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Victorian/Edwardian art dealers directory

This dealers directory is specifically concerned with Edwardian art dealers that operated at Christie's auction house, London, in the first part of the twentieth century, and their likely involvement within an art ring which was known at the time to be headed by William Walker Sampson. Sampson was in partnership with my great grandfather, Henry Ramus (1872-1911). The story of the ring is elsewhere on this web site, (The Ring Master & John William Godward), this page is intended as a reference for anyone following the ring story, to gain a more thorough idea of the dealers mentioned. I will be adding more dealers over time, so please check back now and again.

Eugene Cremetti


1851-1927


Eugene Cremetti was born in Belgium, 1851, to Pierre Cremetti and Catherine Jeanette, nee Verhoeven[1]. The earliest record I have found for him was a newspaper notice of arrivals at the Bath Hotel[2], with his business partner, Max Hollender, 1876. In 1877, Cremetti and Hollender had a sale by auction of ‘Modern’ pictures, by British and Continental artists[3], at 115 Union Street, Aberdeen.


In 1881 Cremetti has premises at 133 Gower street, St Pancras, London[4]. March 12, 1881, Messrs. Cremetti and Hollender have a sale arranged by auctioneer, Mr J. Buckley Sharp, to sell pictures from their collection at the British Gallery, Bridge Street, Bradford[5]. Eugene and Florence Mary Cremetti have a son, Harold Eugene, in 1883. December 1883, Messrs. Cremetti and Hollender have another auction sale[6], at Messrs. Robinson and Fisher, 21 Old Bond Street, of ‘High class modern pictures, chiefly by artists of the foreign school’, owing to their lease at 64 New Bond Street having been sold. On the 25th January 1885, Florence Mary died at 2 Avenue road, Regents Park, London[7]


July 1887, Hollender and Cremetti, as their firm was known, held an exhibition at the Cutlers Hall, Church Street, Sheffield, comprising of British and Continental artists works[8]. Regularly touring the country with their pictures, the firm had, according to this last report, already made, ‘112 tours through our principal towns’. In 1887, Eugene Cremetti married Lydia Maud Bramble[9]. On 14th Sept, 1888, they had a son, Paul Eugene Cremetti[10], baptised 12th June 1889, their address listed as 68 Avenue road, Eugene’s profession, ‘Proprietor of the Hanover Gallery’.


In 1891, living at 68 Avenue road, Hampstead[11], Eugene and Lydia Maude have three sons, Harold, (by Florence Mary), 8, Paul, 2, and Pierre Eugene, 1. Eugene is listed as a part proprietor of the Hanover Gallery, which is at 47 New Bond Street, London. On the 24th September 1892, Maximillian Arthur Eugene Cremetti was born, baptised 26th Jan 1893[12], his parent’s address, 68 Avenue road, father’s profession, merchant.


On the 18th March 1897, Eugene Cremetti is accepted as a U.K citizen[13], citing his profession as picture dealer. Later the same year, he was re-elected as a director of the Palace Theatre[14], where his business partner, Max Hollender, was chairman. As well as being an art expert, and theatre director, Cremetti also owned race horses. In 1898, his horse, Full Stop, won the Great Foal Stakes at Lingfield[15]. The link of the sporting, theatrical, and art dealing worlds is a common one. When Cremetti was re-elected as director of the Palace Theatre in 1897, the motion was seconded by fellow art dealer, Arthur Tooth, of 5 and 6 Haymarket, (next door to the famous McLean Gallery at no.7, which was itself, next door to the even more famous Haymarket Theatre).


In 1901, Hollender and Cremetti, are listed as picture dealers at Hanover Gallery[16], at 47 New Bond Street, London. They also have premises at 30 Old Bond Street, holding an exhibition there of the paintings of John Varley in June 1905[17]. On the 11th June 1906, Max Hollender died of pneumonia, at Lowfield Heath, Surrey, leaving £92,710.0s.1d to his wife, Rose, Edgar Cohen, merchant, and Alfred Beyfus, solicitor (his brother in law). In December 1906, there was a sale by auction at Christie’s, of the stock of modern pictures and water colour drawings of Messrs. Hollender and Cremetti[18], owing to the death of Hollender, terminating the partnership. Many of the pictures were knocked down to Cremetti


 


In 1908 Eugene Cremetti is listed as a fine art expert at 44 Dover Street, London[19], his home address, 68 Avenue Road, Hampstead. In this year, Cremetti takes over the McLean Galleries at 7 Haymarket, from Thomas Miller McLean, owing to McLean’s retirement from the business. In the 1907-08 season at Christie’s, Cremetti won bids on 25 lots of pictures[20], highest bid, £504, for ‘In the woods at Meudon, above Sevres’ by C. Troyon. In the 1908-09 season[21], he won bids on 25 lots again, four of which were over £500, and the highest bid, £1050, on 16th July, 1909, for lot 19, J. Israel’s ‘Portrait of a Girl in Brown Dress’.


In the 1909-10 at Christie’s[22], Cremetti won bids on 35 lots, with three bids over £300, two over £500, and the two highest bids, on 30th June 1910, £1,995, for J.B.C. Corot’s ‘The Moat’, and £6,510 for ‘L’Abreuvoir’ by the same artist. At Christie’s on the 13th December 1909, Cremetti’s son Harold bought lot 83, ‘The Old, Old Story (1904)’, by J.W.Godward, for £88.4s. Godward was an artist favoured by many of W.W.Sampson’s art ring, it would appear that Harold bid on his father’s behalf, as this was his only mention in the Art Price Current records. Harold didn’t follow Eugene in to the art business, instead having trained as a motor engineer.


In the 1910-11 season[23], Eugene Cremetti won just eleven bids, with three over £300, and one over £500, ‘Pink and White Roses in a Glass vase’, by Fantin Latour, for £567 on 29th April. In March 1911, Eugene and Lydia Maude are living at 68 Avenue road[24], Hampstead with four of their sons. Their second eldest, Paul, aged 22 is an art dealers clerk, while the three youngest are students at Harrow. (Harold had married in 1908, by 1911, living in Kings Norton with his wife and two children, his profession, motor engineer).


In the 1911-12 auction season at Christie’s, Cremetti won bids on 43 lots of pictures[25], 31 of which he acquired on May 17th, and the three highest bids that season were for two pictures by J.C.Cazin, at £399, and £294, and £1,281 for the ‘View on the Campagna’ by H.Harpignies, all bought on May 3rd 1912. In February 1912, advertising as ‘Eugene Cremetti of Thomas McLeans Galleries, London’[26], there is an exhibition of British and Continental paintings at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Bath. Opened by the Mayor, Alderman T.F.Plowman, it was a collection of 200 paintings by masters of the French and Dutch schools.


In the 1912-13 season at Christie’s[27], Cremetti won bids on 15 lots of pictures, two over £300, ‘The Hay Cart’, by J.B.C.Corot,(£315), ‘Mrs Mordant’, by J.Reynolds P.R.A, (£378), and one at £588, by E.van Marke, ‘Cattle in a Meadow’. In the 1913-14 season[28] Cremetti had the winning bid on 18 lots, of which, the five highest priced were, ‘Lady in a Yellow Dress’ by J.Jackson R.A (£388.10s), ‘Lady in Pink Dress’ by F.Cotes R.A (£399), ‘Normandy Pastures’ by E. van Marcke (£462), ‘Twilight’ by H. Harpignies (£714), and ‘L’Immortalite’ by H. Fantin Latour (£1,680). Cremetti picked up four Fantin Latour pictures that season, and also bought two by J.W. Godward on February 13th 1914, ‘Endymion’ (£84) from the Walter Archibald Clark sale, and ‘The Siesta’ (£81.18s) at the Henry Mungall sale.


 


On the 2nd April 1914, Eugene and Lydia Maud’s son, Pierre (Peter) Eugene Cremetti died at Guildford, Surrey, age 24. In the 1914-15 season at Christie’s[29], Cremetti was notable by his absence, buying just the one picture, ‘Landscape, with a hay cart on a sandy road’ by J.B.C. Corot. The 1915-16 season[30] saw Cremetti pick up 17 lots at Christie’s, of which, three were by H. Fantin Latour, and the two most expensive, by Sir Laurence Alma Tadema, R.A:- ‘The Favourite Poet’ 1888 (£483), and ‘In a Rose Garden’ 1889 (£672), from the sale of the late Sir Frederick Wigan, December 9th and 10th.


On the 14th August 1917, Max Arthur Eugene Cremetti died in an aeroplane accident at Hendon Aerodrome, age 24[31]. At the outset of WW1 he volunteered, starting as a dispatch rider with the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and was involved in the retreat of Mons. He was later decorated, gaining the D.C.M at the Battle of the Marne, where he was injured, and was mentioned several times for bravery. When his wounds meant he had to leave the infantry, he joined the Royal Flying Corps, training to be a pilot at Shoreham-by-sea, Sussex[32]. As a 2nd Lieutenant, he gained his flying certificate on the 1st June 1916, in a Maurice Farman Biplane. Returning to action, he was wounded again, while flying over enemy lines in France, after which he was put on aircraft training duties. His funeral was accorded full military honours, with an escort of over 150 men of the R.F.C, also in attendance were leading art dealers, Arthur Tooth, David Croal Thomson, Ernest Lefevre, and Harry Wallis[33].


In 1918, the youngest son of Eugene and Lydia Maud, Cecil William Eugene Cremetti, married Dorothy Phylis Law. Tragically, Cecil died on the 28th Nov 1919, aged 26. With Harold working in the motor industry, this left Paul as the last of their sons involved in the art dealing business.


In 1923, Eugene Cremetti decided to retire, with William Walker Sampson taking over the gallery at 7 Haymarket, both are listed at this address in the 1923 phone book[34]. There was a sale on 1st June 1923 at Christie’s, ‘of modern pictures and drawings of the British and Continental schools’[35], sold owing to Eugene Cremetti, of the McLean Galleries, Haymarket, retiring from business. His son Paul would carry on in the business, but under his own name. There were 188 lots, realising £12,055.11s.6d. W.W.Sampson was reported to have picked up Josef Israel’s, ‘Pancake Day’ for 1,850 guineas, Sir John E Millais’, ‘The Rescue’, and ‘Just Awake’, for 1,400 and 430 guineas, F.Roybet’s, ‘Carrousel’, 430 g, and Fantin Latour’s, ‘Deux Ondine’ and ‘Narcissi in a glass’, 440, and 155 guineas.


On the 12th May 1927, Eugene Cremetti died, leaving £76,173.1s.3d to his son, Paul Eugene Cremetti. Eugene had been a member of the Fine Art Provident Institute, listed among their donors as having donated £228.7s.


 


 







[1] UK Naturalisation Certificates and Declarations, 1870-1912




[2] Royal Leamington Spa Courier. 10 June 1876. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[3] Aberdeen Journal. Saturday 20 Oct 1877. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[4] London, England, Electoral Registers. 1832-1965




[5] Yorkshire Post and Evening Intelligencer. Sat 12 March 1881. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[6] Morning Post. Tuesday 11 December 1883. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[7] England and Wales Death Index, 1837-1915. Also, London Evening Standard 29th Jan 1885. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[8] Sheffield Daily Telegraph. Saturday 9 July 1887. British Newspaper Archive Online.




[9] England and Wales Marriage Index, 1837-1915




[10] London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906




[11] 1891 England census




[12] London, England, Church of England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906




[13] UK Naturalisation Certificates and Declarations, 1870-1912




[14] The Era (theatrical newspaper). Sat 16 Oct 1897. British Newspaper Archive Online




[15] Sussex Agricultural Express. Tues 12th July 1898. British Newspapers Online




[16] British Phone Books, London, 1880-1984




[17] London Daily News. Sat 10th June 1905. British Newspaper Archive Online




[18] The London Times. Tues 11 Dec 1906.




