Flowerpot was one of the last embroideries designed by William Morris and one of his most popular designs. Inspired by panels of seventeenth century French or Italian lacis work (darned hand made net) acquired by the South Kensington Museum (V & A) in 1875.* We do not know who embroidered this beautiful piece but she was a very good needlewoman. The colouring is typical of the soft colours popular during the Edwardian period. This would have been a firescreen, being too large for a cushion. In the book on May which came out when the William Morris Museum, Wathamstow had their excellent exhibition last year, it is noted that May adapted some of her father's designs by use of different stitches.
The ornate vase with wide stemed foot decorated with overlapping leaves, holding entwined leafy stems enclosing flowerheads, smaller roses enclosed by leafy stems flanking the vase, using thick twisted silks in shades of rust, terracotta, apricot, cream, three shades of pale green and sea blue on a fine twill weave silk ground, using stem, chain and French knots.
20 1/2 in; 52 cm square.
Unfaded. The edges of the silk are quite frail. I have had it hand stitched to cotton and stretched over acid free board., so it is ready for framing. Once framed the edges would be covered and the slight damage would not then show. Ask for photos.
* May Morris. Arts & Crafts Designer. p 70. Published at the time of the exhibition 2017-18 at the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow.
May Morris Arts & Crafts Designer. V & A p 70,71
William Morris Textiles by Linda Parry p 33,34
There are examples of this design in the V & A and William Morris Gallery.
All images and text © meg-andrews.com 2021