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British picture restorers, 1600-1950 - Q

An online resource, launched in 2009, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated September 2021. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].

Introduction Resources and bibliography

Contributed by Nicola Christie, January 2017
Frederick William Quantrell, 56 Howland St, Fitzroy Square, London W 1899-1932. Picture restorer.

Frederick William Quantrell (1859-1944) was born in 1859 and christened at St Thomas Charterhouse in Finsbury, the son of George and Mary Ellen Quantrell. His father worked as a carved oak furniture dealer in Wardour Street, a business which his brothers carried on. He married Alice Blanche Chope at Prescot, Lancashire in 1894. In census records, he can be found as a picture restorer, in 1881 living in his father's household in Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, in 1891 in his mother's household at the same address, in 1901 untraced and in 1911 in Ealing, age 50, with his wife and daughter, Dorothy. He died in Twickenham in 1944 at the age of 85, leaving effects worth £4405; his will was proved by Dorothy Slaymaker, his only child.

It remains to be established whether it was Frederick William Quantrell who was in partnership with Henry Beer, trading as Quantrell & Beer, picture restorers, at 156 Regent St in 1893 and at 187 Wardour St in 1894 and 1895, according to London directories. His relationship to the picture liner, Herbert Quantrell, trading in London from at least 1914 until 1934 or later also remains to be established. What is clear is that he was in business at 56 Howland St from 1899, two doors along from the picture liner, John Jones, until 1932.

Quantrell worked on many paintings at Hampton Court Palace in the 1920s. In 1923 he was working for Lionel Cust, Surveyor of the King's Pictures, at Hampton Court where he relined one of the large Sebastiano Riccis, possibly Christ and the Woman of Samaria, which was recorded there during this period. In 1927 he carried out 104 days' work at Hampton Court where he cleaned, restored and revarnished 76 paintings, charging 2 guineas per day for his work and 3 shillings per day travelling expenses. His invoices in 1927 were sent from Howland St but with his correspondence address given as Somerset Road in Ealing.

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

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