[19] British Phone Books, London. 1880-1984




[20] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal, 1907-08




[21] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal, 1908-09




[22] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal, 1909-10




[23] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal, 1910-11




[24] 1911 England census




[25] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal 1911-12




[26] Western Daily Press. Thurs 8 Feb 1912. British Newspaper Archive Online




[27] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal 1912-13




[28] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal 1913-14




[29] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal 1914-15




[30] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal 1915-16




[31] England and Wales, National Probate Calendar. 1858-1966




[32] Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950




[33] The London Times. 21 Aug 1917. Times Archives Online




[34] British Phone Books, London. 1880-1984.





[35] The London Times. Friday 1st June 1923. Times Archive Online





Image: 2nd Lieutenant Max Arthur Eugene Cremetti, R.F.C, 1892-1917

Image: Cooling Galleries exhibition advert 1931

John Albert Cooling


1859-1931


The Cooling Galleries


John Cooling 1832-1905


 


            On 13th March 1853, John Cooling married Elizabeth Hayes at Saint Anne, Soho, Westminster[1]. When their first child, Elizabeth Caroline was baptised on 25th January 1857[2], they lived at 4 Castle street, Marylebone, John’s profession given as artist. The registry of their following six children gives baptism date, abode, fathers occupation:- Sarah Amelia 10th  Jan 1858, 4 Castle street, artist. John Albert, 24th April 1859, Castle street, restorer of paintings. William Alfred, 31st March 1861, Castle street, restorer of paintings. Thomas Arthur, 12th Oct 1862, Castle street, artist. Esther Gertrude, 21st Oct 1866, Castle street, picture restorer. James Frederick, 13th March 1870, 3 Wardour street, picture cleaner.[3]


John Albert Cooling 1859-1931


John Albert Cooling was born at 4 Castle street East, Marylebone, London, on 11 March 1859. By 1881, living with his parents at 186 Wardour street, London[4], his father was a picture cleaner, and (John) Albert was an academy art student, his brother Alfred, a gilder, and Arthur, an apprentice gilder. Educated at UCS London, South Kensington School, and the Royal Academy Schools[4a],  he was a medalist and exhibitor in 1880, aged 21. He originally worked as a portrait painter.




            On the 12th May 1881, John Albert married Alice Ann Hallam (1857-1938), at the Trinity church, Marylebone, London[5], his profession listed as artist, his father’s, picture dealer. They had their first child, Theodore Albert in 1882, the next, John Herbert, was baptised 7th November 1886[6], their address, 1 Doughty street, Surrey, father’s profession, artist and picture dealer. Lilian Alice, baptised 29th July 1887, 1 Doughty street, picture dealer. Sydney Percy, baptised 4th May 1890, 18 Park road, Surrey, art dealer. Winifred Maud, baptised 1st May 1892, 109 Adelaide road, Hampstead, picture dealer.


            In 1888, John senior, and John Albert had premises together at 106 Great Russell street, Holborn[7]. John senior and Elizabeth were living at 213 Brecknock road, St Pancras, in 1891[8], John’s occupation, picture restorer., that same year, his son John Albert was living with his family at 109 Adelaide road, Hampstead[9], occupation, dealer in fine arts.  In March 1901, John Albert and Alice were living at 109 Adelaide road, Hampstead[10], John’s profession, fine art dealer, employer. Theodore, aged 19, is a stock brokers clerk.


            In the 1907-08 auction season at Christie’s, John Albert Cooling won bids on 51 lots[11], among them, picking up 7 pictures by E.M. Wimperis, 4 by T.S. Cooper, and 2 by D. Cox, all artists favoured by Sampson, Mitchell, and other members of the ring.


            In 1910, John.A. Cooling is listed as a fine art dealer at 47 Fleet street, London E.C[12]. In 1911, living at 109 Adelaide road, Hampstead[13], John and Alice have their five children with them. John is a fine art dealer, as are John Herbert, and Sidney Percy. Theodore Albert is a fancy leather merchant. Lilian and Winifred show no occupation. They have 14 rooms and 2 servants. Adelaide road is in the heartland of London’s successful art dealers, Hampstead.


On 14th December 1911, there was an auction at 67 and 68 Cheapside by Messrs Protheroe and Morris[14], to sell the collection of pictures belonging to John A Cooling, having disposed of his gallery at 31 Cheapside. Among the artists named were, Sir John Gilbert R.A, Frederick Goodall R.A, Sir Alfred East R.A, and T.S.Cooper R.A. In 1912 John A Cooling is listed as ‘John A Cooling, Fine Art Dealer’ at both, 31 Cheapside, and 92 New Bond street[15].


In the years up to 1916, John Albert Cooling remained a low level buyer, with just 18 lots in 1908-09, building up to 106 lots in 1915-16[16], when he picked up 6 by K.Heffner, 3 by J.Varley, as well as single buys of F.W. Topham, D.Cox, and W. van der Nat. Other artists he bought, which were favoured among dealers during this time, were, G.Cattermole, W.L.Leitch, W.L.Wyllie, Bernard Evans, and F.Goodall.


Cooling Galleries


                The first record for the Cooling Galleries I have found, was 22nd March 1927[17], regarding the artist, Miss Audrey Weber, exhibiting her water colour drawings, and oil paintings. She also had the story run in the London Times[18]. In November 1927, the soon to be famous Cecil Beaton had his artistic photographs exhibited at the Cooling Galleries[19]. From this point on, the Cooling Galleries have their exhibitions reported widely in the press, and notably, in The Times.


            John Albert Cooling died on the 26th May 1931, leaving £9088.2s.5d to Theodore Albert Cooling, Gentleman, and John Herbert Cooling, Art Dealer. John Herbert Cooling was a member of the Fine Art Provident Institute, as quite likely, would John Albert have been.


 


 


 


 


 


 








[1] England select marriages, 1538-1973




[2] London, England, births and baptisms 1813-1906




[3] London, England, births and baptisms 1813-1906




[4] 1881 England census
   [4a] http://www.artbiogs.co.uk/2/schools/royal-college-art




[5] London, England, Marriages and Banns 1754-1921




[6] London, England, births and baptisms 1813-1906




[7] London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965




[8] 1891 England census




[9] 1891 England census




[10] 1901 England census




[11] 1907-08 Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal




[12] The Years Art 1910. Compiled by A.C.R. Carter




[13] 1911 England census




[14] London Daily News. Thursday 14th December 1911. British Newspapers Online Archive




[15] British Phone Books 1880-1984




[16] Art Prices Current, Fine Art Trade Journal




[17] West Morning News. 22 March 1927. British Newspapers Online Archive




[18] Times Online. The Times 30 March 1927.





[19] Dundee Courier. Mon 28 November 1927. British Newspapers Online Archive





Image: John A Cooling auction sale owing to moving premises

Image: G.W.Bowden, dealer in water colour drawings, as advertised in The Years Art 1898, compiled by A.C.R.Carter

George William Bowden


&


Bowden Brothers


George Bowden, (1826-1911), married Ann Elizabeth Hawkes, (1829-1920) on the 4th March 1850[1], his profession listed as artists colorman, his father, named as William, was a book binder. In 1851, living at Little Queen Street, Finsbury, London, with his wife, Ann, George was an artists sketch book maker, employing 7 men[2]. George William Bowden was born at St Giles, London, 8th May 1851[3].


In 1861, George and Anne live at 314 Oxford Street, London[4], and now have three children, George William, Annie Maria (1854), and Charles (1857). George lists his profession as artists stationary. By 1871, at the same address, George is listed as an artists colorman, he and Ann have four more sons, Frederick William (1862), Albert Edward (1863), Harry Waller (1866), and William (1869)[5].


 


On September 9th 1882, George William Bowden married Kate Spurway (1859-1920), at the All Saints Church, Fulham[6]. George states his profession as artists colorman, and his father, a fine art dealer. On the 8th October 1887, Frederick William Bowden married Edith Ellen Dimmick (1865-1937)[7] , his and his father’s profession listed as fine art dealer.


In 1891, living at 5 Radipole Road, Fulham, George and Kate now have two daughters[8], Violet Louise (1883), and Dorothy Kate (1888). George’s occupation, fine art dealer in water color drawings. On the same census year, Frederick and Edith Ellen are living at 47 Brompton Road, and they have a child, Reginald (1890), Frederick’s profession listed as fine art dealer.


In 1898, George and Frederick are listed separately in full page adverts as fine art dealers, George as ‘G.W.Bowden, Wholesale Dealer in High Class Modern Water Colour Drawings’, at 740 Fulham Road, London S.W, and Frederick as, ‘Dealers in High Class Water Colour Drawings’, at 47 Brompton Road, London S.W[9].


By 1901, George senior, his wife Ann Elizabeth, and their youngest son, Harry Waller, are living at 19 Coniger road, Fulham. George is a retired fine art dealer, and Harry is a picture frame maker[10]. On the same census year, George William and Kate are living at 740 Fulham road, George is listed as a wholesale dealer in water colour drawings. They have three more children, Rose Muriel (1892), Bernard George (1894), and Horace Spurway (1896). Their eldest daughter, Violet, is an art student.


Frederick William, Edith, and young Reginald are living at 11 Lalor street, Fulham, in 1901, with Frederick listed as a picture dealer, employer. On 25th October 1906, Frederick died, leaving £2824.1s.1d to his brothers, George William, and Albert Edward, picture dealers[11]. By 1911, Frederick’s son, Reginald, is a manager, picture framing[12], presumably working for Bowden Brothers at 47 Brompton road, Fulham.


Albert Edward Bowden is living with his wife, Mary, at 87 Albert Bridge road, London, in 1901[13], his occupation, picture dealer, (shopkeeper), employer. By 1911, they are living at 25 Wimbledon Park road, London S.W[14], his profession now listed as picture dealer, and picture frame maker.


In the 1907-08 season at Christie’s auction rooms, Bowden was the name against 57 lots, 5 of which were by E.M Wimperis, also, pictures by H.Moore, R.A, J.B. Pyne, Foster Birket, and W.Anstey Dolland, all of whom were artists favoured by the auction ring dealers. George William Bowden was a member of the Fine Arts Provident Institute, and advertised in The Years Art 1910, as G.W.Bowden, Gresham House, 740 Fulham road, London. Bowden Brothers were listed in this edition, their address given as 225a Brompton road, S.W.


In April 1911, George Bowden senior was living at 2 Southfield road, Wandsworth, with his wife, Ann Elizabeth, and son, Harry Waller Bowden. George is registered retired, while Harry is listed as a fine art dealer and picture frame maker, employer.[15] At this time, George William Bowden was registered as living with his family at 740 Fulham road, his occupation, fine art dealer.


On the 18th December 1911, George Bowden senior died, aged 85, leaving £94.19s.1d to Albert Edward Bowden, picture dealer. George William Bowden died on 26th May 1935[16], at 156 West Hill, Putney, Surrey. In his will he left £1702.0s.7d to Bernard George Bowden, and Horace Spurway Bowden picture dealers, and Dorothy Kate Bowden and Rose Muriel Bowden, spinsters.


It's difficult to say whether G.W.Bowden, and Bowden Brothers, operated together or separately. They are all sons of George senior, both firms advertise themselves as specialists in water colour drawings, and all the sales at Christie’s are listed under ‘Bowden’, no initial. I imagine they would have worked together, as it would be to their advantage, in much the same way as the knockout ring works for all its members.


As a Christie’s dealer, Bowden was a lower level player, winning bids on around 600 lots between 1907 and 1916[17]. The season 1911/12 saw their biggest outlay, with 131 lots, while 1914/15 saw only 27 lots bought at Christie’s auction rooms, the WW1 effect reducing business dramatically across the board.


[1] London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921


[2] 1851 England census


[3] England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906


[4] 1861 England census


[5] 1871 England census


[6] London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921


[7] London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921


[8] 1891 England census


[9] The Years Art 1898 compiled by A.C.R. Carter


[10] 1901 England census


[11] England and Wales National Probate Calender, 1858-1966


[12] 1911 England census


[13] 1901 England census


[14] 1911 England census


[15] 1911 England census


[16] England and Wales National Probate Calender, 1858-1966

[17] Art Prices Current. Fine Art Trade Journal









Image: Bowden Brothers, dealers in water colour drawings. Advert from The Years Art 1898, compiled by A.C.R.Carter

Image: Leggatt Brothers advert

Leggatt Brothers.


