British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - H
An online resource, launched in 2006, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated September 2021. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].
Added March 2019
Haeffner Hilpert & Co, 31 Jewin St, London EC 1880-1902. Import and colour merchants.
This London business of import and colour merchants of Bavarian origins went through several partnerships in the second half of the 19th century, trading successively as Oscar Frauenknecht until 1851, Frauenknecht & Stotz from 1852 until 1866, Stotz & Winter until 1880 and then Haeffner Hilpert & Co until 1902. They were importers rather than manufacturers. Their dealings with two firms of artists’ colourmen, Charles Roberson & Co and Cornelissen & Son, are described below. Here the individual partners are traced.
Oscar Frauenknecht (c.1821-83), or to give him his full name Oscar Conrad Christoph Gustav Frauenknecht, was born in Bavaria and came to London in 1843 (Returns of alien passengers). In the 1851 census he was recorded as a general merchant, age 29, with his English wife, Eliza. He was naturalized British in 1853 when he stated that he had been living in Britain for ten years (National Archives, HO 1/47/1514). He took on the printing business of Kronheim & Co in 1857 and in the 1861 census he was recorded as an ornamental printer. He died in the Islington district in December 1883 with probate granted to his widow, Elizabeth, on his personal estate of £1834.
George Winter (c.1837-1870) of the firm of Stotz & Winter died at Mainz at the age of 33 in 1870 (The Times 26 December 1870). His business partner, Frederick Stotz (1821-84), or to give him his name at birth, Johann Friedrich August Stotz, was born at Nuremberg in Bavaria in 1821. In the 1851 census Stotz can be found as a general merchant in the same household as Frauenknecht and in 1861 as an importer of foreign goods. He died at Portsea in Hampshire in 1884, age 63 (London Gazette 14 October 1884), leaving a considerable personal estate of £29,638.
Owing to ill health Stotz retired in 1880, when it was announced that the firm of Stotz & Winter would be continued by his nephew, Frederick Haeffner, together with Julius Hilpert, trading as Haeffner Hilpert & Co (Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 197-1993, 30 December 1880; London Evening Standard 3 January 1881). Their partnership continued until dissolved in 1902 (London Gazette 18 March 1902).
Frederick Augustus Charles John Haeffner (1856-1930), born in 1856 at Ruckersdorf in Bavaria, came to England in 1876 and was naturalized British in 1885 (National Archives, HO 144/146/A38017). He left a considerable estate of £96,367 at his death in 1930. Julius Ludwig Theodor Hermann Hilpert (c.1849-1910), born in about 1849 at Nuremberg, was naturalized British in 1885 on the same day as Haeffner (National Archives, HO 344/12/4232). He left an estate of £10,060 at his death in 1910.
Trade in colours: There is very limited evidence as to where successive partners in this import and colour business obtained their colours and materials. At the International Exhibition in London in 1862 Frauenknecht & Stotz acted as agents for G.L. Fuchs & Sons of Fürth in Bavaria, who traded in leaf metal and bronze powder. As early as 1867 Stotz & Winter were listed as ‘colour & ultramarine agents’ in the London Post Office directory. Later, in 1890, Haeffner Hilpert & Co regularly imported ultramarine in large quantities from Holland (Chemical Trade Journal, vol. 17, 1890).
Two firms of artists’ colourmen in London, Cornelissen & Son and Charles Roberson & Co bought colours in bulk from these businesses. Cornelissen’s purchases from Stotz & Winter and Haeffner Hilpert came to £980 in the seven year period, 1880-7, whereas Roberson laid out a much smaller sum, £51, in the seven year period, 1884-90.
To take October 1880, the first month in the surviving Cornelissen purchase ledger (Tate), purchases amounted to more than £32 and included both dark and light cadmium yellow, violet lake, vermillion (two boxes totalling 56 lb), brilliant geranium lake, cobalt blue in half kilo cases, violet drop lake, crimson lake, scarlet lake and burnt sienna in drops. Cornelissen continued to purchase great quantities of colours from Haeffner Hilpert until at least 1887. However, the business does not feature in a surviving Cornelissen order book from 1888, which covers a wide range of their suppliers (Tate).
Over many years Roberson occasionally went to Frauenknecht & Stotz, Stotz & Winter and Haeffner Hilpert for certain colours, including Kremser/Cremnitz white, sometimes in considerable quantities, 1852-83; pale vermillion, 1860; rose madder lake, 1871-3; yellow ultramarine, 1875-83, purchases after 1883 not noted (Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 944-1993, p.557, MS 180-1993, p.248, MS 183-1993, pp.343, 479, MS 204-1993, pp.562-3, MS 232-1993, p.562, Roberson purchase ledgers).
*Henry Halford 1868, Halford Bros1869-1904. At 5 Hanway St, London 1868-1873, 361 Oxford St 1874-1881, street renumbered 1881, 169 Oxford St 1881-1904. Picture dealers, artists' colourmen.
The origins of this business lie with the artists’ colourmen at 5 Hanway St, trading as Millar and Halford in 1867, Henry Halford in 1868 and Halford Bros, 1869-1873. The trade card of Halford Bros as Fine Art Gallery, 169 Oxford St, set out their services as 'Artists' Colourmen, Outline Publishers, Picture Frame Makers, & Mount Cutters, Wholesale and Retail' (Johnson Coll. Trade Cards 2 (11).
The brothers, Henry Carpenter Halford (c.1833-1898) and Charles François Halford (c.1835-1899), traded together as Halford Brothers at 169 Oxford St, as artists colourmen, outline publishers and picture dealers, until their partnership was dissolved in 1882 (London Gazette 28 February 1882). In census records, Henry Halford was recorded as a baker in 1861 and 1871, his father’s trade, and as an artists’ colourman in 1881 and 1891. In 1881, age 48, he was living at 49 Parkhurst Rd with his father James, brother George age 56, and sister. He died in 1898, described as a picture and fine art dealer, leaving an estate of £3455, with his brother, an artists’ colourman, being granted probate. This brother, Charles Halford was recorded in censuses as an artists’ colourman in 1871 and 1891 and as a picture dealer in 1881, age 45. In 1891 he was listed at 86 Park St, Camden Town, where he traded as Charles Halford, artists’ colourman, 1886-99. The business continued after his death as Halford Bros 1900-5.
Two canvas marks have been recorded, pre-1882 and after 1886 (information from Cathy Proudlove).
Henry James Hall, see George Bowden
John Hall, see Ebenezer Fox
Updated March 2021
John Hampson, 36 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool 1844-1847. Oil and colour store owner, artists’ materials supplier.
In an advertisement in 1844, J. Hampson, proprietor of Mount Pleasant Oil and Colour Store, described himself as grateful for favours bestowed on him in the previous 12 months, wording which would suggest that he had only recently opened in business (Liverpool Mercury 17 May 1844). He was offering prepared canvas in rolls and mounted on stretching frames, wood panels, millboards, oils, colours and varnishes, brushes, pencils, gilding equipment, tube and bladder colours, easels, drawing boards, palettes, drawing paper, stumps and crayons.
A marked canvas has been recorded, illustrated in British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 12, England outside London on this website.
The Hand and Pen, see Isabella and James Inglish
James Duffield Harding,12 North Crescent, Bedford Square, London 1826-1830,4 Gordon Square 1833-1848, 3 Abercorn Place, St John’s Wood 1848-1860, 15 Lonsdale Terrace, Barnes 1860-1863. Landscape painter and lithographer, supplier of artists’ drawing materials.
James Duffield Harding(1797-1863) advertised pure drawing paper, reproducing a letter to the manufacturer of the paper dated 14 June 1841 (The Art-Union August 1841 p.129, and subsequently); these papers were produced for Winsor & Newton as early as 1840 (Bower 1999 p.129) and advertised by Ackermann & Co in 1847 (The Most Essential Requisites for Artists and Amateurs selected from the general list, in T.H. Fielding, The Knowledge and Restoration of Old Paintings, 1847). Drawing pencils were sold bearing Harding’s name, e.g. by Marsh and Beattie, Edinburgh (qv), as was Harding’s lesson desk, registered 9 February 1849, by Winsor & Newton (advertisements appended to W. Winsor & H.C. Newton, The Hand-book of Water-colours, 7th ed., 1849). Harding’s ‘Permanent Tints for Miniature Painting’ were ‘prepared only by G. Rowney & Co’, 1851 (see under Rowney). Papers named after the artist were widely stocked and remained commercially available until early in the 20th century (Bower 1999 p.129). Harding had an account with Roberson, 1830-9, from 12 North Crescent and 4 Gordon Square, and in 1857 from 3 Abercorn Place (Woodcock 1997). In 1861 a patent was given to Harding and William Henry Winsor for the invention of 'improvements in drawing materials and apparatus for the use of artists' (London Gazette 21 June 1861).
A watercolour portrait drawing of Harding by Laurence Theweneti, 1825, is in the National Portrait Gallery.
