British picture framemakers, 1600-1950 - L
An online resource, launched in 2007, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated November 2020. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].
*Robert Ladbrooke, St Andrew’s, Norwich until 1829, White Lion St 1829-1839 or later, College St, Bury St Edmunds 1841, 11 White Lion St, Norwich by 1845-1852. Carver and gilder, picture cleaner, drawing master.
Robert Ladbrooke junr (1798-1852) was one of four sons of the artist of the same name,Robert Ladbrooke (1769-1842), the other three also becoming artists, including Henry (1800-69) and John Berney (1803-79). He advertised his removal from his residence in St Andrew’s, Norwich, to White Lion St on 31 January 1829 (Stabler 2006 p.169, quoting the Norwich Mercury). In the 1841 census he was listed in Bury St Edmunds and in 1851 in Norwich as a carver and gilder, age 51, with a son Robert, age 17, also a carver and gilder. In his will, made 24 March 1851 and proved 9 September 1852, Robert Ladbrooke junr, carver and gilder, describes himself as formerly of Bury St Edmunds, now of White Lion St, refering to his wife Elizabeth and leaving his stock-in-trade and tools to his son Robert.
Ladbrooke’s trade label from White Lion St, with text set within an image of a heavy swept frame with prominent corners, describes him as ‘Carver, Gilder, Picture, and Lookingglass, Frame Maker’ (National Portrait Gallery, Thomas Lawrence’s Sarah Trimmer, an early reframing). Another trade label, but as R. Ladbrooke junr, within a classical Greek Key surround, describes him (or his son) as ‘Carver, Gilder, Picture Frame Maker’, advertising ‘Frames regilt. Old Paintings repaired, Cleaned and Varnished’ (repr. P.K. Scott, A Romantic Look at Norwich School Landscapes, 1998, p.95).
Sources: John Stabler, Norfolk Furniture Makers 1700-1840, Regional Furniture Society, 2006.
*Christian Lamm 1869, 1878-1899, C. Lamm & Son 1900-1916. At4 West Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 1869, 36 Earls Court Road, Kensington 1878-1908, 50 Earls Court Road 1909-1916. Fine art carvers, gilders, picture and looking glass framemakers.
The Lamm family was active in picture framing over three generations: Christian John Lamm senr (b.1840/1) operating from Earls Court Road, Christian John Lamm junr (1866-1946), active initially in West Kensington and then in Wandsworth (the West Kensington business continued in other hands), and Arthur John Lamm (1902-65) who continued in Wandsworth (see below).
Christian John Lamm, born Hamburg in 1840/1, moved to London by 1861 when he was listed in Southwark as a journeyman baker, age 20. He married at Westminster in 1864 and was recorded in the 1869 directory as a carver and gilder at 4 West Hill, Wandsworth and in 1870 as a carpenter at Peterborough Road, Fulham. He appears in the 1881 census as a builder (in error for gilder?) at 36 Earls Court Road, Kensington, with a 14-year-old son, also Christian. Christian John Lamm’s death has not been traced but it is worth noting that a Christian Lamm died in Rayleigh in Essex in 1931.
The premises at 4 West Hill were retained by the Lamm family, whether for residential or business use, even after setting up business in Kensington. Another business,Hebden & Sons (qv), carvers and gilders etc, was briefly in occupation at 4 West Hill, 1908-10. Another member of the family, George Lamm (1870-1941), born in Kensington, was recorded in the 1901 census as a picture framemaker, age 30, living on the business premises at 36 Earls Court Road.
The business’s late 19th-century trade card from 36 Earls Court Road depicts the exterior of the premises as the Kensington Fine Art Repository, established in 1859, describing the business as ‘Carver, Gilder and Importer of Picture Frames, Mouldings &c’, also advertising, ‘Oil Paintings, Engravings, Oleographs &c. The Largest Stock in West London. Re-gilding in all its branches. The trade supplied’ (Guildhall Library).
Late in life, G.F. Watts used a framemaker by the name of Lamm who is mentioned in his correspondence in 1899 and 1903 (Simon 1996 p.173, n.2). Harold Speed used Lamm to make some of his distinctive reeded oak Whistler frames. His John Burns, 1907 (National Portrait Gallery) has the label of C. Lamm & Son, while another of his portraits in this frame style has the label of the Rowley Gallery (qv).
