was established in 1811, according to its later advertising, and traded for more than a century until it closed in 1918. John Hay senr (1789-1857) was followed in business by his two sons, James Hobbs Hay (1822-82) and John Hay (1825-96), his son-in-law, Robert Watson Lyall (1828-1886), and his grandson Robert Watson Lyall Hay (1868-1918).

John Hay senr: John Hay married Ann Hobb in 1820. His family history is spelt out in James Smith’s Genealogies of an Aberdeen family, 1540-1913, 1913, pp.87-9. In census records he can be found in 1841 in Union St as a carver and gilder, with his wife Ann and sons James, also a carver and gilder, and John, an engineer’s apprentice, in 1851 in Broomhill as a retired carver and gilder, age 62, with his wife Anne and two daughters. He died in 1857.

Little is known about his early years in business but his trade label on a penwork casket, perhaps from about 1820, describes him as from Edinburgh, where presumably he trained; the label reads: JOHN HAY,/ CARVER, GILDER & PRINTSELLER,/ (FROM EDINBURGH)/ ST. NICHOLAS STREET, ABERDEEN/ …’ (Christies New York 28 March 2007 lot 241, information from Edgar Harden). Services described by Hay on his label included the supply of looking glasses, prints, drawings, medallions, fancy coloured papers, the framing of chimney, pier and convex mirrors ‘in the newest London mode’ and of portraits and paintings ‘in the neatest manner’, the supply of composition ornaments for interiors, bronzing on wood, metal and plaster figures, framing of prints, drawings and needlework, varnishing of drawings, maps and prints, and the cleaning of old prints and pictures.

In 1822 Hay was one of the Aberdeen businesses taking subscriptions for a new series of prints of Scottish scenery (Aberdeen Journal 13 March 1822). When he moved premises to 77 Union St in 1825, he advertised his business in frames, mirrors, dressing glasses, drawing materials, fancy articles etc (Aberdeen Journal 9 March 1825). Hay also traded as a colourman from 77 Union St in the late 1820s or early 1830s, advertising millboard with Flemish grounds, prepared canvas with or without absorbent grounds, bladder colours, mastic varnish, asphaltum, drying oil and other material for oil painting on his trade label (repr. in the illustrated guide, ‘British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks: Part 13, Scotland’, downloadable at on this website, found on Ascribed to John Phillip, Woman knitting at a cottage door, with Sulis Fine Art, 2019).

Hay was a customer of the London composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), 1829-36 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/2). He published occasional prints of local subjects, notably Hay’s Views of Aberdeen, 1840 (see David H.J. Schenck, Directory of the Lithographic Printers of Scotland 1820-1870, 1999, p.56), and also portraits after John Phillips in 1838 (examples, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, information from Jennifer Melville, June 2012).

In 1841 Hay advertised from the Repository of Arts at 73 Union St as a carver, gilder and printseller, offering chimney, pier and dressing glasses, prints and drawing books, and every requisite for drawing and painting; additionally he advertised at some length his assortment of mathematical, optical and philosophical instruments, including telescopes, surveyors’ instruments and spectacles, and that he acted as an agent of the Thames Plate Glass Company (Bon-Accord Directory, 1841-42, 1841, adverts pp.22-3). He received a royal appointment as carver and gilder to Queen Victoria at Aberdeen in 1846 (National Archives, LC 5/244 p.70). He retired from business in 1847, thanking his patrons for their custom over the previous 36 years and at the same time soliciting their support in favour of his two sons, James and John Hay, who would be carrying on the business (Aberdeen Journal 14 July 1847).

James and John Hay junr: When the two brothers took over their father’s business in 1847, they advertised their furniture and particularly their picture frames, ‘made in every variety of pattern, comprising Gilded, Rosewood, Maple, Zebra, Ebony and all other Fancy Woods’, also offering to clean and repair old paintings and prints, as well as offering artists’ materials, and prints as agents to H. Graves & Co of London (Aberdeen Journal 14 July 1847). They were listed as carvers and gilders to the Queen in the Post Office and Bon-Accord Aberdeen Directory in 1847. Like their father, they published occasional prints relating to Aberdeen, 1848-50.

In Aberdeen censuses, James Hay can be found in 1851 at 19 Guestrow as a carver and gilder, age 29, with his wife Mary and two daughters. John Hay junr can be found in successive censuses as a carver and gilder, with his wife Ann and children, in 1861, age 35, living at 19 Guestrow, employing nine men and three boys, in 1871 untraced, in 1881 at 9 Rotunda Place and in 1891 at 6 Polmuir Road.

In September 1853 John Hay junr entered into a separate partnership with the artist and photographer, George Washington Wilson (1823-93), trading as Wilson & Hay, photographers, at 19 Guestrow, but the partnership was not to last. Wilson noted in his diary in December 1854, ‘The Hays in difficulties and are contemplating bankruptcy, in which case John and I shall have to dissolve partnership. James Hay has mismanaged the business and brought it from a flourishing condition to this pass.’ (Roger Taylor, George Washington Wilson: artist and photographer 1823-93, 1981, p.23). The partnership between Wilson and Hay was formally dissolved early the following year (Edinburgh Gazette 27 February 1855). Wilson went on thrive as a leading Scottish photographer.

