Virtual Watercolor
Main Entrance
Updated Jan 23, 2023

The Virtual Museum of Watercolor:

Thomas Reeves & Son

Artists watercolor paint box

c. 1784 to 1794
Thomas Reeves & Son
Artists watercolor paint box
c. 1784 to 1794
This large boxed set of 24 water colors
was made complete with palette , a water glass and brushes .
The carved marble palette original to the box was
used to rub the dry blocks in water to "work the colors up"

The original water glass is missing.

A Chinese Ink Stick, brush, pen nib, small sponge and 4 small palett dishes were

discovered in the box.

Some of the original 1700's paint blocks are still in the box unused!
Others are later replacements by Reeves and other makers.

8 3/4" wide, 8 1/2" deep, 2 1/2" high

William Reeves invented the watercolor block or cake as it is known in 1781,
making the painting of watercolor more portable.
They had honey in their recipe to make the paint re wettable.
Before this colors had to be prepared per-use by the artist or an assisting 'colorman'. The paint dried out quickly.
In 1784 William and his partner and older brother Thomas split into two businesses by their individual names.
The outside of the box shows their distinctive design from the 1700's with rope banding with ebony :
This box is similar- with the same label as a box George Washington gave to his Niece Nelly Custis
now in the Mount Vernon museum.


This is the paint original to the box.




T Reeves & Son

(Thomas Reeves

with is son William J. Reeves)

c 1784 1790

Note the shield is a oval

unlike the shield below.

This is a later variation :
T . Reeves & Son
With the royal warrant
( Thomas Reeves with is son William J. Reeves)
a later variation of
Thomas Reeves & Son paint blocks
c 1790-1799
T REEVES Trade Card in this box - with paint staining and some damage
T REEVES & SON- Supererfine Color Manufacturers
80 Holborn Bridge
This label dates around 1784-1794
T. Reeves '& Son' was named for his uncle William .
Consequently, the younger William used W J Reeves (William James Reeves) when that
branch of the family carried on the business. It is now the Reeves Co. that exists today.
    The original water glass is missing. The box will accommodate a 1 7/8 diameter by 1 1/16 inch high water glass.
 (c)1985-2011 All original designs and photographs shown herein are and copyright protected.
(c) Copyright 1985- 2012 The Whimsie Studio, Larry Henke, Ronald Bodoh
Whimsie studio is a trademark protected name