Picture Dealers and Printsellers.


 


When Henry Leggatt, (1818-1864), married Mary Willats (1821-1876), at the parish church of St Giles, without Cripplegate, on the 11th December 1844, his occupation was listed as ‘bookseller’, he gave his father’s name as Harry, also a book seller. In 1844 Henry and Mary had a son, Henry Willats Leggatt, and by 1851 they are living at 79 Cornhill, London[1], his occupation listed as printseller, and they had one servant.


 In 1861, Henry and Mary are living at Norfolk Villas, London Road, Enfield[2], with four sons, Edward Ernest, aged 7, Frank  Vernon, 3, Percy Willats, 2, and Louis Martin, 1 month. Henry’s occupation listed as’ printseller’, and they had four servants. Their eldest son, Henry Willats Leggatt, died of purpura on the 15th May 1858.


 On the 22nd September 1864, Henry Leggatt died as a result of swallowing a rusty nail in a bowl of soup while at Rugby railway station. In one newspaper reporting the inquest in to his death, he was described as a, ‘well known picture dealer’[3], in another it stated:- ‘The case excited great interest, as the gentleman was well known in London, and the publishing world’[4]. It took Henry two weeks to die from the effects, and a verdict of accidental death was recorded. In his will, he left ‘effects under £5000’[5] to his wife Mary, his occupation given as printseller. Mary had a newborn, Dudley Herbert Leggatt, at this time.


 In 1868, (Edward) Ernest was taken on at Agnew Galleries, Waterloo Place, London, William Agnew having been an old friend of Ernest’s father, Henry. He stayed with Agnew’s until 1876, when he set up on his own account at Fenchurch Street, moving to 62 Cheapside in 1887, taking over what had been Jennings Gallery[6].


In 1871, Ernest Leggatt was staying at Brixton[7] as a visitor, his occupation- assistant picture dealer. On 8th May 1876 Mary Willats died, leaving ‘effects under £1,200’[8], one of her executors named as Alfred Wyatt Digby, solicitor. In 1881 Edward and his four brothers now lived at Gentlemans Row, Enfield,[9] their occupations listed as, printsellers, publishers, picture restorer, and underwriter’s assistant. Living next door was Alfred Wyatt Digby and his family.


Between 1889/90, Frank married Effie Chandler, (1871-1934), and by 1891 they were living at Hoddesden, Hertfordshire, and have one servant. Frank’s occupation- fine art dealer. That same year, Frank’s four brothers were still living at Gentlemans Row, Enfield, and they had three servants[10]. All four brothers listed their occupation as printseller.


            In 1894, ‘Leggatt Brothers of Cheapside’, were mentioned in an article regarding the engraving of a Romney painting, ‘Lady Hamilton as Circe’, which they had produced as a limited edition for sale[11]. In 1901, another news article explains to its readers about the ‘newest craze’ of buying old engravings[12]. Quoting Ernest Leggatt of Leggatt Brothers, he tells them,


 ‘In Sir Joshua Reynold’s time the mezzotint engravers worked on copper plates instead of steel, which was not used until the last century. When they printed from these copper plates, they were very easily ‘rubbed’ after a few impressions. Consequently good impressions of beautiful subjects are now getting rarer and rarer, and the scarcity of anything in demand always obviously leads to higher prices.’


            In 1898, Leggatt Brothers have business addresses at, 77 Cornhill, 62 Cheapside[13], and 46 Fenchurch Street[14]. By 1901 the brothers are still living at Gentlemans Row, Enfield[15], their occupation, ‘picture dealers and printsellers’. Frank and Effie now live at Park View, Hoddesden, Hert’s, with their children, Vernon, aged 9, Mary aged 7, and Harry, aged 4, Frank’s occupation, fine art dealer[16]. In the 1907-08 auction season at Christie’s, Leggatt Brothers were the fifth largest buyers of paintings and drawings, with 234 buys, but also bought many engravings and etchings, which were a specialty of theirs. In the 1908-09 season, they won bids on just 131 lots of paintings and drawings, but this followed a general downturn as all the dealers bought substantially less than they had the year previous, with the notable exception of Agnew’s[17].


 


         In the 1910 edition of The Years Art[18], Leggatt Brothers have a full page advert on the inside front page, stating their firm to be, ‘Printsellers to H.M. King Edward VII’, their business addresses, 62, Cheapside, E.C, and, 30 St James’s Street, S.W. They advertise themselves as dealers in high class old and modern pictures, water-colour drawings, etchings and engravings. Commissions taken for Christie’s, valuations made, and picture restoration a speciality. Further on,[19] under, ‘London Exhibitions’, their premises are described as, ‘Top-lighted Galleries’, showing early English and old Dutch masters, mezzotints, and etchings all year round.


 


By 1911, the brothers live at Chase Side, Enfield[20], with two servants, while Frank and his family are at The Harpes, Broxbourne, Herts, Frank’s eldest son, Vernon, is also a fine art dealer. Owing to the fact Leggatt Brothers bought so many etchings, engravings, and other reproductions at Christie’s, it was too much work trying to separate one from the other. For the 1909-10 season, they acquired 275 lots.


 


On the 8th January 1922, Frank Vernon Leggatt died. In his will he left £10,628.9s, to his sons, Vernon Noel Leggatt, engineer, and Henry Alan Leggatt, fine art dealer. Later that year, 10th April 1922, Ernest Edward Leggatt, the senior partner in the firm, died, leaving £42,128.8s.8d to Percy Willats Leggatt, and Louis Martin Leggatt, printsellers.[21]


            In 1925, Louis Martin Leggatt became President of the Fine Art Provident Institute, following such eminent dealers as Frederick William Fox, (1923), of Gooden and Fox, William Walker Sampson, (1922), William Lockett Agnew, (1917), and David Croal Thomson, (1911-1916).


            On the 15th June 1927, Louis Martin Leggatt died, leaving £54,048.0s.8d to Percy Willatts Leggatt, and Dudley Herbert Leggatt, publishers[22]. Next of the brothers to go was Percy, leaving £71,059.19s.6d to Dudley. They had all lived in the same address at Little Park, Gentlemans Row, Enfield, and had turned it into something of an art installation during their time, even getting visits from Queen Mary, whom they advised on art matters. One such visit, on 27th February 1920, with Princess Mary (later the Princess Royal), is commemorated by an inscription above the drawing room fireplace.


            The last of Henry and Mary Leggatt’s sons, Dudley Herbert Leggatt, died on the 18th June 1952. In his will he left £70,005.14s.11d to Cyril Bernard Lee, solicitor. The firm carried on with Frank’s son, Henry Alan Leggatt, which he passed on to his son, Hugh Frank John Leggatt, (1925-2014), who finally closed the doors on Leggatt Brothers in 1992. In 1993 the Leggatt Brothers archive was sold at Sotheby’s, to Marylebone & General Fine Art Limited.


 [1] 1851 England census


[2] 1861 England census


[3] Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette - Saturday 01 October 1864


[4] Louth and North Lincolnshire Advertiser- Saturday 1st October 1864


[5] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


[6] The Times. 13 April 1922, obituary


[7] 1871 England census


[8] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


[9] 1881 England census


[10] 1891 England census


[11] Morning Post. Fri 14 December 1894. P5


[12] Aberdeen Journal. Mon 26 Aug 1901


[13] The Years Art 1898. P319


[14] London Electoral Registers 1832-65. (1898)


[15] 1901 England census


[16] 1901 England census


[17] Art Prices Current 1907-08-09, Fine Art Trade Journals


[18] The Years Art, compiled by A.C.R.Carter


[19] The Years Art 1910. P139


[20] 1911 England census


[21] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966



[22] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966




Image: Ernest Edward, Louis martin, Percy Willatts, and Dudley Herbert Leggatt, four of the Leggatt Brothers at Little Park, Gentlemans Row, Enfield.

Image: Headed paper from The British galleries 1910

Henry Ramus 1872-1911 

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Henry Ramus was born 14th June 1872 in New Lane, Carrick on Suir, Tipperary, Ireland. His parents were, Joseph (1845-1910), and Harriet Louisa, nee Woodfin. Joseph's occupation at the time was comedian. Joseph and Harriet have their last child, Albert Joseph Ramus on the 21st January 1877, at 244 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Scotland, Joseph states his occupation as picture dealer on the birth certificate. In 1881 they have moved to 74 Portsmouth Street, Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester, and Joseph is still a picture dealer (1). They have four children, Alfred Joseph (1870-), Henry, Louisa Martha (1874-1946), and Albert Joseph (1877-1948). Isaac Ramus, and his sons, Jacob Alfred, and Albert Isaac, of the company, 'Ramus Brothers, Dealers in Works of Art', (listed earlier in this directory), are cousins of Henry.

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In 1891, they have moved back to Glasgow, living at 137 Renfrew Street, Glasgow (2), a few doors along from the Glasgow School of Art at 167. Joseph and Alfred give their occupations as picture dealers, while Henry is listed as an artist, painter. Louisa Martha had married Sigmund Stern (1865-1950), an Austrian Jew, on 6th Feb 1891 at Garnet Hill Synagogue. Sigmund was a jeweller.

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On 24th August 1893, Henry's mother, Harriet Louisa Ramus, died at 3 Pier, Whitby, Yorkshire. Joseph, widower of deceased, present at death, his occupation, picture dealer.

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On 9th January 1894, Henry and his elder brother Alfred dissolved their business as carvers, gilders, picture frame makers, and dealers. (3)

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In 1895 Henry is listed as a picture frame maker, at 51 Hyde grove, Chorlton on Medlock (4)

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On the 21st December 1899, Henry married Fanny May Simmons (1882-1956), the daughter of Isaac Simmons (1837-1882), and Rose, nee Solomons, (1843-1927), at the register office, Pancras, London. Henry lists his occupation on the marriage certificate as art dealer, and his father, Joseph's as fine art dealer. He gives their address as 21 Mecklenburgh Square, St Pancras, this was the address of his uncle, Benjamin Ramus, (1848-1928), in 1891 (4), and also for William Walker Sampson, his business partner, in 1901. In 1899, Henry also has an address at 68 Shaftesbury Avenue, London (5). (Benjamin Ramus had married Rachel Solomons (1851-1884), the sister of Rose, but with Rachel and Isaac dying between 1882-84, Benjamin and Rose got together and joined families, having a son together, Ernest Benjamin Ramus, (1885-). Benjamin was listed as a fine art dealer in the 1901 census).

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On the 16th Feb 1901, Henry and May have a son, Reginald Joseph Isaac Ramus. On the birth certificate, Henry lists his job as fine art dealer, and their address a flat 4, Glenshaw Mansions, Priory Road, Hampstead. 

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Joseph Ramus, and his youngest son, Albert Joseph, are living at 2 Norwood Street, South Manchester in 1901, both listed as picture dealers. Sigmund Stern, Henry’s brother in law, is also listed as a fine art dealer at this time, living at 10 Clarenden Road, South Manchester. (5a)

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In 1902 Henry has addresses at 21 Mecklenburgh Square, 68 Shaftesbury Avenue (6), and 68 Wardour Street, (Henry Ramus & Co, Fine Art Dealers), (7). William Walker Sampson had the shop next door, at 67 Wardour Street (8).

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On the 4th February 1905, Henry and May had another son, Neville Walker Simon Ramus, giving their second son the middle name of Henry's partner. Henry's occupation given as fine art dealer, and their address, Flat 4, Glenshaw Mansions, Priory Road, West Hampstead.

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In 1906 Henry Ramus and William Walker Sampson are listed as tenants at 13 Air Street, Regent Street, London (9), premises rated as house and shop, paying £400 annual rent. This was the address of, 'W.W.Sampson, The British Galleries', the company in which, William and Henry were partners.