Sources: Peter Bicknell and Jane Munro, Gilpin to Ruskin: Drawing Masters and their manuals, 1800-1860, Fitzwilliam Museum, exh.cat., 1988, pp.102, 111-5. Various papers at the Courtauld Institute of Art, see letters to W.H. Winsor of Winsor & Newton concerning artists' materials and other matters, 1860-3 (V&A National Art Library, MSL/1979/4694). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
L. & C. Hardtmuth 1876-1910, L. & C. Hardtmuth Ltd 1911-1916, from 1923 At 23 Abchurch Lane, London EC (Heintzmann & Rochussen, agents) 1876-1879, 14 Holborn Viaduct EC 1880-1882, 3 Long Lane, West Smithfield 1883, 2 Long Lane 1884-1890, 12 Golden Lane EC 1891-1910, Koh-i-noor House, Kingsway WC 1911-1916, 29 Kingsway 1923-1934, Stafford Road, Croydon 1935-1941 or later, Church Rd, Epsom by 1953. Pencil makers.
This business was founded in Austria in 1790. It exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 (Hardtmuth’s Price List of Lead and Red Crayon Pencils, 2pp, bound into the Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Great Exhibition 1851, vol.16, V&A National Art Library, EX.1851.135). Hardtmuth advertised the Koh-i-noor pencil, made in Austria (The Year's Art 1908, and elsewhere). Heintzmann & Rochussen, their agents in 1879, also acted forA.W. Faber (qv). Like some other overseas companies, Hardtmuth ceased trading in London during the First World War.
Added March 2013, updated March 2020
Hardy 1859-1862, P. Hardy 1865-1868, Hardy-Alan 1862-1933 or later. At 1 rue Childebert, near St Germain-des-Prés, Paris 1859-1868, 36 rue du Cherche-Midi 1868-1907, 92 Boulevard Raspail 1908-1911, 72 Boulevard Raspail 1912-1947. Manufacturing artists’ colourman.
Continental suppliers used by British-based artists when abroad are treated in summary detail in this resource. Hardy-Alan was a leading supplier of canvas and artists’ colours in the later 19th-century, numbering Fantin Latour, Eugène Carrière and Carolus-Duran among customers.
The business succeeded Madame Picard, who was active at 1 rue Childebert, c.1848-58. Hardy was first listed at this address in the Paris almanach directory in 1859 and can be found as P. Hardy in the mid-1860s (see Roth-Meyer in Sources below). The business was trading as Hardy-Alan by 1862, in which year Hardy was listed as ‘fab. de couleurs fines et pour peinture sur porcelaines, pastels, toiles et rentoilage de tableaux…’.
Hardy-Alan’s printed billhead in an account to Whistler in 1862, as successor to Madame Picard, described the business as ‘Fabrique de couleurs fines & préparées pour la peinture à la cire. Tient tous les articles de peinture, atelier de toiles et restauration de tableaux, location de chevalets et mannequins’, also offering gilding and framing, English and French papers, watercolours, pastels in boxes etc. The business’s description in the 1889 Paris directory took a very similar form. It took out a two-page advertisement as makers of prepared canvases in 1903 (Sagaret’s Annuaire du batiment et des travaux publics, 1903, pp.1424-5, accessed through Gallica). The business had an account with the London colourmen, Charles Roberson & Co (qv), in 1883 (Woodcock 1997 p.3).
Hardy-Alan and Blanchet frères (qv) were among only seven colour merchants listed in 1887 in The Art Student in Paris, a guide for American students published by the Boston Art Students’ Association, where it is stated that, at nearly all the studios, merchants made semi-weekly and sometimes daily visits (The Art Student in Paris, Boston, 1887, p.48, accessed through the Internet Archive at http://archive.org/stream/artstudentinpari00bost).
Hardy-Alan had a factory at Vanves (Seine), which featured as a ‘Fabrique de Toiles et Couleurs Fines’, in its price list of 1902 (image of factory repr. Labreuche, see Sources below). The business also undertook conservation work and produced large canvases for panoramas and the theatre and for painted tapestries. The business was taken over by G. Vasseur in 1910 and by Biébuyck in 1923, and continued at 72 boulevard Raspail until at least 1947.
Further research is required into the history of this business. The ‘Alan’ of Hardy-Alan remains to be documented. Quite what connection Hardy-Alan had with the business Hardy-Milori, trading as colour merchants, remains to be established.
Materials used by artists from Britain: Like his friend, Fantin Latour, Whistler used Hardy-Alan in the 1860s. Whistler ordered various materials from the business between July 1861 and February 1862, including colours, brushes, drawing materials, stretchers, canvases, a frame and an easel on hire. Whistler refers to the business in his correspondence, 1862-4, 1869 and 1873 (this account comes from The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler). He used Hardy-Alan's canvases for Coast of Brittany, 1861 (Wadsworth Atheneum, see Kornhauser 1996 p.796), Symphony in White, No.1: The White Girl, 1862 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) and Symphonie en argent et émeraude, c.1868-71?, stencilled: HARDY-ALAN/ 36 Rue de Cherche-Midi/ PARIS (Nat Leeb, Paris).
Like his master, Carolus-Duran, John Singer Sargent used Hardy-Alan during his Paris years, including canvases for his Atlantic Storm, 1876 (Curtis Galleries, Minneapolis) and The Misses Vickers, 1884 (Sheffield City Art Galleries). His much later Study for ‘Israel and the Law’, c.1903-9, reuses an earlier marked Hardy-Alan canvas (Private coll., see N. Khandekar et al. (eds), John Singer Sargent's Triumph of Religion at the Boston Public Library, 2009, pp.66n5, 147-8).
The Irish artist, Sarah Purser, studied at the Académie Julian, 1878-9, and often revisited Paris; she used a canvas with the Hardy-Alan mark for her Pensive woman in grey, c.1895 (Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Art, Dublin, see John O'Grady, The Life and Work of Sarah Purser, 1996, p.232).
Sources: Clotilde Roth-Meyer, Les Marchands de couleurs à Paris au XIXe siècle, PhD thesis, Université Paris Sorbonne, 2004, p.416; Kate Lowry, 19th century Artists’ Colourmen in Paris, CD-ROM, 2008, refers to Madame Picard's address and to Carolus-Duran's use of Hardy-Alan; Andrew McLaren Young et al., The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, 1980, pp.17, 40, lists the two paintings above and gives Hardy-Alan’s addresses, 1865-8; Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent, Yale University Press, 9 vols, 1998-2016, cat. nos 129, 662 for Sargent’s canvases. See also Labreuche p.293-4 and La maison Picard Hardy Hardy-Alan Vasseur | Guide Labreuche.John Hare, 21 King St, Bristol 1787, see William Reeves
**George Harris 1792, Whittow & Harris by 1803-1825, George Harris 1808-1825, Harris & Eastwood (sometimes G. Harris & Co) 1826-1832, William Eastwood1832-1849. At 31 Shoe Lane (presumably by 1803) 1808-1825, 4 Harp Alley, Fleet Market 1826-1849. Copper and brass plate makers and engravers.
George Harris (?c.1756-1838) was the son of a butcher in the Barbican in London. In March 1779, he was recorded as an apprentice to Benjamin Whittow (qv). In turn, Harris had his own apprentices James Burgin in 1792, Thomas Bailey and John Newton in 1797 and George Keel in 1800. He married Whittow’s daughter (Sung 2009 p.131). He entered into partnership with Whittow and Thomas Large the younger (qv) as copper plate makers in Shoe Lane, a partnership which was dissolved in April 1804 (London Gazette 10 April 1804). Whittow and Harris carried on the business until Whittow’s death the following year. Harris was a significant beneficiary under the terms of Whittow’s will.
The business was described as Whittow & Harris in some directories until as late as 1825. Harris may have traded with Whittow’s son for a period or may simply have taken advantage of the Whittow name (as Pontifex did with that of Jones in the 1790s). By 1808 he was also listed under his own name in the Post Office directory, suggesting that he was also trading independently at 31 Shoe Lane.
Harris moved to Harp Alley in or shortly before 1826, about which time he took William Eastwood into partnership. ‘Harris, copper plate planisher’ was one of the occupants at Harp Alley when insurance was taken out on the premises in 1828 (Guildhall Library, Records of Sun Fire Office, vol.512 no.1080190). In 1828, in a draft will dated 16 September, Harris described Eastwood as his foreman, also listing his clerk and seven workmen (see Sources below). Harris retired from business in 1831 or 1832 according to Eastwood’s testimony in 1839 concerning his will.
George Harris died in 1838, reputedly aged 82, and was buried at St George Camberwell in October that year. In December, Harris’s executors advertised for next-of-kin (London Gazette 11 December 1838). In his will, made 6 August 1833 and proved 20 July 1839, George Harris of Camberwell, formerly of Shoe Lane, copper plate maker, left his estate to his wife Mary. Owing to his will being unwitnessed, it was only proved following lengthy court proceedings, in which Harris was described as a ‘bastard without issue’.
Like George Harris, William Eastwood (1774-1850) was a former apprentice of Benjamin Whittow. Eastwood was apparently christened at St Sepulchre in 1774; he was the son of a jeweller, William Eastwood of Hatton Garden, according to his apprenticeship details in 1788. He was in a partnership with George Harris by about 1826 and succeeded to the business in about 1832 (in Robson’s 1833 London directory, Eastwood’s business was described as late Harris & Co). In the 1841 census he was living at 4 Harp Alley, a copper plate maker, age 65 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census), born in Middlesex. William Eastwood the elder, late of 4 Harp Alley, steel, brass and copper plate manufacturer, was imprisoned for debt in 1842 (London Gazette 11 March 1842). However, the business continued to trade until 1849. Eastwood apparently died in 1850 when living in Borough High St and was buried at St Bride Fleet St on 2 January 1851.