At the same time the partnership between James Hay and his brother, John Hay junr, was dissolved with John Hay junr carrying on the business and he advertised that he would ‘now devote his whole attention’ to the business at 2 Market St and would be disposing of the stock of the late partnership at greatly reduced prices (Aberdeen Journal 28 February 1855).

Hay & Lyall: In June 1856 John Hay junr announced his partnership with his brother-in-law, Robert Watson Lyall, trading as Hay & Lyall (Aberdeen Journal 4 June 1856). Hay and Lyall described themselves as carvers and gilders to the Queen, printsellers, opticians and artists’ colourmen. Lyall was last listed in the business in 1886, the year of his death, leaving Hay as the remaining partner, until he was joined in 1893 by Robert Watson Lyall Hay, his youngest son by his wife, Ann Lyall. John Hay was listed as a partner until 1896, the year of his death.

It is possible to provide some further details about the management and staffing of the business from directory listings. At one time or another, premises at 19 Guestrow were described as home and workshop. In 1886 Frederick Macrae was working for the business, in 1887 James F. Dunnet as shopman and in 1889 John Slater as clerk.

The business showed new pictures at their premises, usually for a few weeks at a time and often in association with newly published engravings. John Hay junior showed T.J. Barker’s Nelson receiving the swords of the vanquished Spanish officers in 1855 (Aberdeen Journal 29 August 1855). Hay & Lyall showed works by William Kidd and John Faed in 1856, Mullher & Whittock in 1860, T.J. Barker and John Phillip in 1861 and Rosa Bonheur in 1862, to look at the early years of the business, subsequently showing among other pictures Alma-Tadema's Vintage Festival in 1871 (Aberdeen Journal 2 July 1856, 17 September 1856, 29 February 1860, 17 July 1861, 4 September 1861, 17 September 1862, 27 September 1871). The business also exhibited photographic work by George Washington Wilson (see above).

The appointment as carvers and gilders to the Queen was regranted to Hay & Lyall in 1894 and was maintained by successive monarchs until 1922 (National Archives, 5/246 p.263; Edinburgh Gazette 6 January 1922). The business also held appointments to the Prince Consort, 1848, and the Duchess of Kent, 1851, according to its publicity.

In a pamphlet of 1912, the business described itself as The Royal Fine Art Gallery, founded 1811, with a testimonial from Sir George Reid, dwelling on his memories of the their shop window in his youth and on the pictures exhibited on the premises (National Libraries of Scotland, MS. 10996, item 61). An example of their framing trade label from the turn-of-the-century reads, beneath a royal coat of arms: HAY & LYALL,/ DECORATORS,/ CARVERS, GILDERS & PRINTSELLERS,/ To the Queen,/ 73 UNION STREET,/ WORKS, 19, GUESTROW,/ ABERDEEN,/ ESTABLISHED 1811/ TELEPHONE No 212 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, AF Frames etc files).

The last surviving partner, Robert Watson Lyall Hay, can be traced in Aberdeen census records, living with his parents in 1881 and 1891 (see above) and at 406 Great Western Road with his wife Agnes in 1901, when he was described as a carver and gilder, age 38. He died in January 1918 (The Scotsman 5 January 1918). The business closed and its stock of pictures, prints, artists’ colours, optical appliances, as well as the shop fittings were offered at auction in May 1918 at 73 Union St, as were the machinery and workshop fittings at 19 Guestrow (The Scotsman 8 May 1918).

Framing work: Hay & Lyall provided frames for Robert Brough, among other Aberdeen artists. Brough’s portrait of John Hay was completed shortly after Hay's death in 1896 (Aberdeen Art Gallery, see website). From Sir George Reid’s testimonial for the business in 1912 (see above), it would seem that he had transferred his loyalties to Hay & Lyall from another Aberdeen firm, Kesson & Macdonald (qv), who had made some of his frames from the mid-1870s to the early 1890s. Hay & Lyall’s label can be found on George Paul Chalmers’ A Quiet Cup, exh.1886, and his Modesty (National Gallery of Scotland, information from Helen Smailes, Keith Morrison).

Hay & Lyall's framing account book with handwritten notes, prices of frames, artists' visiting cards, obituaries and newspaper cuttings on artists was presented to Aberdeen Art Gallery in 1991 by J.G. Collie ( ABDAG009600, not inspected). Names associated with the account book are Sir David Young Cameron, James Cassie, Sir William Fettes Douglas, David Farquharson, George Russell Gowans, George Hay, Alexander Davidson Longmuir, John Mitchell, Sir George Reid, Samuel Reid, Marcus Stone, Alfred Waterhouse and David West.

Updated March 2020
William Hebden, 51 Sheen Lane, East Sheen, London 1903-1908, Hebden & Sons, 4 West Hill, Wandsworth 1908-1910. Carvers and gilders, picture framemakers and artists' colourmen.

