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Gosset, Isaac (1713–1799)

Gosset, Isaac

London; frame maker and wax modeller (b. 1713–d. 1799)

The sixth son of Jean Gosset and probably born in St Helier, Jersey.

One of the best and most noted of the eighteenth-century wax modellers who worked for the Royal Family and a distinguished list of clients [For this aspect see Gunnis].

Also active as a frame maker. Initially he may well have been associated in this aspect of his work with his elder brother Gideon, and for some of the earlier commissions it is not easy to distinguish responsibility. Until 1774 he worked from the same address as his brother in Berwick Street, but from this year moved to 14 Edward Street, Portman Square. In January of that year he was appointed ‘Joyner to His Majesty’ and from the next year the business is sometimes referred to as Gossett & Co.

A number of commissions for carved woodwork are known:

  • He may well have been the ‘Gousette’ who in 1758 was paid £56 by James Calthorpe for sconces in connection with alterations being carried out on his house in Pall Mall, London.
  • In the period 1762–63 he supplied picture frames for Petworth, Sussex. The 4th Duke of Bedford paid £75 in September 1765 ‘for gilding ten picture frames and mending four chandeliers & gilding them and scaffolding to put them up’.
  • The first commission known was for the 7th Lord Digby at Sherborne, Dorset where an account book of 1764 records ‘Gosset for Picture Frames £51 18s’.
  • On 29 March 1765 he was paid £37 16s for ‘a picture & frame for the use of Mr. Hoare’.
  • Gosset was also concerned in the major refurbishment of Blenheim Place in the 1770s. On 25 July 1773 Sir William Chambers wrote to the Duke of Marlborough about visiting Gosset to order picture and mirror frames.
  • The patron about whose commissions we know most was, however, Sir Gilbert Heathcote who regularly employed Isaac Gossett from March 1765 to April 1775. Work on gilding frames, cleaning and repairing pictures and frames in September and October 1765 totalled £77 1s 6d of which the predominant item was ‘Ten rich frames for the chimneys’ at £52. Gossett appears to have used papier mâché where the material seemed appropriate. The largest item in 1766 was a ‘rich frame sent in the country’ which was charged at £35. Only minor work was undertaken in 1768 but from 1770 important commissions were undertaken which resulted in an account for £429 8s. The major items were mirrors, ‘large pier glass frame to the end of the Great Room’ costing £66, and ‘two large glasses’, £125. Work through 1774 and to 1 January 1775 amounted to £26 3s and was in the main for maintenance and repair to frames, though ‘a brackett for a cabinet’ costing £4 14s 6d was included. Work in the remainder of 1775 and the two years that followed was of a similar nature amounting in total to £21 7s. This was settled on 24 January 1778.
  • Named in the Duke of Beaufort's accounts for Badminton House, Gloucestershire, on 2 May 1768 receiving £16 5s 6d.

See also, Jacob Gosset.

Source: DEFM; Roberts, ‘’Nicely fitted up'; Furniture for the 4th Duke of Marlborough’, Furniture History (1994).

The original entry from Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840 can be found at British History Online.