Copper plates for engravers: Copper plates supplied by Harris or by Eastwood have been traced from the 1810s to the 1840s. Harris made the plates for seven of Thomas Rowlandson’s eight etchings, Rural Felicity or Love in a Chaise, marked: G. HARRIS/ No 31 SHOE LANE/ LONDON (British Museum). He supplied plates for William Blake’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 1810, marked: HARRIS/ 31 SHOE LANE/ LONDON (Yale University Art Gallery, repr. Bentley 2007 p.721, see also Sung 2009 pp.68, 79 131) and for plate 1 of Illustrations of the Book of Job, 1825, marked: G HARRIS/ No 31 SHOE LANE/ LONDON (British Museum, see Phillips 2004 pp.26-7, Bentley 2007 pp.719, 729, 757, Sung 2009 pp.88, 131, 137).
Robert Dighton sometimes used the reverse side of his copper plates, i.e., the side impressed with the plate maker’s details, meaning that an imprint of these details may appear in reverse on impressions of such prints, as with his etching, Thomas Clark ('A gentle ride from Exeter 'Change to Pimlico'), 1812, with indistinct reverse imprint: G HARRIS (example, National Portrait Gallery, D10873).
Other plates supplied by Harris include those for Richard Cooper’s stipple engraving after Angelica Kauffmann’s Anne Seymour Damer, 1810 (Lewis Walpole Library, see Sung 2009 p.137), a plate engraved by James Basire for The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, by 1822, marked: G Harris/ No 31 Shoe Lane/ London. (National Archives of Scotland, SRO25/9), Charles Turner’s print after William Fowler’s Lieut-Gen. R.B. Long, 1827, marked: G. HARRIS/ 31 SHOE LANE/ LONDON (British Museum) and J.M.W. Turner’s Liber Studiorum print, Ploughing, Eton, 2nd plate (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, see Sung 2009 p.137).
Harris, followed by Eastwood, took over from Russell Pontifex as John Linnell’s main source of supply for steel plates in 1831, as Linnell’s account books show (Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 21-2000, 22-2000). Among other plates in 1831, Harris provided that for John Varley’s Funeral of Saul at £3, the mezzotint ground for which was then laid by Mr Egan for £8.5s. By September 1832, it was Eastwood who was supplying Linnell with plates which he continued to do frequently until 1840 or later. He provided the plates, usually of steel, for various Linnell engravings: Thomas Malthus for £1.7s.6d in 1833, Thomas Spring Rice in 1834 (plate size 19 x 15 ins) and John Leifchild in 1835 (examples of all three prints, National Portrait Gallery). He also supplied 23 plates for £11 in 1839 for engraving Poussin’s drawings.
William Eastwood supplied a copper plate for a work possibly by Robert Cruikshank, John O’Neill, 1842, marked: WM EASTWOOD/ 4-HARP-ALLEY/ SHOE LANE LONDON (Houghton Library, Harvard University, see Sung 2009 p.137).
Sources: William Eastwood’s testimony and other documentation around George Harris’s disputed will (National Archives, PROB 37/1106). For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Rewritten March 2021
James Harris, Plymouth 1822.
James Harris of Plymouth, possibly an art master at Raine’s school, won a silver medal from the Society of Arts in 1822 for his brass ‘syringe for the purpose of preserving oil paint’, for which three artists, Sir Thomas Lawrence, William Collins and John King, provided testimonials (Transactions of the Society of Arts, vol.41, pp.80-3, plate 6, available at https://www.jstor.org/stable/i40060590; this article is largely repeated, without testimonials, in The Mechanic’s Weekly Journal, no.14, 14 February 1824, pp.216-7, with illustration).
It is unclear how far Harris’s design was taken up. However, leading colourmen did stock colours in syringes in the years before tube colours were introduced. Winsor & Newton supplied Edward William Cooke with a set of colour syringes in 1836 (Munday 1996 p.228). George Richmond ordered syringes of pink madder from Roberson’s to be sent to him in Florence in 1838 (Roberson archive, Hamilton Kerr Institute, HKI MS 321-1993, p.268). There is a syringe in the Roberson archive (repr. Townsend 2004 p.40). Apparently brass syringes were priced at £4.10s per dozen and tin at £3.10s (Ayres 1985 p.110). A set of empty metal syringes can be found in Queen Victoria’s colour box (Royal Academy, repr. Harley pl.3).
Winsor & Newton patented a glass syringe in 1840 (example, Courtauld Institute, repr. Harley pl.5).
Sources: R.D. Harley, ‘Oil colour containers: Development work by artists and colourmen in the nineteenth century’, Annals of Science, vol.27, pp.1-12, provides a good account of the development of syringes for oil paints. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Updated August 2019
Joseph Harvey, 15 Catherine St, Strand, London 1839-1849. Artists’ colourman.
Joseph Harvey followed John Wikey (qv) at 15 Catherine St. He was recorded at this address in the 1841 census as an artists’ colourman, age 35, together with William Harvey, also listed as age 35 (ages were rounded down to the nearest five in this census). He was declared bankrupt in 1848 (London Gazette 21 November 1848). For Harvey’s canvas stamps, see British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 5, E to N on this website.
See British picture framemakers on the National Portrait Gallery website.
George Hennekin, Berwick St, London 1773-1797, 64 Berwick St 1781, Marylebone St, Golden Square 1784-1786, 9 Marylebone St 1784, 12 Marylebone St 1785, 7 Charles St, Berners St 1800-1809. Carver and gilder, picture framemaker, lay figure maker.
George Michael Hennekin (1746-1812) was born 26 May and christened 8 June 1746 at St James Westminster, the son of Simon Hennekin (qv). He is possibly George Henniken, cabinet maker, who insured his house at Wethey Court, White Cross St, London, with the Sun Fire Office in 1775 (DEFM). He can be found in Berwick St in rate books, 1773-97, and in Marylebone St, 1784-6. He took John Spraggs as apprentice for a premium of £31.10s in 1779. He advertised as successor to his late father in 1781 (Public Advertiser 24 November 1781). In his will, made 5 February 1797 and proved 29 August 1812,George Hennekin of Berwick St made bequests to his wife Mary and sister Ann.
Like his father, George Hennekin specialised in laymen for artists. In 1781 he advertised from 64 Berwick St as a lay figure maker and carver and gilder in general, offering artists ‘an exceedingly good Lay Figure, in true Proportions, five Feet six inches high, will suit for either Man or Woman’, cautioning the public against ‘some unproportionable LAME Figure-makers in London’, and also offering picture frames in all sizes in the modern taste as usual (Public Advertiser 24 November 1781). George Hennekin’s neoclassical trade card from 9 Marylebone St describes him as 'Carver and Gilder in General… Pictures & Prints Fram’d & Glaz’d. NB Laymen for Artists' (Johnson coll. Trade Cards 24 (49).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Simon Hennekin, Berwick St, Soho, London 1746, Wardour St 1749-1761, Broad St, Soho 1762, Edward St (opposite Broad St), Soho 1760-1778, Duke Lane, parish of St James Piccadilly 1779. Carver and gilder, framemaker, lay figure maker.
Simon Hennekin (1720-1781 or before), sometimes spelt Henekin, was the son of the printseller, Michael Hennekin (fl.1706-d.1725) (information from Timothy Clayton, April 2011). He was born on 15 March 1720, according to his father’s will. He married Elizabeth Cook at St Marylebone in 1743 and had four children christened at St Anne Soho or St James Westminster, 1744-53, including George Michael Hennekin (qv). He can be found in rate books, 1746-79, at the addresses given above. He was dead by 1781, when his son advertised as his successor (Public Advertiser 24 November 1781).
Simon Hennekin was listed in 1763 in Mortimer’s Universal Director as being ‘eminent for making laymen for Painters, &c’; he also advertised from Edward St, ‘Frames of all sorts’, as well as carving and gilding for buildings, ships, signs and furniture (trade label, Heal coll. 32.31, repr. Ayers 1985 p.142). He took out insurance as a carver, from Wardour St in 1750 and 1756 (described as opposite Ann’s Court in 1750) and from Edward St in 1760. As a carver of St James’s, he took as apprentices John Southby, possibly John Sotheby (qv), at a premium of £21 in 1758 and John Muddock for £40 in 1765. He sent his advertisement as carver and gilder, Broad St, Soho, to Sir John Cust of Belton Hall, seeking his custom in February 1762 (Lincolnshire Archives, BNLW 2/1/4/1).
A layman by Simon Hennekin, contained in a box with his label, belonged to the wardrobe designer, Ann Whytell in 1769 (now Los Angeles County Museum of Art, repr. American Art Journal, vol.27, 1995, p.23). In the same year, 1769, he was reported to have produced a ‘most curious clay horse for the Academie Royal of Paris’ (Gazeteer and New Daily Advertiser 20 February 1769).
