British picture framemakers, 1600-1950 - T
George Tacchi (c.1820-90), see Foord & Dickinson
*Joseph Tanous 1910-1912, Tanous Bros 1913-1917 and subsequently, Joseph Tanous 1918-1936 and subsequently, John Tanous 1938-1953; not traced here thereafter. At 54 College Place, Chelsea, London 1910-1912, 103 Walton St, Chelsea 1912-1914, 349 Fulham Road 1913-1936, 23 Ives St, Chelsea 1937-1938, 130 King’s Rd 1938, 116 Draycott Avenue 1939-1945, 159 King’s Rd 1947-1953, various addresses from 1947 including 159-161 and 183 Draycott Avenue, SW3, 115 Harwood Road, Fulham SW6 4QL from 1963. Picture framemakers.
Joseph Tanous (c.1886-1948) and his brother John (1897-1972) were the children of Joseph and Elizabeth Tanous, a Lebanese Catholic couple, recorded as born in Beirut as Turkish subjects, who married in England in the early 1880s. In the 1901 census, Joseph was recorded as an apprentice framemaker, age 15. He started his own business in or before 1910, initially listed in the London directory under the name Tanners. In the 1911 census he was recorded at his parents’ home, 56 College Place, Chelsea, as a picture framemaker working on his own account at home. Joseph took his brother, John, into partnership in 1913 when he left school. From 1937, the two brothers traded independently. The development of the two businesses is traced in outline here.
John Tanous: The picture framing business was continued by the younger brother, John, who set up a workshop in Ives St (Isaacson, fig.2, see Sources below). Presumably as part of this process, the Period Framing Co Ltd, of which John Tanous was Director and Chairman, was wound up voluntarily at a meeting at 23 Ives St in 1937 (London Gazette 6 August 1937).
In April 1940 John Tanous failed to get the Ministry of Information contract for framing works by official war artists, the contract going to Alfred Stiles & Sons (qv) (Simon 1996 p.135). Sensing that business would dry up during the war, Tanous converted his shop at 116 Draycott Avenue into an artistic café, temporarily moving the much reduced framing business upstairs. John Tanous died in 1972 (The Times 26 September 1972). The business name is still used by John Tanous Ltd, 115 Harwood Road, Fulham, but since 2006 picture framing has ceased to be one of its activities.
Joseph Tanous: Joseph Tanous and his wife Marie-Rose Flouriot, also found spelt Flouriet or Fleuriot, had five children, as Jenny Isaacson has traced in a recent history of the business, to which this account is indebted.
All five children were involved in the business at some time. The eldest, Ronald Louis (‘Ronnie’) (1915-87), initially worked with his uncle, John, before setting up his own business as a picture framemaker after World War Two, operating from a number of workshops in London. Ronald’s son, Derek (b.1955), joined Roy Frandsen (see below) in 1973, taking over the business in 2001 and renaming it Tanous Fine Art Frames Ltd in 2008 and trading from 7 Lillie Yard, Fulham.
Of the three daughters, the eldest, Joan (b.1919), became an accomplished milliner. Marcelle (b.1920) married Roy Frandsen (d.2001). From 1945 they worked with her father, Joseph, in a studio in Cavaye Place, Chelsea. On his death in 1948, leaving effects worth only £200, they took on the business, renaming it as Roy Frandsen. The youngest daughter, Elizabeth (‘Bette’) (b.1924), managed her uncle, John’s business for 29 years until her retirement in 1989. The younger son, Louis (1929-63), went into business in 1960 with his uncle, John, as J. & L. Tanous, a frame-making business which was initially run separately from John Tanous Ltd.
Framing work: The Tanous brothers reframed more than 200 pictures for the exhibition arranged by the Redfern Gallery of the complete works of Christopher Wood at the New Burlington Galleries in March 1938, using ‘a standard pattern Louis XIV design decappé …specially toned for each picture’, according to a magazine article ('The English Frame Acquires Tone', unidentified magazine, c.1938); this publicity article described the taste for 'decappé frames light and chalky in tone', generally imported from Holland and France until the Tanous brothers developed an especially hard composition and a range of mouldings, each frame individually toned.
The business is said to have worked for Pietro Annigoni, Jacob Epstein, Augustus John, Sir Gerald Kelly, Sir John Lavery and Vivien Pitchforth, among others (information from Frank Wenstrum 11 June 1996, see also Sources below). Tanous framed William Nicholson’s Study for Lord and Lady Strafford in their Library, 1940 (Christie’s 21 March 1996 lot 95) and reframed Lord Leighton’s Flaming June for the dealer Jeremy Maas in about 1963 (Royal Academy Magazine, no.49, Winter 1995, p.38). Ronnie Tanous framed works for Alfred Munnings, now hanging in the Munnings Art Museum, Dedham (information from Jenny Isaacson).
In 1951, John Tanous Art Galleries advertised as ‘The House of Tanous. Patronised by Royalty. Tanous Frames have been selected by the Council of Industrial Design…’ (The Artist, vol.41, April 1951, p.ii). In particular the advertisement set out six framing services: (1) ‘Finest reproductions in hand-carved plastic of English, Dutch, French and Italian period frames… finished in Water laid leaf gold, and real gold crushed powder…’, (2) ‘The “John Tanous-All wood” antique frame (Patent applied for…)… made entirely of wood, having the appearance of stripped old carved pine and oak frames, costing a quarter of the price of hand-carved frames’, (3) ‘Best quality reproduction plaster frames, finished in burnished bronze….’, (4) ‘A wide range of patterns of Primatives, Walnut veneer and gold, Tortoiseshell, Italian Silver and Renaissance styles, Velvet and Walnut and Antique cracked Venetian gilding’, (5) To the Trade. ‘A special line of the cheapest and best hand-made frames now being manufactured. Louis XIV, and similar styles from 10/- per foot, in colour and gold or decape finishes’, (6) To Artists. ‘…a unique framing service compiled from a vast stock of old period frames, modernised and regilded in French colour and gold and decape finish…’. Additionally, reference is made in the advertisement to John Tanous’s niece, Marcelle Tanous, reproduction mirrors, wall lights, etc at 309 Fulham Road and his brother, George Tanous, upholstery, curtains, furniture etc at 262 Fulham Road.
Sources: William Raymond, ‘Montmartre in Chelsea has been his aim’, West London Press 18 May 1962 (profile and interview with John Tanous); Jenny Isaacson, History of Tanous, Picture Framemakers, typescript, 2009 (including a technical section on the Tanous framemaking process); Derek Tanous, ‘Running in the family’, Art Business Today, June 2010, p.66 (interview with Derek Tanous). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Frederick Tate, 18 Percy St, Bedford Square, London W by 1844-1920. Carvers and gilders, picture restorers.