Walter William Hebden (1870-1936) was born in Brighton and married three times. He was described as a gilder on his marriage certificate in 1890 and again in 1899, and as a picture framemaker in 1908. He had moved to London by the time of his second marriage in 1899, and he was living at 15 Sheen Road, Richmond as a coffee-house keeper at the time of the 1901 census. He traded as a carver and gilder from 1903, initially as William Hebden, and then as Hebden & Sons, presumably with his son, like him called Walter William Hebden (b.1892). He emigrated with his family to Melbourne in Australia in 1910.

Hebden’s business as a picture framemaker was short-lived. A label is known from 51 Sheen Lane describing William Hebden as Practical Carver and Gilder, Picture Frame Maker, Mount Cutter & Artist's Colourman. As Hebden & Sons, the business was listed at 4 West Hill, Wandsworth (mistakenly given as Heldon & Sons in 1908). These premises were previously and subsequently occupied by another framemaker, Christian Lamm (qv).

Hebden’s canvas stamp on a work dating to 1908 has been recorded (information from Cathy Proudlove). For his stamp, see British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 5, E to N on this website.

Sources: Information on Walter William Hebden, his background and family kindly supplied by Stuart Hebden, 11 June 2007, with thanks also to John Hebden.

Updated March 2020
Alfred Hecht, 326 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 1947-1974. Picture framemaker.

Alfred Hecht (1907-91) came to England in the mid-1920s and at first tried metal broking and the textiles business (Simon 1996 pp.135, 186). Following the Second World War, he traded as an art dealer (he was listed as such in 1947), before setting up his well-known framing business in or before 1950. He undertook framing work for artists such Ceri Richards, Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon, as well as for the dealers, Frank Lloyd and Harry Fischer at the Marlborough Gallery, according to Jim Bradford, a former employee (verbal communication, 29 September 1994). Bradford found Hecht a most agreeable employer, whose framing work was based on 'self-appointed good taste', rather than on set ideas on how to go about framing. The paper conservator, Jane McAusland, has left an account of her first studio, which Hecht let her have for a year, c.1970, in two rooms on his premises, ‘above a gilder, who spent his time diligently day after day gilding large frames for Francis Bacon’. Hecht employed the Canadian painter, William Kurelek, as a framer in 1955 (Patricia Morley, Kurelek: A Biography, 1987, p.109.

While Hecht was no longer listed in trade directories after 1974, he continued to undertake some framing work, including for the 1977 Graham Sutherland exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. He was Sutherland’s framemaker from 1953 or before and was in the course of sitting to the artist for his portrait at the time of Sutherland's death in 1980 (Simon 1996 p.186).

Hecht was described by Roy Strong as 'a very superior framer who lives over his shop in the Kings Road'. Hecht enjoyed entertaining, as the diaries of the Labour politician, Jennie Lee, tell: 'Alfred Hecht, who liked describing himself as a picture frame-maker, was indeed a picture frame-maker, but in addition he had the gift of recognising genius long before the general public came to recognise it. In his home we spent happy carefree evenings with artist friends, some of whose early promise came to nothing, while others, among them Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, John Piper and Francis Bacon, were to reach the highest pinnacles of their profession.'

Hecht was a collector and acquired works by Francis Bacon, Massimo Campigli and Marino Marini, among others, from the Hanover Gallery, 1951-2 (Tate Archive, TGA 863/1/3).

Hecht knew John and Myfanwy Piper well and they were the residual legatees of his estate; his letters to the Pipers, 1955-69, are in the Tate Archive, together with estate correspondence, 1991-2, and photocopies of his will and codicil, inventories and valuations.

‘When I die,' Hecht used to say, 'let my epitaph be: "Alfred Hecht, the man who invented the coloured mount".' (Derek Granger, obituary for Alfred Hecht, The Independent 12 January 1991).

Sources: Jennie Lee, My Life with Nye, Penguin books, 1981, pp.188, 270, 294; Roy Strong, The Roy Strong Diaries 1967-1987, 1997, p.122; Jane McAusland, ‘Some memoirs of a conservator in private practice’, Paper Conservator, vol.25, 2001, p.87. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

James Henderson (c.1774-1837),see Fricker & Henderson

*N.F. Henley, 7 Oaklands Grove, Shepherds Bush, London 1879-1881 or later, 1 Bradmore Park Terrace, Hammersmith by 1884-1887, 17 Brackenbury Road, Hammersmith 1887-1913. Mounter of prints and drawings, occasional paper restorer and framemaker.

See British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website.

George Hennekin, Berwick St, London 1773-1797, 64 Berwick St 1781, Marylebone St, Golden Square 1784-1786, 9 Marylebone St 1784, 12 Marylebone St 1785, 7 Charles St, Berners St 1800-1809. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker, lay figure maker.

See British artists' suppliers on this website.

Simon Hennekin, Berwick St, Soho, London 1746, Wardour St 1749-1761, Broad St, Soho 1762, Edward St (opposite Broad St), Soho 1761-1778, Duke Lane, parish of St James Piccadilly 1779. Carver and gilder, framemaker, lay figure maker.

See British artists' suppliers on this website.

Walter Ernest Hewitt (1865-1919), see Gething & Gainsboro

Edward Hill & Co 1869, Hill, Honer & Hawkins 1870-1871, Edward Hill 1872-1910. At 151 Essex Road, Islington, London 1869-1910. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker and art dealer.