Sources: DEFM; London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 90/124194, 150/150385, 135/179585. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
John Heywood, 143Deansgate, 1-5 Brazennose St and Ridgefield,Manchester, also 1 Paternoster Buildings, London. Bookseller, stationer, publisher, printer, artists’ materials suppliers.
This Manchester bookselling, publishing and stationery business was founded by John Heywood (1804-64) and was continued by his son, also John Heywood (1832-88) (Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography, Truro, 1892, vol.1, column 1458). Its history is not traced in detail here but by the 1890s the business had warehouses in London, Bristol and Liverpool. It had an account with Roberson, 1879-1908 (Woodcock 1997). Its trade catalogue, c.1891-2, featured many Winsor & Newton products, but also those of Barnard, Lechertier Barbe, Reeves and Rowney for painting, B.S. Cohen, Hardtmuth and Wolff & Son for drawing, as well as Heywood’s own products (John Heywood’s Catalogue of Artists’ and Drawing Materials and Publications on the Fine Arts, 134pp). The business also acted as Manchester agent for the ‘Titian’ Medium Manufacturing Co (qv) in 1902.
**William Hiam 1819? 1823-1856, Hiam & Sons 1857-1858, William Hiam & Co 1859-1873, William James Hiam 1874, William James Hiam & Son 1875-1916, William James Hiam 1917. At 9 Ratcliffe Row, Bath St, City Road, London 1823-1861, 195 Lever St, Bath St 1862-1891, 162 Lever St 1892-1911, 1 Ironmongers Row, St Lukes, EC 1912-1917. Also 13½ Exmouth St, Euston Square 1849. Steel and copper plate makers.
The Hiam business claimed to have been established in 1819, according to its invoice paper in 1870 (Johnson coll., see John Johnson Catalogue). It continued as a family business for almost a century until 1917.
William Hiam married Louisa Johnson Reynolds in 1814 at St Mary Whitechapel. They had twelve children between 1816 and 1830. Four were christened at St Andrew Holborn, 1816-21, perhaps while Hiam was working as a journeyman (residence given in register as Union Court in 1816 and as Bangor Court, Shoe Lane, 1817-21). Seven were christened at St Leonard Shoreditch, 1819-30 (residence, City Road). One was christened at St Luke Finsbury in 1826 (residence, Ratcliffe Row). William Hiam is probably the individual who died in 1856 in the St Luke district.
William Hiam was listed as Mr Higham, steel and copper plate manufacturer, in an 1851 almanac, where it was recorded under his name that steel plates were valued at 1d or 1½d per square-inch, according to the quality of the steel, while copper plates were valued by weight (Robert William Buss, The Almanack of the Fine Arts, George Rowney & Co, 1851, p.161).
William and Louisa Hiam’s son, William James Hiam (1821-77), was born in 1821 and christened the same year at St Andrew Holborn. This son married in 1855 in the Marylebone district and died in 1877, age 55, in the Holborn district. In the 1861 census, he was recorded at 88 Bishopsgate as a copper plate worker, age 39, with his wife Elisa.
Copper plates for engravers: Copper plates supplied by this business can be identified from the 1820s to the 1870s. Hiam supplied various plates for John James Audubon’s Birds of America, 1828-36, engraved by W.H. Lizars and Robert Havell (various collections, see Phoebe Knappen, ‘Some Additional Audubon Copper-Plates’, The Auk, vol.51, 1934, pp.343-9, accessed through JStor at www.jstor.org/stable/4077662). These plates included White-headed Pigeon, marked: W HIAM/ 9 RATCLIFF ROW/ BATH ST CITY RD/ LONDON (Huntington Art Gallery, CA, see Sung 2009 p.133).
Hiam supplied plates to George Cruikshank for prints published in 1847, 1852 and 1855 (Houghton Library, Harvard University, see Sung 2009 pp.133, 137-8). These were for Henry Mayhew’s The Good Genius, 1847, stamped as above, The Backslider, frontispiece to The Temperance Offering, 1852, and the frontispiece for E.W. Cox’s Twilight Tales, 1855, both stamped: W HIAM/ LONDON. In 1848 Hiam invoiced Cruikshank from 9 John’s Row, Bath St, City Road, late Ratcliff Row, for various steel plates and other work totalling £36.3s.4d (Johnson coll., see John Johnson Catalogue) and in 1870 Hiam & Co, steel and copper plate manufacturers at 195 Lever St, acknowledged his payment for two copper plates (Johnson coll., see John Johnson Catalogue).
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Added March 2020
Marples & Hibbert by 1839-1845, carvers and gilders, William Hibbert 1845-1879, carver, gilder and dealer in artists materials, Hibbert Bros, 1881-2005, picture framemakers and artists' colourmen, later as fine art and photographic dealers. At 78 Fargate, Sheffield by 1840-1871 or later, renumbered as no.86, 86 Fargate by 1876-1881, Norfolk Art Galleries, 117 Norfolk St 1882-2005.
This long-established family business in Sheffield traded over four or five generations as picture framers, artists’ materials dealers and fine art dealers. It claimed to have been established in 1834.
The first generation: William Hibbert (d.1868) married Matilda Marples at Baslow, Derbyshire, on 23 April 1832, with her brother, George, as a witness. They had children, Mary Ann Jane (b.1833) William (b.1834) and Hannah Elisabeth (b.1836). William Hibbert can be found in census records. In 1851 in Fargate, a carver and gilder employing four men, with his wife Matilda Ann, children, Mary, William and Hannah, as above, and Samuel G., age 12, Thomas M., age 9, and Frederick J., age 5. In 1861 in Barker Pool, by now age 54, a carver and gilder employing six men and two boys, with his wife Matilda and children Hannah and Samuel.
Hibbert went into partnership with his brother-in-law, George Marples. They advertised Robert Moseley’s Illustrations of Haddon Hall and other prints published by Moseley in 1841 (Sheffield Independent 21 August 1841) They also advertised as an agent for the Royal Birmingham and Midland Counties’ Art Union in 1844 (Sheffield Independent 28 September 1844).
The partnership between George Marples and William Hibbert, trading as Marples & Hibbert, carvers and gilders, at 78 Fargate and 31 Church St, Sheffield, was dissolved on 22 March 1845, with all the partnership’s debts to be paid by Hibbert, who was carrying on businesses at 78 Fargate, with Marples carrying on at 31 Church St (London Gazette 1 April 1845).
Hibbert continued to advertise, usually as a carver and gilder and dealer in artists materials. He was promoting Ward’s Gallery of Horses and Dogs in 1845 (Sheffield Independent 13 December 1845). His name appears frequently as an agent for the Art Union of Great Britain (e.g., Sheffield Independent 24 November 1860). Hibbert died on 16 March 1868, leaving effects worth under £8000, with his will proved by Matilda, his widow, and William and Samuel George, his sons.
The second generation: The business continued to trade as William Hibbert until 1879 or 1880, with William the younger and Samuel George as a partner. By 1881 it was trading as Hibbert Brothers, picture framemakers and artists' colourmen, initially with Mrs Matilda Hibbert (c.1810-86), widow of William Hibbert the elder, and three of her sons, William, Samuel George and Frederick James, as partners. The business moved from Fargate to Norfolk St in 1882. By 1884 it was trading as the Norfolk Art Galleries and Matilda was no longer listed as a partner, leaving her three sons.
To look in more detail at the individual partners. William Hibbert the younger (1834-1912?), son of William and Matilda Hibbert, can be found in census records, in 1861 as a carver and gilder, age 26, with his wife Julia and sons William, age 4, and Thomas G, age 6 months; in 1871 as a carver and gilder with his wife, son Thomas G and daughter Julia; in 1881, by now age 46, as a master carver and gilder employing seven men and three boys, with his unmarried son Thomas G, age 20, as a clerk to a carver and gilder. The first son, William, appears to have died in 1869.
Samuel George Hibbert (1839-1912), son of William and Matilda Hibbert, can be found in censuses, in 1881 as a carver and gilder, age 43, with Clara his wife and several sons, the youngest being year-old Arnold Edgar, in 1891 as a fine art dealer with his wife and sons, in 1901 as a fine art dealer in pictures and employer, with his wife and two sons, the youngest Arnold a clerk to a fine art dealer. He died on 2 March 1912, leaving effects worth only £373, with probate granted to Arnold Edgar, his son.
Frederick James Hibbert (1845-1906), son of William and Matilda Hibbert, traded independently initially. He can be found in censuses, in 1891 as a fine art dealer, age 45, with his wife Mary and daughter Jessie, in 1901 as a fine art dealer and manager, and employer, with his wife Mary Anne and daughter Jessie Adeline. He died on 1 May 1906, leaving effects worth £994, with probate granted to his widow. In the 1911 census she was described as a boarding house keeper.
The business’s advertisements are examined very selectively here. It can be found exhibiting celebrated new paintings on occasion, often in association with a newly published print, such as John Bell’s Scarborough in the Season 1869 in 1870, Noel Paton’s Life or Death? The Muck Rake in 1882 and Noel Paton’s Vigilate et Orate altarpiece from the Royal collection in 1891 (Sheffield Independent 4 July 1870, 3 June 1882, 28 February 1891).