*Barford & Lamm 1901-1904, Christian John Lamm 1905-1919, Lamm & Co 1920-1925, at 21 Blythe Road, West Kensington W 1901-1925, as carvers and gilders. Christian John Lamm 1916-1947, Arthur John Lamm 1948-1966, at 4 West Hill, Wandsworth 1916-1966, as picture framemakers.
Frederick Powell Barford (1871-1926) was trading from 21 Blythe Road as early as 1899. In the 1901 census, he was living in Fulham, a picture framemaker, age 29. He went into partnership with Christian John Lamm (1866-1946), son of Christian John Lamm (see above). Lamm junior was born in Kensington in 1866, married in 1888 and was listed in the 1891 census as a carver and gilder and framemaker, living in Kensington with his wife, and six-month old Christian G. Lamm, and in 1901 as a picture framemaker living in Fulham. It can be seen from the 1911 census that two of his sons were working in the business, Christian George, age 20, as a porter and Frederick Ferdinand, age 17, as a picture fitter up. From 1919 Christian John junior relocated to Wandsworth, leaving his son, Frederick Ferdinand (1894-1955), in partnership in West Kensington, initially with his brother-in-law, John(?) Tebby. The partners in Lamm & Co from 1920 changed from F.F. Lemon (surely a misprint for Lamm) & J. Tebby in 1920, to F.F. Lamm in 1921 and 1922 and to F.F. Lamm & B.J. or H.J. Griggs in 1924 and 1925.
Turning to the third-generation of the Lamm family, Christian George (1890-1914) was born in Kensington in 1890, but died young. It was his brother, Arthur John (1902-65), born in Fulham, who eventually carried on the business in Wandsworth, following his father's death in 1946 and burial in Hammersmith Cemetery in the Lamm family grave (Wandsworth Borough News, 6 September 1946, information from Norma Wright). Arthur John Lamm died in 1965 at 4 West Hill, Wandsworth, leaving effects worth £1031.
James Lanham 1869-1907, James Lanham Ltd from 1907. At High St, St Ives, Cornwall; also at Copper Works, Newlyn, Cornwall 1934. Artists' colourmen, picture framemakers etc.
James Lanham advertised extensively in The Year’s Art, featuring 'Japanese Frames' in 1890, and ‘Japanese Art Frames… Design Simple and Effective’ in 1892. In 1895 he advertised 'Studio or Trial Frames, Finished in Deep or Pale Gilt, with Bead and Bevel, 4 1/2 to 7 ins wide’, as well as Japanese Frames and Newlyn Art Frames, 'supplied in Natural Colour, intended for the Artists' own decoration, or can be Bronzed Pale or Deep Gold'. Subsequently, he advertised Japanese frames made of ‘Japanese Gold Canvas’ (1897), and in ‘rich, dull gold canvas’ (1904). For fuller details of this business, see British artists' suppliers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
**R. Lauriks, London from 1905,362 York Road, Battersea, London by 1911-1915 or later, Ruskin House, Coburg Row, Victoria? 1913-1914, R. Lauriks & Son, 3/5 Portland Mews, Poland St, London W1 1924-1926, 3-6 Portland Mews 1927-1931. Picture framemaker.
Rudolf Lauriks (b. c.1868) came from Antwerp and worked in Belgium, the United States and England. He married Caroline Summers in 1893 in the West Ham district and they then moved to America for a period of years before settling in Belgium in 1904. They returned to London in 1905, according to their son, George’s, subsequent American passport application. In the 1911 census, Rudolf Lauriks was recorded at 362 York Road, Battersea as a gilder and framemaker, age 43, working on his own account at home, born Antwerp, with his wife Caroline, son George, age 14, a framemaker apprentice, and two Belgium boarders, a gilder and a carpenter. He took two apprentices in 1918, John James Willmott and Leonard Ernest Ratcliff, when he was described as a carver, gilder and picture framemaker in business twelve years of 3-4 Portland Mews, Poland St (London Metropolitan Archives, Wa BG/49/2/19/1 and 20/1, information from Maureen O’Sullivan, 1993). Rudolf Lauriks’ death has not been traced in British death records, suggesting that he may have returned to Belgium.
