British picture restorers, 1600-1950 - G
An online resource, launched in 2009, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated August 2019. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].
Thomas Gaugain, 4 Little Compton St, Soho, London 1778-1797, 1804-1805, Denmark St 1786, 9 Manor St, Chelsea 1789-1790, 15 Five Fields Row, Chelsea 1791-1799 or later, 10 Five Fields Row by 1802-1805, apparently renamed as 10 Ebury St, Chelsea 1805-1810. Engraver, printseller, painter and picture cleaner.
It has been held that Thomas Gaugain (1756-1810) was born at Abbeville and settled in London as a young man. However, as Timothy Clayton suggests, it is clear that he was the son of Philippe Jean and Mary Anne, née Malherbe, who married at St Dunstan Stepney in 1753 and had four children christened at St Anne Soho: John in 1754, John Thomas, born 24 March and christened in April 1756, Edith in 1760 and Peter John in 1762.
Thomas Gauguin entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1771, when his date of birth was given as 24 March 1756 (Hutchison 1962 p.137). He worked initially as an artist, exhibiting portraits and literary genre at the Royal Academy, 1778-82. He advertised as a picture restorer at the outset of his career, ‘Pictures cleaned by Thomas Gaugain, who has a peculiar Method, by which the most delicate are in no Danger of being damaged’, and he offered to clean pictures to make them fit for sale by auction (St James’s Chronicle 29 January 1778).
The lives and careers of Thomas Gauguin and his brother, Peter John (1762-1813), were closely linked. At one stage they shared business premises at 4 Little Compton St. In 1785 they both took out insurance, Thomas for £160 as an engraver and printseller and Peter for £50 as a copper plate printer, on their utensils, stock and goods at 4 Little Compton St, premises which were insured by their older brother, John, as a watchmaker (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 329/505988, 331/508032, 335/513718). The following year, in December 1786, Thomas took out insurance in Denmark St, insuring his stock for the increased sum of £400 (342/525114). From 1789 to 1795 Thomas Gaugain published some engravings which had been printed by his brother, Peter. Both men married members of the Le Cointe family at St Anne Soho, Peter John to Jane Lecointe on 28 April 1787 and Thomas to Mariane Ame Le Cointe on 17 June 1787. Thomas Gaugain traded from an address in Chelsea from about 1789 but appears to have retained an interest in the premises in Little Compton St where his brother was active.
As engraver and publisher of stipple prints, Thomas Gaugain worked closely with James Northcote, William Redmore Bigg (qv), and George Morland. An auction sale was held by John Gerard on 17 December 1793 of ‘the intire stock of Mr. Thomas Gaugain... Consisting of his valuable copper plates... Also several original pictures & drawings, by esteemed masters’. There is a record of two further auction sales, firstly of Peter Gaugain’s stock as a printseller, ‘leaving off publishing’ (Morning Chronicle 4 May 1799) and secondly of ‘Mr Gaugain, Stationer, retiring from business on account of ill health’, offering the business and lease at £35 p.a. and the stock-in-trade for sale on the premises at 4 Little Compton St (Morning Chronicle 9 February 1809). Peter John Gaugain, of Enfield, Middlesex, died in 1813, on the evidence of his will which was proved 15 December 1813.
The Gaugains retained an interest in three adjoining houses in Little Compton St, one of which, no.6, was rented by John Gaugain, and then by Peter Gaugain, to the colour maker, Christian Dresch, 1817-28 (see British artists' suppliers on the National Portrait Gallery website).
Sources: Timothy Clayton, ‘Thomas Gaugain’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, quoting the parish register of St Anne Soho.
George Geldorp, born Cologne; Antwerp by 1610, London by c.1623, parish of St Peter the Poor (Broad St ward) 1625, 1635, Blackfriars 1636, 1639, 1644, Orchard St, Westminster 1645-1649, 1663-1665, Wharf St, Westminster 1647, Drury Lane 1650, Archer St, Westminster 1653. Portrait painter, picture framemaker, picture dealer, later picture mender and cleaner to the King from 1662.
See British picture framemakers on this website.
Michael Gernon by 1822-1832,M. Gernon & Sons 1832-1836, James Gernon 1837-1851 or later. Dublin by 1818, 38 Dawson St, Dublin 1827, 17 College Green by 1830, 34 Molesworth St 1830-1840 or later, 35 Molesworth St by 1845-1851 or later,Royal Irish Institution House, College St 1835. Picture cleaners and restorers, picture valuers and auctioneers. John Gernon, 1 Grafton St 1837, 9 D’Olier St 1839-1840, 15 D’Olier St 1841, 8 D’Olier St 1845, 18 Lower Baggot St by 1851-1854.
This leading Dublin business, with a widespread and distinguished clientele, was founded by Michael Gernon (d.1832) and continued by his sons James and John. It undertook picture restoration and offered related services in valuing and auctioning pictures. ‘Gernon’ features as a buyer at several Dublin picture sales between 1818 and 1827 and in London in 1834 (Getty provenance index). Before that, whether connected or not, ‘M. Gernon’ was trading as a wholesale linen draper in Dublin in 1811.
