- Place of origin:
- Materials and Techniques:
Pen and ink on paper
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 10, box A
These are two designs for embroidery on muslin or gauze on one sheet of paper. They are probably for the borders of aprons. Women wore aprons over their gowns as a form of fashionable informal dress. Designs for the borders of aprons show the pattern around a right angle to echo that of the apron itself. There are a number of surviving aprons embroidered in whitework (embroidery in white thread) on muslin in museum collections.
There are two different designs with a right-angled border on either end of a rectangular sheet of paper. Each design has a scalloped border above which is a double line divided by internal, vertical lines. On the left side there is a pattern of tiny circles and single leaves alternating with leafy sprigs. On the right side there is a meandering line and leaves with concentrations of dots in a circular arrangement. There is a narrow, vertical band of bare paper between the two designs. The design is nearly torn into two.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink on paper
Marks and inscriptions
A truncated coat of arms which was not looked up in E. Heawood, Watermarks: mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries, Hilversum Paper Publications, Society, 1950.
Height: 16.6 cm, Width: 38.6 cm
Object history note
The designs were bequeathed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1973 by Raymond Johnes who had 'enormous and miscellaneous collections'.* Johnes' collection included Japanese art, on which he published,** Indian and European material. He did not specialise in collecting textiles although he owned some examples. He was in contact with the Museum 1920s-1970 offering to sell objects from his collection. Johnes did not provide the Museum with information about the history of ownership of the designs.
*Mr B.W. Robinson, former Keeper of the Far Eastern Department, V&A, in a letter to Mr Ayres, Assistant- Keeper in the same Department, V&A Regsitry, nominal file, (MA/1/J479).
**Johnes, Raymond. Japanese Art London: Spring Books, 1961.
Anonymous designs for embroidery, 18th century
The design comes from a group of designs that were part of a retailer's archive which employed professional embroiderers. The names of the female clients inscribed on the designs were of the aristocracy, gentry or from wealthy families that moved in the upper reaches of society. They had homes in the country and came to London for the season. Retailers who sold such designs were linen drapers and lacemakers, both of which categories existed in London and were available to the clients. Many pattern drawers worked in London where their trade proved a lucrative business during the season. The similarity of some of the designs from this group to those by Styart, whose designs were published in London, does support the argument that these designs came from a retailer's archive based in London.
Attribution note: Another design, which incorporates two designs on one sheet of paper, in this group is E.246-1973. This demonstrates an economic use of paper. The economic use of materials is probably evidence of workshop practice.
Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection