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British picture restorers, 1600-1950 - E

An online resource, launched in 2009, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2019. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].

Introduction Resources and bibliography


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William Eatwell, 49 Dorset St, Portman Square, London W 1855-1876, 1879-1887. Artists' colourman, picture restorer from 1879 or before.

For much of his life William Eatwell (c.1816-92?) traded as an artists’ colourman at 49 Dorset St, where he was followed in business in 1876 or 1877 by William Badger. See British artists' suppliers on this website. However, Eatwell continued to be listed at this address, but as a picture restorer, 1879-87. He was perhaps on a job at Oakley Hall, Staffordshire when recorded there as a visitor in the 1881 census as a picture restorer, age 64.

Henry George Eckford, 10 Hemming’s Row, London 1838-1850, Peters Place, Hemming’s Row 1849-1886, 39 Uverdale Rd, Chelsea 1887-1888. Picture dealer and picture restorer.

Henry George Eckford (1807-93), the son of John Eckford (see below), appears to have been primarily a picture dealer but also undertook some framing work and picture restoration. He acted as an executor to his father’s will in 1840. From census and birth, marriage and death records, we learn that he was born in 1807 and christened at St Bride Fleet St, the son of John Eckford of Crown Court and his wife Sarah. He married in 1835 at St Martin-in-the-Fields. He was listed in censuses as a picture dealer in 1841 and 1851, living at 1 Penton Place, Newington, as an artist from 1861, living at Peters Place, also described as a restorer of pictures in 1871, and as a retired artist in 1891, age 84, by now living in Chelsea. He died in the Chelsea district, age 85, early in 1893 (London Gazette 21 March 1893). His premises in Peters Place were subject to a compulsory purchase order in 1865, with the intention of making the site available for an enlargement of the National Gallery (London Gazette 21 November 1865).

In the 1840s, Lord Northwick employed Henry George Eckford to act for him in bidding for pictures for his picture gallery at Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, and to organise picture framing, using the framemaker, Henry Haynes (see British picture framemakers on this website), and also picture restoration. Eckford continued to work for Northwick until 1855 or later. Through Northwick, Eckford became adviser to the Glasgow collector, Robert Napier, by 1854, and was employed by Lord Kinnaird to clean pictures at Rossie Priory, 1857.

Eckford is said to have repaired and probably cleaned and lined Paris Bordone’s Christ as the Light of the World, c.1884, before its acquisition by the National Gallery (see Penny 2008 p.52).

It is worth noting that another picture restorer, James R. Eckford, was recorded as a boarder at 37 Torbay St, Kentish Town in the 1881 census. He appears to be identifiable with James Robert Eckford (b.1839), son of John and Jane Eckford.

Sources: Oliver Bradbury and Nicholas Penny, 'The picture collecting of Lord Northwick: Part II', Burlington Magazine, vol.144, 2002, pp.607-8, to which this account is indebted.

John Eckford 1811-1828, John Eckford & Son 1826-1828, Charles J. Eckford 1826-1843. At 17 Water Lane (or Water St), Bridewell Precinct, London 1811-1834, 48 Lothbury 1826-1828, 23 Fleet St 1833-1834, 45 Fleet St 1835-1843. Carvers and gilders, picture framemakers, picture dealers and restorers.

This business was carried on over two generations. It was founded by John Eckford (c.1771-1840), who was followed by his son, Charles John Eckford (1795-1845), initially in a short-lived partnership in the mid-1820s. For details, see British picture framemakers on this website. His younger son, Henry George Eckford (1807-1893), also traded as a picture dealer and restorer (see above).

Added March 2015
Clifford Ellison (1920-2015). Picture restorer.

Outside the time frame of this online resource but summary details are supplied here. Clifford J. Ellison was born in County Durham in the Sedgefield registration district in 1920. Much of the following information in this account was kindly supplied by his niece, the fine art restorer, Annabel Terry-Engell, February 2015.

Ellison studied as an artist at Chelsea Art School before and after the Second World War, but soon turned to picture restoration, training under Horace Buttery (qv). He was a founding member and for some years President of the British Association of Picture Restorers (now the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers). He held an appointment as picture restorer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1970-9 (London Gazette 1 January 1970, 29 December 1978). He worked from his home in Chelsea and trained a number of picture restorers including Christopher Welby, John Essex, who turned to lining paintings, and his niece, Annabel Terry-Engell.