In 1822 Michael Gernon was employed by Charles Cobbe to undertake restoration work on pictures and frames at Newbridge House, Co. Dublin. Michael Gernon was listed in Dublin directories as a picture cleaner and valuator in 1827 and 1830. His death was announced in 1832 (Freeman’s Journal 10 November 1832). A sale of his collection was held by his son, John, in January 1834 (Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, Ireland’s painters: 1600-1940, 2002, p.61).
Gernon’s sons James and John advertised as his successors, trading in Dublin as M. Gernon & Sons at 34 Molesworth St and Royal Irish Institution House, College St, under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant and the Royal Dublin Society, stating that they had the honour of doing business with numerous patrons in Ireland, 66 of whom they list including the Marquesses of Anglesey, Ely and Headfort, the Earls of Enniskillen, Leitrim and Portarlington, the Viscounts Harbertson and Lifford, Lords Dunsany, Rossmore, Massy, Fitzgerald & Vesey, Talbot de Malahide, Muskerry and Farnham, Lady Morgan, baronets Sir C.H. Coote, General Sir G. Cockburn, Sir Wm de Barthe, Sir Josias Rowley, Sir Compton Domvile, Sir Wm M. Somerville, Sir James Strong and Sir Percy F. Nugent, Members of Parliament Col. Percival, Col. Verner, E.J. Cooper and Thomas Wallace, as well as many others. They also advertised that they proposed to keep open a permanent gallery for exhibiting pictures, stating that they cleaned, lined and restored paintings and arranged collections. Intriguingly they featured ‘Two large Caravans, on Springs, for the safe conveyance of Pictures, &c. to any part of Ireland’ (The Dublin Almanac… for… 1835, Pettigrew and Oulton, Dublin, advertising supplement).
M. Gernon & Sons undertook work for one of Charles Cobbe’s neighbours in the 1830s, restoring Thomas Gainsborough’s Mrs Letitia Balfour (now Cobbe Collection), which is stamped, ‘M. Gernon & Sons/ Picture Cleaners &c &c/ 34 Molesworth St/ Dublin’ on both stretcher and frame.
When the partnership broke up in 1836 or 1837, James Gernon continued trading from Molesworth St, while his brother, John Gernon (c.1814-1854), moved elsewhere, advertising as an auctioneer, valuator and picture restorer from 1 Grafton St in 1837, and as an auctioneer from 9 D’Olier St in 1839 and 15 D’Olier St in 1841 (Freeman’s Journal 18 January 1837, 24 May 1839). He was made bankrupt in 1846 as a dealer in pictures (Freeman’s Journal 23 December 1846, 23 January 1847). In 1852 John Gernon, artist, was listed at 18 Lower Baggot St. He died at the age of 40 in 1854 (Freeman’s Journal 6 February 1854).
One of the Gernon family acted as an intermediary for the purchase of a set of mythological paintings by Gaetano Gandolfi for Dublin Castle in 1839 (Michael Wynne, 'Six Gaetano Gandolfis in Dublin Castle', Burlington Magazine, vol.141, 1999, p.352). James Gernon tendered his services to clean the paintings in the Mansion House in 1842 (Freeman’s Journal 7 December 1842).
Sources: Alastair Laing (ed.), Clerics & Connoisseurs: The Rev. Matthew Pilkington, the Cobbe Family and the Fortunes of an Irish Art Collection through Three Centuries, 2001, pp.76, 89, 307. The full title of Freeman’s Journal is Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser.
Added September 2018
William Charles Gleadall, 22 Bedford St, Covent Garden, London 1877-1907. Picture liner, restorer and cleaner.
William Charles Gleadall (1829-1907) was born in September 1829 in Kentish Town, the son of William and Mary Ann Gleadall. His marriage has not been traced. He died in August 1907, with probate being granted to his widow Selina and Caroline Knell, spinster, his effects amounting to £2663. In census records he can be found in 1861 as a picture restorer, age 31, at 23 Milburn St, Marylebone and in 1881 as an artist and picture restorer, age 51, his name recorded as Gleadhill, in Lady Somerset Road, Kentish Town. Gleadall was certainly in business in his own right by the time he first occupied 22 Bedford St in 1877 but previously it is possible that he was an employee of another restorer.
As a picture restorer, Gleadall worked for the artists’ suppliers, Charles Roberson & Co, 1893-1902, treating paintings for Roberson’s clients (Roberson archive, Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 204-1993, pp.488, 509; MS 232-1993, pp.507, 509, 528).
