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British picture restorers, 1600-1950 - T

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

Introduction Resources and bibliography

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Mr Tarn, King’s Lynn 1824. Picture cleaner and picture dealer.

Tarn has not been traced but he is included here for his label, ‘No 1789/ Mr. Tarn/ Professor of Picture Cleaning/ (old Pictures Bought or exchanged)/ Lynn Jany. 1824’, found on Thomas Hudson’s Sir William Browne, and a similar label, but ‘No 1793’, on another Hudson portrait of the same sitter (coll. Sir Robert Ffolkes, exh. Thomas Hudson 1701-1779, Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, 1979, nos 25, 65). ‘Tarn’ also appears as a seller of a picture at Christie’s in 1822 (Getty provenance index).

Philip Joseph Tassaert (1736-1803), see William Seguier

Frederick Tate, 18 Percy St, Bedford Square, London W by 1844-1920. Carvers and gilders, picture restorers.

For Frederick Thomas Tate (1811-83) and his son Frederick Kent Tate (1847-1922), see British picture framemakers on this website.

*Lewis Tayler, 17 Little New St, Shoe Lane, London 1820, 32 Little Bell Alley, Coleman St 1827-1839, 20 Cloak Lane 1838-1849, 2 Fisher’s Alley, Water Lane, Fleet St 1846-1849, 5A Cloak Lane 1850-1864, 24 College Hill, Upper Thames St 1851-1855. Carver and gilder, then picture cleaner and restorer.

Lewis Tayler (c.1793-1867), occasionally described as Louis Taylor, is perhaps the Lewis Tayler baptised at St George-in-the East, Stepney, on 24 February 1793, the son of Richard and Margaret Tayler. He is possibly the individual who was admitted to the Freedom of the City in 1827 as the son of Richard Tayler, feltmaker.

In census records he can be found in 1841 in Cloak Lane as a picture cleaner, age 48, with three sons, the eldest, also Lewis, age 18, also a picture cleaner, in 1851 at 24 College Hill as a picture cleaner, age 55, born St George Middlesex, with his wife Jane, age 58, and son George, age 20, also a picture cleaner, and in 1861 in Leytonstone as Louis Taylor, picture cleaner and restorer, age 65, a widower, with a housekeeper, Elizabeth Gibbs. Lewis Tayler, picture restorer, died age 72 in Leytonstone in 1867, leaving effect worth under £200, with Elizabeth Gibbs as executrix.

Taylor was employed by the Foundling Hospital to clean pictures and regild frames, 1832-44, receiving the considerable sum of £81.6s in 1832 and further payments in 1833, 1834 and 1839 (London Metropolitan Archives, A/FH/B/01/014/004, Household Expenses, 1830-9). He cleaned and lined William Hogarth's Moses brought before the Pharaoh's Daughter and Joseph Highmore's Hagar and Ishmael, as is apparent from his inscriptions on the reverse, that on the latter reading: 'Lewis Taylor/ 32 Little Bell Ally/ Cleaned & Lined/ this Paintg/ 1832' (Nunn 2009 pp.240-1). He was paid £13.13s in 1833 for cleaning Hogarth’s The March to Finchley, £12.12s in 1834 for cleaning Hogarth’s Captain Coram and regilding the frame, and £7.7s in 1839 for cleaning Andrea Casali’s Adoration of the Magi. In 1844 he was ordered to treat George Lambert's Landscape with Figures (Nunn 2009 p.241). These pictures all remain at the Foundling Museum.

Updated March 2020
John Taylor 1843-1856, Joseph Robert Taylor 1856-1889. At 20 Cross St, Manchester 1843, 19 Ridgefield 1843, 20 Ashton St 1845, 15 Brazennose St 1847-1889. Picture restorers, carvers and gilders.

John Taylor (c.1813-1856) followed a Mr James in business, describing himself on his trade label as ‘Mr Taylor Successor to Mr James Picture Restorer 15 Brazenose Street’ (examples found on stretchers of portraits sold Christie's South Kensington 4 March 2004 lot 303). Taylor’s predecessor was probably Henry Gould James (qv, 1798-1842), recorded as a picture restorer at 9 Ridgefield in 1841 (Pigot & Slater’s Manchester and Salford Directory, 1841). Taylor moved from 20 Cross St to James’s premises at in 1843 (Manchester Guardian 11 February 1843). ‘Mr Taylor’ advertised as a picture restorer at 15 Brazenose St in 1853 (Manchester Guardian 5 October 1853).