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On October 5th, 1909, The British Galleries sent an order of paintings and fancy goods to the Rosenbach Company in Philadelphia(10),  this was a retail outlet at 1320 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The order comprised of paintings by such artists as Edward Burne Jones, (2 at £29 & £15), Dante Gabriel Rosetti, (£12), James McNeill Whistler, (£15), John William Godward, (£38), and Rosa Bonheur, (£42), among others. The order also included gloves, bath salts, and a bronze cupid stand. The total invoice to the Rosenbach Company was for £686. 5 shillings, which included £3 for packing. (11)

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 On September 9th 1910, The British Galleries sent an order of paintings and a silver service to the Rosenbach Company, this time including artists such as Alfred de Beanski, (1852-1928), W Q Orchardson, (1832-1910), and Dan Sherrin (1868-1940), and others. The total sale came to £593. (12)


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On 23rd November 1910, Henry's father, Joseph Ramus, died at 3 Pine Grove, Rusholme, South Manchester. Henry was present at death, listing his and Joseph's occupation as fine art dealer.

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On the 2nd April, 1911, Henry and May Ramus were registered as living at 69 Canfield Gardens, with their two sons, Reginald, and Neville. Henry's occupation, fine art dealer, employer. Three doors along, at 75 Canfield Gardens, was Maurice Angel Isaacs (1875-), fine art expert, and brother in law of Isaac Simmons, the partner of Morris Lewis in the art dealing company, Lewis and Simmons. (13)

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On the 20th July 1911, Henry Ramus died at the Felix Hotel, Felixtowe, Suffolk. Having had dental surgery, an infection set in, and without the benefit of antibiotics at this time, it would seem he could not be saved, dying tragically young at 39.

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Despite the fact Henry and May were both raised by Jewish families, they did not marry with Jewish rites, and didn't raise their sons in the faith either, and yet Henry was buried at Hoop Lane cemetery, Golders Green, London, a specifically Sephardim Jewish graveyard. I believe importance of the Jewish connections for their business, plus the fact that all of Henry's family were practicing Sephardim Jews, made it unlikely he would be buried anywhere else. In all likelihood, William arranged and paid for the whole affair. The tombstone is a lavish marble structure, still in pristine condition over one hundred years later.

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There was a sale at Christie's of the portion of stock of W.W.Sampson on November 18 and 20, 1911, owing to the death of his partner, Henry Ramus, comprising of 311 lots. (14)

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In Henry's probate, 6th December 1911, he left £8317. 8 shillings. 8 pence to his wife, May. (16)

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On January 12th, 1912, Reginald and Neville Ramus were enrolled into Brighton College, Eastern Road, Brighton, as boarders in the 'Junior House', for the 'Junior School'. On their entry forms, it asks, 'on whose nomination?', to which, 'Dealer in works of art (no name given)', is written. Next to, 'Parent or Guardian', is written, 'W.W. Sampson, 13 Air Street, London W'. (17)

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There was another auction two years later, held at Capes, Dunn, and Co, on October 21st 1913, at 12 o’clock at The Gallery, No 8 Clarence street, Albert Square, Manchester. The advert in the Manchester Courier reads:- ” On View. The Gallery. Sale of a valuable collection of oil paintings and water colour drawings, being the last portion of the stock of Mr W.W.Sampson, of 13 Air Street, London, W, owing to the death of Mr Henry Ramus, a partner in the firm, and comprising examples of the highest importance by leading deceased and living members of the Royal Academy and other distinguished painters of the English school” (18)

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(1) England census 1881


(2) Scotland census 1891


(3) London Gazette 


(4) England census 1891


(5) London Electoral Registers


(5a) England Census 1910
(6) Both addresses listed in the London Electoral Registers


(7) Post Office Directory London


(8) British Phone Book, London 1902


(9) London, England, Land Tax Records, 1692-1932


(10) The Rosenbach Company, set up by two Jewish brothers, Philip Rosenbach (1863-1953), and his brother, Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach (1876-1952). Philip bought primarily paintings and fancy goods to sell in their department store on Walnut Street, Philadelphia, while A.S.W, (known as the Doctor), was an expert in old books, (incanabula), buying and selling for huge amounts.


(11) Copies of transactions received from the Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008 Delancey Pl, Philadelphia.


(12) As (11)


(13) 1911 England Census


(15) Art Price Current 1911-12 Fine Art Trade Journal


(16) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. 6 December 1911


(17) Brighton College archives, Eastern Road, Brighton, East Sussex.


(18) British Newspaper Archives online


 














Image: Henry Ramus Marble tombstone, Hoop Lane Cemetery, Golders Green, London

Image: The Years Art advert 1898 Montague Misell

Montague Misell 1845-1916


Montague Misell was born in Salford, Lancashire, 1845, to Jewish parents, Moses Misell (1810-1905), and Esther, nee Jacobs (1826-). Moses had been a picture dealer, commission agent, and merchant, variously through his working life. On the 1861 U.K census, living at 30 Stanley road, Manchester, both Moses, aged 49, and Montague, aged 16, list their occupation as picture dealers.

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On the 14th August 1869 (1) Montague married Rachel Misell (1848-1898), the daughter of David Misell (1809-), and Caroline, nee Isaacs (1821-). David had been a tobacconist, and commission agent at the time of the 1851, and 1861 census returns. Both he and Moses Misell put Suffolk, Ipswich as their birth places, so it's a reasonable chance that Montague and Rachel were cousins.

.

In 1871 Montague and Rachel are living at 5 Boulton street, Cheetham, Manchester, with their 10 month old son, David. Montague's occupation, dealer in oil paintings (2). By 1881, they have 5 children, and Montague's father, Moses living with them at 63 Stocks street, Cheetham.. Montague is an art dealer, and Moses a commission agent (3).

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In 1891 they are living at 255 Oxford Street, Chorlton Upon Medlock, Manchester, and have 9 children, and Montague's father, Moses, a retired merchant. Montague is a dealer in fine arts, while his three eldest are, David (1871) a commercial traveller, chemicals, Hyman (1872) salesman, fine arts, and Joseph (1875) a grey cloth- job overlooker.

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In 1898 Montague has an advert in The Years Art. (4). The advert gives his address as 23 Princess Street, Albert Square, Manchester, and states- 'Paintings and Drawings by all the leading artists. Bronzes, China, Ivories, and Articles of Virtu. Estimates free for Re-Gilding Frames, Restoring and Cleaning Pictures'

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On the 16th April 1898, Montague's wife Rachel died. In 1901, Montague is living at 98 Burlington Street, South Manchester, (5), his occupation, dealer in works of art, employer. His father, Moses is there, as are Maud, (1881) Music teacher, Beatrice (1884), Benjamin (1885) Tailors cutter, Rosaline (1887) school, William (1889) school, and Samuel (1891) school.

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In the 1907-08 auction season at Christie's, Montague Misell had winning bids on 75 pictures, 31 of which were bought on April 25th 1908, at the sale of the property of Mr Thomas Richardson, Piccadilly (6)

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In May, Montague had an advert in the papers (7), inviting, 'friends or gentlemen interested to view several choice examples in oils and watercolours', by such artists as J.W.M. M'Whirter, T.S.Cooper, W.P.Frith, and other well known painters of the time. His address, 3 Clarence Street, Manchester.

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 Owing to gambling losses, Montague found himself facing bankruptcy just a few months later, in September. Reporting the trial in the Manchester Courier (8), he stated to the official receiver that he had been in the picture dealing business for 38 years, and had done quite well, but the combination of a big family, moving premises, and heavy losses on the horses, had brought him to this state of affairs. He said he had been betting on flat races for some thirty years, but this year had been a bad one, his chief losses coming during Ascot week. His pictures had made profits, but not enough to offset the losses at the race track, with overall liabilities of £2342 to be addressed.

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That very same day, there was an advert (9) by the auctioneers, Capes, Dunn, &Co, to sell by auction all the stock of Montague Misell, viewing from 24th September. Capes, Dunn &Co were just a few doors along from Montague's premises, he at 3 Clarence Street, they at number 8. This was also the firm that W.W.Sampson would use in 1913 to sell off his remaining stock owing to the death of his partner, Henry Ramus in July 1911. He had already had a two day sale in November 1911. Sampson also left his firm bankrupt on his death, as a result of gambling losses at the race tracks, leaving his son Jack Sampson to deal with the aftermath. The auction knockout has been described as 'twice as exciting as poker', (10). Perhaps the auction rooms helped create gambling addicts, or attracted them?.

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On the 21st November 1908, there was a sale at Christie's (11) of, 'a portion of stock of Mr Montague Misell, of 3 Clarence Street, Manchester', sold by order of the trustee in bankruptcy. There were 31 lots pictures and drawings, 3 of which Montague bought himself. He bought 10 lots in November 1908, and from then on his son, Hyam, took over bidding at Christie's, buying 20 pictures between December 1908 and July 1909.

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In the 1909-10 season at Christie's (12), Hyam bought 24 pictures, all at sales which included Sampson, Mitchell, and  other Ring members.

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In 1911, (13) Montague is living with his daughters, Rosalind, and Beatrice, at 94 Moreshead Mansions, Elgin Avenue, Paddington. His occupation, wine merchant, traveller, while the girls are of, 'independent means', so presumably his bankruptcy didn't ruin the rest of the family.


Montague Misell died on the 29th January 1916. His son, Hyam, died just a year later.
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(1) JewishGen 1851 Anglo-Jewry Database


(2) 1871 UK census


(3) 1881 UK census.


(4) The Years Art was an annual edition compiled by art afficianado A.C.R.Carter to cover everything regarding the world of art at the time, a bible for dealers, artists, and buyers alike.


(5) 1901 UK census


(6) Art Prices Current. 1907-08 Fine Art Trade Journal


(7) BritishNewspaperArchives online. Manchester Courier. Tues 19 May 1908.


(8) BritishNewspaperArchives online. Manchester Courier. Sat 19 Sept 1908.


(9) BritishNewspaperArchives online. Manchester Courier. Sat 19 Sept 1908.


(10) Hansard House of Commons records:-ANTIQUE DEALERS (RINGS) House of Commons Debate 23 December 1964 vol 704 cc1241-59 1241


12.13 p.m.


(11) Art Prices Current. 1908-09 Fine Art Trade Journal p's 4 & 5



(12) Art Prices Current 1914-15.  Fine Art Trade Journal

(13) Art Prices Current 1915-16.  Fine Art Trade Journal

(14) British Phone Books, Harrogate Area 1916












 

Image: Manchester Courier advert. Tues 19 May 1908

Image: Yorkshire Post 27 Dec 1907 advert for Henry J Mullen LTD

Henry Joseph Mullen (1856-1922)
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Henry Joseph Mullen was born 1856 in Carlisle, Cumberland, to John Bowman Mullen (1828-1886), and Jane, nee Corren (1831-). John Bowman was a book keeper/accountant. Henry started out his working life as an apprentice stationer at 14 years old, as stated in the 1871 census of Westgate, Newcastle Upon Tyne. In the 1881 census, living his parents at 109 Addison Road, Jesmond, Newcastle, aged 24 he is a booksellers assistant. 

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On the 3rd June 1886, at the parish church of Jesmond, Newcastle, Henry married Isabella Jane Carr (1851-1909), the daughter of Peter Carr (1820-1897), who ran 'Carr and Co, Law and General Stationers', at 17 Royal Arcade, Newcastle Upon Tyne. This was a very prestigious company, providing stationary to royalty. Henry gave his occupation as, 'Stationer' on the marriage certificate.

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(Henry, like William Walker Sampson,  grew up in Tynemouth in the North East of England, no more than a couple of miles apart, they were also both employed as, ‘Stationers’, and ‘Commercial Clerks’, on their early census reports and BMD certificates. They were even married at the same parish church of Jesmond, Newcastle, just one year apart, although Mullen is 9 years senior.  Possibly Henry and W.W.Sampson met while working for Carr & Co as stationers.)

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Curiously, on the 1891 census, Henry gives his occupation as 'Draper', while he is staying with his brother in law, Thomas Morgan (1847-1909), a stationer, and husband of Henry's sister in law, Margaret Isabella Morgan, nee Carr(1848-1924).  When Thomas died in 1909, his probate record shows he left over £25,000, to his widow, and brother in law, George Peter Carr, law stationer. Thomas' occupation stated as managing director.