From press reports Hibbert Bros were responsible for framing paintings, namely J.H. Bentley’s Rev. F.G. Sandford in 1903 and Oswald Parkin’s Rev. H.H. Oakley in 1909 (Sheffield Daily Telegraph 17 December 1903, Sheffield Independent 21 January 1909).
The third generation: By 1901, and probably before, William the younger’s son, Thomas George Hibbert, had been taken into the partnership, which now also traded in photographic materials, perhaps reflecting Thomas’s enthusiasms (he had won a medal for a landscape photograph at an exhibition in 1888, see Sheffield Independent 2 March 1888). By 1911, if not before, it was William and Samuel’s sons who were listed as partners, namely Thomas George Hibbert and Arnold Edgar Hibbert, who were described as picture frame manufacturers and gilders, fine art and photographic materials dealers.
Thomas George Hibbert (1860-1928) was born in 1860. In the 1881 census, living at his father’s, he was described as a clerk, age 20, to a carver and gilder and in 1911 as a carver, gilder, picture framer and employer, by now age 50, with his wife Lucy, age 35, daughter Florence, age 20, and son William, age 2. He died age 68 on 18 December 1928, leaving effects worth £1232, with probate granted to Lucy his widow.
Arnold Edgar Hibbert (1879-1950) was born in Ecclesall Bierlow in 1879. In the 1901 census he was working in the business as a clerk and in 1911 as a picture frame manufacturer and employer, age 31, with his wife May, son Frank age 4 and daughter Mary. He died age 71 in 1950, leaving effects worth £1625, with probate granted to Everald Alice (1894-1974), his widow.
By the time of the 1938 Sheffield directory, Arnold Edgar Hibbert and J.A. Hibbert were listed as art dealers in the business. J.A. Hibbert must surely be Frederick James Hibbert’s daughter, Jessie Adeline Hibbert (1880-1960).
The later 20th century: More recent history remains to be documented. There is some information on the ‘Sheffield Forum’ website, www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/topic/28880-hibberts-art-shop/. Those involved in the business included Mary Lidgard (b.1904/5), née Hibbert, and her sister, ‘Miss Hibbert’, Freda Greaves (1914-2005) and, latterly, Paul Hibbert-Greaves (b.1954).
Liquidators were appointed in 1998 in the matter of Hibbert Bros Ltd, art dealers, publishers, picture frames and restorers, registered office, 1 East Parade, Sheffield S1 2ET (London Gazette 27 March 1998). However, the business continued until 2005, with Paul Hibbert-Greaves described as the last owner.
Trade in artists’ materials: As the Norfolk Art Gallery, 117 Norfolk St, the business had an account with Roberson, 1882-1908 (Woodcock 1997).
The Sheffield-based artist, Stanley Royle, obtained his canvas from Hibbert Bros for The Goose Girl, c.1921 (National Gallery Ireland, Dublin, information from Ele von Monschaw, January 2020). The canvas bears the stamp on reverse of Hibbert Bros, reproduced in the guide, ‘British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 12, England outside London’ at Artists, their materials and suppliers on this website.
The business advertised in 1937 as Hibbert Bros ( A.E. Hibberts), established 1834, offering framed pictures, original etchings, pottery and glass, artists’ and illustrators’ materials etc (Sheffield independent 18 December 1937).
Updated March 2018
Alexander Hill, 50 Princes St, Edinburgh 1828-1840 as bookseller, stationer and artists’ colourman, 67 Princes St 1839-1866 (until 1846 as publisher, colourman and printer to the Royal Scottish Academy, and from 1846 as printseller and publisher to the Queen and R.S. Academy).
Alexander Hill (1800-66), the son of Thomas Hill, a Perth bookseller and publisher, was apprenticed to the Edinburgh publishers, William Blackwood & Sons. He was listed in 1826 as ‘Of Hill & Son’, that is, Thomas Hill & Sons, trading at 53 South Bridge, Edinburgh. He set up independently by 1828. His work as a print publisher is surveyed in a richly documented study by Helen Smailes, ‘Academy Colourman and Publisher in Ordinary: Alexander Hill and the Business of Art in Scotland’, in Tom Normand, ed., Ages of Wonder: Scotland’s Art 1540 to Now, 2017, pp.76-185.
In 1830 Alexander Hill was appointed ‘Colourman, Printseller and Stationer to the Academy’, the recently founded Scottish Academy, where his younger brother, David Octavius Hill, was the new Secretary. In 1836 it would appear that Alexander Hill was employing William MacGill (qv), who receipted two accounts on his behalf for supplies delivered to Lady Penuel Grant (National Archives of Scotland, GD248/613/13, Seafield papers). Hill exhibited Alfred Chalon’s portrait of the young Queen Victoria in 1838, at the time that it was being engraved by Samuel Cousins (Caledonian Mercury 8 January 1838). He was an agent for the Art-Union magazine in Edinburgh in 1839 (The Art-Union, September 1839, p.141). He advertised newly published engravings in The Art-Union June 1842 and May 1845. He was appointed publisher to the Royal Scottish Academy in 1841 (Smailes 2017, cited above) and publisher and printseller in Edinburgh to Queen Victoria in 1846 (National Archives, LC 5/243 p.61).
In the 1841 census he was recorded at 18 Moray Place as a publisher and printseller, in 1851 at 7 Dundas St as publisher and printseller to the Queen, employing 17 men, and in 1861 at the same address as a printseller, employing five men and several boys, with his son Thomas, age 28, also listed as a printseller at this address. Hill used his premises at 67 Princes St to exhibit contemporary paintings in the 1850s and 1860s including Noel Paton’s The Pursuit of Pleasure in 1858 and Thomas Jones Barker’s Queen Victoria presenting a Bible at Windsor Castle in 1864 (The Scotsman 12 November 1858,7 January 1864, information from Helen Smailes). He died in June 1866; his obituary dwelt on his role in improving the print selling and print publishing trade in Scotland (The Scotsman 16 June 1866). His stock and business were advertised for sale in December 1866 (Glasgow Herald 27 December 1866).
While Alexander Hill’s premises and business were purchased by the photographer, William Donaldson Clark (1816-73) (see Julie Lawson, ‘William Donaldson Clark (1816-1873)’, Scottish Photography Bulletin, 1989, no.1),it was his son, Thomas Alexander Hill (c.1833-1898?), who advertised as publisher and printseller to the Queen and the Royal Scottish Academy and as a carver, gilder and picture framemaker, from 12 St Andrew Square, 1867-73, and elsewhere subsequently. He continued in business until at least 1888, maintaining an account with Roberson, 1867-88 (Woodcock 1997), and then moving to Kentish Town in London where he appears with his wife Jessie and four children in the 1891 census.
Trade as a colourman: In an advertisement announcing the publication of a print in 1833, Hill claimed to have ‘at all times the most complete Stock out of London, of Oil Colours, Canvas, Oils, Varnish, and every other requisite for the Artist and Amateur. A fresh supply received every month' (The Scotsman 2 February 1833). By 1835 he was advertising an extensive range of artists’ materials under four headings, For the Painter, For Crayon and Water Colours, For the Field Artist and Montague Stanley’s Drawing Pencils, featuring bladder colours (fresh twice a month) and cake colours by the most approved makers, etc (Gray’s Annual Directory and Edinburgh Almanac 1835-1836, 1835, p.464). Hill had an account with Roberson, 1830-66 (Woodcock 1997).
Hill issued a trade catalogue appended to a guide to the Scottish Academy exhibition (A Companion to the Exhibition, 1841); in this he advertised Whatman, Newman and Reeves materials and featured brushes, boxes of velvet colours, 21 different London bladder colours at 6d a bag, brass squirts in four different sizes filled with oil colour, and materials for mezzotints (Esme Gordon, The Royal Scottish Academy of Painting Sculpture & Architecture 1826-1976, 1976, pp.54-5). He advertised in the catalogue of the 1853 Royal Scottish Academy exhibition as artists colourman to the Academy, and as a publisher and printseller, and carver, gilder and picture frame maker, offering ‘Artists Materials always fresh and in a proper state for use’. His label can be found on Francis Grant’s Edwin Landseer, c.1852, and his stencilled canvas mark on John Ballantyne’s Robert Michael Ballantyne, c.1855 (both National Portrait Gallery), the latter reading: ALEXR. HILL/ COLORMAN./ TO THE/ ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY/ EDINBURGH.
Thomas Alexander Hill’s canvas stamp can be found on James Cassie’s Beach Fishing, 1872, reading: T. ALEXR. HILL/ ARTISTS COLOURMAN/ 12 ST. ANDREW SQUARE/ EDINBURGH (Christie’s South Kensington 12 March 2014 lot 20).
Added January 2017, expanded December 2020
Joseph Hill 1861-1864, Mrs Julia Hill 1865, Rowland Hill & Co 1866-1890, J. Hill 1891-1900. At 230 Pentonville Road, London. Artists’ colourman and brush maker.
Rowland Hill 1897-1909, Hill & Livemore 1910-1921, Hill & Sons 1922-1933, Hill Brothers (Brushes) Ltd 1934-1963. At 364 Kingsland Road, London NE 1897-1909, 148 & 150 Curtain Road, EC 1910-1914, 3 Stean St, Haggerston, E8 1915-1938, Edgware Road, Cricklewood, NW2 1939-1963. Brush manufacturers, sometimes described as artists’ brush makers.