His son, George Lauriks, was born in Boston in 1896. He traded as R. Lauriks & Son, picture frame manufacturers of 3 Portland Mews, and was granted an exemption under legislation relating to aliens in 1924 (London Gazette 5 September 1924). He was naturalised in 1927 when his place of origin was given as the United States of America (London Gazette 4 March 1927). He was listed in 1928 and 1931 as Rudolf Lauriks & Son. His Portland Mews address was given both as no.3 and as no.5, becoming nos 3-6 by 1927, when he produced a trade catalogue of reproduction frames (Artistic Frames 1927, 19pp, example, Simon coll.). In 1929 Lauriks advertised, as manufacturers of picture and mirror frames, ovals and circles, ‘We have in stock a good selection of Frames all of which are of Royal Academy standard. Most of these are in our antique burnished bronze finish. We are also experts in gold, metal, silver, or aluminium leaf gilding.’ (Who’s Who in Art, vol.2, 1929, p.xx). Two years later he advertised, giving his name as proprietor, ‘Every conceivable style, every width, is at your disposal, and the utmost care is taken in helping you to choose the right frame… LAURIKS – FOR YOUR PICTURE FRAMING.’ (The Artist, vol.2, September 1931).
Another business, Leonard & Burgess of 73 Great Titchfield St, manager/owner given as G. Leonard, described itself as late of Messrs R. Lauriks & Son in its trade catalogue of 1932 or before (Frames and Framing, 23pp, example, Simon coll.).
Updated September 2013 and September 2014
Richard Lawrence, Wardour St, Soho, London 1763-1768, Castle St, Marylebone 1769, 19 Castle St 1780, 33 High St, Marylebone 1782-1790. Carver.
Richard Lawrence (1732-1798?) was a carver in both stone and wood, rather than a picture framemaker as such. He was perhaps the son of the Richard Lawrence, active 1732-7, who did work for the Duke of Montrose's house in Norfolk and at the Queen's Library at St James's Palace (DEFM). He was apprenticed in 1746 to Sefferin Alken (qv), and then apparently went into partnership with him, trading as Alken & Lawrence in 1763. He can be found in rate books in Wardour St from 1764 to 1768. Sefferin’s brother, Oliver Alken, named Lawrence as an executor for his will in April 1769, along with the carver James Thorne of Westminster, giving Lawrence’s address as Castle St, Marylebone.
Lawrence married well, to Ann Blathwayt on 8 September 1760, and he and his wife were in correspondence with her relatives at Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire, 1778-85, on subjects including his wife's health, the birth of a grandson and the payment of bills on the family's behalf; indeed he seems to have acted in something of the capacity of a London agent for William Blathwayt (accounts and letters at Gloucester Archives, D1799/C13 and D1799/A372, information from Elenor Ling, January 2013).
Lawrence subscribed to George Richardson’s A Treatise on the Five Orders of Architecture in 1787 (Biography database) and took out insurance as a carver from 33 High St, Marylebone in 1789, where he can be found in land tax records from at least 1782 until 1790 and subsequently at other addresses. He would appear to be the Richard Lawrence of Northumberland St, St Marylebone, who died on 14 December 1798 and who left his drawing instruments and his books of ornament and figures to his son. He was well known to the framemaker William Saunders (qv) for Saunders to be called to attest to his handwriting before his unwitnessed will could be proved on 22 February 1799.
Work as a carver: Lawrence’s extensive activities for the Crown at Windsor, Greenwich Hospital and Somerset House and for the owners of various town and country houses have been described elsewhere (see Sources below). In 1789, he supplied the frame for Benjamin West's altarpiece painting in the Royal Naval College Chapel at Greenwich at the remarkable figure of 50s a foot (Simon 1996 p.147). He produced pier glass frames to the design of John Yenn for Windsor Castle, c.1794-6.Sources: Beard 1981 p.268; Gunnis 1968; DEFM; Roscoe 2009 (with an extensive list of works); London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 363/559937; Hugh Roberts, ‘A Neoclassical Episode at Windsor’, Furniture History, vol.33, 1997, pp.177-87 (a further design, apparently for the top of one of the frames, dated 27 January 1796, is in the National Portrait Gallery records, 17-F-4). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Benjamin Louis Lecand 1809-1848, Samuel Lecand 1849-1882. At 38 Great Prescot St, Goodman’s Fields, London 1809-1831, 37 Drury Lane 1833, 246 Tottenham Court Road 1834-1877, 176 Tottenham Court Road 1878-1882. Carvers and gilders, looking glass and picture framemakers.
