Charles Allom


Sir Charles Carrick Allom (1865–1947) was an eminent English decorator, trained as an architect and knighted for his work on Buckingham Palace. He was the grandson of architect Thomas Allom and painter Thomas Carrick. Among his American clients in the years preceding World War I was Henry Clay Frick, for whom Allom furnished houses in cooperation with Sir Joseph Duveen, the eminent paintings dealer. Allom furnished the Henry Clay Frick House at 71st Street and Fifth Avenue[1] which today houses the Frick Collection, and the neo-Georgian house, Clayton, in Roslyn, Long Island, designed by Ogden Codman Jr., that was bought for Frick's daughter-in-law.[2] For the grand rooms of parade in Frick's New York house,[3] Sir Charles, whose London workshops produced the plasterwork and boiseries, kept the furnishings muted, not to compete with Frick's collection of paintings. In 1925, when William Randolph Hearst purchased a real castle, St. Donat's in Wales, his choice to furnish it fell upon Sir Charles.[4]

Sir Charles Allom
Charles Allom, Vanity Fair 1913.jpg
1913 caricature of Allom aboard his yacht Istria
Born(1865-06-16)16 June 1865
Kensington, London, England
Died1 June 1947(1947-06-01) (aged 81)
Potter's Bar, Middlesex, England
OccupationDecorator and architect


In 1914, Allom and Charles Ernest Nicholson of Camper and Nicholsons, a boat-building firm, formed the Gosport Aircraft Company. The firm built a number of flying-boats for the British government and proposed a series of designs during 1919. The venture closed in 1920 following the death of its chief designer, flying boat pioneer John Cyril Porte.

Shortly after World War I, Allom decided that he needed a more prominent position in New York. He purchased the house on Madison Avenue built by Carrère and Hastings in 1893 for Dr. Christian Herter[5] which the firm White, Allom & Company occupied until 1933. Allom divided his time between London and New York. Returning to London from one of his trans-Atlantic trips in 1925, Sir Charles remarked on the American work ethic and was quoted in Time magazine.[6] In 1931, White, Allom was among the stellar cast of furnishers and decorators creating a grand but homey atmosphere for the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue.

The style generated by Allom, White was distinctly old-fashioned. It appealed to Queen Mary, who was a connoisseur of eighteenth-century English porcelain and furniture. And when the Empress of Britain was launched the same year as the "new" Waldorf-Astoria, among its modern Art Deco decors, the "Mayfair Lounge" by White, Allom was the one space in Edwardian Renaissance manner.[7]

He died in 1947.


White Allom was acquired by Holloway as Holloway White Allom in 1960.[8]


  1. ^ Francis Morrone, "The house that Frick built", The New York Sun 8 December 2006
  2. ^ Martha Frick Symington Sanger and Wendell Garrett, The Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes in the Golden Era 2001.
  3. ^ Elsie de Wolfe, who had pressed for the prestigious commission, was hired to decorate the family rooms upstairs, where Sir Charles provided three eighteenth-century chimney pieces (John Harris, Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages 2007:204.
  4. ^ St. Donat's: A History of the Castle and Its Owners" Archived February 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Dr. Herter's father was the Christian Herter of the fashionable decorating firm Herter Brothers (Christopher Gray, "Streetscapes", The New York Times 7 January 1990])
  6. ^ "Americana". Time. May 18, 1925. Retrieved August 31, 2021. My visit to the United States made me more than ever conscious of the British working man's loss of output as compared with the American, who despises Bolshevist agitation and works as hard as he can and as well as he knows how. Many of the richest Americans are kept from visiting England by fear of the income tax.
  7. ^ "Canada: Empress of Space!". Time. June 15, 1931. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  8. ^ Holloway White Allom: History[permanent dead link]

-White & Allom also were commissioned by the Huntington’s at “San Marino”at Pasadena CA The Dining Room mantle and upper mantle are what’s left of their finger prints albeit painted out all Navaho white.

-White,Allom’s most outstanding work was “Whitemarsh Hall”E.T. Stotesbury/Eva Roberts Cromwell Stotesbury at Wynmoor/Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia suberb. Outstanding photographs exist on line. Most photographed house in the USA at the time. Their further work near by at Cheltenham “Lynnwood Hall” owed by the Widner Family. Charles Currick Allom worked with Sir Joseph Duveen, Horace Trumbuer,and Landscapdesigner extraordinar Jacque Grabier. Fans of Whitemarsh Hall on Facebook. Charles Currick Allom is alive and well regarded an hundred years later. Whitemarsh Hall opened October 21, 1921. I believe the Stotesbury Job was his most prolific work. Check out the hand made upper mantles in the primary rooms at Whitemarsh Hall. Many were antique and salvaged from torn down London Town houses. Sources: “Twilight of Splendor” “Grand Dame’s”

Further readingEdit

  • Bailey, Colin B. Building the Frick Collection: An Introduction to the House and Its Collections