John Taylor, picture restorer of Brazenose St, died at the age of 43 in 1856 (Manchester Guardian 24 May 1856). He was followed by his son, Joseph Robert Taylor (1835?-1889), who advertised as his successor within a few months (Manchester Guardian 2 August 1856). This son appears to have been the Joseph Robert Taylor, son of John and Mary Ann Taylor, who was christened in July 1835 in Manchester Cathedral. In censuses, Joseph Robert Taylor was recorded in 1871 as a picture restorer, age 35, unmarried, living with his mother Mary Ann, and brother John, age 29, at Chorlton-on-Medlock, and in 1881 as a picture restorer, born Manchester, age 44, at Roebuck Lane, Sale, Cheshire with Catherine, his 24-year-old wife. He died on 28 December 1889 in the Altrincham district, age 54, described as an expert in pictures and picture restorer (London Gazette 22 August 1890), leaving personal estate worth the very considerable sum of £22,712.

Thomas Creswick's The Windmill (Sudley, Liverpool, see Morris 1996), bears the canvas stamp of ‘J. Taylor' from 15 Brazenose St, in conjunction with stretcher stamp of W. Morrill, suggesting that Taylor may have sent the picture to London for lining. Taylor restored six portraits at Chetham Library in 1860 (Manchester Courier 1 December 1860). Taylor’s canvas stamp reads: J R TAYLOR/ 15 BRAZEN NOSE S/ MANCHESTER (example repr. in British restorers, liners and mounters marks on this website).

Another restorer, L.B. Taylor, is reported from Manchester, whose late 19th-century shield-shaped label is found on the stretcher of Kneller's Elijah and the Angel, reading: L. B. TAYLOR/ 18 Ir [?…..] Sq./ MANCHESTER/ EXPERT ART/ PICTURE/ RESTORER. (Tate, N06222, information from Rica Jones, January 2011).

Added January 2017
John Terry (c.1746-1791 or later). Little Queen St, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London 1776-1791. Picture restorer.

Terry may be identifiable with John Terry (b. c.1746), who entered the Royal Academy Schools as a painter, aged 24, in 1770 (Hutchison 1962 p.135). John Terry can be found in Little Queen St, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, in Land Tax assessments, 1781-91.

Terry may be identifiable with John Terry (b. c.1746), who entered the Royal Academy Schools as a painter, aged 24, in 1770 (Hutchison 1962 p.135). It is possible that he is the John Terry who married Elizabeth Bell in December 1775 at St George Bloomsbury. He can be found in Little Queen St, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, in Land Tax assessments, 1781-91. He is just possibly John Terry of Paddington, who was buried, age 75, at St Mary Paddington Green in 1821.

At the Foundling Hospital, now the Foundling Museum (qv), Terry was responsible for repairing and cleaning eight full-length portraits and their frames according to his bill of 29 August 1774 for £11. He treated many of the well-known series of full-lengths now in the Picture Gallery, including William Hogarth’s Captain Coram, Thomas Hudson’s Theodore Jacobsen, Allan Ramsay’s Dr Richard Mead and Joshua Reynolds’s Earl of Dartmouth, charging 10s.6d a picture, perhaps for surface cleaning, and £5.5s for Dartmouth and £2.2s for Benjamin Wilson’s half-length Francis Fauquier, perhaps involving lining or repairs (London Metropolitan Archives, A/FH/B/03/031/010). Most of these picture were hung in the Girl’s Dining Room and would appear to have been vulnerable to damage from their positioning.

From Henry Farrer’s testimony to the National Gallery Site Commission in 1857, J. Foisseau, presumably Josiah Foisseau (qv) and John Terry of Little Queen St, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, approached the Barber Surgeons’ Company concerning cleaning Hans Holbein’s large group a portrait on panel, Henry VIII presenting the Company Charter, together with other pictures (National Gallery Site Commission, 1857, p.152). Farrer also referred to documentation that J. Foisseau cleaned two pictures for 5 guineas for the Painter-Stainers’ Company in 1774.

Updated March 2016, September 2018
William Thane,
3 Spur St, Leicester Square, London 1807, 18 New Lisle St 1808-1813, 36 New Lisle St 1816, 44 Cleveland St, Fitzroy Square, 1816, 31 Maddox St 1817-1818 or later, 11 Russell Place, Fitzroy Square by 1825-1834 or later, 16 Russell Place by 1836-1846, Weedington St, Kentish Town 1850. Artist and picture cleaner.