Apart from work on the Royal collection, Ellison worked on paintings for a number of public collections, including the National Trust, the National Portrait Gallery and the Iveagh Bequest, substantial private collections such as those of Earl Spencer, the Duke of Buccleuch and Captain Drury-Lowe at Locko Park, and London dealers including Agnew's and Colnaghi's. He worked on pictures in the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, collection, 1968-73 (Bryant 2003 pp.102, 226, 235, 243, 269, 300).

For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

Updated January 2017
*J.R. England, 110 Barnsbury Road, London N1 by 1921-1932, 28 Richmond Road N1 1933-1938 or later. Bookbinder, later a print repairer and mounter.

John Richard England (1875-1957) was born in Clerkenwell in 1875. In census records he can be found in 1881 and 1891 living with his parents at 64 Albert St, Barnsbury, his father William Cubitt England described as a bookbinder in 1891 and both John Richard England and his older brother, William, as bookbinder’s apprentices. He married Ethel Creech in the Westminster district in 1899. In subsequent censuses, he was recorded in 1901 at 31 Amwell St, Clerkenwell, as a ‘bookbinder (blocker gold and ink)’ and in 1911 at 126 Barnsbury Road, as a ‘bookbinder (machine operator)’ and a worker (i.e. an employee, rather than working on his own account), age 35, with his wife Ethel but no children. In 1921 England was appointed as a repairer and mounter at the British Museum (London Gazette 4 November 1921). His work for the Museum has yet to be explored. He gave the Museum three drawings by Sir James Stuart in 1929. He died in Hounslow, age 81, in 1957, leaving effects worth £2473.

Like Littlejohn (qv) and Woodcock before him, both employees of the British Museum, England undertook freelance work for the Ashmolean Museum. He worked extensively for the Ashmolean, 1921-37, mounting prints and drawings and sometimes supplying solander boxes and mounting boards by the gross, but apparently not undertaking repair work. In 1921-2 he mounted prints from the Douce collection and more than 700 German woodcuts and also English drawings and watercolours, in 1923 215 drawings by Cotman and his school, in 1924 a few old master drawings as well as prints, in 1925 numerous drawings by Malchair, the majority laid down in two folio volumes (more were to follow). Work slowed in the late 1920s and 1930s but included mounting drawings by Burne-Jones and etchings by Ottavio Leoni in 1926-7 and Turner’s Liber Studiorum prints in 1927 (Ashmolean Museum, Dept of Western Art, receipted bills).

England also worked on occasion for the National Portrait Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum. For the Portrait Gallery he mounted drawings in museum style and quality boards and undertook print cleaning, mending and backing, 1925-42. This work included removing the board fromEmanuel Horwitz’s drawing, Stacy Aumonier, in 1935, and mounting Vanity Fair drawings, 1938 (National Portrait Gallery, Duplicates of Accounts, vol.9, pp.95, 115; Account book 1935-42, 21-B-3; Correspondence file with British Museum, 1929-38, 21-F-5; Associated Items NPG 2777). For the Fitzwilliam he reported on a drawing by William Blake in 1938 but described the paper as such that he would be unable to repair it to his satisfaction (Fitzwilliam Museum, Accounts, Box 225).

On the occasion of the flood which inundated the basement of the Tate Gallery in 1928, England took a leading part in the rescue efforts, on secondment from the British Museum. He was paid £6.6s for repairs to flood damaged works and a further £8 for five British Museum men ‘in connection with flood work’ (National Gallery archive, NG13/2/6). Subsequently, he treated two works on paper for the National Gallery in 1930, Jan Brueghel’s Adoration of the Kings and Jean-Etienne Liotard’s Portrait of a Grand Vizir(?) (NG16/338/1) and also Andrea Mantegna’s tempera on linen Samson and Delilah, where he successfully smoothed wrinkles and laid the work on panel (NG16/24/1).