*Thomas Goddard, Lyons Inn, London 1779-1780, 12 Featherstone Buildings, Holborn, London 1783-1784, 9 James St, Covent Garden, London 1785-1788, at Mr Woodcock’s, The Turl, Oxford 1789, at Mrs Sandall’s, opposite Balliol College, Oxford 1792, High St, Oxford 1796. Portrait and miniature painter, picture restorer and drawing master.
Thomas Goddard (active 1779, d.1805) exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1779-88, from London addresses. He then moved to Oxford where he advertised as a portrait and miniature painter and Royal Academy exhibitor, removed from London, drawing attention to specimens of his work in miniature or fullsize to be seen at Mr Woodcock’s, music master, in the Turl, Oxford (Oxford Journal 24 October 1789). He also advertised in Winchester in 1792 (see Daphne Foskett, Miniatures Dictionary and Guide, 1987, p.548, from Winchester Chronicle 24 September 1792).
Goddard was active in Oxford in the 1790s. He advertised in 1792, as a portrait and miniature painter, that he continued to take likenesses in miniature or crayons at his apartments at Mrs Sandall’s, apothecary, opposite Balliol College, and that he restored pictures, specimens of which could be seen in All Souls’ College Chapel (Oxford Journal 14 April 1792). It was in 1792 that he cleaned Mengs’s altarpiece for All Souls (see below). He advertised again in 1796, as a portrait painter and drawing master, announcing that he had opened an academy in the High Street, where he continued to take likenesses in miniature and crayons and also would teach drawing and clean pictures (Oxford Journal 2 April 1796).
Goddard died in 1805, when Richard Pearson, watchmaker in the High St, Oxford advertised for those with claims on the estate of Thomas Goddard, deceased, drawing master, to come forward (Oxford Journal 19 October 1805). He was described in his will as Thomas Goddard of Chilton in Berkshire and he made bequests to various cousins, leaving the residue to Henry Goddard, with a declared value for his estate of under £200 (Archdeaconry Court of Berkshire, see National Archives, IR 26/410/195).
He was presumably the son of another Thomas Goddard, who died in 1800 (or possibly 1799), leaving a will describing himself as a gentleman of St Giles Oxford. This will was made in 1785, with codicils in 1792 and 1796, and was proved on 27 January 1800. Goddard senr left his wife Martha his leasehold premises in Saint Giles, Oxford, and a lifetime interest in his freehold estate at Chilton in Berkshire, and his son Thomas the sum of £100 and other bequests. He also mentioned his godson George Godard, son of his nephew of the same name, and made Andrew Walsh of Oxford his executor.
Little is known of Goddard’s work as a portraitist but as a restorer he is recorded as cleaning Anton Raphael Mengs’s Noli me tangere for All Souls for 6 gns in 1792 (All Souls, Oxford, see John Sparrow, 'An Oxford Altar-piece', Burlington Magazine, vol.102, 1960, p.9 n.12).
William Goodall, Marsham St, Westminster, London 1759-1779, then Carnaby St?. Picture restorer and dealer.
Goodall advertised in 1774, ‘Pictures cleaned without the least Injury, and repaired in the neatest Manner, by W. Goodall, Marsham street, Westminster. Specimens to be seen at his House, or tried gratis. It is well known to many, that not a Man in the Kingdom cleans a Picture upon his Principle.’ (Public Advertiser 16 April 1774). He also offered to keep collections in the most perfect condition (Morning Post 9 March 1775).
Earlier in 1769, Goodall had advertised as a dealer, offering at his house, two doors from the Fleece in Marsham St, a collection of several hundred fine paintings, many of which he had purchased abroad, in good condition, describing his premises as a private house, ‘The Name, GOODALL, on the Door’ (Public Advertiser 12 June 1769, 9 March 1770, etc).
Goodall can be found in Marsham St in rate books from 1759 to 1779. He may be the individual in Carnaby St from 1779.
Added March 2016
Eric W. Goodliffe, 26 Claremont Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7 1949-1957, 40 Coddrington Road, Bristol 7 1959-1976. Restorer of oil paintings, watercolours and prints.
Eric William Goodliffe (1911-76) lived in Bristol and was a leading restorer in the West of England and Wales, using the trade name Thaumaturgus. He appears to have been born Eric William Goodleff in Bristol on 8 June 1911 and, under this name, married Doris Baugh in Bristol in 1938 (she died in 1956). He was listed as Eric W. Goodliffe in the 1949 and subsequent telephone directories. In 1958 he took as his second wife Norah Sage. He described himself as a specialist in the restoration of all oil paintings, watercolours and prints. He died in 1976. The following account is greatly indebted to Oliver Fairclough, former keeper of art at the National Museum, Wales, who kindly provided detailed information from museum files in November-December 2015 on Goodliffe’s work both for the National Museum and for almost all the collections listed below.