Frederick Thomas Tate (1811-83) and his son Frederick Kent Tate (1847-1922) can be traced through censuses, always at 18 Percy St: in 1851 the father, a carver and gilder, age 40, and the son, age 4, in 1861 untraced, in 1871 the father a master and the son employed by his father, in 1881 both father and son gilders and framemakers, in 1891 untraced, and in 1901 and 1911 only the son, recorded as a picture framemaker. The son died in 1922, leaving effects worth £1680, with administration granted to Frederick Harrison Tate (1888-1953), dealer, presumably his own son.
The father’s trade label gives 1838 as the year the business was established, advertising as 'Practical Gilder and Frame Maker, Picture Restorer and Dealer in Works of Art… Manufacturer of Gilt Consoles, Looking Glasses, Window Cornices and Ornamental Designs generally for Decorative purposes; Old Gilt Work Cleaned or Re-gilt in superior manner' (National Portrait Gallery, label from Thomas Woolner's plaster medallion, William Gifford Palgrave, 1864).
It was presumably the younger Tate, ‘practical gilder, picture cleaner, etc’, who was the author of the Handbook for the Amateur, containing practical hints on the proper keeping and preservation of oil paintings, published in 1879; in his advertisements for this publication he offered a picture restoration service (The Times 25 September 1880). In 1913, he advertised as The Tate Gallery of Fine Art, offering 'Picture Restoration and Artistic Framing' (The Year’s Art 1913) and it was these services that he promoted through an advertising postcard showing him standing outside his shopfront (reproduction kindly provided by Nick Clark, 2011).
Updated September 2015
H.W. Taylor & Co 1896-1934. At ‘The Old Golden Palette’, 61 Queen’s Road, Bayswater, London (’10 doors from Queen’s Road station’) 1896-1927, 36 Spring St, Paddington, W2 1928-1934. Picture frame designers and makers.
Harry Walter Taylor (1864-1934) was a partner in the business of Gething & Taylor (qv), before setting up his own company in 1896. He was born in Southampton in 1864 but can be found in Edgbaston in the 1881 census, described as an artist, age 16, the son of Henry T. Taylor, a metal agent. In 1901 in the census he was living in Acton, a picture frame moulding manufacturer. Harry Walter Taylor (1864-1934) of 36 Spring St, Paddington, died at the age of 70 in 1934 (London Gazette 26 March 1935), leaving effects worth £380.
In The Year’s Art in 1899, as late of 102 Charing Cross Road, Taylor set out his services, ‘Manufacturers of Highest-class Frames for Pictures, Prints, Mirrors, Medallions, Plaques, etc., in Every Style and Material… Special Designs carried out’, also offering to clean and remount old prints and clean, reline and restore pictures. In The Studio the same year Taylor advertised his business as ‘Picture Frame Fashioners, Designers, Carvers & Modellers’ (The Studio, vol.16, 15 February 1899, p.xx). By 1900, he was trading as H.W. Taylor & Co from premises in Bayswater described as ‘The Old Golden Palette’.
By 1928, the business had moved from Bayswater to Paddington, where it advertised as ‘Makers of Picture Frames in Carved Wood or Hand-Modelled Gesso, from our own Patterns or Worked to Artist’s Designs. All Styles, Old or New’ (Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol.80, 1 April 1932, p.ii).
Framing work: In an article on picture framing from the artist's point of view, Byam Shaw explained that he used Taylor for his less expensive frames, while going to May for 'old French frames’, presumably C.M. May (qv) (Fine Art Trade Journal, vol.3, 1908, information from Jeremy Adamson). The tabernacle frame on Marianne Stokes’s small altar painting, The Infant St John, by 1900?, has H.W. Taylor & Co’s label (Christie’s South Kensington 13 March 2013 lot 129).
H.W. Taylor & Co worked for a number of artists with Cornish associations. The business made the frame for Frank Bramley's Among the Roses, 1911, and Elizabeth Forbes's Blackberry Gathering, exh.1912 (both Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, see Morris 1996 pp.41, 143). Lamorna Birch employed Taylor as his London agent and framer, 1904-18 and perhaps for longer, often leaving decisions on framing, mounting and presentation to him and to his watercolour framer, John H. Steer (qv). The results could be disappointing, as on the occasion of Birch’s one-man show at the Fine Art Society in 1918 when he had to work with Taylor for nearly 10 hours at a stretch helping to reframe the exhibition immediately before it opened to make it presentable (Austin Wormleighton, A Painter Laureate: Lamorna Birch and his circle, 1995, pp.87, 91, 93, 145, information from James Church, June 2012).
Taylor was used for framing, c.1905-10, by the American artist, W. Elmer Schofield (1865-1944), who painted a great deal in Cornwall (information from James Church, June 2012), including for The Landing Stage, Boulogne, 1908-9, with damaged label: "The Old Golden Palette"/ H.W.TAYLOR & Co./ …/ PICTURE FRAME FASHIONERS,/ … (Cincinnati Art Museum, information from James Church, August 2014). For Taylor’s correspondence with Schofield from 1905, including a revealing letter with eight frame profiles, see James Church’s article, The Artist and the Framemaker: W. Elmer Schofield and H.W. Taylor, on the Frame Blog, 8 July, 2015.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*John Taylor 1826-1849, John Taylor & Son 1850-1898, John Taylor & Son (Edinburgh) Ltd 1899-1940. At 100 Rose St, Edinburgh 1826-1827, West Thistle St (also called south-west Thistle Lane) 1828-1835, 55 George St 1835-1850, 54 George St (under the Assembly Rooms) 1841-1850, 109 Princes St 1851-1911 or later, 110 Princes St 1870-1940. Wright, then picture framemakers, printsellers, auctioneers, later furniture makers and upholsterers.
See British artists' suppliers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
Updated September 2014
Zacharie Taylor, near Smithfield, London 1631/2, Covent Garden (?) 1646. Joiner and carver.
Zacharie Taylor (active 1631, d.1652) was a leading carver in the reign of King Charles I, for whom he made numerous frames, many of which were painted and gilded by John de Critz (qv) or Matthew Goodricke (qv). He is possibly the Zacharie Taylour who married Elianor Fisher at St Gregory by St Paul in 1625.
George Vertue noted from a Works Office Book for 1631/2 that Taylor lived near Smithfield (Vertue vol.4, p.26) but his reference to ‘Zachary Taylor Surveyor Temp. K. Charles 2d a fine half length picture painted with a compass. & a square in his hands’, noted in margin as painted by Fuller, is puzzling (Vertue vol.1, p.98, quoting British Library, Add. MS 23069 f.15r). There was a Zachary Taylor in Covent Garden in 1646, according to rate books.
