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  • Place of origin:

    Spitalfields (designed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1718 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Leman, James, born 1688 - died 1745 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 13

Physical description

Design for woven silk from the 'Liddiard Set', in pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper, in yellow, pink, red and pale, mid and dark green, depicting stylised floral sprigs and decorative motifs. There are three types of floral sprigs which are evenly spaced in vertical panels with yellow spots separating each sprig. Each panel is bordered on either side by a thin pink stripe with a pale green stripe in the centre.

This design contains similar motifs and colours to E.4480-1909.

Place of Origin

Spitalfields (designed)


ca. 1718 (designed)


Leman, James, born 1688 - died 1745 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

Portees [a collection of threads warped together] numbered 3, 1, 16, 1, 6, 1, 16.
Handwritten text on the back of the design.


Height: 36.2 cm, Width: 26.1 cm, Height: 14.25 in, Width: 10.25 in

Object history note

This design is one from a group of designs known as the 'Liddiard Set', which was given to the V&A by Mr G.W. Sherriff of Streatham in 1862. According to Luther Hooper, who compiled the first typescript catalogue of Spitalfields textiles designs in the Museum, on the cover of the folio (now missing) which contained this Set, was inscribed 'Pattern book of Liddiard & Co. Circa 1718'. In addition, most of the designs in this Set are inscribed in ink with 'L & Co.', as well as a number. The designs are also numbered heavily in pencil with a different number and have also all been numbered subsequently by the V&A - E.4440 to 4519-1909.

Natalie Rothstein researched and catalogued the designs for her publication Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. In it she states that 'the drawings in the Liddiard Set range in date from 1717 to 1722. They are mostly numbered heavily in pencil in the same way as the drawings in the Vanners Silks Set, which were all drawn by Leman between 1706 and 1716.' The Vanners Set is now known as the Leman Album (after the designer, James Leman), which is also in the V&A Collection - E.1861.1 to 106-1991.

Natalie Rothstein has identified many of the designs as the work of James Leman, although some designs have been attributed to Christopher Baudouin and Joseph Dandridge, both well-known designers in their day. Such attributions have been decided on the grounds of handwriting, signatures and abbreviations rather than due to stylistic considerations. She argues that 'There is no appreciable difference between the style of the drawings signed by Leman and those of Baudouin and Dandridge, and all attempts to divide the drawings in this Set into groups which could be attributed to the three designers on stylistic grounds have proved inconclusive. This is not so surprising, for the patterns drawn in any one year all conform to the general style dictated by the prevailing fashion, and since the designers in question were all working in the same city at the same time and for the same mercers, they would have all used the same professional conventions. Both the methods of drawing and the colour schemes used would be necessarily very similar. It does seem, however, that Leman frequently obtained from Dandridge the designs for especially rich silks using metal threads and the least naturalistic exotic motifs - such as E.4451-1909 - while Leman himself concentrated on the lighter silks with more delicate designs.'

Descriptive line

Design for woven silk from the 'Liddiard Set', pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on laid paper, possibly by James Leman, Spitalfields, ca. 1718

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 110
Rothstein, Natalie. Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London with a Complete Catalogue with 473 Illustrations, 371 in Colour. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990. 351p., ill. ISBN 0500235899.

Production Note

Attribution note: Natalie Rothstein researched and catalogued the designs for her publication Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. In it she states that 'It is clear that many of the drawings in this Set are by James Leman. Ten of them bear his signature, in some cases followed by the word 'fecit' [made]; while a further half-dozen or so have had his signature cut out - why we do not know - but the typical flourishes with which he signed his name can still be discerned.'


Pencil; Ink; Watercolour; Laid paper


Painting; Drawing


Designs; Textiles


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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