According to a record left in 1947 by John Steegman (then keeper at the National Museum) of a meeting at Bristol City Art Gallery to consider Goodliffe as a possible replacement for the National Museum’s then freelance conservator, who was about to retire, Goodliffe had spent about 14 years with the Bristol firm, Frost and Reed (as he advertised on his billhead), and had recently set up as a restorer on his own after leaving the army. Hans Schubart (qv), Director, Bristol City Art Gallery, and himself a picture restorer, used him and described him as ‘a very competent and cautious cleaner but he is not yet very experienced at retouching. He has had a lot of experience at relining and is good at it. His treatment of watercolours and prints is very expert.’ Steegman apparently invited Goodliffe to write a short paper on the treatment of panel paintings for an ICOM conference in Spring 1953. Goodliffe unsuccessfully applied for a post on the staff of the Tate Gallery in 1955.
In 1973, Rollo Charles, then keeper at the National Museum, provided an opinion to Francis Greenacre, curator of fine art at Bristol: ‘We never asked him to work on our “star” pictures … but for the rest he did very well indeed and his charges were moderate. He built up and maintained a large private practice, and I would consider that for the normal purposes of country-house portraiture he is very very suitable, being both methodical and thorough’. At that point however the Museum was appointing its own staff picture restorer and was terminating its relationship with Goodliffe. Charles last wrote to him on 17 November 1975. In February 1977 the Museum offered to buy his notebooks of treatment records from his widow.
There was a artist of English cityscapes by the name Eric Goodliffe active in 1948 but probably another man.
Work as a restorer: Goodlife worked for the National Museum of Wales from 1949, using a temporary studio at the museum for periods of a week or two at a time. The museum’s correspondence file with and about him runs from April 1947 to November 1975. Works which he cleaned include the Allan Ramsay studio full-lengths, George III and Queen Charlotte, Thomas Jones’s The Bard and small pictures by Boudin and Daumier. He worked for other public collections in Wales including the National Library of Wales, the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, and Brecon and Monmouth Councils.
Goodliffe worked extensively on the well-known portrait by C.A. Mornewick (qv), Lady Llanover in Welsh Costume, at Llandovery College. He conserved Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s altarpiece, The Seed of David, in Llandaff Cathedral, condition-reported the paintings in the Bishop’s Palace, Exeter (1954), restored two paintings for Jesus College, Oxford (1960) and compiled a list of pictures at Bangor Cathedral (1961, see Christopher Wright, British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections, 2006, p.20).
Goodliffe was employed by many private owners. Welsh country house collections on which he worked include Chirk, Clytha, Fonmon, Gwysaney, Hartsheath, Llanharan House, Llysdulas, Peniarth, Plas Newydd (Anglesey) and Voelas. He told the National Portrait Gallery that he was working at Longleat, Wiltshire, in 1953.
Goodliffe worked for the National Portrait Gallery, London, on a trial basis in 1952-3, and was brought in to treat war damage to some portraits, including restretching Paul Besnard’s full-length Viscount Wolseley, securing loose paint on others and putting in order William Salter’s many portraits of Waterloo Generals; the verdict was that his work, while good, was not of such a high standard as the Gallery’s usual restorer, Roy Vallance of Holder’s (qv) (NPG, Trustees’ minutes, 23 October 1952, 5 February 1953). A notable feature of his work was his fairly full reports on his conservation treatments, in contrast to Vallance’s summary accounts.
Joseph Goupy, Rome c.1705-1711, London from c.1711, New Bond St c.1717, 1724, 1729, Next door to the Tower, New Bond St 1724, 24 Savile Row (‘corner house near the arch’) 1736-1747, King’s Row over against Grosvenor Gate 1750, later known as 97 Park Lane 1750-1752, Kensington until 1769. Artist, restorer, stage designer and drawing master.
Joseph Goupy (c.1689-1769) was probably born in London, to a Catholic family. He studied in Rome before establishing himself in London. His life and activities as an artist and drawing master have been explored by Jacob Simon (see Sources below). He received an order ‘to mend & repair’ the Mantegna cartoons at Hampton Court on 7 July 1725 and was paid £170 for this work in April 1726, rather than in 1717 as has sometimes been claimed. He cleaned pictures for Frederick, Prince of Wales (Millar 1991 p.22), as well as undertaking other duties, 1735-53.
Sources: Jacob Simon, ‘New light on Joseph Goupy (1689-1769)’, Apollo, vol.139, February 1994, pp.15-18 and n.6 for his work on the Mantegna cartoons; see also National Archives, LC 5/158, pp.403, 439. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Richard Greenbury, Aldergate St, London 1619, parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields by 1625-1628 or later, St John St 1632, 1638, parish of St Sepulchre without Newgate 1632-1640. Painter, frame decorator and occasional picture restorer.
For Richard Greenbury (c.1584?-1651), see British picture framemakers on this website.
Greenwood, 1768. Picture cleaner.
'Greenwood a Picture Cleaner', recommended by Mr Hone, was paid £10.10s for cleaning Lord Glenorchy’s pictures in 1768 (National Archives of Scotland, GD112/21/80, Breadalbane papers). He is perhaps Thomas Greenwood, painter of St James Clerkenwell, whose son, also Thomas, was apprenticed to William Elkington of the Painters’ Company in 1746 (Webb 2003 p.27). In his will, made 3 February 1771 and proved 15 November 1774, Thomas Greenwood, painter of St James Clerkenwell, left his estate to his son Thomas and his daughter Isabell. They would appear to be Thomas Greenwood (b.1733) and Isabel Pluma Greenwood (b.1738), among the six children of Thomas and Mary Greenwood, born between 1733 and 1743, and christened at St James Clerkenwell.
John Griffier, Pall Mall, London 1743-1750. Artist and picture cleaner.
There were several artists by the name of Griffier active in London in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Jan or John Griffier junr (fl.1739-1773), topographical and landscape painter, is thought to be the grandson of the Dutch landscape painter in London, Jan Griffier senr, and perhaps the son of the topographical and marine painter, Robert Griffier (Waterhouse 1981 p.150). Jan Griffier junr was presumably the painter, John Griffier, living in Pall Mall who was listed in the poll book for the 1749 Westminster election and who appears in Pall Mall in rate books from 1743 to 1750. The executors of John Griffier advertised in 1773 that his collection of old master pictures would be sold at auction by Mr Christie (Daily Advertiser 25 May 1773); the sale was held on 4 and 5 June (Lugt no.2174).
Griffier was employed by Frederick Prince of Wales for lining, cleaning and mending pictures (Millar 1977 p.103). ‘Mr Griffier’ was repeatedly recorded as cleaning pictures for Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke, in the Earl’s ‘House Book’, kept 1733-49 (James Lees-Milne, Earls of Creation, 1962, p.63, drawn to my attention by Richard Stephens). John Griffier cleaned Honthorst’s Palatine Family for Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter in 1742 (A.C. Edwards, The Account Books of Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter, 1977, p.191). ‘Griffier a Painter’, also spelt ‘Greffier’, cleaned and/or lined various pictures and inscribed them for John, Lord Glenorchy (later 3rd Earl of Breadalbane) for £2.10s in 1741 and £1.1s in 1744, and also drew and altered views of Taymouth Castle; his name is found in Glenorchy’s personal account book between 1739 and 1750 (National Archives of Scotland, GD112/21/77 & 78).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
*Edward Grindley 1861-1890, E. Grindley & Palmer 1891-1906, Grindley & Palmer 1906-1941. At 73 Church St, Liverpool 1861-1906 or later, 75 Church St 1868-1924 (also at 71 Church St), 9 Brown’s Buildings, Exchange St 1925-1927, 14 North John St 1928-1939, 28 Tollemache Road, Birkenhead 1941. Also at 22 Chesnut St, Liverpool 1862-1865, manufactory 39 School Lane 1874, 16 Brook’s Alley, Hanover St by 1880-1910 or later. Printsellers, publishers, picture dealers, picture framemakers and picture restorers.
This leading Liverpool printselling business was established by Edward Grindley (1832-1916) in Church St in about 1861, and perhaps as early as 1858, according to its invoice paper in the 1930s. From about 1890 he traded as E. Grindley & Palmer, having taken John Edward Palmer (1849-1928) into partnership (they first advertised in the Liverpool Mercury on 24 February 1891). The business went into decline after World War One and closed soon after the outbreak of World War Two.
Edward Grindley was the son of a joiner, also Edward Grindley, who traded at 29 Rupert St, Liverpool, and then at 27 Rupert St until c.1860. The son can be found in the 1841 census in Rupert St, age 9, with two younger brothers but with his parents seemingly omitted, and in 1851 at 29 Rupert St, age 18, described as a shopman. He married firstly Elizabeth Briercliffe in 1858 and secondly Anne Elizabeth Gibbs in 1873. He set up in business independently in about 1861. By 1862 he was listed as printseller and publisher, and by 1865 also as a dealer in works of art, picture frame manufacturer and artists’ colourman. In 1868, he was listed at 71, 73 and 75 Church St. Edward Grindley, followed by Edward Grindley & Palmer, held an account with the artists’ suppliers, Roberson, from 73 Church St, 72 Church St and 26 Church St, 1861-1904 (Woodcock 1997).
In census records Edward Grindley can be found in 1861 as a printseller, living in his father-in-law’s household at 22 Church St, in 1871 as a printseller and publisher, by now a widower with a son and daughter, in 1881 living in Toxteth Park, a City Councillor, with his wife Ann and four sons and daughters, including John H., age 7, and in 1891 recorded as away from home. In 1893 Grindley was described as ‘during many years the chief printseller in Liverpool… a jovial and clubbable man… an uncompromising Conservative, a member of the City Council and an alderman’ (B.G. Orchard, Liverpool’s Legion of Honour, 1893, accessed through British Biographical Archive).
