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Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937): M.68-1937

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Object information

Titles

Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)

Maker(s)

Wells, Reginald Fairfax (Sculptor)

Description

Bronze, cast. The sitter is shown front view, full face.

Notes

History note: Ricketts and Shannon Collection - Charles de Sousy Ricketts (1866-1931) and Charles Haslewood Shannon (1863-1937)

Legal notes

Ricketts and Shannon Collection. Bequeathed by Charles Shannon, 1937.

Measurements and weight

Height: 40.6 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1937)

Dating

Early 20th century
1906 CE - 1907 CE

Note

Reginald Fairfax Wells (1877-1951) was a sculptor, studio potter, aircraft manufacturer and architect. During the 1890s, Wells studied sculpture at the South Kensington School of Art. After a brief spell designing aircraft, he then studied ceramics at Camberwell School of Art under potters W. B. Dalton and Richard Lunn. Around 1900, he moved to Wrotham in Kent, where there had been potteries since the seventeenth century, and set up his own art pottery at nearby Coldrum. Around 1909 he moved Coldrum Pottery to Keppel Street, Chelsea, and continued there until the outbreak of the First World War, when he established the Wells Aviation Company on the same site. He designed and built the Wells Reo, a single-seat biplane. However, the aviation company went bankrupt in 1917 and in 1919, Wells resumed pottery in Chelsea but under the new name of ‘SOON’ ware, working with new clays and glazes, creating pots in the style of Chinese Song dynasty wares. In 1925, Wells moved to Storrington, Sussex, where he continued to make ‘SOON’ ware. He also turned his hand to architecture, designing and building around 200 ‘Wells cottages’ in Kent and Sussex, in imitation of local seventeenth-century thatched cottages. Wells is best-known for his ceramics and lays claim to be the first ‘studio potter’ – there are over 30 pots by him the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. However, in the first decade of the twentieth century, Wells was well-known for his small-scale bronzes. He cast his own bronzes, using the lost-wax casting method. He showed sculpture annually at the exhibitions of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, as well as eight times (between 1899 and 1933) at the annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. In the 1911 census his occupation is given as, ‘Sculptor, Bronze Founder, Art Pottery Manufacturer’ as well as a ‘Teacher of Bronze Foundry’. See letter in object's file from T. Sturge Moore, dated 27 January, 1938.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Bronze

Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.68-1937
Primary reference Number: 12342
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_68_1937
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 16 June 2021 Last processed: Thursday 17 June 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/12342 Accessed: 2022-05-21 00:42:58

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