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May Morris
c 1880-1900

The William Morris Gallery ,Walthamstow, London, UK has a similar tablecover but with a different border. They also have a Design for an Embroidered Tablecover , a watercolour, ink and graphite drawing on paper no. A456 acquired for the museum in 1961 of slightly different design, and included in the exhibition William Morris and Morris & Company Pattern Designs, 16 January-27 July 1996, no. 19 A similar cloth was exhibited at "Morris & Company. Pre Raphaelites and the Arts & Crafts Movement in South Australia" Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Feb-May 1994 and is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue by Christopher Menz no 156, although wrongly attributed as designed by JH Dearle. There are a number of similar tablecovers in Australia, ordered from the firm in the 1890?s and later by members of the Barr Smith family. This piece came from the collection of Charlotte Nichols, the impresario who was well known in the London classical musical world during the 1960?s and 70?s

Description

Morris and Company embroidered tablecover designed by May Morris, the apple green shot silk centre surrounded by a 8 ? in. wide border worked with a pomegranate at each corner and two repeats at each side, interspersed with scrolling foliage and flower buds, all in typical thick twisted silks, in soft shades of apple green, sea blue, ivory, terracotta, rose and soft pink on a ground of apricot, between narrow borders, an outer wider border of green shot silk, 53 x 51 in., backed with fine wool in soft green.

Condition

The embroidery is in excellent condition with wonderful colours. It was very difficult getting good photos of this piece because the silks are so wonderfully reflective. The detail photo is good. If you are interested ask for lots more photos. I have seen this green wool backing used before on Morris & Company embroideries. The centre silk shows water markings and is quite badly damaged. Photos available if you cannot see from general pictures. There is a ? in. dia brownish mark to the green border

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