E-Museum of Pyrographic Art

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I. W. Wells
Salon No. 2

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The Deadly Combat
By I. W. Wells, 1877

Pokerwork on unframed wood panel,
20 in. wide by 15 in. tall

Image thanks to the owner

The Deadly Combat, verso, detail
By I. W. Wells, 1877

Inscription, verso, reads:
Burnt By I.W.Wells:
July 1877.
Note that the artist's name could easily be interpreted as J. W. Wells rather than I. W. Wells
because of the 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.

Pokerwork on unframed wood panel,
20 in. wide by 15 in. tall

Image thanks to the owner

The Deadly Combat, detail
By I. W. Wells, 1877

Pokerwork on unframed wood panel,
20 in. wide by 15 in. tall

Image thanks to the owner

The panel displayed here, dated July 1877, is only the second work by I. W. Wells that is known of outside of the Pinto Collection at the Birmingham Museum in England. It is inscribed simply with the title of the work, the words "Burnt by I. W. Wells" and offers the date of July 1877 and the city of Philadelphia, written as 'Phil.' with a superscript following that may be 'da'. The panel displayed here, which now resides in the private collection of the Fitz family, is currently being offered for sale.

A picture of Wells' work can be seen in the companion book that was written by Edward and Eva Pinto, the original owners of that work, entitled "Waiting for the Plough" and of about 19 other works by various artists that were acquired by the Birmingham Museums and today form part of the Pinto Collection there. Although four works in pyrography are on display at the web site of the Pinto Collection in Birmingham, England, their work by I. W. Wells, unfortunately, is not displayed there.

Susan Millis, who is studying for 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 1877 Wells work "The Deadly Combat" 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 a 2004 interview for Pyrograffiti at the link here.

Pat Fitz knows little of the provenance of the panel "The Deadly Combat" displayed here—only that her husband inherited this work from his mother, who was a talented artist herself as well as a sagacious collector, and who bought the panel at an antiques shop some 45 years ago in North Carolina, U.S.A.

NEWSFLASH! July 2010: A third work by I. W. Wells to be discovered outside of the one in the Pinto Collection has come to light. It is entitled "Suspense" and also dates from 1876 like the first Wells work, entitled Wait a Wee, exhibited here in the E-Museum. Thanks to the artist's noting not only the date but the place as 'Avondale, Penn.', it has now been clarified that the first one originated in Avondale, Pennsylvania, not Avondale, England.

Still another work by Wells has more recently come to light and that one is entitled "Panic Struck at his own shadow."

The E-Museum is hopeful of exhibiting these two works, as well, in the near future.

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

You are leaving the
I. W. Wells Salon No. 2

You may also like to visit the

I. W. Wells Salon No. 1,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 3,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 4,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 5,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 6,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 7,

I. W. Wells Salon No. 8,

Antique Hall

or visit one of the following:

Pyrographic Art Exhibit Halls:

Portraits and Paintings

Decorative and Applied Art


Traditional and Folk Art

Children's Pyrographic Art

Special Pyrographic Art

The Book Store and E-Museum Library

Pyrography Tools and Techniques

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
Please e-mail the E-Museum Curator

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© 2010, 2015 Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.
8 July 2010. Last updated 27 January 2015.