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Tabary, James, John and Louis (1655-1699)

Tabary, James, John and Louis

London and Dublin, Ireland; gilders and carvers (fl.1655-99)

James Tabary was perhaps the same as Jacques Tabary, ‘sculpteur parisien’, received as a member of the Academy of St Luke in Paris, August 1655. He was recorded as a Huguenot in Paris in 1681 and had arrived in London by 1682. He moved to Dublin where he was listed among the Huguenots resident in 1683 and 1685. Tabary’s brothers John and Louis followed, becoming freemen of Dublin in 1685. John was recorded as a ‘sculptor’ and Louis a ‘carver’. It is likely that all three worked on the carving at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, between 1683 and 1687, including the altar table which is now in the National Museum of Ireland (illus. Glinn & Peill (2007), fig. 34]. The cost of the carving at Kilmainham was disputed and was assessed by the surveyor Sir William Robinson who fixed the value of the reredos (which is extant) at £250. Tabary was given £250 and the proviso that he should also be paid if any more work was added. Unsurprisingly, the work at Kilmainham is decidedly French in style. No further work by the Tabary brothers is known in Ireland, but one of them was perhaps the Mr. Tabary who carved three frames for the joiner Peter Rieusset, who was paid £4 10s for them in 1699 by Ralph, Earl of Montagu.

Source: Murdoch, ‘Jean, René and Thomas Pelletier, a Huguenot Family of Carvers and Gilders in England 1682-1726’, The Burlington Magazine (November 1997); Glin & Peill, Irish Furniture (2007), pp. 33-36.