In his will, made 9 July 1650 and proved 4 February 1652, Zacharie Taylor, joiner of London, made his widowed daughter, Elizabeth Taylor, also Colton, his executrix and residuary legatee, requesting that he be buried in or near the grave of Ellen, his first wife, in the parish church of St Sepulchre. He made specific bequests as follows: to his sometime servant Henry Phillips ‘Dittenlyns Book of Architecture’ (presumably Wendel Dietterlin’s Architectura, 1598), to his late servant Richard Cleare (d.1681) his ‘models’, instruments and tools of his trade of carving, to his nephew Barnard Lipscombe(?) (d.1681), carpenter, all his books and ‘draughts of Architecture’ (PCC wills). The specific reference to Dietterlin is intriguing, further documenting the craftsmen who had access to his Architectura in Britain (see Anthony Wells-Cole, Art and decoration in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The influence of continental prints, 1558-1625, 1997, pp.27-30, for Dietterlin’s influence). Henry Phillips went on to become Sculptor to the Crown and was followed or deputised by his nephew, William Emmett (qv).
Framing work: According to notes made by George Vertue, ‘Zachary Taylor carver’ worked at Somerset House, 1632-7, receiving payments from the Master of the Works in 1632, undertaking work in the Queen’s Closet in 1635 and carving picture frames at 2s.2d a foot for the Cross Gallery in 1637 (Vertue vol.2, p.91, from a manuscript belonging to Peter Le Neve; Vertue vol.1, p.98, from an account book). Taylor carved ‘tenn great picture frames’ for the Cross Gallery (National Archives, E 351/3270, f.10) and also a ‘great picture frame for the old withdrawing roome’, consisting of 33 feet at a cost of 4d a foot (E 351/3271). Taylor worked at Whitehall in 1631/2, carving a large picture frame for £9.18s (National Archives, E351/3265) and Greenwich in 1639/40 producing ten pedestals for marble statues, with bulls heads, festoons, fruits, leaves and flowers at £3 each (George H. Chettle, The Queen’s House, Greenwich, London Survey Committee, 14th monograph, 1937, p.104).
Elsewhere, Taylor agreed with Nicholas Stone in August 1639 to provide a picture frame for the Countess of Middlesex’s picture by Van Dyck for £6 which Matthew Goodricke was to colour and gild for a further £6 (Kent History and Library Centre, U269 A462/5, from notes made by the late Gervase Jackson-Stops and by Edward Town).
Vertue also records that Taylor was carver at Wilton House, where Edward Pearce (qv) and Matthew Goodricke were painters (Vertue vol.2, p.59). Taylor worked at Northumberland House in the 1640s, producing elaborate carved decoration for the staircase and for some of the principal rooms in the south range (Jeremy Wood, ‘The Architectural Patronage of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland’, in John Bold and Edward Chaney (eds), English Architecture Public and Private: Essays for Kerry Downes, 1993, pp.62, 66-8).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Thomas Temple by 1795-1799, Brookes & Temple by 1801-1808, Temple & Son 1809-1839. At Wardour St, Soho, London 1795, 105 Warden (Wardour?) St, Soho 1799, 28Coventry St by 1801-1814, Clipstone St, Fitzroy Square 1820-1822, 50 Great Titchfield St, Fitzroy Square 1811-1839. Carvers and gilders, picture framemakers (also stationers as Brookes & Temple).
Thomas Temple (c.1760-1833), a prominent framemaker in the Regency period, held an appointment to the Duke of York. He and his son, Thomas Maxfield Temple (1799-1865), worked for various collectors and country house owners in the 1810s, 1820s and 1830s.
In 1795 Thomas Temple, Wardour St, was present as secretary at a meeting of fifteen consumers and manufacturers of leaf gold which resolved to resist an attempt by journeymen goldbeaters to increase their labour charges (The Times 22 December 1795). In about 1801, Temple went into partnership with Henry Brookes (qv), a stationer at 28 Coventry St, until September 1808 when the partnership was dissolved (London Gazette 27 September 1808). Temple thereafter traded independently from 50 Great Titchfield St, describing himself as a carver, gilder and picture framemaker, 'removed from Coventry Street'. He was also occasionally listed as a stationer. His trade label as Temple & Son described the business as ‘Carvers, Gilders & Picture Frame Makers, by Appointment to His Royal Highness the Duke of York’ (example reproduced in A Hang of English Frames, Arnold Wiggins & Sons, 1996).
Like many framemakers, Temple used the specialist composition ornament maker, Thomas Jackson (qv), for framing work in 1812. Jackson’s son, George Jackson (qv), also a composition ornament maker, apparently used some of Temple’s own designs in supplying ornament to other makers so that terms like ‘Temples corners & centres’, ‘Temples foliage’, ‘Temples water leaf‘, ‘Temples shells & husk’ and ‘Temples bands’, appear almost throughout Jackson’s account book, 1812-7 (V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1). Very similar descriptions, such as 'Temples bands & middles’ appear in the account books of another leading framemaker, John Smith (qv) from 1812, suggesting that Temple was among the design sources used by Smith for composition ornaments for his picture frames, perhaps through a subcontracting supplier. It is also worth noting that Smith cleaned a number of pictures for Temple, 1818-20, a further indication of how closely different businesses worked together (V&A National Art Library, 86.CC.1, Smith account book, vol.1, pp.565, 759, 811).
In 1825, Temple attended 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). At his death at the age of 73 in 1833, he was living at 8 Frederick Place, Hampstead Road, referring in his will to his sons, Henry James Temple and Thomas Maxfield Temple.
Henry James Temple (b.1814) does not appear to have played a part in the business. His older brother, Thomas Maxfield Temple (1799-1865), was made bankrupt in 1839, when James Charles Guillet (qv) of Silver St, Kensington Gravel Pits, was appointed as his assignee (The Times 17 October 1839, 12 February 1840); Temple’s stock-in-trade was advertised for sale on his premises early the following year (The Times 10 January 1840). Like his father before him, the younger Temple had been a customer of the composition ornament maker, George Jackson & Sons (qv), 1836-9 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/3). Some of his business as a framemaker seems to have passed to Robert Thick (qv). He died in Camberwell in 1865.
Framing work: For Thomas Temple's early framing work for the artist, Henry Edridge, see Henry Brookes. Thomas Temple was paid by John Soane in April 1798 for three frames for the exhibition, presumably the Royal Academy’s, at £2.8s.9d; that year Soane exhibited three drawings, Entrance to Hyde Park, The hall at Tyringham and The intended mansion of David Scott Esq (Sir John Soane’s Museum Archive, journal no.4, Soane’s account, 9 April 1798; Royal Academy, exh.cat., 1798).
Thomas Temple, and his son Thomas Maxfield Temple, appear to have had links with William and John Seguier, who were advisers to many collectors at the time, and it would seem that the Seguiers brought the Temples considerable business. For example, there are several pictures with the Temple label in the Daniel Mesman bequest to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1834, a bequest which John Seguier was charged with framing, hanging and arranging; these pictures include Lorenzo Pasinelli’s A Sibyl, and Albert Klomp’s Cattle in a Landscape (see The Dutch Connection: The founding of the Fitzwilliam Museum, exh.cat., Fitzwilliam Museum, 1988, p.6). Both William and John Seguier were advisers to the Duke of Wellington (Jervis 1982 p.18), among whose papers there are various bills and letters showing that up to his bankruptcy in 1839 Temple was the Duke’s main framemaker; there are a few frames at Apsley House with the Temple label, including the massive French-style frame for the full-length, Queen Mary Tudor, after Antonio Moro (repr. Jervis 1982 p.51), made following correspondence between the Duke and his architect, Benjamin Dean Wyatt, in 1829.
