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Kit for rolled paperwork - Mosaicon


  • Object:

    Kit for rolled paperwork

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1870-1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bemrose & Son Ltd. (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Ethel A. G. Willoughby

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Kit for making filigree paperwork ("Mosaicon"). The kit is contained in a red box. On the lid is pasted a label which reads 'Mosaicon or paper mosaic materials: price five shillings: Bemrose and Sons, London, 10 Paternoster Buildings, and Derby.' The box contains packets of strips of paper, loose strips of paper, short lengths of wood for rolling the paper, and some sheets of instruction and advertising.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1870-1890 (made)


Bemrose & Son Ltd. (makers)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

'Mosaicon or paper mosaic materials: price five shillings: Bemrose and Sons, London, 10 Paternoster Buildings, and Derby.'


Depth: 11.2 cm, Width: 28.3 cm, Height: 4.5 cm, :

Object history note

Given to the V&A in 1934 by Miss Ethel A. G. Willoughby [R.P. 34/3598].
The V&A Library has a short book by William Bemrose, Jun., 'Mosaicon: or paper mosaic and how to make it', dated 1882 (2nd ed.). It seems likely, therefore, that this kit dates from the 1880s.

Descriptive line

Kit for making filigree paperwork, 'Mosaicon', in a red box. English, ca. 1870-90.

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

The following excerpt is from 'Traditional Interior Decoration', October 1987, by Clare Graham (Precious Paperwork).

'The earliest examples [of paper-work] in the V&A date from the Stuart period. The art still has its devotees today, notably in the USA, where it is known as 'quilling, since the papers are sometimes coiled around a quill. The museum's collection includes a kit of ready-cut strips of paper and patterns which dates from the 1880s. Its maker, William Bemrose, also produced a handbook entitled 'Mosaicon: or paper mosaic and how to make it' (a copy of the 2nd edition, dated 1882, is in the National Art Library). He could supply all the necessary materials, including "a variety of foundations for many useful and ornamental objects, such as brooches, brackets, book-sides, spill-cases, caddies, carte-de-visite and other frames, watch pockets, boxes in a variety of shapes, hand screens and panels. Monograms are easily introduced".
Unconciously recalling an early use of the art, he suggests that "Mosaicon is well adapted for church decoration...where it has a very rich, jewelled effect when viewed at a disatance".
It was, according to Bemrose, the ideal hobby: "We know of no light employment, less costly, yet at the same time possessing such pretty, and to the eye, such valuable results, for it possesses to a surprising degree the appearance of jewels"'.




Tools & Equipment


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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