William Thane (1784?-1850) was very probably the son of John Thane (1748-1818), art dealer of Spur St (for whom see Anthony Griffiths (ed.), Landmarks in Print Collecting, 1996, pp.48, 278, and Lugt 1921 p.447), and so the brother of the collector, Thomas Thane (1782-1846) (see Lugt 1921 p.450). It seems that he was christened in 1784 at St James Westminster, the son of John and Elizabeth Thane. He married Kitty Dancer (c.1791-1855) at St Pancras Old Church in 1824. In the 1841 census he was recorded in Russell Place as an artist, age 45 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five years in this census), with his wife Kitty and three sons.

William Thane exhibited landscapes at the Royal Academy, 1807-18, at first from 3 Spur St. Thane is reported to have known William Blake (G.E. Bentley, Blake Records, 2nd ed., 2004, p.302n). He also knew John Constable, who used 3 Spur St as the address for his Royal Academy exhibits in 1805 and 1806, while Constable’s mother asked to be remembered to Thane in 1807 (Beckett 1966 p.175). In 1836 Thane was in touch with Constable about a picture for loan or purchase (Beckett 1966 p.176).

Thane took out insurance as William Thane, gentleman, from 44 Cleveland St, in 1816, and as an artist from 31 Maddox St in 1817, and he is presumably the ‘William Shane’ who took out insurance from 11 Russell Place in 1825 (London Metropolitan Archives, Records of Sun Fire Office, 471/919363, 476/931351, 504/1026906). Thane was described as an artist, living in Russel Place, when testifying at the Old Bailey in 1835 in a case concerning theft from his premises by his servant, Robert Roberts.

‘Thane’ is frequently named as buyer or seller at auction from 1782 until 1837 (Getty Provenance Index) and it is possible that the later references, after his father’s death, relate to William Thane, if not to his brother, Thomas.

William Thane of Weedington St, Kentish Town, was buried on 30 November 1850, age 61, at the Highgate Cemetery of St James. In his will, dated 8 July 1843 and proved 1 January 1851, William Thane of 16 Russell Place left his wife, Kitty, ‘all my pictures, drawings, prints’, together with the lease on 16 Russell Place. The will was witnessed by William Thomas senr (see British picture framemakers on this website) and William Thomas junr.

Restoration work: Some information is available on William Thane’s activities as a restorer. He undertook work for D'Ewes Coke restoring pictures in 1820 (Derbyshire Record Office, Borough Estate and Family Papers, D5369/18/6). ‘Thane’ was paid the considerable sum of £170.12s.6d by the Society of Antiquaries, in 1828, 'for restoring and framing the pictures bequeathed to the Society by the Rev. Thos. Kerrich, and of other pictures belonging to the Society'; he was then asked in 1835 to provide gilt tablets for the pictures (J.A. Franklin, B. Nurse & P. Tudor-Craig, Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 2015, p.11; information from Christine Kimbriel).

Sir Charles Eastlake later identified ‘Thane’ as restoring Velazquez’s Philip IV hunting Wild Boar (National Gallery, but then owned by Lord Cowley), stating to a House of Commons estimates committee in 1856 that he had heard that many years ago Thane had brought in an artist, George Lance, to repair paint losses during lining (Report from the Select Committee on the National Gallery, 1853, pp.277,346; see also National Gallery Report 2005/6, p.27). Thane also restored some of the pictures at Nuneham House, Oxfordshire, supposedly assisted by Lance, according to the same parliamentary report.

It was in the mid-1830s that Thane worked on Nuneham pictures (see ‘Pictures at Nuneham’, in Edward William Harcourt (ed.), The Harcourt Papers, vol.3, 1880 or later, online at, information from Charles Noble). In 1834 treating Vandergucht’s crayon Shakespeare, including a new frame (cat. no.180). In 1835 Rubens’s La charette embourbée, transferred from panel to canvas (no.4, described as ‘not improved’), Ruysdael’s Landscape with waterfall, repairing part of the picture for £15.15s, apparently previously reduced in size by folding back, including a new frame (no.60), Karel du Jardin/ Peter Van Leer’s A Setting Sun with Shepherd and Sheep, transferred from panel to canvas (no.114) and, in the Harcourt town house, Annibale Carracci, attrib., Susanna and the Elders restored for £31, the frame repaired for £18 (no.209). In 1836 Bronzino’s Nativity for £41 (no.37, described as ‘somewhat marred by its "restoration”’) and a version of Barocci’s Madonna della Gatta for £15.15s (no.41, described as ‘mercilessly cleaned and repaired’). In 1837 Titian’s St Margaret in 1837 for £31.10s (no.10). He also produced a portrait of Wlliam de Vernon, copied from a monument in a church in Normandy for £15.15s (no.136).