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It was on the birth certificate of his son, Arnold George Leighton Mullen, (18 Aug 1896-1918), where I  first found Henry recorded as a fine art dealer. Their address, 5 Gordon Square, Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

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On the 1901 census return,  Henry and his family are living at Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, Northumberland, his occupation given as, 'Fine Art Publisher'.
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In the 1907-08 season at Christie's auction rooms London,  records show Henry had winning bids on 60 pictures, 32 of which he bought in December 1907, 19 of those he picked up at the second days sale of a portion of the stock of Mr Thomas Richardson of Piccadilly, on December 9th, 32 in total over the two day sale. (1)

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On the 27th December 1907, Henry took out an advert in the Yorkshire Post to publicise, 'The Great Academy Picture',  by Ernest Crofts R.A of, 'Charles 1st On His Way To Execution', showing at his galleries in James Street, Harrogate. (2). This painting, (size 35 x 53 inches), had been knocked down at auction to William Walker Sampson for £84 on 30th November 1907, at the sale of Henry Lovatt's pictures at Christie's London. (3)

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From 1907, Henry adopted the business model of taking his pictures on tour, hiring out galleries in Church Street, Sheffield to exhibit them, and advertising the fact in the papers. (4) Among the artists being exhibited were, Luke Fildes, E Blair Leighton, Fred Goodall, David Cox, T.S.Cooper, and many other well renowned artists of the time. 

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In the 1908-09 season at Christie's auction rooms, Mullen bought just 28 pictures. (5)

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On the 12th March 1909, Henry J Mullen's wife, Isabella, died.

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In the 1909-10 season at Christie's, Mullen had winning bids on 75 pictures. (6)


In the 1910 edition of The Years Art, compiled by A.C.R. Carter, Mullen is listed as 'Henry J Mullen LTD, The James Street Galleries, Harrogate' (7).

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In the 1911 census, Henry is living at Greencroft, Ripon Road, Harrogate, with his children, Henry Paul Mullen, 23, Isabella Carr Mullen, !8, and Arnold George Leighton Mullen, 14. Henry is listed as a fine art dealer, and his son, Henry Paul Mullen, 'ditto, assisting'.

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In the 1910-11 season at Christie's, Mullen bought 39 pictures. (8)

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In the 1911-12 season at Christie's, Mullen bought 21 pictures. (9)

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In the 1912-13 season at Christie's, Mullen won bids on 59 pictures, (10), 31 of which were bought from the first 60 lots sold on July 4th 1913, at the sale of pictures and drawings of  the Right Hon. Lord Joicey.

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In the 1913-14 season at Christie's, Mullen bought 31 pictures. (11)

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In the 1914-15 season at Christie's, Mullen bought 14 pictures. (12)

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In the 1915-16 season at Christie's, Mullen bought 45 pictures, (13), 34 of which were bought at a two day sale on December 9th and 10th, 1915, property of the late Lord Frederick Wigan.

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By 1916, Henry J Mullen LTD, Fine Art Dealers, was listed at 44 Parliament Street, Harrogate. (14)

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Henry's younger son, Arnold George Leighton Mullen, was killed in action at Mannheim, Germany, 22 August 1918,  just four days after his 22nd birthday.

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Henry Joseph Mullen died on 11 March 1922 at 72 Kings road, Harrogate. In his will he left £26,292 3 shillings 6 pence, to his son, Henry Paul Mullen, art dealer, and his son in law, John Morritt Ogden, jeweller.

.








(1) Art Prices Current 1907-08.  Fine Art Trade Journal. p's 15-22

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(2) British Newspaper Archives. The Yorkshire Post Friday 27th December 1907. Front page.

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(3) Art Prices Current 1907-08.  Fine Art Trade Journal. p6

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(4) Dyson Lister, a fellow Harrogate dealer, had already been doing the same thing, also in Church Street, since 1898, while Eugene Cremetti and Max Hollender, acting as Hollender & Cremetti, had been using this approach from the early 1880's. Cremetti would go on to succeed Thomas McLean at no.7 Haymarket, with W.W.Sampson taking over this address from him in 1922. The idea of buying artists works, with the copyright, meant that dealers could reproduce prints as their main income, exhibiting the paintings to promote the prints.

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(5) Art Prices Current 1908-09.  Fine Art Trade Journal.

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(6) Art Prices Current 1909-10.  Fine Art Trade Journal.

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(7) The Years Art 1910. p403

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(8) Art Prices Current 1910-11.  Fine Art Trade Journal.

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(9) Art Prices Current 1911-12.  Fine Art Trade Journal.

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(10) Art Prices Current 1912-13.  Fine Art Trade Journal

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(11) Art Prices Current 1913-14.  Fine Art Trade Journal

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(12) Art Prices Current 1914-15.  Fine Art Trade Journal

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(13) Art Prices Current 1915-16.  Fine Art Trade Journal

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(14) British Phone Books, Harrogate Area 1916

Image: Sheffield Independent newspaper, 9 Nov 1908. Advert for Henry J Mullen LTD

Image: Ramus bros change of address of premises advert 1900

Isaac Ramus (1827-1901)


I have added Isaac Ramus to this dealers directory as he was the first member of the Ramus family to become an art dealer, and his sons, Jacob Alfred, and Albert Isaac, carried on the business after his death. Given the family and religious connection to their cousin Henry Ramus, Jacob and Alfred are prime candidates for being involved in the Ring.





Ramus Brothers, Dealers in Works of Art
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Jacob Alfred Ramus (1858-1947)
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Isaac Albert Ramus (1864-1949)
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Isaac Ramus was born on the 9th September 1827 in Brighton, to Jacob (1794-1837), and Catherine (1806-). Jacob Ramos was the first son born in England to Isaac Ramos (1752-1830) and Rosa, nee Lopes Penha (1751-1843). They had arrived with four sons from Amsterdam in June 1793, having taken advantage of a financial incentive offered to Jews, to leave Holland and not come back for at least twenty years. 150 Holland Florins was the amount Isaac and Rosa were awarded. Soon after arrival in England, they Anglicised the name to Ramus, the Latin version of Ramos, meaning ‘branch’.
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After Jacob’s death in 1837, Catherine is left to bring up Isaac and his three sisters, Rosa, (1823-), Rachel (1824-), and Rebecca (1936). In 1841, (census report), Catherine is a dealer living at Pettycoat Square, Aldgate. By 1851, (census) she is living alone with her daughter Rebecca, at 14 Artillery Passage, Artillery Grounds, Tower Hamlets, Catherine is a ‘General Dealer’.
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On 12th May, 1852, Isaac married Leah Benjamin (1828-1883) at 7 Marylebone Street, St James, according to the rites of the Jewish religion, Isaac’s occupation given on the marriage certificate as, ‘Merchant’.
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By the 1861 census, Isaac and Leah now have four children, Hannah (1855), Rachel (1856), Almira (1857), and Jacob Alfred (1858). Living at 148 The Strand, London, Isaac is now a ‘Dealer in Articles of Virtu’.
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In 1871 the census shows they are living at 494 Oxford Street, London, and have three more children, Florence (1861), Alice (1863), and Albert Isaac (1864). Isaac’s occupation is, ‘Dealer in Works of Art’. The UK Poll Books show them to be at this address in 1878, and by 1882 they are living at Olive Villa, Quex road, Kilburn, London, and the business has moved to 74 and 75 Piccadilly, London.
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On 8th November 1883, Isaac’s wife Leah died at Olive Villa, Quex road, Kilburn. In her probate she left £156. 9shillings, to one of her sons, ‘Albert Isaac Ramus, Dealer in Antiques’.
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In 1887 Albert Isaac married Lilly Leonora Bernstein (1867-1930).
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On the 9th June 1889, Jacob Alfred Ramus married Esther Bloomfield (1862-1936).
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I have found no census returns for Isaac Ramus or his family for 1881, or for 1891 for Isaac. But Jacob Alfred, and Albert Isaac, both filled out 1891 returns for their new families, and both give their occupation as, ‘Dealers in Works of Art’. Jacob is at 26 Blenheim Gardens, Willesden, and Albert at Croftlea, Willesden lane, Willesden.
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From October 1896, Ramus Brothers advertised a change of premises, moving from 74 to 186 Piccadilly, informing the public that the new address is “nearly opposite the Royal Academy”.
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In the 1901 census returns, Albert Isaac and his family are living at 103 South Street, Eastbourne, occupation:- ‘Dealer in Art’. Jacob Alfred Ramus is at 22 Christchurch Avenue, Willesden, occupation:- ‘Dealer in Works of Art’. Their father, Isaac is listed at, ‘Gladwyn, Shootup Hill, Willesden’, with his daughter Florence and two servants. The census reports he is, ‘Living on own means’.
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On 9th May 1901, Isaac died, leaving £9078. 2 shillings. 2 pence, to Jacob Alfred, Albert Isaac, and Leonard Wolf, husband of his daughter, Alice. Later that year, Ramus Brothers advertise a clearance sale at 186 Piccadilly, having disposed of the lease of the premises.
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In the 1902 London Post Office Directory, there are two entries for the address 87 Piccadilly, ‘Jacob Alfred Ramus’, and ‘Ramus Brothers’, under the section, ‘Works of Art- Dealers in’. Henry Ramus is sandwiched between these entries, at 68 Shaftesbury Avenue.
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In the 1903 phone book, ‘Ramus Brothers, Dealers in Works of Art’ are listed at 87 Piccadilly, London.
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On the 1908 London Electoral Register, Jacob Alfred is listed at 54 West End Lane, Hampstead, and 87 Piccadilly
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In 1909 Jacob is living at 18 Lytton Grove, East Putney, London, with the business address still 87 Piccadilly.
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Ramus Brothers, 87 Piccadilly, is listed in The Years Art 1910, page 398, under ‘Fine Art dealers’.
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By 1911 Jacob is now living at 23 Park Drive, Harrogate. In 1916, he has a phone book entry for 46 James Street, Harrogate, as ‘J.A.Ramus. Art Dealer’, this was a prominent address close to the heart of the shopping precincts of the highly affluent town of Harrogate at the time. He kept these premises until at least 1923, but by 1927 had removed to 3 Albert street, Harrogate, which he kept until 1935, moving the following year to 23 West Park, and now advertised as, ‘J.A.Ramus, Antiques’. The last phone book entry for Jacob was 1937, still at West Park, but at 85, I imagine he must have been at least semi retired by now. Jacob passed away in the first quarter of 1947 aged 88.
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Albert Isaac Ramus is at 99 South Street, Eastbourne in 1911, on his census return he gives his occupation as, ‘Antiquarian Dealer’. He and Lilly Leonora keep this address until 1924, while also keeping a residence at 19a Grafton Street, Mayfair.
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Lilly Leonora Ramus died 1st June 1930, the probate record shows she left £152. 17shillings. 6pence to Albert. Their address at time of death, Flat 12, Greystoke, Hangar Lane, Ealing, Albert’s occupation- ‘Antique Dealer’.


Albert died in the second quarter of 1949 in Kensington, London. I have found no probate record for him.

