The design is taken from a 14th century Sicilian silk. Thomas Wardle was a friend of the director of the museum attached to the Royal Weaving School at Krefeld, north-west of Dusseldorf, Germany. Wardle hand block printed the design for Liberty's.
Thomas Wardle was a leading textile manufacturer and dyer working in Leek, Staffordshire. He took over his father's dyeworks in the early 1870s, and went on to become one of the leading British textile manufacturers of the late 19th century. Wardle was an early member of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and acquired patterns from leading designers such as Morris, Day, Crane, Voysey, and Butterfield. He produced fabrics for stores including Liberty & Co., Heal & Sons and Debenham & Freebody, and between 1883 and 1888 he also traded through his own shop on New Bond Street, London*.
A hand block printed cotton length Lioness designed by Thomas Wardle, with a Rennaisance strapwork design of large vases, their bowls segmented in different patterns holding stylised carnations and tulips, flanked by paired mythical winged creatures alighting on the the leaves, in pale blue and cream, the lower left hand selvedge with Liberty, 208 Regent Street, London, W. Reg TERFD?
Now lined as a hanging.
11ft 3 in x 39 in; 3.05 x 98 cm selvedge to selvedge.
Design repeat 14 in; 35 cm.
You should be able to see from the photos that there are two slight vertical fading markings, from when the length was a curtain, the light hitting the folds. On the very left hand edge and then another line 27 cm in from left hand selvedghe. Otherwise no stains, tears or damage.
The design is listed in Wardle's pattern books p 144.
*Original fabricin brown and cream colourway is in the V & A.T.602-1999.
Ornamente der Gewebe Friedrich Fishbach, 1874 - a book of historic textiles. No 83 for same design.
A similar piece in idfferent colourway was in the Fortuny exhibition at the Whitworth Museum, Manchester in April 1998.
Dye, Print, Stitch. Textiles by Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle. Brenda King, p 47.
Price: on request
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