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  • 1

    V&A Archive of Art and Design

    Crace family, interior decorators: papers, 1691 - 1992

  • 2

    Table of contents

    Introduction and summary description ........................................................... Page 3

    Context ....................................................................................................... Page 3

    Scope and content .................................................................................... Page 3

    Provenance ................................................................................................ Page 4

    Access ........................................................................................................ Page 4

    Related material......................................................................................... Page 4

    Detailed catalogue ............................................................................................ Page 5

    Crace and Gregory Genealogy, 1701-1954 ............................................. Page 5

    John Gregory and the Gregory Family, 1691-1895 ................................ Page 7

    Edward Crace & Georgian Craces, 1742-1957 ..................................... Page 14

    Frederick Crace, 1730-1936 ................................................................... Page 17

    John Crace, 1776-1953 ........................................................................... Page 20

    John Gregory Crace, 1778-1937 ............................................................ Page 21

    Papers of L[ewis] P[axton] Crace, ca. 1855-1908 ................................ Page 30

    John Dibblee Crace, 1795-1932 ............................................................. Page 30

    John Frederick Crace, 1776-1992.......................................................... Page 36

    Miscellaneous Documents, ca. 1713 - ca. 1920 ................................... Page 49

  • 3

    Introduction and summary description

    Creator: Edward Crace : Frederick Crace : John Crace : John Gregory Crace : John

    Dibblee Crace : John Frederick Crace : Lewis Paxton Crace

    Reference: AAD/1992/3 : AAD/2000/15 : AAD/2001/6

    Extent: 735 files

    Context

    Five members of the Crace family practised as interior decorators from ca. 1750 to 1899. Edward

    Crace (1725 - 1799) founded a decorating firm in London ca. 1768. This business continued in

    unbroken succession as a partnership until 1899, headed by four of his direct descendants. Edward

    Crace was also appointed the Curator of the Royal Pictures from the mid-1770s until his death in

    1799. John Crace (1754 - 1819), his son, went into the business in 1780 and was employed by

    Henry Holland and other leading architects of the day. Frederick Crace (1779 - 1859), the

    grandson of Edward Crace, worked almost exclusively for the royal family and was responsible

    for the decoration of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton from 1815 to 1822. John Gregory Crace

    (1809 - 1889), the great grandson of Edward Crace, was associated with A.W.N. Pugin from

    1843. He designed furniture and stained glass as well as decorative schemes for the Manchester

    Art Treasures exhibition, 1857 and the London International Exhibition, 1862. John Dibblee

    Crace (1838 - 1919), the great great grandson of Edward Crace, worked on schemes in several

    styles but his work was predominantly influenced by his studies of Italian Renaissance art. The

    Crace firm closed in 1899 when John Dibblee Crace decided he could not continue to run the

    partnership single-handedly.

    Scope and content

    Crace and Gregory Genealogy (1701 - 1892), including biographical and autobiographical notes,

    memorial notices, correspondence and family trees; Papers of and relating to John Crace,

    including bills, biographical notes, catalogue for sale of John Craces library, certificates, sketches

    of landscapes and travel journal (1776 - 1953); papers of and relating to Edward Crace and the

    Georgian Crace family, including bills, biographical notes, Kensington Palace catalogues,

    correspondence birth and death certificates and wills (1742 - 1957); papers of and relating to

    Frederick Crace, including account books, bills, notebooks, press cuttings, sketchbooks and

    statements (1799 - 1907); papers of and relating to John Gregory Crace including correspondence

    with family, press cuttings, bills and inventories, sketchbooks and travel diaries (1691 - 1892);

    papers of and relating to John Dibblee Crace including biographical notes, correspondence,

    postcards, diaries, photographs, press cuttings, publications, notebooks on expenses and interior

    decoration, sketchbooks and travel notes (1830 - 1919); miscellaneous family papers including

    notes on family history, photograph albums and portfolios (1622-1898); papers of L[ewis]

    P[axton] Crace including sketches and photography (ca. 1908); papers of J.F. Crace including

    biographical notes and correspondence (Undated).

  • 4

    Provenance

    AAD/1992/3: Gift of Eileen Crace to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Furniture and Woodwork

    Department, 1979. Transferred to the National Art Library, Archive of Art and Design, 1992.

