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St James's

  • Object:

    Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1881 (printed and published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
    Jeffrey & Co. (manufacturer)
    Morris & Co. (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    block printed in distemper colours, on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Morris and Co.

  • Museum number:

    E.528-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case DW, shelf 57, box B

Physical description

Specimen of 'St James's' wallpaper, a pattern of intertwined foliage and flowers, with a pale-blue ground; Block printed in distemper colours, on paper; Inscribed on the back in ink with title, number and price.
Part of 'Volume 1', a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919).

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1881 (printed and published)

Artist/maker

Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
Jeffrey & Co. (manufacturer)
Morris & Co. (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

block printed in distemper colours, on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on the back in ink with title, number and price.

Dimensions

Height: 68.5 cm size of volume, Width: 53.3 cm size of volume

Object history note

'St James's' was designed for the Grand Staircase in St James's Palace. The decorative scheme for the palace was begun in 1866 and was Morris & Co.'s first secular commission.

'Two widths of paper are needed to complete the pattern horizontally, while the vertical repeat of 119.4 cm requires two blocks to print each colour. Sixty-eight blocks are needed to complete the pattern. The cutting and printing must have been a gigantic task, carried out at speed. Only four months separated the approval of the plan and its completion. The blocks were destroyed in a fire at Jeffrey’s on 22 November 1881. The printing for the Palace was complete by this time but the blocks were recut for future use.'
(Linda Parry, see Bibliographic References)

Descriptive line

Specimen of 'St James's' wallpaper, a pattern of intertwined foliage and flowers, with a pale-blue ground; Block printed in distemper colours, on paper; Designed by William Morris for the Grand Staircase in St James's Palace; Printed by Jeffrey & Co. for Morris & Co.; Part of 'Volume 1', a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919); England; 1881.

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

Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris London : Philip Wilson in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 9 May-1 Sept. 1996.
Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1919, London: Printed Under the Authority of His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1921

Production Note

Within pattern book Volume 1 (1862-81).
This paper was designed for the Throne Room and the Wellington Room in St James's Palace. The decorative scheme for the palace was begun in 1866 and was Morris & Co.'s first secular commission.

Materials

Paper; Distemper

Techniques

Block printing

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Leaves (plant materials); Foliation (pattern)

Categories

Wall coverings; Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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