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Bromwich & Leigh; Bromwich, Thomas (1715-1740)

Bromwich & Leigh; Bromwich, Thomas

at ‘The Golden Lyon’, Ludgate Hill, London; furniture retailers and papier-mâché makers (fl. c. 1740–d. 1787)

A series of trade cards and letterheaded bills provide documentation for this firm. The first is a Rococo trade card of the partnership, Bromwich & Leigh, who apparently produced objects made of papier-mâché and also sold a broad range of household furniture from elaborate showrooms on Ludgate Hill near St Paul's Churchyard, for the domestic and overseas market.

trade card
Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
British Museum

Browmwich & Leigh AT THE Golden Lyon, on Ludgate Hill, London. Have the greatest choice of paper Hangings and PAPIER MACHE Ornaments of their own Manufactory, to suit all sorts of Furniture. Rooms fitted up with gilt Leather, Indian Pictures, or Prints &c. Great variety of Screens, Looking-Glasses, Brackets, Gerandoles & Picture Frames Gilt or plain, at the lowest Prices. Indian Pictures & Paper Hangings FOR Exportation, c. 1740 [Banks,91.1]. © The Trustees of the British Museum


Trade card, dated 1748, states that he ‘Makes and Sells all manner of Screens, Window Blinds, and Covers for Tables, Cabins, Stair-Cases, &c. Hung with Guilt Leather, or India Pictures, Chints's, Callicoes, Cottons, Needlework, & Damasks Matched in Paper; to the utmost exactness, at Reasonable Rates’.

Master of the Painter Stainers’ Co. in 1761, and appointed ‘Paper-hanging Maker in Ordinary to the Great Wardrobe’ in 1763. In 1754 he supplied ‘the new furniture wallpaper’ to Horace Walpole, ; in 1765 he was paid £54 12s 0d by James West of Alscot Park ‘for ornamenting the Drawing Room Ceiling with Rich Gothick Papier Mâché ornaments’ and between July 1766–29 September 1768 provided ‘Paper, Colours, Papie Mache etc.’ to Shelburne House, Berkeley Sq., London, receiving £195 11s.. Worked for Lord Darnley of Cobham Hall, Kent, being paid £26 on 23 February 1773 for India paper ‘for my Lady's Dressing Room & paper for the two nurseries’. The Chinese paper supplied by Bromwich is still ‘in situ’ at Cobham Hall. He also made a surviving papier-mâché ceiling at Dunster Castle. Thomas Bromwich is named in Paul Methuen's Day Book for items supplied to Corsham Court, Wilts., 1770–73, including marble tables costing £67 3s 6d on 29 February 1772; and a ‘glass & new gilding the frame’, £23 13s on 17 February 1773. The firm of Thomas Bromwich & Co. was paid £40 12s on 17 June 1773 by Edward Morant of Brokenhurst Park, Hants. Thomas Bromwich is recorded in partnership with Leonard Leigh at ‘The Golden Lyon’, 1758–65; as Bromwich and Isherwood in 1766; and Bromwich, Isherwood and Bradley, 1769–88. This last firm supplied wallpaper and borders, a fire screen and ‘3 Pair Small Tree Gerandoles with Single Branches in Burnd Gold’ to Charles Long of Saxmundham, Suffolk, receiving a total of £6 on 10 June 1769.

Sources: DEFM; Symonds and Whineray, ‘Victorian Furniture’ (1962).

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