Thane cleaned miniatures for the 9th Duchess of Badminton and brought an action against the Duke, 1841-3 (Gloucestershire Archives, Badminton Muniments, FmQ4/4/1 for the Duchess's papers, and D2700/QB4/1/18 for letters from Thane about this action).

Thaumaturgas, see E.W. Goodliffe

Robert Thick, 35 Clipstone St, Fitzroy Square, London 1839-1854. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker and restorer, previously a grocer.

See British picture framemakers on this website.

Robert Thomas (1829-84), London. Gilder and decorator, and by 1876 picture restorer.

See British picture framemakers on this website, under William Thomas.

Updated September 2018
Garry Thomson
(1925-2007). Conservation scientist, joined National Gallery staff in 1955, Head of Scientific Dept, National Gallery, 1960-85.

Outside the time frame of this online resource, but see retirement tribute by Michael Levey, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, vol.9, 1985, p.4; obituary, Daily Telegraph 2 June 2007 (available at Garry Thomson - Telegraph); see also Wikipedia at

Updated March 2015
William Henry Timms,
St James’s Place, Hampstead Road, London 1817-c.1827, Margate 1827-1834, 9 High St, Margate 1832-1834, Lower Berner St, London by 1838, 6 William St, Mile End Old Town 1851. Drawings mounter, print colourer and engraver.

Thanks to research by Katie Amos, a great-great-great-great-granddaughter (cited here as Amos 2014), it is possible to provide further information on this mounter of drawings, tinter of prints and engraver. William Henry Timms (1791?-1858?) was baptised in November 1791 at St Lawrence, Reading, and may be the man of this name who died in London in the parish of St George-in-the-East in 1858 (Amos 2014 pp.2-3, 25). He married Sarah Crofts in London in December 1815. He was described as a colourer of St James’ Place at the birth of their son, William Henry, in 1817, and as a copper plate engraver, still of St James’ Place, at the birth of their daughter, Louisa Rosalia in 1823.

Described as William Henry Timms, tinter of prints, but sued under the name William Tims, he was treated as an insolvent debtor in 1821 (London Gazette 2 October, 1821), with his addresses given as formerly of St James’s Place, Hampstead Road, then of Norfolk St, Middlesex Hospital, afterwards of Trafalgar Terrace, Stepney, and late of Newman St, Oxford St.

After some years in Margate, his wife’s home town, Timms returned to London but his later years are less well documented (see Amos 2014 pp.24-5).

Mounting and colouring work: Timms coloured prints for the landscape painter, William Daniell, receiving the considerable sum of £225 in June 1815 at the rate of 50 shillings per hundred, with a final payment in 1822 for mounting and colouring 25 sets of plates for almost £9 (Amos 2014 p.9, quoting Iain Bain, William Daniell’s A Voyage round Great Britain, 1814-1825, 1966). Timms also coloured some of the plates in Edward Dodwell’s Views in Greece, 1821 (Amos 2014 p.10), as well as other works. His best known engravings, ‘The Twelve Views of Reading’ (1823) gave him as 'Engraver, Tinter of Prints, and Mounter of Drawings, &c., No. 6 St James' Place, Hampstead Road, London' in the frontispiece (reproduced Amos 2014 pp.12-19).

Timms mounted drawings for Sir Thomas Lawrence. He was described as 'Mr Tims, who mounts my drawings', in Lawrence’s letter to William Young Ottley, perhaps in 1823 (D.E. Williams, Life and Correspondence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1831, vol.2, p.322). He may be the person, unnamed, employed by Lawrence for many months in mounting drawings, who forged his name for £200 (Williams p.344).

Sources: Katie Amos, The Timms family of Reading and London, Artists, Photographers, Designers and Craftsmen, 2014. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

William Tomkins, Tottenham Court Road (corner of Windmill St), London 1762-1763,St Martin’s Lane (at Mr Turner’s) 1763-1765, Little St Martin’s Lane 1766,Margaret St, Cavendish Square 1767-1772, Little Queen Anne St, Portland Chapel 1773-1774, 70 Queen Anne St 1775, 75 Queen Anne St East 1776-1792. Landscape painter and picture restorer.

