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Wyatt, Edward Snr & Jnr. (1757– 1853)

Wyatt, Edward snr & jnr.

360 Oxford St, London; carver and gilder (b.1757– fl. to 1853)

Edward Wyatt was born 1757 and by 1784 was trading at the Oxford St address. His trade card dating from the early years of his business records his trade as carver, gilder and picture frame maker and he offered ‘Looking Glasses, Girandoles, Bordering for Rooms &c.’. Directories of 1803 and 1808 have been noted giving the address as 192 Oxford St. By 1820 he was claiming to be ‘Carver & Gilder to his Majesty’ and the considerable commissions that he carried out for the Royal Household and its members fully justifies this claim. He died in 1833 and was buried at Merton, Surrey where he owned property. The business continued to trade under his name into the 1840s. At this period the enterprise was probably being directed by his son Edward Wyatt jnr. who is named in accounts with his father as early as April 1819. In 1822 the business was referred to as Edward Wyatt & Sons.


In his commissions for the Crown Wyatt undertook work at St James's Palace, Carlton House, Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament and possibly the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. The earliest known commission for the Crown was in 1807 for carving at Carlton House. This involved frames with crowns for the Throne Room and other frames and repairs which amounted to £727 14s. Four panels with the orders of chivalry, carved and gilded, to be placed above the doors in the Throne Room were charged at £300. Further commissions are known in 1810–11 for Carlton House, involving the production of pier glass frames for the small blue Throne Room at £86 10s and twenty-four emblematical door panels for the Throne Room at £584. In total work carried out in 1811 amounted to £756. Wyatt and other tradesmen working for the Prince Regent found that payment was often slow in arriving and Wyatt's name is included in a memorial requesting settlement for work at Carlton House drawn up in 1812. Additional frames and repairs and alterations were provided for a number of royal properties including Carlton House in the second and third decades of the 19th century. An entry for £3 11s on 5 April 1816 for repairs to the ‘Chinese chairs and sofas in the Bow Room’ may refer to the Royal Pavilion. Girandoles were restored for the House of Lords and in 1821 a richly carved mahogany shield provided for the Royal Model Repository at Woolwich which was charged at £64 16s. With the accession of Queen Victoria attention turned to alterations and additional carving work at Buckingham Palace, and bills delivered 1838–40 amounted to £1,614 7s 3d. Edward Wyatt was also recorded in the Lord Chamberlain’s accounts for 1850-53. These later commissions presumably relate to Edward Wyatt jnr., but the date at which the business passed from father to son is unknown.

Work for other patrons was carried on in various parts of the country. In 1794 Thomas Anson paid Wyatt for work at his London house, Lichfield House, 15 St James's Sq. A large chimney glass frame, two carved and gilt table frames and carving ‘Reeds and Ribbons to form pilasters of frames round pannels’ were included in the work. The architect involved in this commission was James Wyatt and the family connection brought Edward Wyatt other work at Ashridge, Herts, where £200 was paid for carving in 1815. The 2nd Lord Braybrooke of Audley End paid Wyatt £17 14s 6s in 1803 possibly in connection with his London house; and Wyatt's name is mentioned in connection with carved Gothic chairs in oak and ‘laird blackwood’ supplied in 1810 through James Newton & Son of Wardour St for Taymouth Castle, Scotland (Earl of Breadalbane). Newton employed Wyatt on another occasion to make mirrors for Matthew Boulton in 1799. On 13 August 1814 a richly carved pier glass frame and a chimney glass frame together with the glass plates were invoiced to James Henry Leigh at Stoneleigh Abbey, Warks. The account for these together with carriage charges and the costs of workmen sent to install them came to £450 3s 4d. A Neo-classical stand with yellow marbling and carved enrichments resembling bronze is known made by Wyatt and is from Hinton House, Hinton St George, Som. This was supplied originally to Earl Poulet for this house (illus. Gilbert (1996), fig. 1030). A late commission was the work carried out after Edward Wyatt snr's death for Scotney Castle, Kent. Furniture was produced for this house 1835–43 to the designs of the architect Anthony Salvin. A dresser which was carved for the house was charged at £97. The name of Edward Wyatt is also recorded in connection with Hackwood House, Hants. and the Church of St Dunstan-in-the-East, London. The main trade of the business was concerned with wood carving but work in stone was also undertaken by Edward Wyatt snr including carving the entrance gate to St James's Park ‘in six pannels, and nine lion-heads with a rich pattern of twenty-four flowers’ for which he was paid in 1808.

Source: DEFM; Joy, ‘The Royal Victorian Furniture-Makers, 1837-87’, The Burlington Magazine (November 1969); Ellwood, ‘James Newton’, Furniture History (1995); Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996).

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