Thomas Temple & Son may be the picture framer working for the Duke of Devonshire, documented in the Chatsworth furnishing accounts, 1820-34 (DEFM). The business framed pictures for various other collectors including regilding two frames for John Howard, 15th Earl of Suffolk, Ferdinand Bol’s The Falconer and a copy of Paul van Somer’s Countess of Berkshire, both labelled Temple & Son (coll. English Heritage, see The Suffolk Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, 1974, nos 7, 48). Temple charged the Duke of Portland £47.13s for work on picture frames in 1832-3 (University of Nottingham special collections, Pw H 2600, Portland collection).
‘Mr Temple, Carver and Gilder’, presumably Thomas Maxfield Temple, undertook work furnishing the state apartments at Windsor Castle in the late 1830s, receiving staged payments totalling £2900, according to warrants issued between 11 April 1837 and 2 April 1839 (National Archives, LC 1/1, letters 113, 116-8).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2014
Robert Thick, 35 Clipstone St, Fitzroy Square, London 1839-1854. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker and restorer, previously a grocer.
Robert Thick (1798-1869) was active as a framemaker in the 1840s and early 1850s, with a distinguished list of clients. He appears to have been christened at St Marylebone in 1798, the son of Robert and Catherine Thick. He married Mary Ann Wade in 1849 at St Marylebone, when he was described as the son of Robert Thick, a deceased salesmen. He died in the Kingston district in 1869, age 70, leaving effects under £5000, with his will proved by his widow, Mary Ann Thick, and another.
Thick’s early years are obscure. His father was recorded at 35 Clipstone St from 1800 onwards in land tax records and is probably the potato merchant found in a London directory in 1835, and the grocer in 1836-9. The son worked as a framemaker from 1839 to 1854. He was recorded in the 1851 and 1861 censuses living at Ham in Surrey, in 1851 as a master gilder employing two men, in 1861 as a proprietor of houses.
Thick’s early years are obscure but by 1835 he or perhaps his father was trading as a potato merchant and was listed in London directories as a grocer, 1836-9. He worked as a framemaker from 1839 to 1854. He was recorded in the 1851 and 1861 censuses living at Ham in Surrey, in 1851 as a master gilder employing two men, in 1861 as a proprietor of houses.
In January 1854 Thick transferred his business to Henry Critchfield (qv), according to Francis Draper (qv), who eventually succeeded to the Critchfield business. Critchfield told George Scharf, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, that 'Thick was ruined by excess of work at Windsor Castle. Henderson, previously employed at Windsor Castle, not being able to gain payment in time, cut his throat in despair' (Simon 1996 p.133).
Framing work: A great deal can be learnt from Thick's frame account books (collection Duke of Wellington, see Jervis 1982 p.18), including his practice of giving Seguier, agent to various collectors, a small payment for business introduced. Here, the focus is on the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel and the National Gallery, followed by a summary list of some other significant customers. Thick replaced Thomas Temple (qv) as framemaker for the Duke of Wellington (Jervis 1982 p.18), making frames for old masters and hanging pictures from 1841 to 1852. The earliest entry in his account book is for a whole length frame for a portrait of Marquess of Anglesey at £8.8s on 9 April 1841. He made more than 30 frames for the Duke over the next ten years.
Thick worked for National Gallery, 1840-54, making a few new frames and various picture tablets, but mostly gilding, repairing, extending, dusting and cleaning existing frames, and packing and hanging pictures. He made a frame for James Ward’s Council of Horses for £5.10s in 1848 (destroyed; formerly Tate Gallery), a mahogany case lined with velvet for Jan van Eyck’s A Man in a Turban for £5.5s in 1851 (National Gallery) and gilt frames for Gilbert Stuart’s Benjamin West (Tate) and Zurbaran’s St Francis in Meditation (National Gallery) for £3 and £9.10s respectively in 1853.
Thick also worked for one of the most important collectors and patrons of the period, Sir Robert Peel, from 1841 until 1850, making frames and cases, hanging pictures and making repairs (Simon 1996 p.170). Many of his frames for Peel were in the Lawrence style, including those for Frederick Richard Say’s Earl of Ellenborough, c.1846, and Duke of Newcastle, 1848 (National Portrait Gallery, the former repr. Simon 1996 p.116).
Thick undertook a limited amount of work for Ford Madox Brown and rather more extensive work for F.R. Say but otherwise made few frames for artists. It was perhaps through Peel that Say came to use Thick for much of his picture framing, 1848-51, as is apparent from Thick’s order book, where two of Say’s Royal Academy exhibits can be identified including Miss Beechey, a 6½ ins frame ordered July 1849 and the Archbishop of York, a 7½ ins frame ordered February 1850. The latter is one of several frames marked in the order book, ‘Ryan’, perhaps the name of a craftsman or conceivably an indication that the manufacture of the frame was subcontracted to James Ryan (qv).
Among other clients, perhaps the most noteworthy were Sir Thomas Baring, the Earl of Burlington, the British Museum, the Duke of Cambridge, the Marquess Camden, the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Crewe, the Earl of Dartmouth, Earl De la Warr, the Dilettante Society, Prince Esterhazy, Sir Augustus Foster, Thomas Frewin, Henry Thomas Hope, Philip Henry Howard, the Earl of Liverpool, the Earl and Countess of Macclesfield, the Earl of Malmesbury, J. Mitchell, Lord Palmerston, Granville Penn, Samuel Rogers, the Royal Collection at Buckingham Place, Hampton Court and St James's Palace, William and John Seguier, the Duke of Somerset, Charles Standish, Lady Stratheden, Watson Taylor, J. Tollemache, Harcourt Vernon, the Earl of Wemyss and Sir Richard Westmacott. He invoiced John Abel Smith for picture frames, 1845-6 (West Sussex Record Office, ADD MSS/22,518).
Sources: Robert Thick account and order books, kindly made available in 1995 by the late Duke of Wellington, thanks to his archivist, Georgina Stonor. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
John Thirtle, Magdalen St,Norwich by 1808-1839. Landscape painter, miniature painter, drawing master, later carver and gilder, looking glass and picture framemaker, printseller.
