British artists' suppliers, 1650-1950 - Y
An online resource, launched in 2006, selectively updated twice yearly. Last updated March 2020. Contributions are welcome, to Jacob Simon at [email protected].
One of the principal colourmen supplying Rudolf Ackermann (Ford 1983 p.46). Listed asYallop & Grace 1781-90, Yallop, Grace & Johnson 1788-99, Yallop & Grace 1798-9, Yallop, Grace & Yallop 1799-1805, Grace & Yallop 1805-9, Yallop & Grace 1810-28, Grace & Yallop 1829-30; later directories have not been consulted. As a firm of manufacturers supplying the trade, rather than a supplier to artists, this business has not been examined in detail.
Percy Young (1854-1930?) served the Slade School of Art, which had opened in 1871. He was preceded at 137 Gower St by J.D. Hirst-Smyth & Son in 1881 and, like Hirst-Smyth, initially described himself in listings as 'publisher, depot for supplying the Slade School of Art with english and foreign artists' materials'. He advertised as being immediately opposite University College (The Year's Art 1892).
Young was recorded in censuses, in 1881 as a wholesale stationer, age 26, born Sydenham, son of a solicitor, Thomas Young, and in 1901 as a dealer in artists’ materials, age 46, with wife Florence age 46, and two young daughters and a son. Young made claims for his business as having been established in 1826, according to an advertisement in the literature of Madderton & Co Ltd (qv), featuring Roché’s pastels among other products; he acted as an agent for Madderton’s Cambridge colours, 1897. He also sold Lefranc’s panels and canvases (trade catalogue, 1894, see Katlan 1992 p.269). He published in translation J.G. Vibert’s The Science of Painting, 1892, and Jacques Blockx’s A Compendium of Painting, 1894. He had an account with Roberson, 1881-1908 (Woodcock 1997). In 1885 Young claimed to be ‘In direct Communication with six of the principal Continental Artists’ Material Manufactories’ (The Year's Art 1885), as well as selling Roberson’s oil colours and Winsor & Newton oil and watercolours and canvas. He stocked materials from Blockx (qv), 1891-1920.
Artists using Young’s materials: Canvas marks have been recorded from the 1880s onwards (information from Cathy Proudlove). Among Young’s customers was Gwen John in her early years, e.g., the canvas for her Self Portrait of 1902 (Tate, see Hackney 1999 pp.105, 205 n.9).
Canvases from the 1900s and subsequently include William Orpen’s George C. Beresford, c.1900, stamped: PERCY YOUNG,/ GOWER STREET,/ LONDON./ W.C. , Night (no 2), 1907, impressed stretcher stamp: YOUNG/ 137 GOWER... (both National Gallery of Victoria) and Augusta Gregory, c.1904 (National Gallery of Ireland, information from Ele von Monschaw, October 2015) and Lottie and the Baby, 1907 (Walker Art Gallery), both with identical stretcher stamp, George Lambert’s Lotty and a Lady, 1906, stamped: PERCY YOUNG/ 137 GOWER STREET,/ LONDON/ WC (National Gallery of Victoria), H. Margaret Spanton’s Portrait of a Lady, c. 1900-10 (Dulwich Picture Gallery, see Ingamells 2008 p.224), Walter Sickert’s La Hollandaise, c.1906, and L’Americaine, 1908, and Spencer Gore’s North London Girl, 1908/9, Mornington Crescent, 1911, Houghton Place, 1912, impressed stretcher stamp, The Cinder Path, 1912, impressed stretcher stamp, and The Artist’s Wife, 1913 (all Tate, see Morgan 2008 pp.134-5, see also ‘The Camden Town Group in Context’, research project, at www.tate.org.uk). For illustrations of this business’s canvas stamps and panel markings, see British canvas, stretcher and panel suppliers’ marks. Part 6, O to Y on this website.
From the 1910s and 1920s, marked supports include Harold Gilman’s Interior with Mrs Mounter 1916/7, and Frederick James Porter’s Peonies in a Yellow Vase, 1921 (both Ashmolean Museum, information from Jevon Thistlewood), and Alfred Neville Lewis’s Mother and Child, c.1919, marked: PERCY YOUNG/ GOWER STREET/ LONDON WC (Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds, see Diaper 2012 p.76).