Image: The French Gallery full page advert in The Years Art 1910

Harry Wallis (1871-1949)

The French Gallery

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Harry Wallis was born 13th June 1871, son of Thomas Wallis (1837-1916), a picture dealer, and Margaret Ann Wallis, nee Solly, (1846-1928). His grand father, William Henry Wallis (1805-1890), was also a picture dealer, William Henry, known as Henry, succeeded Ernest Gambart (1) at The French Gallery, 120 Pall Mall, (2). Henry had trained as an engraver, as did his older brother, Robert William Wallis (1794-1878), they were both trained by their father. Robert William is entered in the Dictionary of National Biography, as a line engraver, having engraved many J.M.W. Turner paintings, as well as many other renowned artists of his time.
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On 16th April, 1898, Harry married Nina Howard Colls (1876-1942) at the All Saints church, St Marylebone, London.
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In 1901, Harry and Nina are living at Portman Mansions, St Marylebone, and they have a son, Thomas Howard Wallis, (1899-1974). Harry's occupation given as, 'Picture Dealer, own account'. (3)
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In 1911 they now live at Cornwall Terrace, Regents park, London, and have another son, Fabian Harry (1905-). Harry's occupation:- Fine Art dealer. (4)

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Thomas Wallis retired from business in 1910, leaving Harry to run the French Gallery, with David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), an art dealer, artist, critic, and author, who had worked with the Goupil Gallery, and Thomas Agnews and Sons. Croal Thomson was  also the president of the Fine Arts Provident Institution (5) from 1911-1916, he was with the French Gallery from 1909-1918. William Lawson Peacock (1851-1931), a Scot from Edinburgh, was another partner in The French gallery, they also had premises in Edinburgh, Montreal, New York, Toronto, and Ottawa.

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On March 23rd and 24th 1916, there was a sale at Christie's of part of the stock of Messrs Wallis and Son of the French Gallery, 120 Pall Mall, S.W. Sold owing to the retirement of Mr W. Lawson Peacock. 303 lots were sold, of which, W.W.Sampson bought 92, one being lot 89, 'A Cool Retreat' by J.W.Godward for £99. 15 shillings. (6)

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Thomas Wallis died 25th April 1916, leaving £72,405. 3shillings.1pence, to his widow, Margaret Ann, and his sons, Harry, fine art dealer, and Harold, M.A, a teacher. In Thomas Wallis' obituary, it states, 'Mr "Tom" Wallis (as he was always called), was brought up as an engineer, and spent some years in Australia, whence he returned in 1862 and joined his father, who had succeeded Gambart at the French Gallery in Pall Mall. The firm continued the traditions of the house, and not only made a special feature of the works of modern French artists of the Barbizon school, but also introduced modern Dutch and other continental painters to the English collectors. The brothers Maris, Mauve, and Josef Israels owe much to the advocacy of the late Mr Wallis'. (7)

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In June and July 1918, Wallis, Thomson, and Peacock were at the Old bailey, charged with, 'conspiring to defraud the Inland Revenue of income tax'. (8). The case ran from 13 June -30 July, 1918, with the defendants pleading guilty, on advice of counsel, to the chrage of making fraudulent tax returns, and incurring a £2000 fine each, plus costs handed down of £10,000 between the three of them. Mr Justice Lawrence presiding.

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Harry Wallis died on the 23rd Feb 1949, leaving £3466. 4shillings. 1pence, to Thomas Howard Wallis, Antique dealer. (9)










(1) Ernest Gambart (1814-1908) Founder of the French Gallery, art patron, publisher, print seller, dealer, and expert.



(2) From 1861 William Henry Wallis worked as Ernest Gambart's manager at the French Gallery, 120 Pall Mall, London, taking over the lease from Gambart in 1867
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(3) England census 1901.
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(4) England census 1911
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(5) 
Fine Arts Provident Institution. This institution was set up for the benefit of fine art dealers, or their families, that had fallen on hard times. It also happened to number among its members, virtually all the potential members of the Christie's auction Knockout Ring.

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(6) Art Prices Current Fine Art Journal 1915-16. Pages 89-94

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(7) The Times newspaper, Thursday April 27, 1916

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(8) Daily Mirror newspaper, Wednesday 31st July 1918 edition.

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(9) 
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.

Image: Lewis and Simmons full page advert in The Years Art 1910

Lewis and Simmons
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Maurice Lewis and Isaac Simmons were the proprietors of the fine art dealing firm of Lewis and Simmons, dealing in London, Paris, and New York at their height.
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The earliest record I have found for them as a company, is a 1905 phone book entry, as 'Lewis and Simmons, Fine Art Dealers', at 75 Knightsbridge, London.
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They are recorded from 1907 to 1916 in the Art Prices Current catalogues as having bought extensively at Christie's auction rooms, and for a short while, between 1910 and 1911, they joined forces with Robert William Partridge, as Messrs. Partridge, Lewis, and Simmons.

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Lewis and Simmons are listed in the 1910 British Phone Directory as Fine Art Dealers at 75 Knightsbridge. They are also advertised at this address in the 1910 edition of The Years Art, they also have an address at 5 James Street, Harrogate in this advert.


In December 1910, Partridge, Lewis, and Simmons took an entire floor of the Plaza Hotel, New York City, and advertised in all the major newspapers of their sale of antique furniture, porcelain, tapestries, and paintings, creating quite a sensation in the American press. Their London address was given as 180 Bond Street, London.
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For whatever reason the partnership with Partridge was short lived, and after 1911, they were rarely recorded as buyers at Christie's, perhaps concentrating more on antiques than pictures, but certainly not exclusively.
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In May 1917 they were involved in a high profile court case, with Henry Edwards Huntington, the American railway magnate bringing an action against them over a painting, alleged to be of Mrs Siddons and her sister Miss Fanny Kemble, which they had sold him as having been painted by George Romney (1734-1802). It was eventually proved to have been a painting of the Waldegrave sisters, by Oziah Humphrey, (1742-1810), a lesser known portrait painter. The £20,000 which Huntington had paid Lewis and Simmons for the painting, was reimbursed with costs and interest. Maurice Lewis then publicly offered the Humphrey painting to the National Portrait Gallery. During the trial, under examination Mr Lewis stated that the picture was bought at a 'Knockout', Mr Scott examining asked, "That means when the dealer gets a picture cheap?", "sometimes", answered Lewis. When Mr Justice Darling asked for clarification, Lewis explained that a knockout meant that the dealers did not bid against each other.
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Isaac Simmons (1869-)
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Isaac was born 1869 in Drury Lane, the Strand, London, to Asher Simmons (1848-1907), and Catherine Simmons, nee Jacobs (1849-). 
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Asher Simmons was registered as a fine art dealer, living at 5 Charles street, Westminster, in the 1881 census.
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On the 7th October 1896, Isaac married Jessie Isaacs, (1877-), the daughter of Lewis Isaacs, (1842-1903), a dealer in works of art. They were married at the New Borough Synagogue, Southwark, London, according to the rites of the Jewish religion. 
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In the 1901 census, they were living at 288 Camden road, Islington, Isaac's occupation:- Dealer in works of art.
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In the 1906 London phone book, Isaac Simmons is listed at 133 Canfield Gardens, Hampstead.
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In the 1910 British Phone Directory, Lewis and Simmons are listed as Fine Art Dealers at 75 Knightsbridge. They are also advertised at this address in the 1910 edition of The Years Art, they also have an address at 5 James Street, Harrogate in this advert.
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Jessie's brother, Maurice Angel Isaac's (1875-), another fine art dealer, lived three doors along from Henry Ramus in the 1911 census, at 75 Canfield Gardens, Hampstead, London. Henry lived at 69 Canfield Gardens, and was business partner to William Walker Sampson.
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In the London Electoral Register for 1919, Morris Lewis and Isaac Simmons are listed at 180 New Bond Street, as business premises, their abodes given as, Lewis:- The White House, New Church Road, Hove, and Simmons:- 404 Riverside Drive, New York. This, (180 New Bond Street), was the address at which their former partner, R.W.Partridge had been listed in the 1911 British Phone Directory.
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According to the New York State census of 1925, Isaac and Jessie have been U.S residents for 15 years, with three of their four children staying with them, Louis (1903-), Julia (1908-), and Maurice, (1909-). Louis and Isaac give their occupation as artists.
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On the 3rd September 1929, Maurice Lewis and Isaac Simmons dissolved the partnership which had been carrying on business at 74 South Audley Street as Fine Art Dealers.
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The 1930 U.S. Federal Census now lists Jessie as a widow, with Lewis, Julia, and Maurice still living with her, so presumably Isaac died quite recently, but I have found no record as yet.

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Maurice Lewis


I have been able to trace virtually nothing of Maurice and Sarah Lewis' life, other than that which turned up while researching Lewis and Simmons the company, which is mentioned above. The name suggests he is Jewish, like so many of the dealers operating in the art trade at this time. I hope to find something eventually, so please look back. If anyone reading this has any information, please feel free to get in touch.
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Addendum:- 
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The reason I hadn’t been able to trace Maurice Lewis, is because that was not his actual name. I have recently discovered, while researching Isaac Simmon’s family more closely, that his business partner is also his brother in law, Maurice Angel Isaacs, who is mentioned earlier in this piece. My first clue came from a passenger list for the S.S Saint Paul, leaving from Liverpool, 3rd July 1915, Jessie Simmons is travelling with her children, Harry, Louis, Julia, and Maurice, as well as her nephew, Charles Lewis, and where the ships inventory asks, ‘The name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came’, she names, ‘Maurice Lewis, 75 Canfield Gardens, Hampstead’



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This set alarm bells ringing, as my research had already found Jessie’s brother, Maurice Angel Isaacs, to be at this address in 1911. Further checking proved he was still registered at this address in 1915.  Looking at passenger lists for Isaac Simmons showed him to be crossing the Atlantic quite often, and on 3rd October 1925, he sailed on board the S.S. Mauretania with his son, Harry, both listed as art dealers. The telling information though, was the name and address of nearest friend or relative, he lists, Mr Lewis, 74 South Audley street, London.W. Brother in law.



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I have to conclude, that for whatever reason, when they came up with the name for their business, they preferred Lewis and Simmons, rather than use, Isaacs, which was too close to Simmons first name as well as Maurice’s surname. The evidence is solid to prove the theory, I am just a bit surprised that they could use a false name in court, and other legal notices.






Image: Ozias Humphrey, R.A, painting of the Waldegrave sisters, 1788. The disputed painting sold as a Romney to Henry Edwards Huntington for 20,000

Image: 1898 edition of The Years Art, Fine Art Journal. Advert showing Dyson Lister, art dealer.

Dyson Lister (1857-1931)
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Dyson Lister was born at Longwood, West Yorkshire, on the 22nd April, 1857, (1), son of John Lister, (1822-1880), a wool spinner, and Jemima Lister, nee Dyson, (1822-1891).
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In 1871, Dyson, aged 14,  was working as an errand boy in Almondbury, near Huddersfield. By 1881, he is now listed as an, 'Artist, Portrait Painter', aged 23, living with his recently widowed mother, and siblings, at Spring street, Huddersfield, (2), his father passed having away the previous year.
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On the 10th July, 1884, he married Mary Ellen Richardson, (1859-1938), at the Independent Chapel, George street, Huddersfield, a non conformist church. No occupation is given.
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In 1891, Dyson Lister is established as a , 'Picture Dealer and Frame maker', at 8 and 9 Montpelier Parade, Harrogate, according to that years census, and they have a 3 year old son, Arthur. (3).
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It is quite likely around this time that Dyson, and William Walker Sampson (4) may have met, as Sampson is living with Major John Potts at Bedford Lodge, Harrogate. It is during this time that Sampson began his art dealing career with Lister, as stated in Sampson's obituary.

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In 1898,  Lister has an advert as:- 

'Dyson Lister, Dealer in High Class Paintings, Water Colour Drawings &c. 19 Montpelier Parade (opposite the White Hart Hotel), Harrogate. 

Always on view a choice collection of Modern Pictures by celebrated artists'. (5)
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In 1900, Lister is now living at 8 St Mary's Avenue, with the business premises at 8 and 9 Montpelier Parade (6). A year later, they are living in Ripon road, Harrogate, and have another son, Percy, 9 years old. Dyson's occupation given as, 'Fine Art Dealer, Employer', (7).

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In the early part of the first decade, (1901-1908 at least), Dyson Lister would annually exhibit his pictures with William Bush and sons of Church street, Sheffield. The exhibition advertised in newspapers (8), as, 'Pictures of High Class', and, 'for sale by private treaty',  with renowned artists such as J. MacWhirter R.A, B.W. Leader R.A, and Fred Goodall R.A, among many others named. He is always referred to as, 'Mr Dyson Lister of Harrogate' in these adverts, but he has at some point during this decade, opened premises at King street, St James, London, opposite Christie, Manson, and Woods, better known as Christie's.
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In the 1907-08 auction season at Christie's, Lister won the bid on 154 pictures, the buys spread fairly evenly through the year. (9) The following season, 1908-09, he bought 168 pictures, similarily spread. (10)


In 1910, Mr Lister has an advert stating:- 'Dyson Lister and Son, Dealers in High Class Modern Pictures', (11) and their address as 26 King street, his son, Arthur (1887-1928), having joined the firm.