From successive censuses from 1861 to 1901, we learn that Edward Hill, born in Bruton, Somerset in 1839 or 1840, came to Islington by 1861, when he was recorded as a gilder and cabinet maker, age 21, at 12 Edward Cottages, subsequently being described as a carver and gilder, or as a gilder, at 151 Essex Road. The partnership between Edward Hill, John Honer and Edward Hawkins as carvers and gilders at 151 Essex Road was dissolved in October 1871 (London Gazette 31 October 1871). In 1897 Hill advertised as artistic picture framemaker, established 29 years, referring to his stock of second-hand frames (The Year’s Art 1897, and subsequently). Edward Hill was made bankrupt in 1910 (London Gazette 10 June 1910).

John Marshman Hill by 1833-1846 or later, Hill & Son by 1848-1864, Edward Lyons Hill by 1870-1896. At 9 Kingsmead, Bath by 1833-1837 or later, 4 Wood St, Queen Square, Bath by 1842-1896, also 11 John St by 1882-1884 or later. Carvers and gilders, from c.1850 picture restorers and picture dealers.

See British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website; see also John Deare in this online resource.

Hinchliff & Co, see Bielefeld & Haselden

*Joseph Hogarth 1826-1868, Joseph Hogarth & Sons 1869-1890. At 30 Denton St, Somers Town, London 1826, 11 Somers Town Terrace 1828-1832, 60 Great Portland St, London 1834-1845, 5 Haymarket 1845-1866, 96 Mount St 1866-1886, 473 Oxford St 1887-1890. Initially print colourer, artist and stationer, from 1834 printseller, print mounter and publisher, from the 1840s also picture framemaker and mounter of drawings, from the 1870s also picture restorers.

Joseph Hogarth (1801-1879) appears to be the individual christened in 1801 at St Pancras Old Church, the son of Joseph and Ann Hogarth. He married Ellen Taylor in 1827 at St Luke Finsbury. He was living at 30 Denton St, Somers Town in 1826, described as a print colourer and mounter, and at 11 Somers Town Terrace from 1828 to 1832, variously described as a print colourer, artist or stationer. In 1832 he was recorded in Somers Place, at 19 Mortimer St, Cavendish Square and at New Road, opposite St Pancras Church (see London directories, British Museum collection database and St Pancras christening records). By the time his daughter Mary Anne was christened in 1834, he had begun trading at 60 Great Portland St as a printseller.

Hogarth was listed in 1839 as a mounter and inlayer of prints and drawings. He appears in census records, in 1841 as a print mounter, age 39, and in 1861 as a printseller, age 59, employing 12 men and boys, born St Pancras, with two daughters and one son listed as assistants in the business; in 1851, he was away from home and it was his wife Ellen and children who were listed at 5 Haymarket. The partnership between Joseph Hogarth and Elhanan Bicknell (1813-60) as printsellers and publishers at 5 Haymarket was dissolved in August 1854 (London Gazette 12 September 1854). Joseph Hogarth died age 77 in 1879 in the Uxbridge district, leaving a personal estate of £6,441, proved by his widow Elizabeth and his son George Bicknell Hogarth.

Joseph Hogarth's billhead in 1848 described him as 'Printseller and Publisher', specifying other services including picture frame making (Johnson coll.). A sale of his surplus stock of prints was advertised by Christie’s in 1866 when the business moved to Mount St (The Times 12 March 1866). Initially listed as printseller, by 1864 he was described as a printseller and picture framemaker and in 1867 as printseller, publisher and picture framemaker by special appointment to the Prince of Wales, with the additional description for the business from 1870, by now Joseph Hogarth & Sons, as picture restorers and dealers in works of art. Their trade card, perhaps from the 1870s, promoted their services as picture restorers (Banks coll., 96.6).

Joseph Hogarth framed a few of George Richmond’s drawings, including John Bird Sumner, c.1849, and Henry Parry Liddon, 1866(both National Portrait Gallery; see Simon 1996 p.175); he also published prints after some of Richmond's portraits, 1846-9, including that of Sumner. Joseph Hogarth, was paid £20 for repairing, mounting, framing and glazing five drawings in velvet and oak frames for the Bodleian Library in 1862 and further sums for cleaning and mounting work in 1863/4 and 1865 (University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, Library Records b.3, b.46, b.46 item 35). Hogarth is reported to have mounted, framed, or in some cases cleaned and restored, various works by John Constable for his son, Charles Golding Constable in 1865 (Ian Fleming-Williams and Leslie Parris, The Discovery of Constable, 1984, p.71).

It is sometimes said that the Hogarth frame, a black-and-gilt frame used for engravings, takes its name from Joseph Hogarth the framemaker, rather than William Hogarth the artist, but while Joseph Hogarth was among the businesses making such frames, there appears to be no early evidence identifying the origins of this term (see Susan Lambert, The Image Multiplied, 1987, p.186, and Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's Graphic Works, 3rd ed., 1989, p.19, both of whom link the term to Joseph Hogarth).