In the 1900 Liverpool directory, Grindley & Palmer were described as ‘printsellers, publishers and dealers in works of art, picture frame manufacturers and artists’ colourmen’, much the same description as Grindley had used many years previously. In 1906 Edward Grindley withdrew from the partnership, his place being taken by his son, Major John Herbert Grindley (1874-1953) (London Gazette 10 April 1906). Edward Grindley died in Birkenhead in 1916, leaving effects worth £9092. John Herbert Grindley continued to trade until about 1941, by which time he was using his home address in Birkenhead for the business. He died in 1953, leaving effects worth £581.
John Edward Palmer was born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, in 1849. In the 1871 census he can be found in Nottingham, age 21, an apprentice to a stationer, living with his father William, a paper agent. He married Anne Elizabeth Bentley in the Nottingham district in 1875. What led him to Liverpool remains to be established. By 1880 he was trading at 19 Churchill St in Liverpool as a dealer in fine arts and in 1890 as a salesman from 47 Bryanston Road, St Michael’s Hamlet. He went into partnership with Edward Grindley, probably in 1890.
In censuses Palmer can be found in 1881 in Liverpool at Toxteth Park as a fine art dealer (manager), in 1891 untraced, and subsequently at Formby with his wife and family, in 1901 as an employer, a printseller and picture dealer, and in 1911 as an employer, a picture and works of art dealer, with his son Edward Bentley Palmer (1888-1938) described as an assistant in the business. He was still listed as a partner in Grindley & Palmer in 1924. John Edward Palmer of Formby died in 1928, leaving effects worth £926, with probate granted to his children, Edith Fanny Palmer and Edward Bentley Palmer, salesmen.
Restoration work: It seems to have been in later years that the business promoted its services as picture restorers. In their brochure from 75 Church St, and therefore by 1924, entitled Grindley & Palmer’s Picture Galleries, they advertised such services as the repair of picture frames, the arranging and hanging of pictures and the purchase of pictures at auction. In particular, they claimed, ‘The restoring of pictures is an important department of Grindley & Palmer’s business; many valuable collections having passed through their hands for this purpose. Many valuable Pictures are destroyed through want of attention in having them periodically examined and properly cleaned, and others are ruined by incompetent restorers’ (repr. Brett 1998 fig.5 and see p.9, n.20).
Grindley & Palmer undertook work for the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, in the 1920s, including lining and cleaning Solomon J. Solomon’s Samson, a contract won in competition with the London business, Harry Reeve (qv) (see Helen Brett, ‘The Conservation History of Samson by Solomon J. Solomon: A Century of Restoration at the Walker Gallery’, The Picture Restorer, no.14, 1998, pp.5-9).
Updated January 2017
William Grisbrook, 11 York Road, Lambeth, London 1864, 154 York Road 1865-1875, 6 Panton St, Haymarket 1875-1907, also trading from addresses in Lewisham 1884-1901, 69 Endell St, New Oxford St 1908-1925. Print restorer, drawings restorer and mounter, picture restorer and framemaker, printseller and art dealer.
This business continued over two generations. The father, William Grisbrook (1831-1901) was one of four children of Thomas and Mary Anne Grisbrook, and was christened at the Portland St Presbyterian Church. He claimed to have been established in Great Newport St in 1850 (Post Office London Directory 1886), a somewhat misleading reference to his employment as manager by William Baldwin (qv) of Great Newport St, apparently in the 1850s. Grisbrook did not set up independently until or shortly before 1864, when he first appears in the Post Office London directory. He was sufficiently well considered to be allocated space to show specimens of print restoration at the Paris exhibition of 1867 (London Gazette 19 October 1866). He announced his removal to 6 Panton St in 1875 (The Times 2 July 1875). He held an account with the artists’ suppliers, Roberson, from 6 Panton St in 1878. (Woodcock 1997), and undertook work for the business, repairing, restoring and mounting drawings and engravings, 1869-83 (Hamilton Kerr Institute, Roberson Archive, MS 180-1993, 183-1993).
William Grisbrook appears to have married three times, to Ann Martin in 1861 in the Strand district, to Elizabeth Jane Aikenhead in 1875 in the Marylebone district and to Lydia Street in 1893 in the Lewisham district. He was recorded in successive censuses, in 1861 as a print and drawing restorer, living with his father, a house painter; in 1871 as a drawing mounter, employing one man, living at 154 York Road with his wife; in 1881 as a picture restorer, employing three men and a boy, living in Lewisham with his second wife and daughter; in 1891 as a picture restorer, now a widower, a visitor at 66 Weymouth Road, Dorset; and in 1901 as a picture restorer and art dealer, by now remarried, living in Lewisham. His death was recorded later the same year, age 70, in the Lewisham district, leaving effects worth £602.
