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H R Bolton Papers



H R Bolton Papers



Archive reference number



The collection comprises pages of notes relating to the condition of paintings at the National Gallery and also the Grosvenor Gallery.

Record type


Alternative reference numbers


Administrative history

H Retra Bolton was a picture cleaner and restorer. He was employed to clean the collections of noblemen and gentlemen including Lord Morley, Lord Fortescue, Lord St. Germaine, Lord Mount Edgcumbe, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Salisbury and Lord Cowper. He is also believed to have undertaken some work for the National Gallery between c.1840-1856. He learned his trade through experimentation and study. He gave evidence regarding the cleaning and restoration of pictures before the Select Committee on the National Gallery in 1853.

Source: Report of the Select Committee on the National Gallery, 1853 (NG15/10).

Custodial history

The papers were given to the National Gallery in 1977 by the City of Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery, who purchased them from a local citizen in 1954 [Letter from RM Thomas, Keeper of Art, City of Plymouth Museum & Art Gallery, 11 Aug 1977 in Bolton Information File, Archivists' Office]

Related material

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office hold bills from H R Bolton for fine art restoration at Saltram, Devon [Morley of Saltram Collection, ref 69/M/6/17 and 69/M/6/20]

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