- Also known as
primary name: Tomkison, Thomas
- individual; musical instrument maker; British; Male
- Life dates
- Trading address, 1799-1851: 55 Dean Street, Soho (c.1819, renumbered as 77)
Other domestic and business addresses given by MacSween
- Piano maker; art collector. MacSween refers to an article in Notes and Queries (2nd Series, vol. 128, 12 June 1858) describing an interview with Tomkison in which he records that he had known J. M. W. Turner from boyhood when both their fathers had shops in Maiden Lane.
Trade card in Heal Collection (Heal,88.82+) advertises "Thomas Tomkison... Piano-Forte Maker, To His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales." Heal's annotations on mount: "See London Directories 1802 & 1839. Compare another Trade-card of Tomkinson, Soho. James's 'Early Keyboard Instruments' gives him at above address (No.55 Dean Street) 1800-1839. This however is incorrect - he was at No.55 from 1800 but in 1822 moved to No.77. Thomas Tomkison died in Portland Rd. on 10 Nov:1853, aged 90 (Gentlemen's Mag.) Anecdote concerning the father of Mr. Tomkison, the eminant piano-forte maker & J.M.W. Turner the artist see N & Q 2nd. S.V. 475."
Trade card/label in Heal Collection (Heal,88.83) states "New Patent T. Tomkinson. Soho London." Norman MacSween suggests that this card was produced by a firm trying to pass itself off as that of Thomas Tomkison (see Heal,88.82+)): "We know that inferior harpsichord- and piano-makers used to try to pass off their work as a more famous brand, often with a misspelt name. The card might be an attempt to provide spurious provenance for such an instrument." (personal communication, November 2014). Heal's annotations on mount similar to above.
- Norman MacSween, 'No Maker to be Compared'- the early pianos of Thomas Tomkison (c.1764-1853), in The Galpin Society Journal LXVII (2014), pp.5-31, 34-36.