Benjamin Louis Lecand or Le Cand (1783-1863), the son of Daniel Le Cand and Sara Izard, was baptised in June 1783 at the Artillery, the French Huguenot church in Spitalfields. He married firstly Elizabeth Vincent in 1807, and secondly Elizabeth Genotin in 1815, with eleven children from the two marriages between 1808 and 1824. He was made bankrupt in 1820 (The Times 10 April 1820, London Gazette 20 April 1822). From 38 Great Prescot St, he took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office as a carver, gilder, stationer and looking glass manufacturer and paperhanger, 29 June 1820, 24 September 1821 and 24 October 1821 (when described as ‘in trust’, perhaps as a consequence of his bankruptcy), and again in 1824 and 1826. He subsequently moved to 246 Tottenham Court Road, former premises of Thomas Jackson (qv), father of the composition ornament maker, George Jackson; furthermore he was a customer of George Jackson & Sons (qv), 1836-42, and unusually he would sometimes pay part of his bill by undertaking gilding work for Jackson (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/3).
Benjamin Louis Lecand used his trade label from 38 Great Prescot St to advertise as ‘Carver, Gilder, Paper Hanger, Girandoles, Convex Glasses, &c., in the present Fashion & on the most reasonable terms. Old Frames re-gilt and Paintings carefully cleaned and varnished. Stationery, Book-Binding &c.’ (example repr. Gilbert 1996 p.303; Geoffrey Wills, English Looking-glasses, 1965, p.154). Some of his convex mirrors in the Regency style can be found in Norwegian collections, suggesting an export business (DEFM).
Samuel Lecand (1818-1911), Benjamin Louis Lecand’s son by his second marriage, was trading independently in 1844 as an ornamental carver at 63 George St, Hampstead Road, before taking over his father’s premises at 246 Tottenham Court Road in 1849. He was listed in the 1851 census at this address as a master carver and gilder, age 31, employing eight men, with an apprentice George Le Blond, age 18. In 1852 he appeared in the London directory as a carver, gilder, plateglass factor and ornamental glass framemaker to the trade, and in 1862 as a carver and gilder, looking glass and picture frame manufacturer. In the 1881 census he was recorded as a carver and gilder, employing two men and an apprentice. He was named in some trade directories as Samuel Le Cand, and it was by this name that his death was recorded in the Exeter district in 1911.
Sources: London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, vols 484, 486, 487, 497, 506. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Samuel Leightonhouse, see William Linnell
John Lepard (c.1791-1878?), see James Criswick
Olaf Lemke, see F.A. Pollak
Leonard & Burgess, see R. Lauriks & Son
*John Le Sage (active 1681-1706), Flemmings Row, near St Martin’s Lane, London 1685, King St, St James's 1703-1704, parish of St James Westminster 1706. Carver.
A leading framemaker in the late 17th century, John Le Sage was probably a Huguenot refugee. Le Sage’s documented work dates to the 1680s and 1690s. He may be the John Lesage who had a son of the same name, by his wife Ann, born in 1683 and christened at St Martin-in-the-Fields. He was made bankrupt in 1706 (DEFM, quoting London Gazette 14 November 1706, where described as a carver of St James’s, Westminster). He should not be confused with the early 18th-century silversmith of the same name.
Le Sage worked for the royal family at Kensington Palace in 1690, and at Hampton Court in 1699, where he supplied carved work for the Presence Chamber for more than £70, including £28 for frames ‘over chimney and doors’ (Wren Society, vol.4, 1927, p.60; DEF, vol.3, p.30; see also David Esterly, ‘Grinling Gibbons’, Apollo, vol.140, August 1994, p.34).
Le Sage framed portraits by Sir Godfrey Kneller. ‘Mr Leesage’ produced a carved and gilt frame for Kneller’s full-length, 3rd Earl of Salisbury (Hatfield House, Hertfordshire) for which he was paid £11 in 1681 (Auerbach 1971 p.171). Le Sage also produced picture frames for Sir Justinan Isham of Lamport Hall, Northamptonshire in 1685, informing him that he had delivered to the carrier eight frames with three pictures from 'Mr. Nellers', apparently those still at Lamport with a repeating pattern of shells, scrolls and foliage; he received a further payment in 1692 (DEF, vol.3, p.27, fig.14). In 1690, he was paid £8.15s by John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, for two gilt picture frames, half lengths, and a further £11.5s for ‘four little pictures with carved work gilt in oyl gold frames, pictures & all’ (Hervey 1894 p.159).