Lucien Pissarro used Young for supports in the 1910s, including Duton Hill, Essex, 1910, canvas board, impressed: YOUNG…(obscured) (Christie’s South Kensington 21 March 2013 lot 27), Wild Boar Fell, Brough, 1914 (Manchester Art Gallery), Wise Lane, East Knoyle, 1917, stamped: PERCY YOUNG,/ GOWER STREET,/ LONDON,/ W.C. (Sotheby's 26 November 1997 lot 12), All Saints’ Church, Hastings: Sun and Mist, 1918 (Tate, see ‘The Camden Town Group in Context’, research project, at www.tate.org.uk ), Hastings: Mist, Sun and Smoke, 1918 (Ashmolean Museum, see Thistlewood in Sources below) and Dartmouth, 1922 (Manchester Art Gallery). There is a paint box in the Ashmolean Museum which once belonged to Pissarro (see Sources below) and one or more sketchbooks with Young’s label as supplier in the Pissarro family archive (see Lydia Gutierrez and Aviva Burnstock, 'Technical Examination of Works by Camille and Lucien Pissarro from the Courtauld Gallery', Art Matters, vol. 5, 2013, p.24, n.23).
A paint box in the Whistler collection at Glasgow is embossed in the lid: Young Gower St. London W.C. (Hunterian Art Gallery). Other customers included Gwen Raverat (sketchbook, 1913, Fitzwilliam Museum, PD.56-1994), Stanley Spencer (sketchbook, British Museum, see Sources below) and Dora Carrington, who when in debt in 1916 wrote of 'Black abuses, and threats from Percy Young! Which threw me back again into despair'. The following year Carrington mentioned the death of Young's son and two nephews in the war and his fury against the government (David Garnett (ed.), Carrington: Letters and Extracts from her Diaries, 1970, pp.38, 74). The business closed in 1920 when Young reached the age of 65 without an heir to carry it on.
Sources: Jevon Thistlewood, ‘Lucien Pissarro’s Paintbox’, Ashmolean Magazine, no.60, 2010, pp.21-2; Duncan Robinson, ‘Stanley Spencer: Sketchbooks and a drawing from the Life Class’, National Art Collections Fund Annual Review… for year ended 31 December 1992, 1993, p.75. For abbreviations, see Resources and bibliography.
William Young1872-1882 or later, Young & Marten by1884-1899, Young & Marten Ltd from 1900. At36 Broadway, Stratford, Essex by 1874-1878 or later, 100 Broadway by 1882-1886, 5 Romford Road, Stratford by 1882-1884,Caledonian Works,Romford Road 1886-1922 or later, Romford Road by 1928 to 1982, Grove Crescent Road, Stratford 1982-1988 or later. Merchants and manufacturers, white lead and oil and colour warehouse, later also artists’ suppliers and stained glass artists.
The firm of Young & Marten, builders’ merchants, is described as having been founded in 1872 (Helen C. Long, Victorian houses and their details, 2002, p.104, accessed through Google Book Search). In 1885 Henry Aldridge Marten and in 1893 Harry Holdich Marten (1852-1921) were partners in the business of Young & Marten, lead and glass merchants. In census records Harry Holdich Marten was recorded in 1881 as a lead and glass merchant, with his wife and three children, and in 1911 as chairman of the business. He died in 1921 (London Gazette 15 August 1893, 1 July 1921). In 1995 the business, by now trading as Y&M Realisations Ltd, was put into liquidation (London Gazette 17 August 1995).
Young & Marten Ltd’s trade catalogue, c.1900, listed oil colours prepared by Barnard (qv), Reeves and Winsor & Newton, tin colour boxes, brushes for oil and watercolour painting, Winsor & Newton easels, canvases, watercolours prepared by Winsor & Newton, Reeves, Rowney and Barnard, drawing papers and drawing boards, mathematical instruments, L. & C. Hardtmuth (qv) drawing pencils etc (Illustrated Catalogue of Artists’, Architects’ & Draughtsman’s Colours, Brushes, Paper, Inks, and Other Requisites, 16pp). Young & Marten Ltd was stocking Winsor & Newton materials in 1925 (Artists’ Colours & Materials, 36pp, Winsor & Newton catalogue with Young & Marten cover sticker). The business was still selling artists’ materials in 1959 (The Artist, vol.56, February 1959, p.xii).
Canvases supplied by the business include Harold Percival’s The Ship Zuleika of Leith, 1897, marked: YOUNG & MARTEN/ DEALER IN/ ARTISTS’ MATERIALS/ AT STORE PRICES/ STRATFORD LONDON E/… (Trinity House, Maritime Museum, Leith, Edinburgh, information from Ailsa Murray, 2010).