The Norwich landscape painter, John Thirtle (1777-1839), a talented watercolourist, was the son of John Thirtle, a shoemaker. He was apprenticed to the Norwich carver and gilder, Benjamin Jagger, in 1790 (Stabler 2006 p.225). He exhibited with the Norwich Society from 1805, but rarely showed his work after a disagreement in 1816. To make ends meet, he also acted as a drawing master and a picture framemaker. His trade label from Magdalen St takes four forms, perhaps the earliest describing him as 'Thirtle, MINIATURE PAINTER, & Drawing Master’, within an oval, offering to frame and glaze pictures and prints, while the most elaborate, stylistically dating to the 1830s, calls him a ‘CARVER, GILDER, PICTURE FRAME AND LOOKING GLASS Manufacturer, WHOLESALE AND RETAIL’ (repr. Stabler 2006 p.85). His will, very short and simple, made 31 July 1838 and proved 3 December 1839, describes himself as a carver and gilder. His business was then taken over by William Boswell (qv).
It has been suggested that much of Thirtle’s work as a framemaker may have come through his fellow Norwich School artists, such as Joseph Clover, who used Thirtle’s address when exhibiting in 1816 and 1817 and who is documented as using his services between 1825 and 1838, James Stark and George Vincent. The Norwich Castle Museum contains labelled Thirtle frames on pictures by J.S. Cotman, J.B. Crome, Robert Dixon, Thomas Lound, James Sillett, Joseph Stannard and George Vincent (Moore 1985 p.78); examples include Vincent's View in Glen Sharrah, 1823, and Trowse Meadows, near Norwich, 1828 (Moore 1985 p.46).
Sources: Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, John Thirtle 1777-1839, exh.cat., Norwich Castle Museum, 1977; John Stabler, Norfolk Furniture Makers 1700-1840, Regional Furniture Society, 2006. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2014
William Thomas 1822-1864, Mrs Ann Thomas 1864-1873, Robert Thomas 1874-1884. At 17 Charlton St, London 1822-1824, 39 London St, Fitzroy Square 1823-1851, 29 Berners St 1851-1865, 51 Wigmore St 1865-1869, 11 Wigmore St 1869-1872, 60 George St, Portman Square 1873-1884. Carvers and gilders, house and ornamental painters, paper hangers and decorators, picture framemakers.
William Thomas (c.1792-1864) undertook framing work for several leading artists and for Queen Victoria. He may have had ambitions as an artist himself, if a directory listing in 1820 at 22 Charles St, Middlesex Hospital, can be linked to him.
Thomas used his early frame trade label as a ‘Carver & Gilder, Glass & Picture Frame Maker’ at 17 Charlton St, Fitzroy Square, to advertise as successor to ‘Mr. Goyer’, but whether Philip or Benjamin Goyer (qv) is not clear. Thomas is given in London directory listings at 17 Charlton St (Robson, 1822 and 1823) and at two nearby addresses, 17 Charlotte St (Pigot, 1822; Robson, 1824) and 17 London St (Pigot, 1823). It is unlikely that he was active at all three addresses. In an earlier edition of this online resource, it was assumed that Charlton St was a misunderstanding for Charlotte St, but now the reverse seems probable, given the existence of the Charlton St frame label (example, private coll., information from Nigel Prince, October 2013). Shortly afterwards Thomas can be found trading as a decorator and gilder, on the evidence of another trade label, from London St (DEFM).
William Thomas married Ann Cave, a descendant of Edward Cave, proprietor of the Gentleman's Magazine, at St James Westminster in 1818. In 1825 he attended 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). He was a customer of the specialist composition ornament suppliers, George Jackson & Sons (qv), 1840-2 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/3). In the 1851 census he was listed as a carver and gilder, age 58, born Westminster, with many children; in 1861 his age was given as 65, his wife Ann as 61, with sons William and Thomas and daughter Maria. He died at the age of 71 in 1864 (The Times 9 February 1864), leaving effects worth under £300.
William Thomas was succeeded in business by his widow, Ann, trading as decorator and gilder, and in turn by his son, Robert Baguley Thomas (1829-84), initially as gilder and decorator, and from 1876 also as a picture restorer. Described as a decorator and picture framemaker, he died in 1884 leaving a personal estate of £198. Another son, the artist William Cave Thomas (1820-84), exhibited at the Royal Academy from 39 London St in 1843. Both father and son were witnesses to the will of the picture restorer, William Thane, in 1843.
William Thomas held appointments to Queen Adelaide and the Duchess of Kent. He was made a carver and gilder to Queen Victoria in 1837 (National Archives, LC 5/243 p.18) and held an appointment to the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII. He worked extensively for the Crown from c.1840. Already on his trade label in 1834, he noted his appointment to Queen Adelaide and described himself as ‘Carver & Gilder, House and Ornamental Painter, Paper Hanger, Decorator &c… Workmen sent to any part of the kingdom’, a description which he continued to use for many years (Simon 1996 p.168). His warrant to the Prince of Wales was struck out in 1863, shortly before his death.
Framing work: Thomas supplied a set of uniform gilded composition frames for the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in 1850, initially estimating the sum of £1053 for 185 gilt frames, reduced by various deductions to £919; an example is Jan Steen’s A woman at her toilet (repr. Noble 1993 p.172). Over the years, the Thomas business supplied numerous frames for pictures in Queen Victoria’s collection (Millar 1992, see index p.357; see also Joy 1969 p.684). These included works by Sir Edwin Landseer (1840-9; work dates are given, rather than frame dates), John Lucas (1842), Sir George Hayter (after) (1842), Sir Francis Grant (1843), John Frederick Herring (1845-6), Charles Lock Eastlake (1850), Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1850, 1853, 1861-2), Henrietta Ward (1857), Emma Gaggiotti Richards (1861), Albert Graefle (1864), Charles Burton Barber (1872-81), Henry Richard Graves (1874), Otto Weber (1874) and Gourlay Steell (1876). Some of the frames for work by Winterhalter were especially elaborate or involved special travel (Millar 1992 pp.307, 310, 325). There are payments to William Thomas, 1854-65 (PP 2/6, 4624 to PP 2/91, 8369; LC 11/139, see Burlington Magazine, vol.151, 2009, p.828, n.35) and to his widow Ann Thomas 1864-9 (PP2/81, 6732 to PP2/140, 15592).
William Thomas made frames for Sir Francis Grant and, it would seem, Sir George Hayter, both royal warrant holders. Hayter would have come across Thomas in the course of his work for Queen Victoria but whether Thomas worked for him personally remains to be established. Hayter records seeing Thomas about framing the Queen’s portrait (Guildhall Art Gallery) on 26 January 1838 (Diary, typescript, National Portrait Gallery Library). Portraits by Hayter with Thomas’s label include Baron Hatherton, 1834, and Thomas Waghorn, by 1847(both National Portrait Gallery, the former repr. Simon 1996 p.169). Thomas’s frame for the portrait of Hatherton employs butterfly keys to join the corners, an unusual method at the period, also found on his frame for Francis Grant’s J.G. Lockhart (Scottish National Portrait Gallery). Other works by Grant framed by William Thomas in various styles include 1st Earl Russell, 1853, and 3rd Earl of Lucan, 1855 (both National Portrait Gallery, the latter repr. Simon 1996 p.104), John Naylor, 1857 (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) and, by Robert Thomas, 6th Duke of Richmond (Goodwood House, information from James Peill, April 2013).