In 1704, John Lesage, carver, offered a collection of paintings for sale, most of them newly framed, at his house ‘over against the Earl of Ranelaugh's in King-street near St. James's’ (Post Man, 1 February 1704, accessed 27 July 2012 through 'The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735' ; other sales were also advertised).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Paul Levi (1919-2008). Picture framer in private practice from 1950.
Outside the scope of this online resource but see the obituary by Peter Cannon-Brookes, Independent, 31 December 2008, and the short tribute by Peter Schade, focussing on Levi’s connections with the National Gallery, in The National Gallery Review of the Year April 2008-March 2009, National Gallery, 2009, pp.28-9. In this online resource, see F.A. Pollak. Paul Levi’s stock-in-trade was disbursed in three sales at Christie’s on 11 July, 29 September and 12 December 1995.
*James Liddle 1778-1816, Liddle Kay & Co 1816-1823. At Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh 1778, Teviot Row (now Teviot Place) 1784-1811, 4 Teviot Row 1811-1816, 3 Teviot Row 1816-1823. Carvers and gilders, cabinet makers.
James Liddle’s interest as a framemaker lies in his work for Henry Raeburn, apparently as his earliest framemaker. But James Liddle (active 1778, d.1823) was more than a picture framemaker. He appears to have been one of the most important furniture makers working in Edinburgh in Raeburn’s lifetime. He appears in Edinburgh directories from 1778 as Liddle or Liddel, carver and gilder. In 1784 he was described as ‘curious in carving and gilding’. He took various apprentices, including Thomas Noble (qv) before 1809 (Houliston 1999 p.63).
Liddle ran into financial trouble, as is evident from an advertisement in 1818 by James Cunninghame, trustee, for creditors of James Liddle, cabinet maker, to come forward (Caledonian Mercury 21 March 1818). His name disappears from the Edinburgh directories in 1816 to be replaced by that of Liddle Kay & Co, cabinet makers, a business which continued until 1823. James Liddle, late carver and gilder, Teviot Row, died on 14 August 1823 (The Scotsman 20 August 1823).
It is worth noting that a James Liddle was apprenticed to James Johnston, wright of Dumfries in 1769.
Framing work: Liddle provided picture frames and furnishings, 1786-90, for the Edinburgh collector David Geddes (see his Book of Disbursements, Edinburgh Central Public Library, Fine Art Dept, drawn to my attention by Helen Smailes). He made glass frames for Arniston in 1788 (Bamford 1983 p.80), and supplied a wide range of furniture and furnishings to Charles Watson of Saughton, Midlothian, 1785-99 (Orkney Archives, formerly Scottish Record Office, GD150/3321/52 & 54, 3327, 3338, 3343). He also worked extensively for William Forbes of Calendar from at least 1788 to 1806 so that his connection with the framing of Raeburn’s portrait of Forbes in 1798 is as likely to be explained by his links to the sitter as the artist (National Archives of Scotland, GD171/631/13, 171/34/13, etc). Other patrons included Robert Dundas from 1788 to 1799, the Duke of Argyll in 1792 (Bamford 1983 p.80) and Robert Hay in 1795-6. Liddle billed the Dalkeith household for frames for pictures by Messrs Lewis and Naismith in 1792 (National Archives of Scotland, GD224/351/37, Dalkeith Household Accounts).
Liddle framed Raeburn’s portraits from about 1789 until 1798, while the artist was working from his first studio in George St. Liddle was thus just over a mile away from Raeburn’s studio via the North Bridge, the main link for traffic between the Old Town and the New. Liddle was paid £3.3s in 1789 for a rich burnished gold frame for a work by Raeburn painted for Gilbert Innes. He was paid £6.6s in 1790 by John Anderson for two frames for paintings by Raeburn (Thomson 1997 p.202). He was described by Raeburn as Mr Liddell the Frame Maker in 1792 and again in 1793 (Simon 1996 p.86; James Greig, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., 1911, p.xxxiv).
Sources: Houliston 1999 pp.62-3, 74; information from Edinburgh trade directories from David Mackie; National Archives of Scotland, GD113/5/303/29, Innes of Stow papers. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*James Linnell, 22 Stanhope St, Clare Market, London 1781, 14 Craven Buildings, Drury Lane by 1790-1794 or later; Linnell & Durand, Plumtree St, Bloomsbury 1796; James Linnell, Streatham St, Bloomsbury by 1799, 2 Streatham St 1802-1829, 34 Hart St, Bloomsbury Square 1829-1836. Carver and gilder, picture and looking glass framemaker, printseller, picture cleaner.
