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Frederick NAISH


Frederick Naish was born in Bristol but moved to St Ives, where he had a studio and gift shop.

John George NAISH


An established painter of classical themes, fairies and landscape, with a special interest in coastal scenes, Naish painted along the Devon and Cornish coasts and on Scilly.

Annie Maud NANCE

A student at the Herkomer School of Art, Annie Cawker was originally a painter but subsequently concentrated on weaving.  At Bushey she was a good friend of Beatrice MICHELL (later Beatrice NANCE). Some four years after Beatrice's early death she married Robert Morton NANCE as his second wife.

After their marriage in 1906 they moved to Nancledra, midway between Penzance and St Ives. In 1914, on the outbreak of War, she moved with her husband to Carbis Bay.

Armorel Mary Yeo Morton NANCE


Born in Cardiff, Wales, Armorel Nance was educated at King Alfred School, Hampstead, London and trained in art at the Slade School, the Royal College of Art and the British School at Athens.

She lived at Pentowan in Carbis Bay while in Cornwall.



Dicon was born in Nancledra midway between Penzance and St Ives in the middle of the peninsula. In the 1930s he worked as an assistant at the Leach Pottery, and then with the potter Michael CARDEW in Ghana during the majority of the war years.

With his brother Robert NANCE (Robin) they re-started a cabinet-making workshop on the quayside at St Ives in 1946 (Robin having started one in 1933 which was suspended while Robin was in the Army (1940-6). They not only made pottery wheels for the Leach Pottery, but also showed the paintings of their friends, George Peter LANYON and others, on the walls of their shop. He was a Founder Member of the Penwith Society in 1949, and after a teaching stint in Thailand for UNESCO, he returned to St Ives as an assistant to Barbara HEPWORTH until 1971.

Robert NANCE


The eldest son of Robert Morton NANCE, Dicon NANCE being his younger brother by two years. Robin was born in Nancledra, and at the early age of just 13 was the Art Union of Cornwall prize winner (£3. 0s. 0d.) in the 1920 RCPS September show. He was recorded as being from Carbis Bay and exhibiting as Master Robin Nance. This is (at time of writing) the first record of him showing work.

From 1924 he went on to train under the 'arts and crafts' Master cabinet maker, Romney GREEN, in Christchurch, Hampshire, which was to have its own spin-off for Arts and Crafts in Cornwall (See Hardie 1995) when Green sent work in to NAG, namely wood carving and inlaid woodwork, to be exhibited with Robert T Morton Nance.

He set up his own workshop in woodworking in 1933, which was suspended during the war years when he served in the Army. After the war he returned to St Ives, and with his brother Dicon re-opened the gallery/workshop on the quayside. Their work was in furniture- making, as well as crafting pottery wheels for the LEACH POTTERY, who was in Robin's words 'not very practical'. Both he and his brother, like their parents before them, inclined to the Arts and Crafts philosophy of hand-making and natural designs for chairs, occasional tables and honest craftsmanship. In 1951 he published 'My world as a woodworker' in The Cornish Review (Summer 1951, no 8).

Robin closed his business in 1972, and lived in St Ives. He is buried at St Senara's Churchyard at Zennor, Cornwall.

Robert Morton NANCE


Nance was born in Cardiff, though both of his parents were Cornish, and he enjoyed holidays with his grandparents in Cornwall from an early age. His brothers were Ernest M (b 1868) and Alwyn (b1870). The family moved to Penarth in 1878 and he developed an interest in the ships both in the docks there and at St Ives. A fine modeller of ships in wood, as well as an accomplished illustrator, producing pencil drawings and oil paintings. A poet and writer, especially of subjects concerning the Cornish language. He began his training at the Cardiff School of Art and in 1893 he enrolled at the Herkomer School of Art at Bushey. He married fellow student Beatrice Michell in 1895, but Bushey rules meant they both had to leave.

He returned to Penarth with his wife and young baby and, on the recommendation of Herkomer, he set up a painting school for a short time. In 1898 he had a poem and illustrations printed in the Cornish Magazine and illustrations reproduced in The Studio. In 1902 his wife died and distraught with grief he decided to immerse himself in further study in Paris for a time.