Edward Evans 1819-1840, Ann Evans 1837-1840, Anne Evans & Son 1841-1853, Ann Elizabeth Evans & Sons 1854-1858, Edward and Albert Evans (Messrs Evans) 1859-1860, Albert Evans 1861-1864. At 1 Great Queen St, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London 1787bm, 1796bm, 1799bm, 1819-1853,403Strand 1853-1864. Print and book sellers.

The Evans family business continued over two generations. It had premises for many years on the corner of Great Queen St and Little Queen St, as depicted in Thomas Hosmer Shepherd’s watercolour of 1851, showing a large shop with prints in the windows and the sign 'Evans Print and Book Seller' (British Museum, Crace.XXVIII.20.5, see Crace.XXVIII.20.53* for a related print).

The father, Edward V. Evans (1789-1835), was born in Radnorshire, Wales, and was initially a compositor in the printing office of Messrs Nichols and Son (Edward Evans, obituary, Gentleman's Magazine, vol.4, 1835, p.663), before beginning the business in 1819. He took out insurance from 1 Great Queen St as a book and printseller in 1826 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 510/1045019). He appears to have republished various earlier prints (British Museum collection database, mezzotint and stipple engravings, originally published from 1787 to 1806).

His widow, Anne Elizabeth Evans (1791-1858), carried on the business initially in her own name and then in conjunction with first one and then both her sons (Gentleman’s Magazine, vol.9, 1860, p.434). She was listed at 1 Great Queen St in the 1851 census as a book and printseller, age 58, together with her unmarried son, Albert Evans, age 26. The business moved to 403 Strand in 1853. She died at this address in 1858, described as the widow of the late Edward Evans of 1 Great Queen St (The Times 20 March 1858). She left effects worth under £6000.

Her elder son, Edward David Evans (1818-60), appears to have married in the St Giles district in 1853. He was described by Tuer as a print dealer, cleaner, restorer and paper splitter. He was the author of a two-volume Catalogue of a collection of engraved portraits, published by A.E. Evans & Son, 1836-53. The business published a further substantial print catalogue in 1857. It often sold prints and drawings to the British Museum or acted for it at auction from 1847, according to the museum’s registers (see British Museum collection database, containing numerous records connected with this business).

Edward David Evans died in the Marylebone district in 1860, leaving effects worth under £10,000. His brother, Albert (c.1824-1869), then carried on independently until 1864, when his fixtures and trade fittings were advertised for sale on the premises at 403 Strand (The Times 18 December 1864). Albert Evans died in June 1869, leaving effects worth under £2000. Following the closure of the business, one of his former employees, Alexander Nicholls (qv), who had worked for the business for upwards of 26 years, set up independently in about 1865.

Sources: Andrew White Tuer, Bartolozzi and his Works, vol.1, n.d but 1882, p.93; obituary, Edward David Evans, Gentleman’s Magazine 1860 p.434. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

William Evans 1825-1850, William & Philip Evans 1851-1907. At 18 Silver St, Golden Square, London 1801-1883, street renamed and numbered 1883, 37 Beak St, Regent St 1884-1907. Carvers and gilders, later also picture restorers.

See British picture framemakers on this website for fuller details, including the early history of this business. On the instructions of the Marquess of Hertford’s agent, Samuel Mawson (qv), William & Philip Evans undertook considerable framing work at Hertford House, and also invoiced for the restoration of pictures in April 1857 and again in 1859 (Ingamells 1985 p.13). Pictures in the Wallace Collection that they cleaned for Lord Hertford, 1857-9, include Hans Eworth’s John Selwyn, the van der Meulen attributed HHRobert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the Francesco Albani studio Venus and Cupid and Pieter de Hooch's A Woman peeling Apples (Ingamells 1985 pp.85, 129, 211, Ingamells 1992 p.169 n.2).

It is apparent from their stretcher label as W. & P. Evans of 37 Beak St that they undertook work for John Samuel or his nieces in 1883 or later on a portrait by G.B. Moroni, now in the National Gallery (NG 2094, see Nicholas Penny, The Sixteenth-century Italian paintings, National Gallery, vol.1, 2008, p.232).

Evans & Mucklow, from 1900, see Stephen Richards

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

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