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  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, designed)

  • Date:

    1782-1794 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 10, box A

This design is for embroidery on muslin or gauze and it is for an apron because of the right-angled corner to the pattern which is like other designs from this group which are inscribed 'apron'. Women wore aprons over gowns as a form of fashionable informal dress.

Physical description

Design of a right-angled corner consisting of a border of berries and leaves and sprigs of the same in two rows in the centre of the design and below it. There is a scalloped edge beneath the border and up one side. There are no holes for pouncing. There is one hole which might be a pinhole to one side.

Place of Origin

London (probably, designed)


1782-1794 (designed)



Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Sprigs up to the top of the scallop laid across contrary /
I have four yards but 3 ½ wou'd do better.'
In open and brown ink in handwriting across the top of the design. The inscription is in a different hand to the inscriptions on the other designs in this group.

This watermark is not in Heawood, Edward. Watermarks: mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries. Hilversum Paper Publications Society, 1950.


Height: 22.9 cm, Width: 18.4 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.

Descriptive line

Anonymous designs for embroidery, 18th century

Production Note

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: This design is probably for an apron because of the right-angled corner to the pattern.


Ink; Paper




Embroidery; Designs; Textiles; Fashion; Europeana Fashion Project


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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