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Eric Ravilious
1958

Extremely rare. Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)watercolourist, muralist, printmaker, book illustrator in wood engraving and lithography, designer. Grew up in Eastbourne and attended Eastbourne School of Art, won a £60 scholarship to attend The Royal College of Art where he studied under Paul Nash. Became friends with Edward Bawden. Known as 'The Boy' partly because he disliked his christian name and partly because of his youthfullness. Ravilious designed and painted murals for Morley College, London and the Midland Railway Hotel, Morecombe. Ceramic designs for Wedgwood; Furniture designs for Dunbar Hay, glass for Stuart Crystal. From 1939 to his death he was an Offical War Artist and died in a reconnaisance mission plane over Iceland . He became one of the best known artists of the 1930's. Ravilious designed this print for a lemonade set, produced by Wedgwood in 1939. Wedgwood Pattern book entry CL6323. The design was printed onto the Wedgwood Liverpool Jug, adorned with a radial grouping of garden tools in a wooden barrel, similar to painted or printed decorations on historic pieces. The back of the jug groups eight vignettes whose clear delineation makes them suggestive as emblems rather than just decoration 1 In Alan Powers book on p 33 he says that from 1933 a series of exhibitions engaged the public in new product designs, culminting in the British Pavillion at the Paris International Exhibition in 1937, where Ravilious designed furniture, plates and tennis clothes. In 1942 the British Council organised a touring exhibition for the USA which included samples of textiles that Ravilious worked on for the Cotton Board. Some were dress fabric patterns, delightful but for him to footling. Some furnishing fabrics with pictorial repeat patterns, including one showing buildings at Castle Hedingham, only reached sketch stage. A design for a child's handkerchief was also produced. 1. Powers, Alan Eric Ravilious. Imagined Realities. Imperial War Museum, Philip Wilson Publishers. 2005 p 28. The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York and The Whitworth Museum in Manchester, UK also have pieces of this fabric. The Whitworth have a green colourway. Edinburgh Weavers was founded by James Morton in 1928, an experimental subsidiary of Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd, his family's textile business established in the 1860's. Alastair Morton became its artistic director. A British abstract artist he envisaged Edinburgh Weavers would provide furnishings to complement modern developments in architecture. Leading artists of the day were commissioned to create patterns and the firm built up a reputation for cutting edge design. Many designers and painters continued to design textiles for the firm until the 1960's. Morton's understanding of the most pregressive art trends greatly influenced his work in textiles. King, Brenda Modern Art in Textile Design 1930-1980 p 6. Exhibition at Whitworth Museum, Manchester 1989.

Description

Garden Implements printed by Edinburgh Weavers, the selvedge with a repeated monogram EW , the white cotton printed in black with barrels filled with gardening tools, leaves and foliage, surrounded by an oval of small motifs including a watering can, a wheel barrow, bees buzzing round a hive, a vase with leaves, a small glass consevatory with lettuces, a compost bin, sunflowers, a greenhouse a clump of foliage and a tabby cat curled asleep, 20 x 46 in; w 1.18 x 50 cm w selvedge to selvedge;

Condition

As you will see there has been a recent accident with a foundation pen. Not by me! My conservator cannot remove these stains. There are three bad stains, 3 1/2 x 3 1/4 in; 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 in; and on the right hand edge 3 x 2 1/4 in widest on each, but surrounded by paler markings. There is also a paler mark to top left hand corner 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in. There is one other spot of ink to above centre. The two outer edges have fold lines, where the fabric was turned in for curtains.

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