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Bertram, William & Bertram & Son (1839-1902)

Bertram, William; Bertram & Son

London; upholsterer, looking glass maker, carver, gilder and cabinet maker (fl.1839-1902)

The business was established in 1830. William Bertram was recorded in the Lord Chamberlain’s accounts in 1860 and listed in London Post Office Directories (1845 & 1871).  From 1878 the business was listed as Bertram & Son at 100 & 101 Dean Street, Soho, as looking glass makers, carvers & gilders and cabinet makers. The 1902 London Post Office Directory recorded the firm as upholsterers at the Dean Street address, also 10 Newman Street, Oxford Street, and 3 & 4 Great Chapel Street. 

The Furniture Gazette (1878-1884) recorded various exhibitions in which Bertram & Son participated. At the 1878 Paris Exhibition they displayed a chimney-piece and mirror after Chippendale for which they received an honourable mention [5 January & 28 September 1878] and wood carvings, illus.[ 28 December 1878]. They furnished some of the rooms at the Exhibition of the Domestic Electric Lighting Company at the Crystal Palace (1 April 1882). At the 1884 Exhibition of Furniture, Royal School of Needlework, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, the firm displayed Chippendale & Sheraton style furniture [23 February 1884]. The Furniture Gazette, 1 May 1888, recorded Bertram & Son supplying hatstands for the Strand District board room.

Other known pieces include a brass-inlaid mahogany kneehole desk in French style recorded in private collection with stamped name and address on edge of central drawer. A marquetry side cabinet with serpentine front, pair of drawers enclosing shelves, short ormolu-mounted cabriole legs, and inlaid on satinwood ground with urns, flowers and military trophies is also recorded. A small rosewood flap table with brass stringing is stamped ‘BERTRAM & SON DEAN ST. W.’ and bears a small printed label inscribed ‘BERTRAM & SON 100 & 101 Dean St. Oxford St. W. Upholsters and Cabinet Makers Established 1830’. A labelled dining chair is recorded from a set of eight in beech finished in cream and gold with a chinoiserie back panel (illus. Gilbert (1966), fig. 120 & 121).

Sources: DEFM; Joy, ‘The Royal Victorian Furniture-Makers, 1837-87’, The Burlington Magazine (November 1969); Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996).