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Holman Bros Ltd was a Cornish engineering family firm founded in 1801; it gained a worldwide reputation and merged in 1968 with Broom Wade of High Wycombe to become CompAir (UK) Ltd. Finally the company closed in December 2003. Five family portraits, also in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Museum, are seen on the walls in this painting, including those of the founder (Nicholas) and the sons who succeeded him (John, John, James and Leonard), while younger generations discuss business around the boardroom table (to the rear in the lower right, Jack, Paul, Jim and John, at the table lower right Kenneth, Percy and Treve); through the window a Cornish engine house can be seen in the distance and in the boardroom is a finely worked scale model of the 1920s Holman rock drill.

Royal Cornwall Museum


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    85 x 111 cm

  • Accession number

    TRURI : 2004.3.13

  • Acquisition method

    purchased with the assistance of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Tanner Trust, the Boughton Trust, the Cornwall Heritage Trust, the Viscountess Boyd Charitable Trust and individual donors, 2004

Royal Cornwall Museum

River Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2SJ England

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