The second generation: Joseph Hogarth’s son, George Bicknell Hogarth (1844-90) was listed in the 1871 census at 96 Mount St as a dealer in works of art, age 27. George Bicknell Hogarth and Andrew David Hogarth, trading as J. Hogarth & Sons, picture dealers, 473 Oxford St, formerly 96 Mount St, were made bankrupt in 1890 (London Gazette 5 May 1893), and George Bicknell Hogarth died in the Fulham district shortly thereafter. Subsequently, Andrew David Hogarth (1847-1906) traded from 196 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush.

For the National Portrait Gallery, the business mounted a collection of portrait drawings by Sir Francis Chantrey in the late 1880s. At this date the business’s headed paper advertised, among other services, ‘Specially prepared hand made mounts, free from all chemical & other impurities, for the preservation of water colour drawings’ (National Portrait Gallery records, Duplicate of Accounts, vol.3, p.11). For the collector, George Salting, the business both supplied and mounted drawings, 1873-6 (Guildhall Library, MS 19474).

Sources: G.W. Friend, An Alphabetical List of Engravings declared at the office of the Printsellers' Association, London … 1847 to… 1891, 1892, pp.2, 7, 45 etc. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

John Honer, see Edward Hill & Co

*John Howard, parish of St Anne Soho, London by 1697-1709 or later, The King's Arms, Great Newport St by 1718 and probably thereafter, certainly 1744-1746, joiner, carver and gilder, picture framemaker. Gerrard Howard, London by 1727, carver and gilder to the Royal Family.

John Howard (active 1697, d.1746) and his son Gerrard (?1709-1781) were leading picture framemakers in the first half of the 18th century. They both occupied the post of Joiner of the Privy Chamber, sometimes described as the King's framemaker. In this capacity they produced frames for the numerous full-length portraits of the King presented to ambassadors and governors going abroad, bringing them into contact with Sir Godfrey Kneller and his successors as Painter to the King, namely Charles Jervas, William Kent and John Shackleton.

John Howard: John Howard married Susanna Mitchell in 1697 at St Luke Chelsea. They had several children including Elizabeth in 1698, John in 1703 and Gerard in 1709, christened at St Anne Soho. Their daughter Elizabeth married William James in 1719 at this church. John Howard was appointed to the post of Joiner of the Privy Chamber on 18 November 1707 in succession to John Norris (qv); he was followed by his son Gerrard on 16 September 1727 (National Archives, LC 3/5; Bucholz 2006). He died 'at his House in Newport Street' in 1746, having acquired 'a handsome fortune', through 'the Business of Picture Frame Making', and as ‘Master Joiner to the Royal Palace of St. James's, which place he some time since resign'd to one of his Sons' (London Evening Post 4 September 1746). In his will, made 17 July and proved 3 September 1746, John Howard, gentleman of St Anne Westminster, made his son Gerrard, his executor, and left various leasehold freehold properties to his offspring, including to Gerrard himself, his other son John, his daughter Elizabeth James and his granddaughter Frances Golding.

John Howard's earliest confirmed commission was at Drayton House, where he framed pictures in 1705 (Drayton House archive, information from Bruce Bailey, 2002).

Some of John Howard's work for Queen Anne was not paid for until 1720, when a warrant for £292.19s.7d was authorised for carved and gilded frames and cases for various pictures, including portraits of the Queen at full length, at £12 a frame, for Charles Caesar, Treasurer of the Navy until 1714, Lord Pagett, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Bingley, Monsieur Pless and the Earl of Stratford (Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1720-1728, 1889, p.13). Howard was entitled to considerable sums for framing pictures for King George I, including £300 for work in 1714/5, £340 in 1715, £494 in 1715-7, £393 in 1717 and £188 in 1717-8 (Calendar of Treasury Books, vols 29-32, 1957, payments here rounded to the nearest £); he supplied ‘carved & gilded frames for his Majesty's pictures' at £143 in 1727 (DEFM, quoting National Archives, LC 5/18). He also provided carved and gilt frames for the Gallery at Kensington Palace to William Kent's design, among the earliest, and certainly some of the finest frames in the 'Kent' style (Simon 1996 p.131, n.29, quoting LC 5/158 p.43, which also refers to ornaments between the pictures and windows for lustre).

When Sir William Withers, Lord Mayor, expressed reservations about displacing the King's portrait at Bridewell Hall to hang his own by Jonathan Richardson, John Howard is said to have exclaimed to his face, ‘is not a living dog better than a dead Lyon?' (Vertue vol.3, p.28; this incident would date to c.1710, from the named protagonists).

John Howard and his son, Gerrard, worked for the prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, whose collection of old masters in London and at Houghton was one of the most important of the period, invoicing him in 1721 for £95.6s.2d for providing frames and other work on 28 paintings, including the considerable sum of £33 for framing an overmantel portrait of Walpole himself (Country Life, vol.49, 1921, p.105; Bottoms 2002 p.435). Howard invoiced in 1729 for a further £78.1s.2d, including ‘a very large Rich archetrive frame Carv'd & Guilt with gold with all the Ornaments' for a picture by Pietro da Cortona, and another very large carved and gilt frame for Hans Hysing's full-length portrait of Walpole himself (Bottoms 2002 p.435; DEF, vol.3, p.31). In the early 1720s many of the pictures that Walpole purchased from Lord Wharton's collection were seen by George Vertue at Howard's (Vertue vol.1, p.109).

