It always seems curious that out of the dozens of Morris woven wool designs, it is always Peacock and Dragon or Bird which come to the market, so it is especially pleasing to find a different design. Designed by John Henry Dearle. This design was produced in three colourways and originally cost 18s 6d per yard. Exceptionally long curtains each comprising a width.
John Henry Dearle (1859-1932) was manager of the weaving sheds at Merton Abbey and well respected by Morris. Morris apparantly met him at the insurance office Dearle worked in. Morris saw him sketching and employed him 1878, where he progressed in the business. His first known design went into production in 1887. From 1889 he designed carpets, tapestries and textiles for new commissions and after Morris's death in 1896 he continued his role as leading designer and manager of the Merton Abbey Works.*
Hand-loom plain weave wool triple cloth, jacquard woven at Merton Abbey, a linear design of large rust coloured seed heads amongst small rust flowers, further deep green and indigo seedheads and large leaves, original dark green cotton lining and heading tape.
11ft 6 in x 47 1/2 in; 3.5 m x 1.20 m + wool fringing.
Repeat 27 x 14 1/2 in; 68.5 x 36.5 cm.
The original width was 54 in; 1.37 m. I can feel 2 cm each side which have been turned under. I can't believe anyone would cut 2 cm off the edges, so my guess is these are of the original width.
Curtain 1 - The lower 14 x 13 in; 35 x 33 cm has some areas of holes. Again on the left hand side are some more. Further up on left hand side there is an area of wear 9 x 6 in; 23 x 15 cm.
Curtain 2 -The holes could be disguised by darning. I have a very good person who could do this. Or the lower part of each curtain could be removed.
The original lining has been machined down at the sides and ideally this needs to be unpicked and hand sewn and lightly caught to the sides. The heading tape is original. If one wanted to leave that we could hand sew another black heading tape slightly lower down.
The orignal design and working tracing is in the Berger Collection, Huntington Art Collections, USA,
* William Morris Textiles by Linda Parry p 262 no 104.
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