Sydney Jones was an artist whose last years were lived in The Knowl, Bell Lane, Sotwell. He made an etching of the outside of his house and of the inside. These were published in one of his last books “England South”. There are many other local pictures, but the largest number are of London.
My father-in-law, Jim Weatherall was a builder who used to work on the house and he was given copies of the England books which gave us a taste for the pictures.. After Sydney Jones’ death in 1966, my husband, Brian, bought nine of his etchings and over the last few years we have had a lot of pleasure in acquiring others. (If anyone has one they would like to sell, please let us know.)
Most of Sydney Jones’ pictures were monochrome, the largest number were etchings, but he also did works in pencil and pen and ink. He did a number of watercolours which were a distinctive style, but there are very few around. We don’t have any and I should love to find one. Although there are some landscape pictures, the majority that we have are of buildings, my favourites are King’s College, Cambridge and a view of the Houses of Parliament across the old Lambeth Bridge. There are many other superb views, but last year, in Hungerford, we found (and bought) a picture of a shipyard! The pencil drawings are as detailed as etchings, the pen and ink pictures are less complicated, but just as attractive.
Sydney Jones illustrated at least eighteen books, many of which he wrote as well. The first was illustrated in 1906 and the last in 1954. We have acquired most of these on Abebooks, where there are many of the England South, England West and England East series and also London Triumphant and Thames triumphant. Thames Triumphant covers much of the local area and we have pictures of the source of the Thames at Seven Springs and of Wallingford Bridge.
If you have any information about Sydney Jones I should like to hear from you.
Unrelated to Sydney Jones, but to the house, is that when looking into family history we discovered that my husband’s great grandfather was born in The Knowl, but neither he nor his father knew about that.