James Linnell (1759-1836) was apprenticed to John Sotheby (qv), a carver and gilder in the Strand, for a premium of £30 in 1773, and he in turn took Edward Prosser as apprentice for £30 in 1789. Linnell began working independently in about 1781 when he took out insurance as a carver from 22 Stanhope St, Clare Market (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy register, 290/442034).
Linnell’s partnership at Plumtree St with George Durand (qv), an older man who had been in business since the 1770s, as printsellers, carvers and gilders, was dissolved on 1 June 1796 (London Gazette 4 June 1796); they were apparently made bankrupt (David Linnell, Blake, Palmer, Linnell & Co: The Life of John Linnell, 1994, p.3), and a sale was held on their premises at Plumtree St, advertised as the stock-in-trade, framed and glazed prints, loose prints, household furniture and fixtures of Messrs Linnell & Durand, picture framemakers, etc, comprising several thousand feet of 2½ inch and 2 inch Italian and other mouldings, about 400 American Deals, a large quantity of finished and unfinished picture frames, loose prints, various pieces of furniture and various copperplates for specified subjects (Daily Advertiser 13 April 1796).
Linnell soon began trading on his own account from 2 Streatham St, where he was mentioned in trade directories from time to time over the next thirty years, either as a carver and gilder or as a picture framemaker. He published several prints from this address in 1806 and 1807, including William Ward’s mezzotint of Julius Caesar Ibbetson’s Sailors Carousing, 1807, and other works engraved by Ward after George Morland. He was made bankrupt again in 1812 (London Gazette 13 June 1812).
Linnell’s son, John Linnell (1792-1882), the artist, was apprenticed to him at the age of 14 in 1806 to learn the trade of carver and gilder, an apparently flexible arrangement made at a time when his son was already a student at the Royal Academy. Linnell’s daughter, Mary Susannah (1786-1865), married Edward Chance and their son, James Henry Chance (qv), was apprenticed to Linnell in 1824 and later became a framemaker (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 16021-2000, photocopy of apprenticeship indenture).
Like many framemakers, Linnell used the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), to supply ornamental details in composition, presumably to decorate picture frames, 1813-6 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1). Jackson apparently used one of the Linnell’s own designs in supplying ornament to other makers so that the term, ‘Linnells ogee inside’ appears in Jackson’s account book, 1816. That Linnell continued to go to Jackson is confirmed by a reference in Linnell’s own order book (see below) to receiving frames ‘compoed’ from Jackson’s in 1826. Linnell’s son, the artist John Linnell, also dealt with Jackson.
By 1829 James Linnell was trading from 34 Hart St, Bloomsbury, where he took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office as a carver, gilder and picture framemaker on 21 July 1829 and 21 December 1832 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 522/1094323, 538/1148178). His trade card from 34 Hart St as a carver and gilder additionally offered a service to clean, line and restore pictures (Victoria and Albert Museum, Print Room, E3863-1911).
In his will, made 4 June and proved 12 November 1836, James Linnell made bequests to his son John Linnell, his daughter Elizabeth Ann Barling, and also to his granddaughter Elizabeth Jane Chance, and his grandson James Henry Chance. This grandson was the subject of somewhat unusual clauses in the will, whereby James Linnell bequeathed him all his working tools, together with £1.4s a week for 13 weeks, provided Chance gave all proper assistance to Linnell’s executors in preparing for, and in the sale of, his stock-in-trade. James Linnell’s household furniture, pictures, frames and effects, including pictures by various English artists, were sold on his premises at 34 Hart St in 1837 (The Times 29 May 1837).
Framing work: James Linnell’s output as a framemaker, picture cleaner and printseller, for his later years, 1814-36, is recorded in his rather untidy order book, containing some sketch frame profiles (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 246-2001).
