Omega Workshops
Omega Workshops
Omega Workshops

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Omega Workshops
c 1913

Really rare fabric. I have not seen similar for 25 years of being in the antique textile business. In 25 years I have not seen any for sale.In the V & A book this fabric is hung the opposite way up. The pieces I have all have gathers and therefore made up in reverse! I can't believe that knowing Roger Fry , Florence Hodgkin would have had them made the wrong way round! Not quite two design repeats to length. Provenance: The fabric was hung in a house called Springhead, Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, Dorset and has been sold by the grand daugher of the original owner of the fabric. A recent letter from her accompanies the fabric stating: "My grandmother Florence Hodgkin (the artist) was a friend of Fry (Roger) and knew the Omega Workshop well. She was an Irish eccentric, 14th child of the 14th child who ran away from home at 21 and broke off all links. Grandmother is my 1st cousin Howard Hodgkin "(meaning her 1st cousin is HH, the artist). In 1933 the estate, a house, ancient mill building and millpond were bought by the vendor's parents Rolf and Marable Gardiner, who used it as a family home for themselves and their three children, but also as a centre for the arts and nucleus of a widely extending farm and forestry operation. They set up the Springhead Ring with a group of Oxbridge friends who believed in ?time with the seasons?. They made it a centre for rural regeneration. Rolf was a pioneer of the organic movement and advocate of wise land use. Marabel created a unique garden around the lake and used it as a setting for festivals, drama, dance and music, marking the passage of the agricultural year. Presumably the fabric was handed down by the grandmother to her daughter Marable to hang in the house. The Springhead Trust was established in 1973 by the vendor on her father's death. It is a centre for the Arts as well as a training and recreation centre. The Lower Garden is home to Neal's Yard Remedies where herbs are grown organically and remedies made. The Trust has just gained a grant from the Arts Council to stage a children's arts centre. "Walking in the Footsteps of Our Ancestors", a visual arts exhibition and open-air theatre in June. Rolf was Lord Lieutenant of Dorset. During WW2 he oversaw rope production , Dorset being a flax growing area. The vendor's great uncle Balfour Gardiner set up work camps for miners during the 1930's. In time I can gather more information from the vendor, but the present time is not convenient.

Description

Maud for the Omega Workshops, the selvedge with Omega hand block printed in brown ink to the right hand selvedge, the linen with an abstract design of blocks of mid blue and soft orange with serrated edges on a natural linen ground , with light brown strips, four repeat patterns, 34 in. d x 31 1/2 in. w; 87 x 80 cm selvedge to selvedge. colourway 1 having large blocks of cobalt blue.

Condition

There is slight overall fading. However, the colours on the top right side of the piece are good. The left hand side 12 in. in from the selvege is a little more faded as is the lower part. There is also an 1 1/2 in of wear to the lower left hand side. I can supply pieces of this fabric to repair the damage.

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