The starting point for this entry is a canvas stencil, ‘FROM J. HILL/ BRUSH/ & Pencil/ MANUFACTURER/ 230/ Pentonville Rd.’ found on the reverse of an English 19th-century portrait, The Aspring Hunter (Skinner, Boston, MA, 27 January 2017, lot 258; information from Elizabeth Haff, October 2016). For an illustration, see British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 5, E to N on this website. The stencil would appear to date to the years, 1861-5, or to the 1890s. There were members of the Hill family, or trading under the Hill name, active in brush making in London for much of the reign of Queen Victoria and well into the 20th century. It is not easy to disentangle the Hill family, given how common the name but it seems they were trading from 230 Pentonville Road from late 1860 or 1861. In any case, the road only acquired its name in 1857.
Antecedents: It has been claimed that the business was started in 1801 as a tailor/brush maker (see ‘Family History’ in Sources below). As early as 1839 there are two directory entries for Joseph Hill, brush maker, at 11 Castle St, Saffron Hill, and 30 Allen St, Lambeth (Pigot & Co, Directory of London and its Suburbs, 1839, addenda). He could perhaps have been the father of the Joseph Hill treated here. There was also a Joseph Hill, perhaps our man, who traded in partnership as Langdon & Hill, brush makers at 62 East St, Manchester Square, London W, from at least 1860 until 1864. James Langdon, brush maker, was trading at this address as early as 1839; in 1850 he was imprisoned for debt (London Gazette 30 July 1850).
The first generation, to 1900: Joseph Hill (c.1826-1864) traded as a brush maker and colourman. He married Julia Louisa Thorn in the St Giles district in 1849. He can be found in the 1851 census at 70 Clarendon St, Somers Town, London, as an artists’ brush maker, with his wife, named as Juliana, and in 1861 at 230 Pentonville Road as an artists’ colourman, age 35, born Westminster, with his wife Julia Louisa, age 36, two daughters and a son Rowland, age 10 months.
According to London trade directories, Joseph Hill took on the premises at 230 Pentonville Road from Thomas Courtney Riordan (qv, c.1823-1867), who was recorded as a brush manufacturer in the 1851 census. Riordan had been trading at 228 and 230 Pentonville Road, at one stage as a wholesale artists’ colourman and carver and gilder, and continued to trade at 228 as a carver and gilder from 1861/62 until his death five years later. Like Hill, Riordan supplied canvas as well as making brushes.
Joseph Hill died in January 1864 at this address, described as a brush maker and artists’ colourman, with probate granted to his widow. She was listed at the same address as ‘artists’ color warehouse’ in 1865 and can be found there as a brush maker in the 1871 census, with three daughters and a son Henry, age 8.
The subsequent designation of the business as Rowland Hill & Co from 1866 is puzzling, since Joseph and Julia Hill’s son, Rowland, would have been only six at the time, but Julia Hill, like some other widowed women, may have thought it better not to trade under her own name and to try to keep the business going for her son in due course. It was listed in London directories as ‘artists’ & grainers pencil & brush manufacturers, wholesale & retail’.
Julia Hill took John Shaw as her second husband in 1872. In the 1881 census John Shaw, age 35, was located in Pentonville Road, with his wife Julia, age 53; he was described as a master brush maker employing one man and one boy. She died in 1892.
The business traded as J. Hill from 1891 and continued to trade under the Hill name until at least 1900 when John Shaw, trading as J. Hill, brush manufacturers, was subject to a receiving order under bankruptcy legislation (London Gazette 6 February 1900). J. Hill stocked colours made by Madderton & Co in 1892 (A.H. Church, The Chemistry of Paints and Painting, 1892, accessed online).
The second generation, 1897-1922: Rowland William Hill senr (1860-1932) married Elizabeth Watling in 1880. He can be found with his wife in census records. In 1881 as an artist brush maker, age 20, in Cloudesley Road, Islington, fairly close to Pentonville Road, with his wife Elizabeth, age 18. In 1891 as a painters brush maker in Enfield with his wife, two sons, Rowland W. Hill, age 9, and John F. Hill, age 2, and two daughters, Elizabeth J. Hill and Isabella C. Hill, both age 4. In 1901 as an artists brush maker at 364 Kingsland Road, Haggerston, in Hackney, with wife and children as above but also including Edwin C. Hill, age 9. For these children, see below.
In 1897 Rowland Hill was first listed in directories as a brush maker at 364 Kingsland Road, apparently a new business without obvious connection to those described above, suggesting that he did not wish to work together with his stepfather, John Shaw. From 1899 until 1908 Rowland William Hill can be found at this address in the electoral register (in 1909 at 50 Ufton Road nearby). In the 1907 London directory he has an exceptionally full entry, ‘Manufacturer of every description of brush for use by artists, decorators, writers, gilders, grainers, painters, paper stainers or scene painters’.
Albert Arthur Livemore (1885-1944) was taken into partnership when he married Hill’s daughter, Isabella Clara, in 1909, a partnership which lasted until 1921. The business became Hill & Sons by 1922, at which point Rowland William Hill senr would have been 62, and then Hill Brothers (Brushes) Ltd from 1934, following his death.
The third generation: It is not clear to what extent Rowland William Hill senr’s brushmaking sons were involved in the business. In the 1911 census his three sons were listed in Leyton as artists brush makers, Rowland William Hill junr, widower with two sons, age 29, working on his own account at home, John Frederick Hill, age 22, and Edwin Charles Hill, age 19.
Hill senr’s first son, Rowland William Hill junr (1882-1959), married Eleanor Florence Watson (1882/86-1908) in 1904 and had children, including Rowland Watson Hill (1905-87) and John Edward Hill (1906-93), both listed in the 1911 census. In the 1939 England and Wales register for Wood Green, Rowland William Hill junr, appears as a brush tool maker, together with his son Rowland Watson Hill, a clerk in the Port of London Authority. Later, from 1949 until 1963, R.W. Hill, brush tools, can be found in Wood Green in telephone books.
Hill senr’s third son, Edwin Charles Hill (1891-1964), appears to have worked in the business but little is known. He died in Holmer Green, High Wycombe, in 1964, with probate granted to his nephew, Edwin Albert Hill, artist’s brush manufacturer.
The fourth generation: Turning to Rowland William Hill junr’s sons, Rowland Watson Hill (1905-87), was born 6 July 1905; he apparently married Edith M. Pearson in 1927, and died at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex in 1987. They had sons, Edwin Albert, Ronald Charles and John Eustace Hill, according to the latter’s ‘Family History’ (see Sources below), although Edwin Albert and Ronald Charles’s birth details have not been traced.
Hill junr’s second son, John Edward Hill (1906-93), known as Jack, was born on 24 October 1906. He was recorded as resident at 102 Connaught Avenue, Enfield, a foreman brush tool manufacturer, in the 1939 England and Wales register. It would appear that he was the supplier of artists’ brushes to Ploton’s (qv) in the 1970s and perhaps previously to Lechertier Barbe (qv), both leading firms of artists’ suppliers in London. He died at Kirby Cross in Essex in 1993.
The factory moved to Edgware Road by 1939. It was based in an annexe adjoining the Hayward brush factory. After the Second World War, Edwin Albert (‘Ted’) Hill returned to work in the business and John Eustace began an apprenticeship in the brush factory, or as they liked to call it the ‘Brush House’. By that time Rowland Watson Hill and his son, ‘Ted’, were living in Holmer Green, High Wycombe, and his brother, ‘Jack’, presumably John Edward Hill, was living in Enfield. The business had three directors and five staff. This paragraph and much of the rest of this history is based on John Eustace’s ‘Family History’, see Sources below.
In the years after the war, the business made brushes for London County Council arts schools, the Admiralty, the Air Ministry, the Bank of England, British Airways and St Paul’s Cathedral. It also made brushes for the trade, in particular John Lines & Sons Ltd of Tottenham Court Road and Wrights of Lymm and two factors, agents for oil painting brushes, Lewis Ward, trading as ‘Whistler’ and Mr Knight trading as ‘Angelo’.
There was a disagreement among the directors, apparently in 1955, and the business was closed almost overnight. Rowland Watson Hill and his son, ‘Ted’, reopened the following month trading as ‘Greenway Brushes’, an enterprise which John Eustace Hill joined for a short spell but, disillusioned, left the trade for some years.
Hill Brothers (Brushes) Ltd was not dissolved until 1964, when it was put in liquidation, with the company address given as Penton Brush Works, Wycombe Road, Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, under the name of W. D. Hayward, Director (London Gazette 4 December 1964).
The fifth generation: John Eustace Hill (b.1933), given the Eustace name after his godfather, Eustace Hayward, decorating brush manufacturer, has left his memories of the brush making trade, as above, and continued here. In the early 1960s John Eustace Hill was offered a position by George Rowney & Co, which entailed working with the sable brush maker, Geoffrey Smith, in Surrey, and then relocating to Dartmouth in Devon, when the business, Geoffrey Smith & Co, would be taken over by Rowney. John Eustace Hill moved to Dartmouth by 1966 but two years later left and moved back to Cranfield in Bedfordshire, where he is recorded in telephone books, 1972-82. There he started his own company, John E. Hill & Co, and built up a good trade with local signwriters and with three companies, Webb Jarratt of Chesham, Beechwood Brushes of Chesham and the Sovereign Brush Company at Watford, until changed circumstances led to the closure of the business in 1983.