His titles at this time were Across the Western Ocean (1903), and On the Wings of the Wind (1904). By 1905 he was exhibiting studies of old battleships, some of which were used for decorative screens later exhibited in Italy. In 1906 he married Annie Maud Cawker [See Annie Maud NANCE], a good friend of his first wife and fellow student at Bushey. He was one of the founder members of STISA, but rarely exhibited, and a member of the Arts Club. An acknowledged authority on the Cornish language, he was a member of the Gorseth, becoming Grand Bard of Cornwall in 1934, a position he held until his death. Nance wrote Cledry (1956) and Plays, in addition to an English Cornish Dictionary and a quantity of pamphlets on the Cornish language. A portrait of the artist by Leonard John FULLER hangs in the St Ives Museum

Charles William Skipwith NAPER


Born on 28 October 1882 in Exeter, his father was William Naper a Lieut-Colonel, and his mother was Jane Wyatt Naper (nee Edgell). His education was at Haileybury College in 1898 and the Royal Academy Schools from 1900-1907.

He married Ella Louise Champion [See Ella Louise NAPER] in 1910, and they moved first to Looe and then to Trewoofe in Lamorna, where they were to live for the rest of their lives. The initial challenge was to buy three fields from Colonel Paynter, the local landowner, and for this purchase they were able to borrow from Charles' family.

Naper designed the house himself to include a large studio for himself, a workshop for Ella, and extensive gardens which they created together. Just below their house was Oakhill Cottage, where Laura and Harold Knight became their near neighbours and closest friends. Other friends were the BIRCH family, the HEATHS and the HUGHES. In his later years he deliberately destroyed almost all of his studio paintings, and some he had by other artists (MUNNINGS, Laura KNIGHT) and was a reclusive, generally uncommunicative person, becoming increasingly wholly dependent on Ella. They were both devoted to each other, and there was no friction at all due to Ella's greater competence and fulfilling success. A few later paintings survived with the family, and they depict the awesome cliffs of West Cornwall.



Born on 9 February 1886 in Charlton, SE London, Ella was the fourth daughter (of nine children) of Alfred Champion (aka Adolphus Couchman-Steele), a fireman, and Mary Ann Champion (nee Weeks). She attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1904-06 under the jeweller, Frederick James Partridge.

The School had been founded in 1896 by John Passmore EDWARDS, the Cornish philanthropist who had given the Art Gallery to Newlyn the previous year. As her biographer, Branfield comments, 'It was Ella's first link with Cornwall.' Her training there was thorough, and she learned a wide range of techniques in metal, wood, enamelling, and design in general.

Two major influences on her work were those of Art Nouveau design, the rage of the times, and the work of C R Ashbee, as filtered through to her by Partridge. She married Charles William Skipwith NAPER in London in 1910, and they made their honeymoon trip to Looe, Cornwall where they remained for two years, prior to making their permanent home at Trewoofe in Lamorna.

Much of her work was sold through events such as 'Arts and Crafts Exhibition', 'Woman's Art Exhibition', Newlyn Art Gallery craft exhibitions after 1924, and other venues such as Liberty's of London. After WWI Ella, together with her friends Kate WESTRUP and Emily WESTRUP ran the Lamorna Pottery, which continued in production (and exhibition at NAG) until 1935. The Napers were close friends of the artists Laura KNIGHT and Harold KNIGHT, and their neighbours Professor and Mrs Alfred Sidgwick (the novelist). Likenesses of Ella were made by Charles, Laura & Harold Knight, and Ruth SIMPSON, and she is also one of the models in Harold HARVEY's painting The Critics (1922). Ella and Laura Knight collaborated on the design and making of several small enamels based on the artistry of the ballet.

A full page of her enamel jewellery appears in colour in Hardie (2009, col pl section 4, facing p304) together with an essay by John Branfield in the section 'The Marriage of Art to Life'. Two examples of the ballet series are illustrated in Wallace (1996) pp21-2, and in Branfield's essay.