Designed by Mary Morris. Lovely symetrical design with the roses May Morris liked to draw and which can be seen in other examples of her work. The colour palette is interesting, the rust and ochre perfect with the natural linen ground. This was probably for a firescreen. The design is very similar to a drawing in the V & A archive at Blythe House - The tracing is part of AAD/1990/6.
This design from the 1880s was worked to show much of the background fabric, whereas later pieces were completely worked in silk embroidery. *
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 design marked with the embroidery already started as a guide; or the whole piece could be worked by Morris & Co. I suspect this work was completely embroidered at homeby a competent lady with a good eye for colour. The colouring of this piece is more unsuual and makes a change from the pretty pastel shades I sometimes find.
We have mounted the piece on acid free board, ready for a frame. The rust marks would then be hidden.
Rose Bush is a symmetrical design of acanthus leaves enclosing a central upright rose rising from a grassy hillock, flanked by two others, the surround with further roses, buds and leaves, all in thick floss silks in rust, ochre, ivory, pale and mid green on a linen ground.
22 x 21 1/2 in; 56 x 55 cm sq.
Excellent. There are rust marks from nails to the very edge of the linen, but with framing these would be covered.
* William Morris Textiles ( 1983) by Linda Parry p 28
William Morris (1996) edited by Linda Parry, exhibition catalogue p 247 M29a for unfinished example.
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