Sources: John Eustace Hill, ‘The Family History of the Brush Making Trade’, written c.2006, formerly available online, downloaded 2012.
J.D. Hirst-Smyth & Son, until 1881, see Percy Young
Walter P. Holland (1884-1961), see The Chelsea Art Stores
Added May 2017
Andrew Bruce Holt, 80 Goswell Road, Islington, London 1858-1862, 321 Goswell Road 1863-1865. Artists' colourman, later a grocer, tea dealer etc.
Andrew Bruce Holt (1830-96) was born 30 October 1830 and christened 17 April 1831 at New Road Paddington Independent chapel, St Marylebone, the son of John and Sarah Holt. His father traded as an ‘oil & colourman’, according to directory descriptions, initially at 31 East St, Manchester Square, then in Bayswater, and by 1855 at 80 Goswell Road, described as an ‘oil and Italian warehouse’.
Andrew Bruce Holt appears in the 1851 census at 80 Goswell Road, age 20, as part of the household of James John Woolmer, ‘oil, Italian and artists' colourman’. He married Sarah Lapworth in the St Pancras district in 1855. By 1858 he was trading from the premises at 80 Goswell Road, described in 1859 as an ‘oil and Italian warehouse’ and also as an artists’ colour manufactory. He appears in the 1861 census at 80 Goswell Road as an oil and colourman, age 30, with his wife Sarah, their infant sons Herbert and John, his younger brother Charles and his sisters-in-law Mary Ann and Elizabeth Lapworth.
By 1866 Charles Holt had taken over the business as a colourman at 321 Goswell Road and Andrew Bruce Holt began trading as a grocer at 1 Powis Terrace, Portobello Road. This business did not prosper: as a debtor Andrew Bruce Holt, tea dealer of 1 Powis Terrace, Notting Hill, assigned his real and personal estate to his creditors under the terms of a deed dated 14 December 1868 (London Gazette 12 January 1869). He went on to other trades, including those of a signwriter, accountant and estate agent clerk. He died age 65 in the Brentford district in 1896.
Andrew Bruce Holt supplied the canvas for a picture by an unknown artist, Giudecca Canal and Santa Maria della Salute, Venice (Private coll., 2015), which is stencilled on the reverse: H[O]LT/ ARTISTS [C]OLOURMAN/ 80 GOS[WE]LL ROAD/ Oppos[ite the] New River/ IS[LING]TON (information from Taylor Bennett, November 2014, see Sources below)
Sources: Taylor Bennett, ‘Photogrammetry and Transmitted Infrared Imaging to document the support of a 19th c. British landscape painting’, COSCH e-Bulletin, no. 2, 2015.
Max Otto Hübner (c.1858-1940) was a partner in 1886 in the frame-making and artists’ materials business of A. Jeffries & Co (qv) and a shareholder in the short-lived successor business, the Moulding & Artists’ Materials Manufactory Co Ltd, 1886-7. Hübner was listed simply as ‘merchants’ in 1887.
Max Hübner & Co advertised as sole agent for Heyl’s Artists' Colours and Günther Wagner’s watercolours, also Hübner’s artists' brushes and materials (The Year's Art 1888) and was listed as an artist’ colourman in 1889, subsequently acting as wholesale agent for Madderton & Co (qv) (The Year's Art 1893-5). In 1895 Hübner’s address at 45 Old St was the same as that of C.F. Maret & Co Ltd (qv), another short-lived business in which he held a considerable stake.
Max Hübner can be identified in the 1901 census as of German origin, age 43, living in Camberwell and described as a Manufacturers Agent of Fancy Goods, employed on his own account, with wife, son and four daughters; he was made bankrupt in 1904 when trading as G. Mengel & Co (London Gazette 25 November 1904). He died age 82 in 1940 in the Brentford district.
Thomas Hudson, 18 Angel Court, Princess St, Westminster, 1786-1788, crayon maker, see John Middleton and James Poole
William Hudson junr, see Edward Kebby
Updated March 2014, August 2019
Richard Hughes 1820-1845, Mrs (Mary) Hughes 1846-1847, Miss Mary Hughes 1848-1850, Hughes & Kimber 1850-1874, Hughes & Kimber Ltd 1875-1909, Hughes & Kimber 1910-1940. At 14 Lombard St, Fleet St, London by 1822-1825, 8 Peterborough Court, Fleet St 1826-1838, 107 Shoe Lane, Fleet St 1839-1856, 106 Shoe Lane 1850-1856, 5 Red Lion Passage, Fleet St 1856-1862, West Harding St, Fetter Lane 1863-1909, 3 West Harding St 1910, 9 Gough Square, Fleet St 1911-1940. Works, New Church Road, Mitcham, Surrey from 1880, Britannia Iron Works, Bury, Hunts 1881-1899. Copper and steel plate makers.
The history of this business was traced by Wilfred C. Kimber (qv) in 1928, going back to his father, Richard Godsell Kimber, his grandfather, Edward Kimber, and his great-grandfather, Richard Hughes (see Wilfred C. Kimber, Price List of Etching and Plate Printing Materials Copper Plate Presses, &c, trade catalogue, 1928, 85pp). This trade catalogue can be supplemented by details given on Kimber’s notepaper.
Richard and Mary Hughes: Kimber’s great-grandfather, Richard Hughes (1791-1845), was apprenticed in 1809 to Thomas Large (qv), copper plate manufacturer. Hughes later employed Large’s son, James. He set up in business on his own account in about 1820, being awarded the Royal Society of Arts Silver Medal in 1822 for his invention of a process for annealing steel plates for engravers, which he had developed in cooperation with the engraver, Charles Warren. As described on his invoice paper from 14 Lombard St to a Mr Schroeder in 1822, he was a copper, brass and steel plate maker and flat planisher (Heal coll., 85.154). He was listed in the 1841 census at 107 Shoe Lane as a copper plate maker, with his wife Mary and two children.
Following Richard Hughes’s death in 1845, his widow, Mary Hughes and then presumably his daughter, Miss Mary Hughes, continued the business. M.E. Hughes, probably Miss Mary Hughes, advertised from 107 Shoe Lane in 1849, ‘Copper-Plates for Engravers. A large Stock always on hand, well hammered and finished. Steel plates of various tempers. Zinc plates of any required substance. Measures made, and margins of steel plates burnished’, claiming the business to have been established for 29 years (The Times 11 January 1849). Mary Hughes was listed in the 1851 census at 107 Shoe Lane as a copper plate maker, age 58, employing 10 men, with her daughter Mary E. Hughes, age 29.
In a practical manual in 1849, it was stated that ‘Copper and steel plates, with the etching ground already laid on them, with all the tools required… may be had at Hughes' old established manufactory, 107, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street’ (C. Castle, Etching described and simplified, 1849, p.22 accessed through Google Book Search). Mrs Hughes was listed as a steel and copper plate manufacturer in an 1851 artists’ almanac, where it was stated that she supplied plates of any dimensions used by artists, also offering to clean off plates (‘the subjects engraved on them removed’) at half the cost of a new plate (Robert William Buss, The Almanack of the Fine Arts, George Rowney & Co, 1851, p.161).
Hughes & Kimber: In 1844, Wilfred C. Kimber’s grandfather, Edward Kimber (1820-93) married Richard Hughes’s daughter, Sarah Ann (1825-91?) in the Edmonton district. By 1850, the business was trading as Hughes & Kimber. In census records, Edward Kimber was listed in 1851 at 107 Shoe Lane, like his mother-in-law (see above), but in a separate household, as a copper plate maker, employing 10 men (the same description as given for his mother-in-law), with his wife Sarah Ann and three children, and in 1881 in Camberwell as a printers’ engineer, together with his wife and two children. He traded as Hughes & Kimber, and then as Hughes & Kimber Ltd. He made further improvements in the manufacture of plates for engravers, claiming to have been awarded the only prize medals for such plates at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and at two subsequent exhibitions.
Hughes & Kimber advertised from 106-7 Shoe Lane in 1852 as 'Manufacturers of Copper and Steel Plates for Engravers', offering engravers’ tools, wax for door plates, lithographic materials, etching materials, &c, brass and zinc door plates of all patterns, lithographic stones, inks, etc (Post Office London directory, small ed., 1852, p.2080). The business also advertised its large stock of German stones for lithography, sizes from 9 by 7 ins, to 46 by 30 ins, both yellow and grey (The Times 19 May 1853). In a trade card probably from the 1850s Hughes & Kimber, at 106, 107 & 102 Shoe Lane, advertised an even larger range of lithographic stones, up to size 60 by 40 ins. Hughes & Kimber announced in 1856 that its ‘warehouse for engravers’ and lithographers’ materials’ had moved to Red Lion Passage (The Times 3 November 1856).The business’s trade remained substantially the same, but with the addition of printing machinery and presses, in its trade catalogue of 1865 or later (Catalogue of Materials for Engravers, Lithographers, Etc, example in St Bride’s Library).
