May Morris Embroidery
May Morris Embroidery
May Morris Embroidery
May Morris Embroidery
May Morris Embroidery

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May Morris Embroidery
Late 19th c

Good colours. I am going to call the design Tulip and Pomegranate. It was originally a firescreen.

Description

with a central spray of pale apricot tulips and elegant curling leaves, surrounded by a bough of bursting pomegranates and small flat flowers, all worked in terracotta, sage green, soft pinks, blue green and a little indigo outlining, the ground in stone coloured, all in thick floss silks, 23 1/2 x 18  in/ 60 x 48 cm

Condition

This has been tacked to a wooden backing, which we will have removed.  The colours are lovely and fresh. The use of indigo silk is not completely consistent. Observe the leaves to centre right which have indigo outlining, and then look at the opposite side which does not. I find this all the time on these Morris & Company embroidery kits. Presumably the embroideress ran out of a colour and rather than buy more used what she had.  The background is totally covered in thick floss silks except for here and there, where you can see the linen/ Manchester cloth*. In these areas there are only intermittent stitches. See photos. My guess is again the embroideress ran out of silks and used what she had sparingly. 

Comments

Many years ago I had the same design.  I have not yet found out what it is called.

* William Morris Textiles Linda Parry, p 32 (oriignal publication 1983)

Embroidery kits became the mainstay for Morris & Co. The designs were available in three different stages of completion; as background fabric with the design marked, to be embroidered at home, with the embroidery already started as a guide, or the whole piece could be worked by Morris & Co. The woman who embroidered this was very competent and I suspect this work was completely embroidered at home.

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