For the Duke of Montrose in 1723, John Howard charged £22.12s for framing eight pictures, including £4.6s for Jonathan Richardson's Duke of Roxburgh; he charged a further 6s for straining two heads (Scottish Record Office, GD 220/6/1230/2, see also Richardson's bill, 220/6/1226/60). A further account in 1725 for supplying frames for Montrose's portraits by William Aikman was paid two years later to Gerrard Howard, who clearly identifies himself on his receipt as John Howard's son (Scottish Record Office, GD 220/6/1356/20).

Howard's work and that of his son went beyond picture framing to dealing in pictures and prints. He purchased paintings at a number of sales, from at least 1722 onwards. He also acted for Lord Effingham (Pears 1988 p.244 n.99). On occasion, he offered works for sale, auctioning a collection of prints of the most eminent masters at his premises, the King's Arms in Great Newport St, on 10 March 1718 (title details accessed through Google Book Search). It was presumably his son who advertised the picture collection of C. Harvey Esq for sale in 1744, when he added that he ‘also cleans, mends and frames Pictures in the best Manner, at reasonable Rates' (Daily Advertiser 6 February 1744, V&A Furniture Dept Archive).

Gerrard Howard: Gerrard Howard would appear to be the Gerard Howard, son of Jon and Susana Howard, who was born in August 1709 and christened at St Anne Soho. However, it is unexpected that at the early age of 18 he should follow his father as Joiner of the Privy Chamber on 16 September 1727 (National Archives, LC 3/64, p.96).

Gerrard Howard married twice, with a daughter Isabella from his first marriage to Mary Honeywood in 1730, and a son Edmund Alexander (christened 1764) and daughter Rebecca from his second marriage, to Ann Mawhood in 1762. He subscribed to John Pine’s The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords, 1739. He gave up his post as Joiner of the Privy Chamber, probably in 1752, when he was succeeded by René Stone (qv) (Office-holders in Modern Britain, vol.11). Following his retirement, he moved to Hampstead where he served as a magistrate from 1762. In his will, made 5 February and proved 1 March 1781, Gerard, or Gerrard Howard, gentleman of Hampstead, left properties in Leicester Square to his daughter Isabel, referring to his present wife Anne and their only son Edmund Alexander, and daughter Rebecca Crow. One of the Leicester Square houses was occupied by Mrs Hogarth, widow of the artist, William Hogarth.

Like his father, Gerrard Howard produced carved and gilded frames for the numerous full-length portraits of the King presented to ambassadors and governors going abroad, a steady and lucrative business which earned him more than £700 for carved and gilt frames in the year from December 1727, and further significant sums, again of more than £700 in 1729-31 (DEF, vol.3, pp.30-1; see National Archives, LC 5/18). His bills were subject to approval by Peter Walton, Surveyor of the King’s Pictures (see British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website). In the the mid-1730s, he supplied ‘a very large carved and gilt frame to a History Piece for the Great Stair Case at Hampton Court’, namely Honthorst’s Allegory of Charles I and his Queen as Diana, at £54.3s, and over the next 10 years he supplied frames to the value of almost £1000 (DEF, vol.3, p.31).

‘Mr Howard’, presumably Gerrard Howard, undertook work for Earl Fitzwalter, a member of Walpole's circle, including cleaning and framing Kneller’s Duke of Schomberg on horseback for a total of £25.5s.6d in 1731, and, as Gerrard Howard, was paid £10.1s in 1740 for framing works by Bellucci and Vander Myn (A.C. Edwards, The Account Books of Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter, 1977, pp.188-91).

Gerrard Howard worked for Jacob Tonson, nephew of the publisher of the same name, framing the Kit-cat Club portraits in 1733 in architrave frames for £2.2s each and producing six large carved and gilt frames with ‘Rais’d Corners & Middles’ for other pictures for £11.18s in 1736 (Simon 1996 pp.124-5, 156, 60-1).

It was presumably Gerrard Howard, rather than his father, who advertised picture sales in 1743 and 1744 at his saleroom, ‘adjoining to the Court of Requests and the British Coffee House’, also offering to clean, mend and frame pictures (Daily Advertiser 4 February 1743). He offered the picture collection of C. Harvey Esq for sale in 1744, when he added that he ‘also cleans, mends and frames Pictures in the best Manner, at reasonable Rates’ (Daily Advertiser 28 February 1744). Later that year William Harrison’s pictures were advertised for sale at auction at ‘Mr. Howard’s Sale-Room, adjoining to the Court of Requests’ (Daily Advertiser 13 April 1744) and in 1745 Howard offered the collection of the late Phillimore Parker for sale (Daily Advertiser 7 February 1745). He advertised that he bought and sold pictures on commission and appraised plate, jewels and china (Daily Advertiser 13 December 1743).

Sources: DEF, vol.3, pp.30-1; DEFM, pp.453-4; Simon 1994 pp.452, 454, n.64; National Archives, LC 5/158, p.431; Bottoms 2002 p.435. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Revised September 2017
Solomon Hudson,Oxford Market, London 1776, 16 Great Titchfield St, Cavendish Square 1776-1793. Carver and gilder, cabinet maker and upholder. 