In 1911, Dyson and Mary Ellen are living at 22 York road, Harrogate, (12) his occupation listed as, 'Picture dealer'. When their son, Arthur, married Irene Nicholson Shaw in 1914, they are still at 22 York road, father and son stated as being fine art dealers.

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The Yorkshire Post. Tuesday November 25, 1913 (13)


'An Insight into Dealers Profits'

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In 1913 Dyson Lister brought a court case against a fellow dealer, N.S.White, of St James, London, to recover £100. Lister had bought a pastel painting of Moses Agar and family, painted circa 1800 by John Russell, B.A, for £150 from a grandson of Moses. As witness, Arthur Lister stated in court that he had agreed to a £100 commission should White find a buyer. White mentioned the painting to another dealer, Harry Arthurton, of Duke street, St James, London, and Arthurton said he had a buyer in mind, a Mr  Wertheimer. Wertheimer paid £1500 for the picture, of which Arthurton took £100 for commission, leaving White the rest, from which he deducted his commission of £100, giving Lister and Son £1300. When Dyson Lister heard of the actual price paid, he decided to take out an action against White to retrieve the extra £100.
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In giving judgement to Dyson Lister, the judge stated that in this picture dealing, it seemed to be the rule, according to the defendant and Arthurton, to make as much money as one could, but it did not signify how it was made. This is a recurring situation, with a great many of the dealers finding their way to court for one reason or another, and judges often remarking at the eye watering profits they make.


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According to the Art Prices Current, between 1907 and 1916, (14) Lister had been buying steadily at Christie's, and was in all likelihood involved with the auction ring which William Walker Sampson headed. The earliest record I found for him buying at Christie's, was for a sale held on Saturday 23rd March, 1895, when for 70 guineas he bought "Humpty Dumpty", (by Briton Riviere, R.A., 1876). (15)
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By 1916, the Dyson Lister and Son premises are now at 3 Royal Parade, Harrogate, (16) a short walk from Henry. J. Mullen's fine art dealership at 44 Parliament street, and Jacob Alfred Ramus at 46 James Street, both probable members of the Sampson's auction ring.
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In 1924, Dyson Lister and Son are listed at 1 Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate. (17)
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On the 22nd August, 1928, Arthur Lister died, leaving £4254. 11shillings, and 11 pence, to solicitors. (18)
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On the 12th July, 1931, Dyson Lister passed away, leaving £4719. 17 shillings to his widow, Mary Ellen. (19)
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(1) West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962.

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(2) England census 1871
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(3) England census 1881
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(4) William Walker Sampson was running an art ring out of Christie's auction house from the early 1900's, his story is told in a seperate page on this site:- 'The Ring Master and John William Godward'. This story includes most of the dealers which will be in this dealers directory.

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(5) 1898 edition of, 'The Years Art', compiled by A.C.R. Carter, 
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(6) West Yorkshire Electoral Registers, 1900
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(7) England census 1901.
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(8) British Newspapers Online. 
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(9) Art Prices Current 1907-08 Fine Art Trade Journal.
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(10) 
Art Prices Current 1908-09 Fine Art Trade Journal.
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(11) 
1910 edition of The Years Art, compiled by A.C.R. Carter.
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(12) England census 1911
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(13) 
British Newspapers Online. 
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(14) Art Prices Current, 
Fine Art Trade Journal.
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(15) The London Times. (Times online archive)
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(16) Brtish Phone Books, 1880-1984. Yorkshire Directory
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(17) 
Brtish Phone Books, 1880-1984. Yorkshire Directory
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(18) 
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.
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(19 
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.





Image: Nathan Mitchell full page ad in The Years Art 1910

Nathan Mitchell
1862- 4 Dec 1945
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Between 1907 and 1916, Nathan Mitchell was one of the most prolific buyers at Christie's, along with W.W. Sampson, Gooden & Fox, Agnews & Sons, and the Leggatt brothers. This short biography is set out to show where he came from, and how his family and religious connections would have played a major part in his success.
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Nathan was born in Whitechapel, London, to Jewish parents, Moses Mitchell, and Rosetta, (nee Moss), a general dealer, and tailoress in Goulston street, Tower Hamlets. 
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On 28 November 1864, Moses Mitchell (26) arrived in Melbourne on the Great Victoria as an unassisted immigrant, with him were his family: Rosetta, aged 21, Eve, 1, Nathan, 2, and Sarah, 4. Things clearly didn't work out too well, with Rosetta dying in September 1866, and by September 1869, Moses apprehended on board the Dover Castle, charged with obtaining goods on false pretences from Messrs. Perry, was remanded to Melbourne, he had his 5 year old daughter, Eva, with him. Nathan and Sarah had been put on board the Lincolnshire to sail from Melbourne to London in May, earlier that year.
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By the 1871 census, Nathan is living with his uncle, Michael Mitchell, (1843-), who had married Leah Valentine, (1846-1930), three years earlier. They are living in Gravel Lane, Whitechapel, a four minute walk from the Bevis Marks synagogue, Michael's occupation is, 'Dealer in Oil Paintings', and in the 1861 census at just 17 years old, he was a picture dealer, living with his family at No.3, Three Tun Alley,  Goulston Street, Tower Hamlets, an area earmarked it for demolition on account of its dangerous slum tenements after 1875.
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In the 1881 census, Nathan is now living at 21 Bedford Square, Finsbury, with Michael Nathan (1834-1908), who had married Nathans aunt, Sarah Mitchell (1834-1887). Nathan's occupation on this census is, 'Picture dealer', as is his uncle Michael's. Michael and Sarah had three sons that also became picture dealers, Benjamin, (1854-1938), Asher, (1857-1942), and Michael Henry, (1861-1936). Michael Nathan's father, Samuel Nathan (1803-1869), was a Picture Dealer, and Artist. Michael's younger brother, Joseph Nathan (1838-1905) was also a picture dealer, and proprietor of the Burlington Gallery by the 1891 census. At his death, according to probate record, Joseph left £19,518 5shillings, 6 pence, to his wife, Elizabeth, their address given as 53 Belsize Park Gardens, South Hampstead, an affluent area where many successful dealers moved in to. Joseph was buried at the Sephardim Jewish cemetery at Hoop Lane, Golders Green, the same cemetery as many of the Ramus family were interred.
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On 6th December 1887 Nathan married Eva Isaacs at the Great Portland Street Synagogue, his occupation stated as, 'Dealer in Pictures', with his cousin, Benjamin Nathan as witness, along with Edwin Levy. By the time of the 1891 census, they are living at 15 Rochester Terrace, St Pancras, and Nathan is now listed as a, 'Fine Art Dealer'. By 1895, they have moved to 18 Regents Park Road, and Nathan now has business premises at 52 Copthall Avenue in the City of London.
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Nathan is related by marriage to Henry Ramus' family through siblings, Julia Elhazar Mendoza, (1821-1880),  and Michael Elhazar Mendoza, (1809-1880). Julia married Barnett Barnett (1819-1888), and their daughter, Annie (1860-1903), married Lewis Ramus, (1856-1906), who was Henry's uncle. Michael and his wife, Ann (1807-1889), had a son, Mordecai (1851-1923), who married Dinah Mitchell (1849-1933), Nathan Mitchell's aunt. This is significant, as while the Mitchell's were of Ashkenazi origin, the Mendoza and Ramus families were Sephardim, which had a good deal of prestige, as the Sephardim were considered a kind of elite group among Jews, and had extensive links around the worlds main trading routes.
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By 1900, Nathan and Eva have moved from Regents park to 175 Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, a two minute walk from the Sephardim Synagogue in Lauderdale road. 
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In the case of a bankrupt art dealer, heard at the Old Bailey in July 1907, Henry Thomas John Jones, Alias Girling, with Judge Justice Darling presiding, both Nathan Mitchell, and William Walker Sampson, are named by the defendant. During the case, which brings to the dock, artists, dealers, patrons, and commission agents, as witnesses, Joseph Farquharson A.R.A, Frank Markham Skipworth, and Henry Bowser Wimbush were the artists brought to give evidence against H.T.Girling, as they had known him, all having supplied pictures to him on account, only to for him to abscond without paying. But it is the evidence of Girling and son which shines a light on the fly by night nature of art dealers of the time, William Walker Sampson, and Nathan Mitchell, the two main players of an alleged auction ring, are cited in the defendants evidence.
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In the 1907-08 auction season at Christie's, Nathan Mitchell bought 280 pictures.

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From the Christie's records between 1907 and 1916, Nathan and W.W.Sampson were attending, (and missing), the same auctions, buying mainly modern (at the time) British paintings and drawings, and almost never buying etchings, engravings, or any other form of reproductions. Nathan, like Sampson, was one of the major buyers at Christie's during this period. As with many other dealers at Christie's, Nathan was a member of the Fine Arts Provident Institution, a 'Friendly Society' for fine art dealers, intended as a safety net for dealers and their families should they fall on hard times.
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By 1909, Nathan Mitchell has added 49 Duke Street, Mayfair, London W1 to his premises, which he kept until 1926, when his business moved in to 2 Duke Street, later to 2 and 3 Duke Street up to his death on 4th December 1945. He left £25690. 5shillings and 9 pence in his will, to Herbert Harris Lotinga, furniture manufacturer,  Bertie Joseph and Isaac Arthur Franks, caterers. These were his son in laws, he left the business to his son George.
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Nathan's son, George Lemuel Mitchell (1894-1951) carried on the business after his fathers death, under the name of, 'Mitchells Galleries LTD, Fine Art Dealers'. When George died, 4th November 1951, in his will, 2/3 Duke Street, was given as his address, leaving £9534. 2 shillings. 9 pence., to Edward Benson, company director, and Paul Douglas Niekirk, solicitor.



Stephen Thomas Gooden
(Gooden & Fox)

