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Turpin, Marie Firmin Charles (1866-1911)

Turpin, Marie Firmin Charles

22 Queen’s Road, Bayswater, London; furniture maker, wood carver, carved woodwork manufacturer and maker of parquet flooring (fl.1866-1911)

The firm was established in 1866 as Turpin's Parquet Floor & Joinery Co. at 22 Queen’s Road [Graces Guide]. The firm was listed in The Furniture Gazette Directory, 1876 & 1877 and advertised in The Furniture Gazette from 1 July 1876 until at least 1884. 

The Furniture Gazette, 8 February 1879, recorded Turpin as having supplied the parquet flooring and carved oak chimney pieces for a block of new buildings erected on the Cadogan Estate, Chelsea. They also advertised for an upholsteresses at the end of the year [The Furniture Gazette, 27 December 1879].

An 1884 Turpin advertisement stated that he was the ‘manufacturer of the best & cheapest parquet floorings, 150 ft of inch Riga oak floorings in stock for ready laying 1 s. per ft super ….…; wood carvings…; artistic joinery…‘  and illus. parquet flooring, wall panelling and carved column & window architraves. 

On 9 March 1885 Phillips, Son & Neale held an auction of some of Turpin’s stock, including carved oak and furniture and this would seem to have been a precursor to the 1886 registration of his business as a limited company, Turpin’s Parquet Flooring, Joinery and Wood Carving Company Ltd., with a capital of £30,000 in £5 shares. 

In 1886 Turpin’s new patent for an improved manufacturer of parquet flooring was registered [The Furniture Gazette, 21 October. The company took over the business at 22 Queen’s Road, Bayswater and elsewhere. The first directors were Turpin, G. A. Williams, window blind manufacturer of 21 Queen’s Road, and R. Coad. Turpin was to receive a remuneration of £200 p.a. [The Furniture Gazette, 1 March 1885 & 1 May 1886]. 

Turpin was listed in The Furniture Gazette: Classified List of the Furniture, Upholstery, and Allied Trades (1886) as a wholesale furniture maker.

The Furniture Gazette recorded Turpin’s participation of various exhibitions:

  • Furniture at the Art & Industrial Exhibition, St Andrew’s Hall, Plymouth [9 April 1881]
  • Parquet flooring, plain oak flooring, a carving of ‘The Stag Fight’, chairs and oak dados at the Furniture Exhibition, Islington [6 August 1881]
  • Some carved oak chimney pieces in the Renaissance style and specimen parquet flooring at the 7th annual Building Trades Exhibition, Agricultural Hall, Islington [1 May 1886]
  • A carved oak chimney piece at the Building Trades Exhibition [15 April 1892]. 

Grace’s Guide states that the business continued into the 20th century, specialising in flooring of all types. A 1911 Turpin advertisement, publication unknown, carried a photograph of the ‘largest dancing floor in the world’ at The Palace, Douglas, Isle of Man. 

Dance floor
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
Manx National Heritage

The Palace, Douglas, Isle of Man, c. 1900. © Manx National Heritage