Thomas's work for other clients is not well documented. ‘W. Thomas’ supplied picture frames to the 3rd Earl of Egremont, 1823-4 (West Sussex Record Office, PHA/10610). From his label, William Thomas supplied the frame for Andrew Morton’s Lord Brougham, c.1836? (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, information from Keith Morrison). Robert Thomas supplied picture frames to the Duke of Portland in 1878 (Nottingham University Library, Pw K/4531, Portland collection).
Sources: Charles Noble, 'Fashion in the gallery: The Picture Gallery's changing hang', Apollo, vol.138, 1993, pp.170-5, fig.2. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated March 2016
Alexander Thomson, Head of Calton (also listed as Calton Hill), Edinburgh 1799-1809, 16 York Place 1809-1811, renumbered 1811, 34 York Place 1811-1813, 79 High St (‘near the Fountain Well’) 1814-1823. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker.
Little is known of Thomson other than his work framing Henry Raeburn’s pictures. He is possibly the ‘Alexander Thomson Wright’ who became a Burgess in April 1793. Confusingly there are carvers of his name recorded at two different Edinburgh addresses in the immediately ensuing years, at McDougal’s St, foot of Leith Wynd, 1793-97, and at Bristo St 1794-97. He is possibly the ‘Alexander Tomson, Carver & Gilder, an imposing rascal’ who features in Lord Rosebery’s cash book in October 1794 as receiving a payment of £24.3s.
An earlier edition of this history stated that it was not clear whether Alexander Thomson was the wright of this name who died age 79 in December 1827, leaving four children by his first marriage, to Ann Crumbie (daughter of John Crumbie, wright). One of his sons, James, born 1786, became a wright at Edinburgh (as recorded in the lengthy marriage settlement between Alexander Thomson and his second wife, Isobel Cooper, in 1827).
However, it now seems likely that he was the Alexander Thomson, described as carver and gilder of Water of Leith, when he married Margary Maxwell in 1797 at St Cuthbert Edinburgh (information kindly provided by Douglas Thomson, April 2015; see also ScotlandsPeople website). They had seven children baptised in this parish, with Alexander the father always described as a carver and gilder: Alexander, the first son (1798, address given as Simons Square), William (1800, Calton), Margery (1802, Calton), Henry (1804), John Maxwell (1806, Leith Walk), James (1808, Shakspear Square) and George (1810). It has been suggested that Alexander Thomson was born in April 1773 in Stockbridge but his death has not been traced; his son Henry died in Jedburgh in 1884 (information from Douglas Thomson).
Framing work: Alexander Thomson’s premises at Calton Hill, or ‘head of Calton’, were within 400 yards of Raeburn’s York Place studio. His frame trade label gives his address as Leith Walk, a street a few hundred yards away. It was perhaps the convenience of dealing with a framemaker within easy reach that contributed to Raeburn’s decision to move his business to Thomson in about 1798. Alexander Thomson’s name can first be linked with Raeburn’s in successive entries in the account book of Hugh Scott of Harden, a Raeburn patron in the 1790s. A payment on 17 April 1799 for picture frames costing £24.1s is followed the next day by one to Raeburn himself of £26.5s, or 25 guineas, for a portrait of Mrs Scott. In 1801 Thomson framed a picture of game which Raeburn sold to John Brown of Laufine. In 1805 Murray Stirling of Abercairny paid Thomson for two three-quarter picture frames at £3.3s each for Raeburn portraits (National Records of Scotland, GD24/1/627/19, kindly communicated by Helen Smailes). In 1806 and 1812 Thomson is documented by receipts as framing further Raeburn’s portraits. In November 1808 he published Charles Turner’s mezzotint of Raeburn’s portrait of Alexander Adam, the imprint line describing him as ‘Carver, Coltenhill’.
But the most intriguing link is provided by the Edinburgh directories of the period which show Thomson as working from the same address as Raeburn at 16 York Place, renumbered in 1811 as 34 York Place, from 1809-1813. He also had furnished lodgings in Shakespeare Square in 1810 and 1811. Subsequently from 1814 Thomson was listed at 79 High St in the Old Town, ‘near the Fountain Well’ according to his trade label, half a mile from Raeburn’s studio.
In 1822 Thomson wrote from 79 High St to Sir Duncan Campbell of Barcaldine seeking payment of his account for a picture frame and box at 11 guineas (National Archives of Scotland, GD170/2744, Campbell of Barcaldine papers).
Sources: Houliston 1999 pp.63-4, 77. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Michael Tijou 1795-1824, (Michael) Tijou & Son 1823-1828, William Tijou 1828-1833. At 22 Greek St, Soho, London 1795-1802, 16 Greek St 1802-1826, 17 Greek St 1819-1833. Carvers and gilders, picture frame and looking glass makers.
There were Huguenot craftsmen by the name of Tijou active in London in the early 18th century, notably Jean Tijou, the celebrated ironsmith. By the early 19th century, there were several London families by the name of Tijou, with a number of individuals operating as carvers and gilders, making identifications problematic. One couple, Michael and Sarah, married in 1789 at St George Bloomsbury and had six children between about 1789 and 1798, christened at St Anne Soho; this Michael was probably the Michael Tijou, carver and gilder in Greek St, Soho, discussed here. The birth of his son Henry has not been traced and he seems to have had further children later in life (see below). Another couple, Michael and Elizabeth had five children between 1813 and 1827, christened in Southwark; this second Michael may have been the son of Michael and Sarah Tijou. A third couple, Thomas and Mary had three children between 1808 and 1811, again christened in Southwark, of whom Francis Tijou, born 1810, must surely be the carver of this name working in Lambeth in the mid-19th century. There were members of the Tijou family working as carvers and gilders in Southwark, Vauxhall and Lambeth from at least 1811 until 1862 or later.
Michael Tijou (d.1835/6) was active by the 1790s, with several notable clients. He took Thomas Clarke as apprentice in 1791. Initially he dealt in pictures, until in 1802 when the entire stock of ancient and modern pictures of ‘Mr Tijou… who is removed to No. 16, and is leaving off the Picture Business’, was sold on his premises at 22 Greek Street (The Times 23 September 1802). He continued occasionally to offer items for sale on his premises including furniture and portraits (The Times 2 February 1821). According to the Survey of London, it was perhaps Michael Tijou who had a new shop front inserted at 17 Greek St, possibly in 1824.
Like many framemakers, ‘Tijou’ of Greek St, was an occasional customer of the specialist composition ornament maker, George Jackson (qv), ordering runs of ornament and a sweep frame in 1813 and various ornamental parts in 1814 (see Jackson account book, V&A Archive of Art and Design, AAD/2012/1/2/1, pp.57, 142).