12th Jan 1856- 23rd Sept 1909
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Stephen Thomas Gooden was born in Salford, Lancashire, to William Alfred, (1827-1870), a salesman/warehouseman, and Elizabeth Gooden nee Warburton (1827-1863). He had a brother, William Alfred, (1853-1920), and sister, Elizabeth (1858-1922).
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After William's wife Elizabeth died, he remarried, to Mary Martin in 1865, and they had a son, Harry (1866-1907), and a daughter, Mary (1871-). After their father, William, passed away, the children from both marriages lived with Mary.
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 Stephen, aged 15, started out working as a warehouse boy himself by the 1871 census, while living with his recently widowed step mother and siblings, including six month old Mary, at 83 Radnor street, Hulme, Manchester. 
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By the time of the 1881 census, still living with Mary and his siblings,  now at 65 Rattray road, Brixton, South London, Stephen is now a 'Fine Art Salesman', most likely with 'Thomas Agnew and Sons'.
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On July 27th, 1888, at the Unitarian Christian Church, Effra road, Brixton, Stephen married Edith Camille Elizabeth Epps (1868-1954), the niece of Laura Theresa Epps (1852-1909), wife of Lawrence Alma Tadema (1836-1912), one of the most famous artists of the time. Edith's maternal grand father, Henry Duff Linton, (1816-1899), was a renowned artist, illustrator and engraver, with three of his wood engravings at the National Portrait Gallery, two of Charles Dickens, after J.J.E.Mayall, the photographer, and one of Alfred Tennyson, after Edmond Morin, a french artist. He also engraved illustrations for the London Illustrated News in its early issues.
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Until 1888, Gooden was working as an art buyer/advisor, for Thomas Agnew and Sons, when he left to set up on his own, opening a gallery at 57 Pall Mall, London. In the Pall Mall Gazette of April 13, 1892, the 'Art Notes' section writes:-
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'The French Ministry of Fine Arts has recently purchased twenty-five proofs of M. Burnet Debaine's etching after the late Keeley Halswelle's picture "Willows Whiten, Aspens Quiver". One impression is to find a home in the Louvre, and the others are being distributed among the principal museums in France. Mr. Stephen T. Gooden, 57, Pall Mall, W.,  is the publisher. Mr Gooden has also in hand a photgravure of Mr Alma Tadema's Royal Academy picture, "A Kiss", and an etching by Mr. Leopold Lowenstein of Mr Alma Tadema's New Gallery picture, "A Silent Greeting".'
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A year later, on 20 April 1893, the Birmingham Daily Post writes:-
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'Mr Alma Tadema is just now busily engaged in finishing the picture that he proposes to send to the New Gallery. He will be represented at the Royal Academy by a large classical picture called "Spring", by a characteristic portrait of Herr Joachim, and by a small picture entitled "Comparisons". The picture has been photographed, and a reproduction of it will be issued early in May by Mr Stephen Gooden, of Pall Mall.'
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By the time of the 1901 census, they are living at 107 Tulse Hill, Brixton, Gooden is listed as a, 'Picture Dealer, Printseller, Employer'. They have three children now, Peggy (1890-1937), Joan Ainsworth (1891-1982), and Stephen Frederick (1893-1955).
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In 1903 Gooden was joined by Frederick William Fox (1857-1934), another former employee of Thomas Agnew and sons, (for many years their chief buyer), and they set up the company Gooden and Fox. As with many of the bigger art dealers of the day, Gooden and Fox often made the papers with their acquisitions at auction. On 2nd April 1906, the Edinburgh Evening News reported, 'Three thousand one hundred guineas was paid by Messrs Gooden and Fox for Nicholas Elias Pickenoy's panel portraits of "A Lady" and "A Gentleman", 1632; and the same firm acquired a Reynolds portrait of a lady for 2500 guineas'.
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They were one of the major buyers at Christie's, buying many hundreds of pictures a year at auction, and as was the money spinner in the trade at the time, producing reproductions for the decoration of houses of the ever expanding upper middle class of this period.


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Stephen Thomas Gooden died on Thurday 23rd of September 1909, as a result of falling 30 feet from a bathroom window to his garden below. In his probate, he left £21,392. 10 shillings, to his wife, Edith, and business partner, Frederick William Fox. Using a money value over time calculator, this amount would be worth between 1.83, and 16.93 million pounds, depending on the criterior used. His son, Stephen Frederick Gooden, inherited his mothers artistic nature, and became an accomplished printmaker and illustrator, credited with reviving the art of copper engraving in Britain in the 1920s, after some years experience with lithography, wood engraving and etching. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, exhibiting widely, but his forte was the printed page, becoming one of the finest line engravers of his time. 
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The image below is Stephen T Gooden's obituary from the Times, dated 24th Sept 1909.



Image: Stephen T Gooden's obituary from the Times, 24th September 1909

Image: Robert William Partridge

Robert (Bob) William Partridge
1861-1932
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Born in Bengeo, 1861, Bob was the eldest son of ten children, to Robert and Eliza. Robert senior had built up a successful boot making, repair, and clothier business in Hertford, but when he passed away in 1883, it was left to Bob to step in and run his fathers business. During this time, one of his younger siblings, Frank, recalls in his memoirs, this big strapping young man,  'I was much younger than him, and for a long time he formed my idea of a hero. I used to feel immensely proud to hail him when he came riding by in his green uniform of the Yeomanry, all glittering and shining in the sun, and sitting his horse as if it were part of him'.

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For two years Bob successfully managed the shop, until, as often happens with young people, a bout of wanderlust struck him, and he left for Australia to seek fortune there, leaving his sister, Emily, to take the reins of the family business. As Frank remembers, 'Indeed she made it unique amongst shoe shops, for she added to it an antique department right next to the front window where she displayed the boots and shoes, she placed a small glass case, wherein she kept an ever changing array of small antique china and jewellery. It was a gesture which made plain for all to see the two interests of the family.'
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A few years later, Bob returned from Australia, having found nothing to keep him there, and by 1890 he had married Doris Cohen, whose parents  were in the antiques trade. Doris soon convinced Bob to join her at her parents shop and learn the business, the two of them eventually setting up on their own in Great Portland Street.  Around the same time, Bob's younger brother Frank had been indentured to an apprenticeship as a draper in a retail shop, at a cost of £200 to his mother, but he hated the job, and took no extra encouragement when Bob offered him the chance to start with them in the antiques business. Not long after that, the youngest brother, Leonard joined them too, his mother having learned from the example of Frank, not to throw good money after bad.
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Around 1891, according to James Henry Duveen's book, 'Collections and Recollections', big Bob and he became acquainted. Duveen, or Jack, as he was known, (nephew of the Duveen patriarch, Joseph Joel Duveen 1843-1908), was only 18, and had gone to a house auction of the Davenport family, he writes:-
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'It was from here that I went to my first big official auction in England. Unaided, at eighteen, I was to meet the redoubtable "Knock-out Ring". At the sale of the contents of Tetten Hall, (possibly 'Wood House'), a country house not far from Wolverhampton, I met a company of London and provincial dealers who knew one another intimately, so that they formed a sort of social ring, on the outskirts of which I hovered unhappily.'
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While surveying the place pre auction, he discovered some valuable old stained glass glass among other bits and pieces outside on the lawn. Having worked out a strategy for buying the items he wanted without drawing attention to himself, Jack set about mingling with the rest of the dealers assembled, where, as he writes,
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 'In the interval I threw myself into the fun of the fair, for the dealers were playing practical jokes on one another and indulging in rough chaff. The brighter spirits of the K.O. (the famous Knock-out Ring) were busy. The moment I came out of the marquee about two hundred pounds of tweed-clad man took me amidships and sent me flying! It was the gigantic Robert Partridge fleeing from the wrath of his diminutive gavver, or unofficial partner, Morris Jacobson. Partridge had got hold of a parcel of showy cutlery which Morris carried as a sideline, and, tying a piece of string and a stone to it, had hurled it up to hang over the branch of an elm. There it dangled in full view of its owner, who, seething with rage, looked round for something to throw at Partridge. Jacobsen's eye fell on an errand-boy and his basket, whereat he seized two bags of patent flour and sprinted in pursuit of his tormentor. One bag had already burst with bomb-like effect on Partridge's neck, and as he hurtled into me and stumbled the second bag took me full in the chest! In a moment the world was filled with flour; it choked my lungs and nostrils and smothered my clothes. Everyone yelled with delight, including the auctioneer; but presently both Partridge and Jacobson were doing what they could for me. Bob gave the errand-boy half a crown and lent me his polychromatic silk handkerchief to get the stuff out of my eyes. One or two of the bystanders recognised me, and that was how I met the great Bob, who was to have a meteoric career in the art world during the next twenty-five years.'
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Once the auctioneer got things going, young Jack was bidding on his lots, No.20 was a fine bureau which he had estimated to be worth £1200, and when it came up, Partridge sidled up alongside, saying, as Duveen writes:-
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"Look here young Duveen, are you going to join us or throw money away?". The words were a threat, since "us" was the Knock-out Ring, which had not at the time degenerated into the swindle it later became. It was politic not to make enemies of these men, so I replied that I would go in with them. Meanwhile the bidding was going forward, but at £1030 the spokesman of the Ring faltered. "I'm done boys", he growled. "Who the devil is behind that man?"
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The bureau went for £1250 to a porter that Jack had set up to bid on his behalf to fool the Ring members, he continues:-
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'Bob Partridge was enraged. "It's that damned Jacques Seligmann of Paris", he exclaimed. "He has just spoiled our day by leaving a commission with the auctioneer's man. Why, we could have had the bureau for forty quid if he hadn't interfered!"
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So there went J.H.Duveen's introduction to the Knock-out Ring, and the telling comment by Bob Partridge, that they 'could have had the bureau for forty quid if he hadn't interfered', shows what power the Ring held, on condition someone like young Jack doesn't come along and throw a spanner in the works by not playing their game.
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The box with the stained glass in had been lot number 12, which Jack's proxy bidder had picked up for £3 and 15 shillings, and turned out to be quite a treasure trove, as he explains:-

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'But I shall never forget the scene the next morning when we unpacked the case. We uncovered  miracle after miracle! Dozens of fine Swiss panels of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries; thirteenth- and fourteenth-century French stained glass; beautiful armorial panels by the famous brothers Crabeth of Gouda, and- finest gem of all- a portrait of Maximilian 1 of Austria in full regalia! He was represented as clad in a fluted suit of armour, with a richly jewelled crown on his head, holding a jewelled sword of state and the shining orb of empire.'
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Despite the fact that the £3.15s outlay realised about £9000 after selling off all but the Maximilian panel, which Jack's father had claimed was 'priceless', the story had a nightmare end for Jack. A combination of inept restorers, and clumsy transport handling, led to the irreparable destruction of the panel, and a heartbroken young Jack Duveen.
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Of Bob's two brothers that joined him in his antiques shop, Frank, and Leonard, the former went on to become one of the leading art dealers in London and New York, setting up an art dealership which still operates today, at Thurloe Square, London. Frank also made headlines for surviving the sinking of the Lusitania on the 7th May 1915, while his travelling companions, Edgar Gorer, Gerald Letts, and Martin van Straaten, all perished.
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Below is part of the provenance provided by Bonhams for a:-
'A satinwood, mahogany, sycamore and marquetry and parcel gilt secretaire cabinet reconstructed from an important cabinet by Seddon, Son & Shackleton of 1793 reputedly for Charles IV of Spain, the panels possibly by William Hamilton R.A'
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Robert Partridge, the Cabinet becomes Famous

The cabinet first came to the attention of the wider public in the Edwardian period, when it was acquired by the English Antique dealer Robert Partridge in or around 1905. The furniture historian Frederick Robinson illustrated it twice, both open and closed, in his 1905 book English Furniture (Robinson 1905, op.cit). It is worth quoting the accompanying text in full because it remains the most detailed description we have of the cabinet to date:

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Robert Partridge took the cabinet to the Franco-British Exhibition at Shepherds Bush in 1908 where it received a great deal of publicity and attention. At the beginning of 1910 Robert Partridge moved to new premises at 180 New Bond Street. In August of the same year he went into partnership with picture dealers, Lewis and Simmons, and in October he sailed to New York on the Lusitania, taking the cabinet with him. He rented a suite of rooms on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel where he showed it throughout the winter season as part of a selling exhibition of 60 pieces of English furniture. Accompanying the exhibition was a lavishly illustrated catalogue entitled, 'The Furniture of Thomas Chippendale', where the great cabinet appears as no. 37 and is described as 'probably the most important piece of furniture made in this Country in the 18th century'. 
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On the 28th of November, 1910 the New York Times reported: 'This Collection, the result of 20 years' unremitting search and careful selection, has the unqualified admiration and approval of New York's foremost critics and collectors. In quality of design and craftsmanship it far excels any collection ever shown in America'. 
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The publicity attracted the attention of wealthy industrial magnates of the generation such as the art connoisseur, Henry E. Huntington, much of whose collection was acquired from Partridge for his new mansion in Pasadena. The cabinet was heavily advertised and illustrated in the New York press – the American Art News even gave it a full page spread in one of its issues and suggested that it should be acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (American Art News, 1910, op.cit). As of the 2nd of February 1911, the newspapers reported that the collection had been moved to the galleries of A.J.Crawford Co (253-255 5th Avenue). At this point the cabinet ceases to be mentioned in the list of exhibits from which it can be assumed it had either been sold or broken up. The following year Robert Partridge opened his own shop in 5th Avenue although by then his relationship with Lewis and Simmons had ended. At some point between 1913 and 1920 Robert Partridge moved to California where he set up a business and continued to sell furniture and objects to Henry Huntington.

Image: Secretaire Cabinet that Bob Partridge exhibited once at the Franco British Exhibition in London in 1908, and secondly in a selling exhibition held in the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1910


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