W.J. Reeves & Son Paint Box

W. J. Reeves & Son, 80 Holborn Bridge, London
Date: 1819-1827
Maker: W. J. Reeves & Son, 80 Holborn Bridge, London
Materials: Wood, paper, and paint
Provenance: Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880) acquired by March 1, 1848
Credit: Gift of Marion Gifford Shaw
Accession Number: 1966.13.7
William Reeves (c. 1739–1803) of London, England, is credited for inventing around 1781 the first watercolor cakes, blocks of watercolor paint that are shaped and dried. His nephew, William John Reeves (1764–1827) and his son, James Reeves (1794–1868), went into partnership in 1819 at 80 Holborn Bridge, London. The business retained the name W. J. Reeves & Son until 1827, when William John Reeves died and a second son, Henry Reeves (1804–1877), joined the family business. This helps to date this paint set to the years between 1819 and 1827.