The landscape painter, William Tomkins ARA (1730-92), exhibited country house views at the Royal Academy and elsewhere, 1761-90. He was born in London in 1730, the son of a painter, according to Edward Edwards (Edwards 1808 p.168). He married Susanna Callard at an unknown date. They had three sons christened at St Mary Marylebone, the youngest, Montague, in 1773. ‘Tomkins’ appears as a buyer at the Noel Joseph Desenfans sale at Christie’s in 1786 (Getty provenance index). William Tomkins died on 1 January 1792 (Edwards 1808 p.168). In his will, made 20 May 1788 and proved 28 March 1792, he bequeathed his 17 books containing his landscape and other sketches to his youngest son, Montagu, and much of the rest of his estate to his then wife, Mary. He was father of the engraver, Peltro William Tomkins (see British artists' suppliers on this website).

William Tomkins ‘practiced much as a picture cleaner’, according to Edward Edwards (Edwards 1808 p.168). At Saltram House in Devon he was paid £20 for cleaning pictures in 1778, also producing landscape views of the Saltram estate as early as 1770 (The Saltram Collection, National Trust, 1977, p.74). At Hatfield House, Hertfordshire he restored pictures before 1782, when it was reported that ‘Mr Tomkins’ had repaired pictures in the collection (Auerbach 1971 pp.165, 263, quoting Thomas Pennant, Journey from Chester, 1782, p.411); he also exhibited two views of Hatfield at the Royal Academy in 1782 (Auerbach 1971 p.220).

Sources: Deborah Graham-Vernon, ‘William Tomkins’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

William Tremaine, Chichesterby 1735-1742 or later. Painter and picture restorer, probably also glazier.

William Tremain of Hambledon, Hampshire, married Lucy Kennet in 1735 in the Palace Chapel at Chichester and had four or five children christened at St Peter the Great, Chichester, between 1735 and 1742, most of whom died in infancy. He himself died in 1747, according to George Vertue (Vertue vol.5, p.143) and a William Tremain was buried in St Martin’s, Chichester on 8 March 1747. According to Vertue, writing in 1747, ’Tremaine’, a painter, repaired paintings in Chichester Cathedral, apparently the line of kings which ornament the south transept, while there are references to ‘Tremayne’ in early guidebooks. There is a record in the Cathedral accounts in 1749 of ‘ye Painter’s Bill for painting ye Kings’ for £12.12s but the painter is unnamed.

There was a master glazier, William Tremaine, also spelt Tremain or Trimain, to whom apprentices were bound in Chichester in 1735, 1743 and 1748 (Mary Hobbs (ed.), Chichester Cathedral: An Historical Survey, 1994, p.305, n.19).

Sources: Cutten papers, West Sussex Record Office, Cutten A/1/1/4, drawn to my attention by Timothy Hudson. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.

*George Tyler, 58 Frith St, Soho, London 1871-1874, 19 Frith St 1875-1880, 21 Greek St, Soho 1880-1885, Arnold Road, Tooting Junction 1883-1888, 8 Hunter St, Brunswick Square, WC 1888. Mount maker and mounter of watercolours.

George Tyler (1825-89) would seem to have been the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Tyler, born in July 1825 and christened at St Mary Marylebone. Described as a print colourer of 16 Great Warner St, the son of Thomas Tyler, coach painter, he married Ellen Maria Granger at St James Clerkenwell in 1854. He later claimed to have established his business as mount maker and mounter of watercolours in 1860.

In census records he can be found in 1851 at 16 Great Warner St as a print colourer, age 25, with his mother Elizabeth, age 63, in 1861 at 16 Albion St, Islington, as an artists mounter, age 35, with his wife Ellen, age 29, in 1871 at 58 Frith St as a mounter of watercolours, with his wife Ellen, without children, and in 1881 at Arnold Road, Mitcham, as a mount cutter, age 54, employing a man and two boys, with his wife but no children. Tyler left his business address at 21 Greek St in 1885 and was followed there by Henry Miller, another drawing mount cutter. George Tyler, described as formerly of 19 Frith St, died age 64 on 13 May 1889 in Hove, Sussex, leaving personal estate of £417, with probate granted to Ellen Maria Tyler, his widow and sole executrix. George Tyler should not be confused with the law stationer of the same name.

Tyler worked for the British Museum, 1878-88, supplying more than a thousand mounts at two shillings each; he described himself on his headed invoice paper as ‘G. Tyler. Mount Maker, and Mounter of Water Color Drawings, &c. Established 1860’ (British Museum, Dept of Prints and Drawings, bill books, vols 1-3).

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

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