William Tijou (1798-1838) was apparently born in 1798, the son of Michael and Sarah Tijou, and died age 39 in 1838 (London Dispatch and People’s Political and Social Reformer 16 December 1838). He was chairman of a meeting in 1825 of more than fifty master carvers and gilders, including M. Tijou and Sons, and T. Tijou, who resolved to resist the demands of journeymen for an increase in wages (The Times 30 June 1825). The Tijou business acted as agent for the Birmingham Society of Arts for their exhibition in 1829; Tijou would 'either pack the pictures in the houses of the respective Artists, or remove them into Greek-street for that purpose, as may be most agreeable to the Exhibitors themselves' (Fawcett 1974 p.207).
In his will, made 15 January 1835 and proved 4 April 1836, Michael Tijou described himself as carver and gilder of Vauxhall Bridge Road, and left his estate in trust for his many sons and daughters, whom he lists with their dates of birth between 1818 and 1829 as his natural or reputed children by Sophia Esther Tijou, from Henry in 1818 to Sophia Phyllis in 1829, with a delightful nod to one of his greatest patrons, Sir John Leicester of Tabley Hall, in the christening of John Thomas Tabley Tijou in 1823. A sale of Michael Tijou’s pictures, ‘collected by him during a long series of years’ was held in 1836, including work by Gainsborough, Martin, Morland, Northcote, Turner, Ward and Westall (The Times 26 March 1836).
Framing work: Michael Tijou supplied picture frames to the 3rd Earl of Egremont, 1799-1806. He and his son, Henry, acted for Sir John Leicester, apparently supervising the opening of Leicester’s Gallery of modern British pictures in Mayfair in 1818. As part of this process, Michael Tijou appears in connection with pictures by Thomas Lawrence in 1817 and Edwin Landseer in 1820 and 1821. In 1824 in an idiosyncratically spelt and familiarly worded letter to Sir John, Tijou referred to his son Henry, who also wrote to Sir John with information about his framing work for John Nash the architect on a portrait of George IV by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Henry Tijou helped organise the sale of pictures which took place following Leicester’s death in 1827 but part of the Leicester collection survived intact and is now shown at Tabley House, Cheshire.
For a time, Tijou acted as Thomas Lawrence's framemaker, as Joseph Farington noted when Lawrence spoke to him about settling an account with Tijou in 1816, and then with Tijou’s solicitor the following January (Farington, vol.14 pp.4921, 4956). Lawrence appears to have continued using or recommending Tijou for some framing work. His Frederick Duke of York, c.1822 (Christie’s 6 July 2007 lot 209) bears the frame label of M. Tijou & Son from 17 Greek St as ‘Carvers, Gilders, Glass & Picture Frame Manufacturers’, advertising, ‘Old Glasses New polished & Silvered. Old Pictures restored. Secondhand Glasses of large Dimensions’. ‘Mr Tijou' received a payment of £68.10s.6d from the estate of Thomas Lawrence in 1830 (V&A National Art Library, MSL/1938/1923). For Tijou and Thomas Lawrence, see Lawrence's framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
Michael Tijou worked for other leading artists. John Hoppner refers to him in correspondence with Sir John Leicester in 1806 (Hall 1962 p.80). Joseph Farington quotes him concerning the death of both John Opie in 1807 and George Henry Harlow in 1819, in the latter instance as taking charge of his funeral (Farington, vol.8 p.3002, vol.15 p.5333). James Northcote is documented as using 'Tiyou' to supply picture frames for his portraits on four occasions between 1806 and 1816. John Linnell used ‘Tijou’ to undertake modest work on one occasion in 1822 (Fitzwilliam Museum, Linnell account book, MS 20-2000).
Sources: 'Greek Street Area', Survey of London, vols 33, 34, St Anne Soho, 1966, pp.170-90, available online at www.british-history.ac.uk; West Sussex Record Office, Petworth House Archive, PHA/8024, 8064, 9219, 10619; Douglas Hall, 'The Tabley House Papers', Walpole Society, vol.38, 1962, pp.81, 83, 89, 109-10; Peter Cannon-Brookes, Tabley House, guidebook, 1991, p.8; Jacob Simon, 'The Account Book of James Northcote', Walpole Society, vol.58, 1996, p.25. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
John Tootle, see George Morant
*John Tousey, The Golden Head, Wardour St, London by 1749-1750 or later, Sarah Touzey, The Golden Head, Bow St, Bloomsbury 1755, John Tousey, The Golden Head, Bow St by 1763-1781. Carvers and gilders.
Our understanding of this Huguenot family of carvers is incomplete and further research is required. John and Elizabeth Tousey had two sons by the name of John Tousey, the first christened at St Anne Soho in 1712, the second at St Martin-in-the-Fields in 1723. A further individual by the name of John Tousey was christened in 1740 at St Paul Covent Garden, the son of John and Catherine Tousey.
John Tousey, or Touzey, was listed as a carver in the 1749 Westminster election poll book. He took out insurance with the Sun Fire Office at the Golden Head, opposite Broad St in Wardour St in November 1750. John Tousey’s brother, Jacob, took Gideon Saint (qv) as apprentice in September 1743 (DEFM). It is also worth noting that a ‘John Tousey’ became a member of the Royal Society of Musicians in 1740.
Sarah Touzey, perhaps his wife or widow, took out insurance from the Golden Head in Bow St in 1755. Together with her son, she took over an apprentice from a fellow Huguenot, James Lewis Guillet (qv), John Lemaitre, for a further two years in 1758. She may perhaps be Sarah Le Touzey who died in 1762 leaving a will dated 18 September and proved 8 November 1762 in which her sons, Jacob and John Le Touzey were mentioned. Jacob Touzey described his brother John Touzey as a carpenter and gilder, leaving everything to him, including his prize money in his will, made 8 April and proved 11 July 1764, made from one of his majesty’s ships in Jamaica.
It may be that the John Touzey who took out insurance from Sarah Touzey’s address in 1764 and 1765 was her son. John Tousey married Anchonte Hewer at St George Bloomsbury in May 1762 and had two children, John and Frances, christened at this church in 1764 and 1768 respectively. He took apprentices James Wood for a premium of 5s in 1762, James Scott for £30 in 1764, Thomas Gibbons for 5s in 1765 and James Weale for £5 in 1770.
Touzey was listed in Bow St in Kent’s directory in 1780 as a cabinet maker, upholsterer and dealer in plate glass, and he was recorded as ‘Towsey’ in Bow St in a list of furniture makers compiled by the Duchess of Northumberland, c.1776 (Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, p.154). John Touzey advertised in 1781 that he was retiring from trade, offering his ‘Remaining Stock and Utensils in Trade, collection of valuable Pictures, Prints, Drawings, Professional Designs, &c’, describing himself as ‘Carver, Upholder, Cabinet-maker, and Dealer in Plate Glass’ (Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser 4 April 1781).