From 1813, he made numerous frames for his son, John Linnell, as is apparent from this order book and from his son’s account books (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 20-2000, 21-2000). Payments averaged at £37 a year in the 1810s, £48 in the 1820s and £21 in the 1830s until his death in 1836. Specific payments include the considerable sum of £15 in 1813 for the frame to The Gravel Pits (possibly Kensington Gravel Pits, 1811-12, Tate), £77.8s.6d in 1819-20 for frames for Mr P.T. Wykham at Thame, £31 in 1820/1apparently for a portrait of the Torrens Family, £18.18s in 1827 for the frame for John Linnell’s British Institution exhibit, Kingsey Village, near Thame, which was purchased by Sir George Crewe (now National Trust, Calke Abbey, Derbyshire). In March 1827 James received an order from his son for 50 panels, sizes 13 x 10, 12 x 10 and 10 x 8 ins, presumably as painting supports, at 2 shillings a panel.
James Linnell made frames and sometimes panels for other artists as is evident from his account book. ‘Mr Lewis Artist’, mentioned twice in 1815, may be Frederick Christian Lewis senr. ‘Mr Cawse’, probably John Cawse, gave orders for frames in 1816. ‘Mr Varley’, sometimes named as John Varley, John Linnell’s master, placed numerous orders for framing exhibition and other drawings from 1819 onwards (Alfred Varley placed orders in 1825). Varley also obtained orders for Linnell from other patrons, including Laby Berkeley and Lord Blessington. Samuel Palmer, John Linnell’s future son-in-law, had various paintings and drawings framed from 1823 and may have encouraged an order from George Richmond in 1826, the first of several from this artist. James Linnell is also said to have made frames for William Collins, father of one of his son's fellow students at the Royal Academy.
William Blake's watercolour and gouache, The Sea of Time and Space, c.1820 (National Trust, Arlington Court, Devon) has a flat gilt frame with handwritten label, 'James Linnell framer/ 3 Streatham Street Bloomsbury/ One Door from Charlotte Street.' This drawing is not the only work by Blake that was framed or prepared by James Linnell, who noted an order from 'Mr Varley' on 18 January 1826 for '21 flatts for Mr Blakes Prints' (Linnell order book; see G.E. Bentley, Blake Records, 2nd ed., 2004, p.775, who suggests that Blake’s prints were probably unfinished proofs for Job and advances the untenable idea that perhaps ‘flatts’ should be ‘Matts‘). A somewhat ambiguous memorandum of J. Varley and C. Varley of 8 March 1830 refers to leaving with 'Mr Linnell, 34 Hart St, Bloomsbury, 10 prints of Job, framed & Glazed by Order of my father', and three days later there is a further delivery of this type (G.E. Bentley, Blake Records, 2nd ed., 2004, p.524).
Other patrons who feature in the account book in the years to 1826 include Lord Audley (1825), Lord Blessington (1821-2, picture cleaning work in 1826), Sir Edward Denny (1822, ‘Gothic Pattern with a flat/ Plate Glass’), Earl Harborough (1823-4), [Jeremiah] Harman (1821), Charles Hoare (1825, print frames), Jeremiah Langford (1821), John Langford (1820), Sir George Pocock (1825) and the Countess of Tankerfield (1824). A carved and gilt looking glass frame has been recorded at 10 Downing St with a handwritten label from Streatham St (Geoffrey Wills, English Looking-glasses, 1965, p.154).
Sources: Angus Whitehead, 'The Arlington Court Picture: A surviving example of William Blake's framing practice', The British Art Journal, vol.8, no.1, 2007, pp.30-3.
William Linnell, Long Acre, London 1729-1754, 28 Berkeley Square 1754-1763. Carver and gilder, cabinet maker, upholsterer.
A leading carver and cabinet maker, William Linnell (c.1703-1763) is discussed at length by Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham, William and John Linnell: Eighteenth Century London Furniture Makers, 1980. He set up his own business in about 1730 and produced a very wide range of furniture for leading patrons.
Linnell’s picture frames formed only a small part of his business. These frames could be rich and elaborate. For example, in 1739 he supplied Richard Hoare of Maze Hill with what were presumably frames in the Palladian or Kent style: ‘a pair of half length picture frames very neatly carved, with a Venus head and feathers at top and foliage on each side, foliage at bottom, and a double French shell in the middle, drops of old fruit and flowers all down the sides pelmets. Lapping over the mouldings top, bottom and sides, all the mouldings carved and key fret in the sandings’ for £13.2s; he later supplied his patron, by now Sir Richard Hoare of Barn Elms, with other picture frames including a ‘large swept picture frame’ for £5.10s in 1753 (spelling modernised).
