Haslem, John (DNB00)

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HASLEM, JOHN (1808–1884), china and enamel painter, born in 1808 at Carrington, near Manchester, left home as a boy to live at Derby with his uncle, James Thomason, afterwards manager of the Derby china works. He studied under George Hancock, and first devoted himself to flower-painting, but subsequently took to figure-painting, in which he was very successful. He painted for the Duke of Sussex a head of Lord Byron, as a present for the king of Greece, and at the duke's instigation came to London and studied under E. T. Parris [q. v.] He copied many pictures in miniature on enamel, and was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1836 to 1865. In 1842 he obtained a medal from the Society of Arts for a portrait on china. He painted a small enamel portrait of the queen, and thenceforward obtained many commissions from the royal family and the nobility, especially for copies of ancestral portraits. He was also frequently employed by jewellers and art dealers, and on one occasion was employed to paint a set of enamels in imitation of Petitot, which were so successful that they appeared in the miniature exhibitions at South Kensington, in 1862 and 1865, as the work of Petitot himself. In 1857 Haslem returned to reside with his uncle in Derby, where he continued till his death in 1884. In 1876 he published a history of ‘The Old Derby China Factory.’

[Haslem's Old Derby China Factory; information from W. Bemrose of Derby; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Royal Academy Catalogues.]

L. C.