Solomon Hudson (1741-1829) was born on 29 November 1741 to Solomon Hudson and Elizabeth Scotten. His father, a victualler in Hertford, died in 1766 (will, National Archives, PROB 11/922/421). He married twice, to Ann Ashton in 1762 and in 1803 to Charlotte Priscilla Leigh. His eldest son Solomon was a mariner, will proved 1785 (PROB 11/1127/354) and his second son John a captain in the Royal Navy. Solomon Hudson, described as of Chertsey, died in 1829; in his will, he refers to his house in Portland Place (PROB 11/1753/66). All this information comes from Neil Jeffares (see

Hudson was apprenticed to James Davenport, carver of St George Hanover Square, for a premium of £20 in 1755. He became a leading late 18th-century carver and gilder, with a significant workshop, judging from the value of his household goods, utensils and stock at 16 Titchfield St, insured with the Sun Fire Office in 1776, 1787 and 1790 (London Metropolitan Archives, 252/375535, 342/529400, 363/556630, see DEFM). Solomon Hudson married Ann Ashton at St Margaret’s, London in 1762 and they had eight children who were christened at St Marylebone between 1765 and 1778, including a son, Solomon, in 1766.

On 24 July 1776 Solomon Hudson wrote from Oxford Market to the 3rd Duke of Portland at Burlington House, noting that he was previously employed by the duke as a carver and gilder at Burlington House, offering his services again, either in London or at Welbeck, and adding a postscript that he was a tenant of the duke, paying ground rent for a house in Portland Place (University of Nottingham, Pw F 5670, Portland papers). Hudson advertised his furniture warehouse for glasses, girandoles and picture frames at 16 Great Titchfield St in 1778, also offering inlaid pier tables, card tables and work tables (St James’s Chronicle or the British Evening Post 10 January 1778). Subsequently he also advertised chimney ornaments, stands, candelabras and various kinds of furniture, finished in burnished gold, etc, high varnished, 'from the most trifling to the most superb and elegant designs' (Morning Post and Daily Advertiser 3 February 1786).

In 1787 Hudson subscribed to George Richardson’s A Treatise on the Five Orders of Architecture (DEFM). He may be the carver, ‘S.H.’, who published Twelve New Designs for Frames for Looking-Glasses, pictures &c. in 1779.

Hudson retired from trade in 1793 and his remaining stock was sold on his premises by Mr Christie in June that year (Morning Post 5 June 1793). He should not be confused with another Solomon Hudson, son too of a Solomon Hudson, who was also born in 1741, who became a fellmonger in Barton, Northamtonshire (information from Neil Jeffares), nor with a man of the name who can be found in land tax records at various addresses, including 15 Buckingham Place until 1815.

Framing and related work: Hudson’s work, listed in the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, includes looking glass frames for West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire in 1780, extensive work for Sir John Griffin Griffin for his London house and for Audley End, Essex, 1781-90, including girandoles to Adam’s design, a large oval Maratta frame for Lady Griffin’s portrait in 1783 and a 'rich picture frame… to a pattern' for a view of Audley End House in 1789, as well as work for Blickling Hall, Norfolk, including pier and chimney glasses and frames for tapestry and full-length portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte for a total of more than £400, estimated in 1782 and paid in 1784.

In 1791 Hudson was storing an old master painting on behalf of Gavin Hamilton, the Rome-based artist and dealer, and had instructions to deliver the work to a potential purchaser, Lord Archibald Hamilton, according to a letter from Gavin Hamilton (Brendan Cassidy, The Life & Letters of Gavin Hamilton (1723-1798), 2012, vol.1, p.35, vol.2, p.154).

In September 1793 Hudson was paid for rich frames and glasses, made in 1791 for pastels by John Russell of the Prince of Wales and Mrs Fitzherbert (Millar 1969 p.109).

For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Added September 2013, updated November 2020
Henry Hue, Edinburgh from 1695, a little above the Nether Bow to 1709, World’s End Close from 1709, gilder. Jacques Hue, Edinburgh from 1695, World’s End Close 1699, gilder.

There were two French gilders by the name of Hue working in Edinburgh in the early 18th century, Henry (active 1695-1715) and Jacques/James (active 1695-1735?). In the mid-century, there was a Michael Hue, gilder, working in Edinburgh.

Henry Hue was in Edinburgh by August 1695, when the minister of the French church recommended to the Town Council that ‘Henry Hieu’, a French Protestant refugee, should be allowed to set up in gilding in burnished gold (Easson p.332, see Sources below). In 1700, ‘Henry Hue, French-gilder’ proposed to the Scottish parliament that that the importation of gilded timber work be considered (‘Records of the Parliaments of Scotland’, 14 November 1700). ‘Henry Hue’, gilder, was naturalised in March 1707 (Easson p.332, n.2).

In 1709 Hue moved his ‘Guilding Manufactory’ from lodgings on the north side of the street, a little above the Nether Bow, to premises in Worlds End Close, formerly occupied by Edzertown Snow; he advertised ‘Guilded frames… all Sorts of Frames or Mullers for Pictures and Bolster pi[e]ces, Cornishes for Beds, Sconces and all other things belonging to the said art of Carving and Gilding’, claiming that he was the first who brought this art to Edinburgh (Edinburgh Courant 23 December 1709, information from Helen Smailes).

An unnamed child of Henry Hue, gilder, was buried in Greyfriars, Edinburgh in 1699 (Dobson p.54). Henry Hue, gilder and burgess, and his wife, Elizabeth Rutherford had three daughters, Mary (christened in March 1706), Henereta (August 1708) and Katharine (August 1709).

Jacques Hieu, a French gilder and japanner was licensed to trade in Edinburgh in 1695 and again in 1709, provided he took on indigenous apprentices (Dobson p.53, see Sources below). James Hue, a French gilder, was admitted as a burgess of Edinburgh in 1711 (Dobson pp.53-4). He was a member of the French church in the City in 1713 (Dobson p.53). He married Frances Heude in 1699. She was the daughter of the painter, Nicholas Heude or Hood (fl.1672-d.1703), expelled from France as a Protestant in 1682 (for Heude’s biographical details, see Michael R. Apted and Susan Hannabuss, Painters in Scotland 1301-1700: A Biographical Dictionary, 1978, pp.46-7). In the marriage contract, dated 10 April 1699, it was stipulated that she and her husband should continue to live in her father’s house, apparently in World’s End Close. James Hue’s son, John, was a beneficiary of the will of his uncle, the painter, Peter Hude of London, made in 1720 (National Archives, PROB 11/772/452, information from Gordon Balderston, October 2016).

At Heude’s death on 30 January 1703, his property including his pictures were sold at auction for £333.6s.8d. An inventory listing Heude’s pictures and books, dated 27 April 1703 and marked with prices and buyers’ names, suggesting that Hue bought back most of the pictures (inventory transcript kindly made available by Helen Smiles). The inventory was signed by James Hue, gilder, and his wife, Francis Hude, as executors of ‘Nicollus Hude’, to acknowledge receipt of the sale proceeds (the signatures apparently take the form, Jacques Hüe and Franchse Heude).

Michael Hue, gilder, probably related to Jacques/James or to Henry Hue, can be found at the Fore Timber Land at the back of the Guards in 1751 (Caledonian Mercury 27 May 1751, information from Helen Smailes) and at Brown's, President's Stairs, Edinburgh in 1752 (Dobson p.54). Michael Hue, gilder, and his wife Mary Stevenson, had six children, John (1743), Robina (1745), Jane (1747), Mary (1750), Michael (1751) and William (1757) (Scotlands People).

It is worth adding that a Mr Hue, gilder, was working in London in about 1700, as can be seen from his advertisements for auction sales on his premises at the Golden Head in Newport St (Post Man 14 October 1699, 8 February 1701, and see The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735 at; he may be the Michael Huet supplying picture frames for Petworth in 1695, the Michel Hües making gilt furniture for the Duke of Bedford in 1703 (DEFM) or the Michael Hue who was paid £2.10s for a frame by the Earl of Bristol in 1716 (Hervey 1894 p.162).

Framing work: Henry Hue undertook work gilding picture frames and a picture closet, apparently in 1707-8, for the Duke of Buccleuch or his family (National Records of Scotland, GD224/918/32/1/7, Montague-Douglas-Scott Family, Dukes of Buccleuch, papers). In October 1712 Henry Hue, gilder in Edinburgh, acknowledged payment of £12 Scots for a 'frame for my Lady Malgum['s] picture’, i.e. Grizel, wife of Sir Alexander Murray, 1st Bt of Melgund; interestingly, work was carried out on Hue’s lodgings earlier in the year, as documented in the same series of payments (National Library of Scotland, MS 25834 ff.193, 162, see Dr Joe Rock’s Newhailes House Timeline).

Henry Hue supplied a ‘frame of new fash[i]on fin[e]ly carved and gilded’ for 16s to James, 1st Duke of Montrose in September 1714; on his receipt, dated 29 March 1715, Hue described himself as ‘Master of the Gilding Manufactory’ (National Archives of Scotland, GD 220/6/1743/8). He supplied the Earl of Findlater with carved and gilded frames 'for the twelve Amperour picture', presumably prints, for £1.4s in March 1713 (National Records of Scotland, GD248/597/8, Seafield Papers).

James Hue (or Huie), Edinburgh, charged Cosmo George, 3rd Duke of Gordon, for a ‘gold gilt frame’ for the duke's own picture in 1735 (National Archives of Scotland, GD44/51/465/2, information from Richard Stephens, August 2010).

Sources: D.E. Easson, ‘French Protestants in Edinburgh’, Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London, vol. 18, 1947-52; David Dobson, Huguenot and Scots Links 1575-1775, 2005, pp.53-4; The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707, K.M. Brown et al (eds), 2007-13), accessed at This entry was encouraged by Helen Smailes and is indebted to her research.

Robert Hulton, Corner of Pall Mall, facing the Haymarket, London by 1710-1744 or later, also trading from Westminster Hall 1739. Print publisher and seller, print and picture restorer, picture framemaker.

See British picture restorers on the National Portrait Gallery website.

William Hurwood, see John Smith

Found a mistake? Have some extra information? Please contact Jacob Simon at [email protected].

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