Grisbrook called himself a ‘Drawing mounter, restorer of engravings, printseller and picture framemaker’ in the 1883 London directory. He worked for the National Portrait Gallery’s framemaker, Henry Critchfield, restoring prints belonging to the Gallery, 1877-8, and was consulted by the Gallery concerning splitting autograph documents, 1883 (see forthcoming National Portrait Gallery history in this resource). He was recommended by the Gallery’s Secretary, George Scharf, to Earl Beauchamp in 1879 (National Portrait Gallery records, Trustees’ meeting correspondence, meeting of 6 February 1880). Grisbrook advertised the restoration of works of art including oil paintings, engravings and drawings in The Year's Art from 1882, in particular as a print restorer. In 1897, he quoted Tuer’s Bartolozzi and his Works, 1882: ‘There are men who have a reputation as Print Restorers - Mr. William Grisbrook, of Panton Street, Haymarket, is one of them - and, provided they are sufficiently well paid for their time, nothing seems beyond their powers. A torn print they make nothing of; the edges are brought together and joined so skilfully that the tear cannot be detected. Mr. Grisbrook, who has been in the business for over forty years, is perhaps the best living restorer and inlayer of prints, and when anything very special is required, his are the services generally sought. (The Year’s Art 1897).
When a package containing proofs of Whistler’s Venice etchings was damaged in the post in 1892, his dealer at the Fine Art Society recommended Grisbrook, ‘I think that we can get them mended so that they will never be noticed - ie. if we put them in Grisbrooks hands - who can do anything.’ (The Correspondence of James Mcneill Whistler at www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk, see Whistler Correspondence: Marcus Bourne Huish to JW, 4 July 1892 ).
The son, also William Grisbrook, is less well known. He cannot be William Bush Grisbrook, who was born and died in 1875 in the Camberwell district (information from Kim Wyatt, 2009). He worked for the National Portrait Gallery on occasion between 1917 and 1922, including repairing and lining on linen large engravings in 1917 and restoring six pastels and chalk drawings for £15.17s.6d in 1919 (National Portrait Gallery records, Duplicates of Accounts, vol.8, pp.39, 103, 117, 139). He described himself on his frame label, dating to c.1908-25, as a restorer of engravings and pictures in oil or watercolour and also as a printseller and dealer in works of art, picture frames etc (example, ex-coll. Christopher Lennox-Boyd).
Sources: Andrew White Tuer, Bartolozzi and his Works, vol.1, n.d but 1882, pp.92-4. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Robert Guéraut, 2 Orris Villas, Dartmouth Rd, Hammersmith, London W by 1877-1881 or later, 108 Devonport Road, Uxbridge Road 1885, 3 Salisbury Terrace, Blythe Road, Kensington 1887, 15 Callow St, Chelsea 1901, 34 Darlan Road, Fulham 1911. Art publisher, printseller, mounter, restorer and framer of works of art. Also trading from Burlington Buildings, Heddon St, Regent St 1883, and as Guéraut & Co in or before 1891, and from Deprez & Gutekunst, 18 Green St, St Martin’s Place from 1891.
Robert Guéraut (c.1842-1911 or later) was in London by about 1863 (Lugt 1921 p.414). In 1873, recorded as Robert Cyprien A. Guerant (sic), he married Augustine Le Poittevin. In the 1881 census, he was recorded at 2 Orris Villas in Hammersmith as a fine art publisher, age 39, born Sezanne, Maine, France, with wife Augustine but no children, in 1901 as a mounter and restorer of old drawings, age 58, now married to Marguerite, age 40, born in France, with a son (presumably by his first marriage), Louis, age 20, a picture restorer apprentice, and three younger children, and in 1911 as a mounter and restorer of works of art, working on his own account at home, 34 Darlan Road, Fulham, but now described as single. From 1891 he ran his business from the print dealers, Deprez & Gutekunst, at 18 Green St.
Guéraut worked closely with Alphonse Legros, later being described by Harold Wright as ‘the artist’s printer and publisher for some years’ (see also Lugt 1921 p.414). In an advertisement for etchings by Legros and J.J. Tissot, from 1877 or before (repr. British Museum collection database, 1877,0414.78e), Guéraut described himself as a ‘Mounter, Restorer and Framer of Works of Art’ at 2 Orris Villas, Hammersmith, offering etchings by modern masters for sale, and also ‘Encadrements & Montures Artistiques’. Much of Guéraut’s own Legros collection passed to the British Museum in 1907 and 1930 (Campbell Dodgson, ‘Legros Etchings, and other prints and drawings’, British Museum Quarterly, vol.6, 1931, pp.4-5).
Mounting and restoration work: Guéraut was held in high regard in his day and would even apply a special stamp in the shape of a tablet, ‘MOUNTED BY R. GUERAUT’ to the inside of his mounts (examples in collection at Christ Church, Oxford; see also Lugt 1921 p.414).