    AAD/2000/15: Purchased from Phillips, 2000.

    AAD/2001/6: Gift of Sir John and Lady Johnston

    Access

    This archive is available for consultation in the V&A Archive and Library Study Room, which is

    located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Study Room is open

    Tuesday to Friday between 10.00 am and 4.30 pm, by appointment only. To request an

    appointment please email archive@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7603 7493. Access to some files

    may be restricted; these are identified individually with the catalogue.

    Arrangement

    The Crace family papers were obtained in three separate acquisitions between 1992 and 2001, and

    from different sources. As such the original order and sequence of the papers is not retained. The

    three series have therefore been arranged according to the related name or creator, and numbered

    according to the respective acquisition dates.

    The 1992 acquisition had been organized into series relating to individual Crace family members

    prior to its arrival with the Archive of Art and Design. This order is still largely reflected in the item

    list.

    Related Material

    Designs by various members of the Crace family can be found in the V&A Paintings, Designs,

    Photographs and Prints department and accessed via the Prints and Drawings study room at South

    Kensington.

  • 5

    Detailed catalogue

    Crace and Gregory Genealogy, 1701-1954

    Reference: AAD/1992/3/3

    Extent: 27 files

    Accumulated research material collated by various members of the Crace family to develop a

    comprehensive genealogical history, including extracts from ecclesiastical records, draft family

    trees, memorials and correspondence

    Reference Description Dates

    AAD/1992/3/3/1 Biographical notes, Family of Crace

    2 sheets Previous ref: GEN 1

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/2 Notes by JDC based on mothers reminiscences about

    Mr Langley 2 sheets, 6 pages Previous ref: GEN 2

    Dec 1892

    AAD/1992/3/3/3 Notebook, marbled cover, with a few sketches in, and 2

    loose letters 1 volume Previous ref: GEN 3

    1887-1913

    AAD/1992/3/3/4 Gregory notes, re: Mary Gregory (page torn on left side)

    1 item Previous ref: GEN 4

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/5 Gregory genealogy extracts from Westminster Abbey

    Register, written by JGC 1 item Previous ref: GEN 5

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/6 Memorial notice of burial of John Inwood Langley,

    grandfather of JGC 1 item Previous ref: GEN 6

    4 Jan 1875

    AAD/1992/3/3/7 Statement for painting work done for the worshipful co.

    of leather sellers by Mary Thomson and her son John

    Thomson 1 item Previous ref: GEN 7

    14 Aug 1749

    AAD/1992/3/3/8 Bill to leather sellers for painting work by J. Bayly

    1 item Previous ref: GEN 8

    1701

    AAD/1992/3/3/9 In JGCs hand: Schedule of the Fixtures of Mr Johnson,

    Piccadilly 1 item Previous ref: GEN 9

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/10 One sheet with black border, here lieth the remains of

    Martha Crace 1 sheet Previous ref: GEN 10

    ca. 1890

  • 6

    AAD/1992/3/3/11 Blue Chiswick House headed paper duplicating the above

    information 1 item Previous ref: GEN 11

    24 July 1890

    AAD/1992/3/3/12 Notes by JDC, re: Henry Dibblee and Mary Ann Crace,

    Lyminster church 1 item Previous ref: GEN 12

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/13 Notes on Mary Ann Crace by JDC

    1 sheet Previous ref: GEN 13

    1892

    AAD/1992/3/3/14 Notes on the family of JDCs grandmother Langley nee

    Corker 1 sheet Previous ref: GEN 14

    1892

    AAD/1992/3/3/15 Autobiographical notes by Mrs J Gregory Crace nee Sarah

    Jane Langley 5 sheets Previous ref: GEN 15

    Nov 1882

    AAD/1992/3/3/17 Family tree, pen and ink, beginning with Henry Gregory of

    New Windsor, born 1688 1 item Previous ref: GEN 17

    Undated

    AAD/1992/3/3/18 Family tree, pencil, Genealogy of Crace, by JGC

    1 item Previous ref: GEN 18

    1853

    AAD/1992/3/3/19 Family tree of Gregorys, pen and ink; possibly by JGC

    1 item Previous ref: GEN 19

    ca. late 19th

    century

    AAD/1992/3/3/20 Manuscripts, pen and ink