The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Samuel Wreford Paddon, 1843-??

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1843
Place of Birth: Okehampton, Devon/Torrington
Date of Death:
Place of Death:


Samuel Wreford Paddon was a diamond merchant and collector. He was married to Rebecca Paddon. They had a daughter in 1881.


Paddon was introduced to JW by Charles Augustus Howell in Paris [#04365]. In 1881, when Paddon was associated with JW, he was living in Reigate, Surrey. In March 1882 Paddon wrote to JW concerning his position as correspondent: 'although I know you are incomparable as a painter and amazing as a story teller, I think your "creations" in black and white are not a success - the lines are too hard - there is nothing whatever soft about them, and in fact as a whole they are neither harmonies nor symphonies' [#04367]. In 1882 Rebecca Paddon bought a pastel from JW, possibly from the exhibition Venice Pastels, held at the Fine Art Society in 1881 [#08099]. The Paddons' London address in the 1880s was 55 Earls Court Square, S. W. [#09365].

Paddon quarrelled with Howell concerning some black Chinese ware he had bought from him, which Howell had described as very rare. However, afterwards Paddon found the same pots in an Oxford Street shop selling for very little. There was also a dispute with JW, Paddon and Howell concerning the ownership and whereabouts of a Chinese cabinet. In 1882 JW published their correspondence as The Paddon Papers: The Owl and the Cabinet. It marked the end of relations between himself and Howell. In 1885 Paddon took legal action against Howell for fraud [#04372, #02269].


UK census 1881, from (accessed 2004); Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908; Pearson, Hesketh, The Man Whistler, London, 1952.