Guéraut produced mounts for Tissot’s ‘Ten Etchings’, published 1876, sometimes stamped ‘Mounted by R. Guéraut/ 2, Orris Villas, Hammersmith’ (example sold, Hotel Drouot, Paris, date unknown). He mounted some drawings by George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle, including Marietta and Quincerta (British Museum, 1993,0508.6, 7), both of which are stamped on the mount verso, ‘Mounted by R. Gueraut 2, Orris Villas, Hammersmith’. He also mounted Edward Burne-Jones’s drawing, St Catherine disputing with the pagan philosophers, c.1878 (Christie’s 5 June 2006 lot 107), described at auction as being in ‘the original mount and frame by R. Guéraut, 2 Orris Villas, Hammersmith, W. (his label on the reverse)’.
Guéraut worked for the collector, George Salting, from 1877 to 1891, mounting and restoring works on paper. He described himself as an ‘Art Publisher, Framer and Mounter’ on his invoices. He provided Salting with numerous Whatman sunk mounts with rounded edges and corners for drawings and prints, and in 1891 he charged for ‘reviving discoloured white on an old drawing, by a special process’, which has been described as an early example of chemical treatment to recover white heightening on a drawing. Guéraut also worked for the collector, John Postle Heseltine (Lugt 1921 p.414). Guéraut is said to have prepared mounts for Edward Burne-Jones and Lord Leighton but this side of his work is not well documented; he is also said to have worked for Alfred Morrison and Edmond de Rothschild, and to have mounted drawings for the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (see sale catalogue, Christie’s 7 June 2001 lot 28).
At Christ Church, Oxford, Guéraut mounted old master drawings and made storage boxes, 1897-1903, as arranged by Frederick York Powell, for the considerable sum of £653 (Oliver Elton, Frederick York Powell: A Life and Selection from His Letters and Occasional Writings, Oxford, 1906, vol.1, p.428; W.G. Hiscock, ‘The Charles I Collection of Drawings by Leonardo and others’, Burlington Magazine, vol.94, 1952, pp.287-9). This programme of mounting the drawings, ‘by that celebrated mounter, Robert Guéraut’, was later criticised for its use of acid mounting board which, Jon Whiteley has claimed, ‘ironically did more to damage the drawings they were made to protect than anything in the history of the collection’ (Jon Whiteley, ‘Christ Church Picture Gallery’, Oxford Art Journal, vol.1, 1978, p.40).
Sources: Stephen Coppel, ‘George Salting (1835-1909)’, in Griffiths 1996 p.198, to which this account is indebted, supplemented by reference to invoices in the Guildhall Library, MS 19474 and, for the earliest payments, to Salting’s cashbook, MS 19472; Harold J.L. Wright, The Etchings, Drypoints and Lithographs of Alphonse Legros 1837-1931, publication no.13, The Print Collectors’ Club, 1934, p.18. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
The picture restorer, Thomas Gwennap (c.1798-1845) of Titchborne St, initially advertised as Thomas Gwennap junr to distinguish himself from his better-known father, the dealer in pictures, armour and curiosities, also Thomas Gwennap (c.1774-1850?). Thomas Gwennap junr’s death at the age of 46 was reported in 1845 (The Times 10 February 1845) and his pictures were sold at Foster’s on 17 April 1845. He was followed in business in Titchborne St by Bennett Barnett (qv). His death was referred to in a notice issued by the Court of Chancery in the context of a legal case, Gwennap versus Gwennap, asking for next of kin to come forward (London Gazette 18 July 1845). His father traded from 29 Edward St in 1802, 44 Rathbone Place 1803-5, variously at 44, 47 or 48 New Bond St 1805-14, 20 Lower Brook St 1814-18, 6 Pall Mall 1820-2 and Haymarket 1822-4.
Restoration work: As T. Gwennap junr, he used his trade card depicting an easel surrounded by works of art, dated 1827 and designed and engraved by himself or his father, to advertise from 15 Upper Belgrave Place, Pimlico, ‘Old Pictures clean’d with the greatest care and Repair’d in the highest perfection. Ancient miniatures. Drawings. Missals. Models, articles of taste & Vertu, clean’d & Repaired’, subsequently issuing a very similarly worded card from 21 Titchborne St (Banks coll. 96.4, 96.5).
In an advertisement in 1840, he described himself as cleaner and restorer of altarpieces to the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury and keeper of the picture galleries at Alton Towers (Morning Post 16 October 1840). The following year he advertised his work on the Earl of Lisburne’s portraits in his mansion in Wales, describing himself as by appointment to the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury, the Prince Borghese, the Talbot, Beauclerc and Cholmondeley families, Lord Grantley, the Countess of Blessington and Count d’Orsay (The Times 22 February 1841).
Thomas Gwennap junr undertook work on the old supper-box paintings from Vauxhall Gardens, particularly those acquired by Frederick Gye junr, son of one of the gardens’ proprietors. According to reports published in 1842 and in 1843 Gwennap exhibited six or seven of the paintings at his premises at 21 Tichbourne St (see Gye's Diaries, Archive of the Royal Opera House, entry for 25 July 1842, information from David E. Coke, April 2011).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography