Skip to main content

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

An image of Head

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Alternative views

Object information


Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)


Wells, Reginald Fairfax (Sculptor)


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


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)


Early 20th century
1906 CE - 1907 CE


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


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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-21 00:42:58

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-21 00:42:58|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center my-3">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)" class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Head of Charles H. Shannon (1863-1937)</figcaption>>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Portrait of Charles Shannon, 1897

Accession Number: 2096

Head of a bearded man

Accession Number: 2142

Head of a young woman

Accession Number: 2081

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...