On occasion Linnell worked under the supervision of an architect or to specific designs. He charged William Drake in 1749 for ‘6 half-length picture frames, compleat by drawing’ (Simon 1996 p.138). In 1749 he was appointed as the Duke of Bedford’s carver at Woburn Abbey, under the architect, Henry Flitcroft; in this capacity he produced in 1752 ‘a large picture frame, very neat by drawing, with an eagle at the top, festoons down the sides and mozaicks at the bottom, all very richly ornamented, the same in gilt burnished gold, all compleat’ for the considerable sum of £25.18s, as part of a larger commission for carving work worth more than £350 (Simon 1996 pp.126, 129).
At the Foundling Hospital, ‘Linnell’ offered to donate a 'Curious Carved Frame' for a picture by Peter Monamy in December 1747, but the hospital's governors were not looking for such an elaborate frame. ‘Linnell’ is identifiable with the father, William, rather than his son, John, who is not known to have been active as a carver at this date. In 1750, Linnell provided a frame for Andrea Casali's Adoration of the Magi altarpiece (Foundling Museum), which was to be framed in such a manner as Theodore Jacobsen, the Hospital’s architect, directed. The result is a large-scale egg-and-anchor moulding of deep section with corner leaves and an inner twisted rope sight edge, clearly reflecting Jacobsen's taste. The frame was apparently gilded by Samuel Leightonhouse who on 20 March 1751 'offered a Benefaction of Gilding'. For further information on the frames at the Foundling Hospital, see Picture frames at the Foundling Museum on the National Portrait Gallery website.
Sources: DEFM (entry by Helena Hayward); Helena Hayward, ‘The Drawings of John Linnell in the V & A Museum’, Furniture History, vol.5, 1969; Helena Hayward and Pat Kirkham, William and John Linnell: Eighteenth Century London Furniture Makers, 1980, especially pp.142-4. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Rowland Lockey (c.1567-1616), painter and goldsmith, was apprenticed to Nicholas Hilliard in 1581. By 1598 he was sufficiently well known to be included in a list of eminent artists in England. In his will in 1616, he described himself as a goldsmith and citizen of London, of St Dunstan-in-the-West. He is included here in summary for his occasional work in supplying picture frames. For details of his other activities, including his work as a copyist of earlier portraits and as a painter of portrait miniatures, see the publications cited in Sources below.
The account for Lockey’s work on frames at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, has been published in part (E.K. Waterhouse, ‘Rowland and Nicholas Locky’, Burlington Magazine, vol.99, 1957, p.60, extracts from Hardwick MS 29, item 147, at Chatsworth). For work for William, Lord Cavendish, future Earl of Devonshire, in the period from 4 August 1609 to 9 August 1610, Lockey received two payments, firstly £15 for ‘drawing XVI pictures’, which was additional to £3.6s.8d already paid him in the country, and secondly £8 ‘for Mr Cavendishes Picture, my Lady Grace, my Lord’s first wife, for canvas & gildinge all the frames of the Pictures made at Hardwicke’. While Lockey was paid for gilding the frames, it would seem that they were made by Richard Potter the joiner, who was paid £3.16s.5d for 18 frames for pictures and for hinges. Some three years later, on about 21 June 1613, Lockey received a further payment of £9 for ‘the Scotche queenes picture presented to my lord privy seal’ and a further £2.10s for ‘the frame and guilding’ (Hardwick MS 29, item 320, from typescript at Paul Mellon Centre, Oliver Millar papers, sub Lockey).
Sources: Otto Kurz, Rowland Locky’, Burlington Magazine, vol.99, 1957, pp.12-15; Edmond 1980 pp.95-7; Roy Strong, Artists of the Tudor Court, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983, pp.92-6 (with bibliography), and review by Graham Reynolds, Apollo, vol.118, 1983, pp.308-11; Arianne Burnette, ‘Lockey, Rowland (c.1566-1616)’, ODNB, 2004, vol.34, pp.238-9.
William Long (active 1748-63), see Samuel Norman
T.R. Longley, 4 Oxford St, London 1845. Picture framemaker.
Longley advertised his large and well-assorted stock of picture and other frames, cornices etc, of superior quality and the newest designs, double gilt with the best leaf gold, including a 'Sir Thomas Lawrence' frame at £1.6s, size 30 x 25 inch (The Art-Union April 1845 p.115). He has not otherwise been traced.
Visit From Your Armchair
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.
Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.
Sculptures in 360°
See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.
David Hockney: Drawing from Life
Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.