The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Rebecca Paddon, 1844/1845-??

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1844 or 1845
Place of Birth: Milton
Date of Death:
Place of Death:


Rebecca Paddon was the wife of the diamond merchant and collector Samuel Wreford Paddon. They had a daughter in 1881.


The Paddons were introduced to JW by Charles Augustus Howell in Paris [#04365]. In 1881, when they were associated with JW, they were living in Reigate, Surrey. In 1882 Rebecca Paddon bought a pastel from JW, possibly from the exhibition Venice Pastels, held at the Fine Art Society in 1881 [#08099]. In 1885 JW encouraged Rebecca Paddon to subscribe to a ballot to support the Society of British Artists. The first 50 subscribers were to receive etchings by JW [#09363]. The Paddons' London address in the 1880s was 55 Earls Court Square, S. W. [#09365].

S. W. Paddon quarrelled with Howell concerning some black Chinese ware he had bought from him, which Howell had described as very rare. However, afterwards S. W. Paddon found the same pots in an Oxford Street shop selling for very little. There was also a dispute with JW, S. W. 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 S. W. 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.