‘Touzey’ made frames and a pier glass for Edward Knight, Kidderminster, 1765-9 (Penny 1986 p.813). He worked on some 36 paintings for Lord Coventry, 1766-8, at a cost of £43. Descriptions such as 'Touzets bubble' appear in the account books of John Smith (qv) from 1812, if not referring to John Tousey, then leaving open the possibility that there was another craftsmen of this name at work in the early 19th century who was used by Smith for composition ornaments for his picture frames. There was a Henry Tousey, carver and gilder at 10 Silver St, Golden Square, who took out insurance in 1781.
Not necessarily the same individual as discussed above, John Tousey, Little Titchfield St, St Marylebone, was made bankrupt in 1761 (London Gazette 22 September 1761), and is perhaps to be identified with John Le Tousey, carver and gilder, late of the parish of St Marylebone, referred to two months later as bankrupt (London Gazette 21 November 1761). Further, it should be noted that an individual by the name Francis Le Fousey, of Jersey, possibly a mistranscription by the original clerk for Le Tousey, was apprenticed to Jacob Gosset in 1726.
Sources: London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 90/123691, 153/207997, 296/449758 (Henry Tousey); Betty Matthews, ‘Handel and the Royal Society of Musicians, Musical Times, vol.125, 1984, pp.79-82; Joan Lane, ‘The Furniture at Croome Court’, Apollo, vol.145, January 1997, pp.28-9. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Robert Samuel Tull (c.1731-1758) was apprenticed to the well-known Huguenot carver and gilder, Jacob Gosset (qv), for the considerable premium of £42 in 1745. This would suggest that he was born in about 1731 given that most apprentices were bound at the age of fourteen. If the apprenticeship ran for seven years, as was commonly the case, then Tull will have completed his training in 1752. Tull’s account book in the National Portrait Gallery provides insights into his position as a minor carver and gilder in Soho in mid-18th century London. It covers the years from 1753 until his death in 1758. His next door neighbour on one side was the well-known carver, Sefferin Alken (qv), as is evident from listings in the Poor Rate books, and two along on the other side was George Pow, a craftsman who features regularly in his account book. For further information, including a transcript of the account book, see ‘Robert Tull: Georgian picture framemaker and jobbing craftsman’ (forthcoming on the National Portrait Gallery website).
Tull fell ill and the last entry in his hand in the account book was made on 27 December 1757. He signed his will on 7 January and was dead by 25 February 1758 when his wife was granted the administration of his estate. In his will Tull made small bequests to his mother, Ann, and his three spinster sisters Ann, Barbara and Dorothy but left the residue of his estate to his wife Charlotte. As his executors, Tull named both his wife and his ‘good friend’ George Hobbs, who took over Tull’s premises in Dufour’s Court, and is presumably the Mr Hobbs whose business with Tull is recorded in the account book.
Tull’s account book gives details of the work he executed as a sub-contractor for neighbouring Huguenot framemakers, such as Gosset (presumably Jacob Gosset, his master), Mr Cunot, presumably Jean Antoine Cuenot (qv) and Mr Pettet, presumably Paul Petit (qv). Tull often worked on individual frame components rather than the complete product, so that, for example, he charged Gosset 6d for 'carving the edges of a small frame', 1s for 'sizing 2 large frames and gould sizing a large broad one', 1s.3d for 'mending a common frame and packing one up' and 3s.2d for 'guilding a large frame at home'. Cuenot and Petit were both charged for carving but not for gilding, Petit paying 12s for 'carving a 3/4 frame with Shellworke'. This sub-contracted work formed a significant part of Tull’s business in 1753 and 1754 (Simon 1996 pp.143, 162-3).
Tull also worked as a framemaker in his own right, for artists such as the Scottish pastel portraitist, Katharine Read, and patrons including Lawrence Dundas and the Earl of Carlisle. His association with the Jacobite engraver, Sir Robert Strange, and with Katharine Read brought him numerous customers from the aristocracy and the gentry, many of whom were of Scottish origin or of Jacobite sympathy. While much of this work was for picture frames, he also regularly supplied mirror frames and glasses and carried out a range of other carved and gilt work. Ebenezer Tull, ‘The British Ruysdale’, an amateur painter producing landscapes in the style of Gainsborough and Ruisdael, who was a master at the Charity School of St George’s, Southwark, may have been another customer as is suggested by a payment from ‘Mr Tull in the Borough’ for a black frame at 6s.6d in January 1757.
Sources: Robert Tull account book (National Portrait Gallery). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Richard Turley, 21 Crogsland Road, Kentish Town, London 1891-1922. Carver and gilder, looking glass and picture framemaker.
Richard Turley (?1858-1929?) appears to be identifiable with Richard George Turley, born 1858 in the Northampton district, who married in 1883 in the Islington district and died in 1929 in the Pancras district. In the 1881 census, Richard G. Turley was recorded as a gilder, age 24, living at 80 Kentish Town Road, with his older brother, William W. Turley, age 28, who was listed as a carver and gilder employing one man. Richard Turley appears in the census in 1891 as a picture framemaker, age 34, and in 1901 as a gilder and picture cleaner, age 43, in both censuses living at 21 Crogsland Road, but with his birthplace variously given as Pancras and Leeds. Turley offered the additional services of cutting mounts and mounting drawings.
Richard Turley was described as 'my framemaker' by John Collier in 1898, when arranging for him to frame a portrait of Professor Thomas Henry Huxley for the National Portrait Gallery (National Portrait Gallery records, RP 1174).
**George Hogarth Turner, 34 Warwick St, Golden Square, London 1865-1868, 1 Princes St, Hanover Square 1869-1872, 43 Davies St, Grosvenor Square 1873-1890, 1 & 2 Thomas St, Grosvenor Square W 1884-1890. Printseller, additionally carver and gilder from 1869 and fine art publisher from 1873.
George Hogarth Turner (?b.1831) is possibly the son of William and Ann Turner, born 1831 and christened that year at St Mary Marylebone. Later he took the middle name of Hogarth, whether as a good name for trading purposes or to distinguish himself from George Turner, a carver and gilder in Pimlico. He traded initially as a printseller, adding carver and gilder to his description in the London trade directory in 1869 when he moved to Princes St, Hanover Square, but within a year he was made bankrupt (London Gazette 13 December 1870). Nevertheless, he continued to trade successfully. In census records, he was recorded in 1871 at 1 Princes St as a picture dealer, age 40, with his wife Caroline and five children, in 1881 at 43 Davies St as a master gilder, age 51, born St Marylebone, employing two men and a boy, with his wife Susannah and six children ages between 10 and 20, of whom the eldest son, Herbert, age 19, was recorded as a gilder.
Turner’s label from 43 Davies St, so dating to 1873-90, on George Hayter’s 5th Earl Stanhope (National Portrait Gallery) describes him as a carver and gilder, picture framemaker, picture restorer, photographer and publisher, also offering his services to restore and mount engravings, mount drawings and photographs and make albums to order.