The Underneath of Things
Snowshill Manor and Garden
An unhappy childhood can change your life forever. It did for Charles Wade.
Charles Wade was shuttled off to his granny’s house at age 7. His grandmother was a Victorian woman with Victorian ideas. She did not allow Charles to play with other children or play at all. On Sundays, she opened her chinoiserie cabinet filled with small treasures for her grandson. This was the highlight of Charles’s childhood and his savior. It informed his entire life.
The garden terrace outside Snowshill Mannor.
One of the 22,000 objects Charles Wade collected.
Charles bought Snowshill Manor for his collection. He had no interest in living in the house. He lived in a very small pared down house next to the Manor house. He preferred it that way. He spent all his time either acquiring more objects or just being around them. What distinuguishes Wade’s collection: his absolute joy in the handmade from any place in the world.
The object in the front is an early device for teaching a child to walk.
Wade loved the craftsmanship and inventiveness of these objects. He cared for the underneath of things.
I have always been attracted to handmade objects. There is a special joy in holding a ceramic pot made by an artist, that you don’t get from a mass produced object.
I understand Charles Wade’s affection for these
things and his desire to surround himself with them.