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I. W. Wells
Salon No. 7

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By I. W. Wells, August 1876

Pyrography on wood panel

Image thanks to the owner

Verso, detail of the signature

By I. W. Wells, August 1876

Inscription, verso, reads:
Burnt for Mr. Jno. Williamson.
Avondale Augst..76 . By I.W.Wells
Pyrography on wood panel Image thanks to the owner

Suspense, Detail
By I. W. Wells, August 1876

Pyrography on wood panel

Image thanks to the owner

An American collector acquired this panel in 1982 from an antiques dealer in Downington, Pennsylvania. It is a mirror-image composition done after a painting by Sir Edwin Landseer.

The Wells' pyrographic panel exhibited here includes on the recto, below the image of the seated dog, the title "Suspense," inscribed in pyrography. This is the second work by this artist bearing this title; however, the E-Museum has no images for the first one in order to document it. It is likewise of interest that a version of this same work "Suspense" was also done by Wells' predecessor Ball Hughes in 1863. Still another coincidence is that this Wells work has an identical inscription on the verso as his work Wait a Wee: Both dedicated to a Mr. Jno. Williamson, and both done in Avondale in August of 1876. Both works are of a dog, as well.

Note that the artist's name could easily be interpreted as J. W. Wells rather than I. W. Wells because of the pseudo-calligraphic style. However, the same is true of the signature shown for this artist in his inscription on the 1866 panel in the Pinto Collection of the Birmingham Museum in the U.K. where his name is shown as I.W. Wells, as it is by Edward and Eva Pinto in their 1970 book, as well.

It is worth noting, also, that Wells' upper case I in the title "Independence" inscribed on the verso of his panel, exhibited in the E-Museum at the link here to his Salon No. 4, looks very much like the first initial of his name. Nevertheless, it is also the case that the artist inscribed the upper case J in the same way, as well, as evidenced in the date of January on the verso of his panel in Salon No. 8

A picture of a Wells work can be seen in the companion book that was written by Edward and Eva Pinto, the original owners of that work and of about 19 others that were acquired by the Birmingham Museums and today form the Pinto Collection there. Four works in pyrography are on display at the web site of the Pinto Collection in Birmingham, England, but not their work by I. W. Wells.

Susan Millis, who has an advanced degree in the conservation and restoration of pyrographic works, has studied at length and under magnification the works in the Pinto Collection. She is encouraged that the 1876 Wells work "Suspense" displayed here could well be by the same artist who did the 1866 panel "Waiting for the Plough" that is in England. Notes on that important collection, including on I. W. Wells, were given by Susan Millis in an interview for Pyrograffiti at the link here.

If you have either any questions to ask or any additional information to offer about I. W. Wells or this panel by him, please e-mail the E-Museum Curator.

You are leaving the
I. W. Wells Salon No. 7

You can also visit the

I. W. Wells Salon No. 8, and the

I. W. Wells Salon No. 9, or return to

I. W. Wells Salon No. 6,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 5,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 4,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 3,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 2,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 1,

the Antique Hall

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Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
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© 2015 Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.
27 January 2015. Updated 15 February 2015.