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Hume, Robert & Son (1808–1845)

Hume, Robert & Son

London; carver, gilders, cabinet makers & agents (fl.1808–45)

Addresses given at 11 Crown Street, St Giles's in 1808; 34 Great Titchfield Street, Cavendish Square, 1809–11; 4 Great Portland Street, 1817; 4 Little Portland Street in 1820. In the same year 1820 Hume moved to 53 Wigmore Street, trading as Hume & Son, Carvers and Gilders, and was also listed at this address as ‘curiosity dealers’.

In 1829 Hume moved to 56 Berners Street and was at 65 Berners Street by 1837. He was listed in the Post Office Directory 1845, at this same address, as carver & gilder. The Hamilton archives recorded that Hume procured mosaic items from the Gobelins workshop specifically for a clock cabinet, which was under construction in 1822 and completed on 16 December 1824, now in the Gilbert Collection, London (illustrated below).

Copyright (Attribution/Credit)

Marble and gilt bronze clock cabinet with stone mosaic panels in relief, made by Robert Hume jnr, 1824 [LOAN:GILBERT.204-2008]. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Hume, acting as an agent, also bought a commode and secretaire, both by Riesener for Marie-Antoinette at Versailles, for the 10th Duke of Hamilton at the Erlestoke Park sale, 9 July-1 August 1832, lots 14 & 23.

Sometime after 1831 Robert Hume junior most probably made for William Beckford four coffers and stands; oak with contrasting veneers within moulded decorative panels, the coffers with domed tops. These were located at either end of the Scarlet Drawing Room, Lansdown Tower and one pair was purchased by the Beckford Tower Trust and returned there in 2012 (illus. FHS Newsletter (February 2012) p. 2).

wall cabinet
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
The Clive & Jane Wainwright Collection

Wall cabinet, oak and parcel-gilt with interior lined with velvet, designed by H. E. Goodridge and William Beckford possibly for Lansdown Tower, probable maker Robert Hume Junior, c. 1830-40. The Clive & Jane Wainwright Collection, H. Blairman & Sons Ltd (2023)

Two pairs of low ebony cabinets inset with pietre dure panels were made c.1820 by Hume and subsequently bought by Robert Fogg for King George IV at the sale of George Watson Taylor of Cavendish Square & Erlestoke Park, Christie’s, 28 May 1825, lots 64 & 68 (illus. Furniture History (2000), p. 127).

An ebony casket incorporating pietra dure panels on a massive gilt bronze, ebony and lapis lazuli stand probably made by Hume in the early 1820s for George Watson Taylor of Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire (illus., Furniture History (2007) fig. 12). In 1832 it was purchased at auction by the Earl of Normanton and installed at Somerley, Hampshire. Supplied pictures and carried out repairs and gilding, and carved and gilt frames at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire in 1829–32 for £100; and in 1836 for £126 16s 6d. Their bill was receipted in 1840.

Sources: DEFM; Roberts, ‘Quite Appropriate for Windsor Castle: George IV and George Watson Taylor’, Furniture History (2000); McLeod and Hewat-Jaboor, ‘Pietre Dure Cabinets for William Beckford: Gregorio Franchi’s Role’, Furniture History (2002); Rieder, ‘A Royal Commode and Secretaire by Riesener’, Furniture History (2002); Westgarth, A Biographical Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Antique and Curiosity Dealers (2009); Jervis, ‘Pietre Dure caskets in England’, Furniture History (2007); Frost, ‘Beckford’s Treasure Chest Returns to Lansdown Tower’, FHS Newsletter (February 2012).

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