Charles Henry Gardner was a partner in the business by 1863 when he took out a patent for improvements in lithographic and other presses (London Gazette 31 July 1863), the first of several such patent applications. Edward Kimber was subject to liquidation proceedings in 1874, when he was described as formerly in partnership with Henry Gardner, trading at West Harding St as Hughes & Kimber, manufacturer of machinery and materials for printers, lithographers and engravers (London Gazette 7 July 1874).
Hughes & Kimber Ltd: In 1875 it was announced that Edward Kimber’s son, Richard Godsell Kimber (1847-1929), would pay £12,750 for most of the business’s assets to trade as Hughes & Kimber Ltd (London Gazette 10 September 1875). More precisely, Hughes & Kimber Ltd was incorporated as a limited company in 1875 to carry on Hughes & Kimber’s former business as manufacturers of machinery and materials for printers, etc, with company directors from the printing, publishing and lithography trades in London and Manchester, drawn initially entirely from outside the Kimber family (National Archives, BT 31/2152/9977). Edward Kimber remained as manager and his son, Richard Godsell Kimber, as secretary. Edward Kimber died in 1893, leaving an estate worth only £55. The company’s share register shows that the Kimber family gradually increased its shareholding until by 1901 the family held the majority of the shares (BT 31/2152/9977). Following the bankruptcy of the boxwood block manufacturer, Thomas John Lawrence (qv), in 1886, Hughes & Kimber Ltd took on this business and ran it as T.I. Lawrence & Co.
In census records, Richard Godsell Kimber was listed in south London, in 1871 as a clerk to manufacturers, born St Brides, in 1881 as ‘Secretary &[?] Coy Mang Printing Machinery & Materials’, together with his wife and six children, in 1901 as a manager… engineer and in 1911 as a printers’ engineer and valuer, with his wife and five children.
The business published several catalogues of materials for engravers, etchers and lithographers, as well as catalogues of machinery, between 1866 and 1899, and listed a diverse range of materials in the 1882 Post Office London directory, including printing machinery, inks and varnishes, as well as bookbinding material, and making reference to medals awarded at various international exhibitions between 1851 and 1873. As the business’s headed notepaper in 1906 makes clear, it continued to offer copper, steel, brass and zinc plates for engravers (National Archives, BT 31/2152/9977).
Hughes & Kimber Ltd faced further financial problems in 1909 (London Gazette 14 September 1909; see also BT 31/2152/9977). In a liquidation report, it was said that the business had prospered until 1892; its difficulties were put down to the decay in the arts of lithography and engraving, depression of trade, competition and also losses incurred on an unsuccessful freehold factory at Bury in Huntingdonshire (The Times 6 October 1909). Notice was given in 1930 that the company would be wound up (London Gazette 27 June 1930). However, a successor business, Hughes & Kimber, continued to operate at 9 Gough Square, premises previously occupied by T.I. Lawrence & Co, as suppliers of printers’ materials from 1910 to 1940, but the partners in this business have not been identified. It should be noted that Wilfred C. Kimber (qv) traded independently after the First World War.
It is worth noting that Charles Kimber (b.1854), Richard Godsell Kimber’s younger brother, was in business, firstly as Kimber, Taylor & Co, engravers’ copper &c plate manufacturers, a short-lived partnership with Tom Taylor and Robert Jacobs at Britton’s Court, Whitefriars St, Fleet St, until 1881 (London Gazette 6 September 1881) and then as Kimber & Co at 6 Huggin Lane, Queen Victoria St, London EC, manufacturers of inks and materials for lithographers, letterpress and copper plate printers, advertising as importers of fine colours, bronzes, etc, offering copper plates for artists’ etchings of any dimension and best proof inks for wood engravers (advertisement in G.W. Marx, The Art of Drawing and Engraving on Wood, 2nd ed., 1881?).
Copper plates for engravers: Copper plates supplied by this business can be found from the 1820s to the 1880s. The etcher, Richard Dighton sometimes used the back of his copper plates (the side with the impress of the plate maker’s name). Examples of Dighton’s prints, with reverse imprint of Hughes’s name and address within the printed image: HUGHES/ 14 LOMBARD St/ FLEET St., include his etchings, Daniel Alder (I believe I'm right), and Mr Lowe (indistinctly impressed), both dating to 1823 (examples, National Portrait Gallery, D13380, D13534).
In 1832-3, John Linnell used a few plates by Hughes, but otherwise went elsewhere (Fitzwilliam Museum, account book MS. 21-2000, see also accounts MS 14956 to 14958-2000 unexamined). In 1832 Linnell purchased a steel plate, size 20 x 18 ins, at £2.2s, for ’Mr Bray’s portrait’, presumably that of William Bray published in 1833 (example, National Portrait Gallery) and in 1833 he purchased a further two plates.
For works by George Cruikshank, Hughes supplied plates for A Trump after Alfred Crowquill, 1825, marked: HUGHES/ 14 LOMBARD S-/ FLEET ST, and for J. Sheridan Knowles’s The Wife, or Women as They are, 1835, marked: HUGHES/ PETERBOH CT/ FLEET ST/ LONDON (both Houghton Library, Harvard University, see Sung 2009 pp.132-3). Hughes & Kimber supplied copper plates from London EC (and therefore after c.1857) for reissues of works by Cruikshank, the originals dating to 1812-25, marked: HUGHES & KIMBER/ MANUFACTURERS/ LONDON-E.C (Houghton Library, see Sung 2009 pp.138-9). Hughes & Kimber supplied a plate for another Cruikshank reprint by F.W. Pailthorpe (see Sung 2009 p.139).
Francis Seymour Haden used Hughes & Kimber plates for various prints, 1859-97 (see Richard S. Schneiderman, A catalogue raisonné of the prints of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, 1997, pp.83, 179, 247, 279, 305, 311, 313, 325, 335, 345, 359, 351, 411). There are two examples in the British Museum: A water meadow in the river Test, near Romsey, 1859, plate marked: HUGHES & KIMBER/ MANUFACTURERS/ RED LION PASSAGE/ FLEET STREET/ LONDON, and for Windmill Hill No. 1, 1877, marked in oval: [HU]GHES & KIMBER (LIMITED)/ [MAN]UFACTURERS/ [LOND]ON E.C.
James McNeill Whistler used Hughes & Kimber plates for the majority of his etchings and drypoints, c.1857-1901. Most plates are in the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, and others belong to the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and the Art Institute of Chicago. They have been fully catalogued in the University of Glasgow project, ‘The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler’, see http://etchings.arts.gla.ac.uk/ , on which the following account draws heavily. The plates Whistler used are variously marked. Music Room, 1859 (Freer) is stamped: HUGHES/ 107 SHOE LANE/ FLEET ST/ LONDON, implying that the plate was made 1839-50. Annie, 1857/8 (Freer) is stamped in an oval: HUGHES & KIMBER/ 106 & 107 SHOE LANE/ LONDON, implying that it was made 1850-6. Others are stamped: HUGHES AND KIMBER/ MANUFACTURERS/ RED LION PASSAGE/ FLEET STREET/ LONDON, or with the slight variation in address, RED LION SQUARE, ranging in date from Auguste Delâtre, Printer, 1858/9, to Pickle Herring Wharf, 1876/7 (both Hunterian). Yet others from the 1870s, including Speke Hall: The Avenue (Hunterian), are stamped in an oval: HUGHES & KIMBER/ MANUFACTURERS/ LONDON E.C. A further variation is found from c.1874, e.g. Nude reclining (Hunterian), with oval stamp: HUGHES & KIMBER (LIMITED)/ MANUFACTURERS/ LONDON E.C. Plates so marked continued to be used until as late as 1901, e.g. Marchande de Vin, Ajaccio (Hunterian).
Samuel Palmer used Hughes & Kimber Ltd’s steel faced copper plates for four prints, The Bellman, 1879, The Cypress Grove, c.1880/3, The Homeward Star, c.1880/3, and The Sepulchre, c.1880/3, the plates marked in oval: HUGHES & KIMBER (LIMITED)/ MANUFACTURERS/ LONDON E.C. (all British Museum).
Hughes & Kimber supplied the plate for Théodore Roussel’s Head of a Girl Leaning on Her Hand, c.1895-1900, trial proof with reverse oval plate mark: HUGHES & KIMBER LIMITED/ MANUFACTURERS/ LONDON E.C (British Museum, see collection database, 1931,0114.9).
Hughes & Kimber were suppliers of copper and zinc plates, etching grounds and other etching supplies to Roberson & Co, 1859-1905 or later (Hamilton Kerr Institute, MS 180-1993, 183-1993, 204-1993, 232-1993).
There is a star-wheel etching press in the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, once owned by the Scottish etcher, Ernest Stephen Lumsden RSA (information from Robin Rodger, July 2018). It bears in raised cast lettering on either side: KIMBER & HUGHES LD./ LONDON, and on a japanned brass plate at top of side with wheel: HUGHES & KIMBER, LIMITED/ ENGINEERS,/ WEST HARDING ST FETTER LANE, LONDON., so dating to c.1875-1909.
For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
Thomas Henry Hunt, see Joseph Middleton
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.