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Fruit

  • Object:

    Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1865-66 (designed)
    1866 (produced)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    block-printed in distemper colours, on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Morris & Co.

  • Museum number:

    E.447-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2B, shelf DR54, box DW5II

‘Fruit’ is one of the most enduringly popular of William Morris’s designs. It was used in many artistic homes of the period. It is still available from the Morris & Co. division of Sanderson, who own the original printing blocks. By the 1880s many writers of home decorating guides were recommending Morris papers, including the affordable ‘Art at Home’ series (1876-8). The frontispiece of Robert Edis’s influential book The Furniture and Decoration of Town Houses (1881) shows his own sitting room. You can see the Pomegranate wallpaper and other Aesthetic-style furnishings.

Physical description

'Fruit' (or 'Pomegranate') wallpaper pattern, branches of fruit trees bearing fruit, including limes and pomegranates, on a 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

1865-66 (designed)
1866 (produced)

Artist/maker

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

Length: 68.6 cm, Width: 50 cm

Object history note

Possibly the second paper designed by Morris to be issued. The serial numbering in the printing log places it between Daisy and Trellis. However, Linda Parry (see references) cites Mackail's notes that suggest that the design was made 'no earlier than 1865'.

Descriptive line

'Fruit' (or 'Pomegranate') wallpaper pattern, branches of fruit trees bearing fruit, including limes and pomegranates, on a blue ground; Block-printed in distemper colours, on paper; Part of 'Volume 1', a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919); England; First issued ca.1866.

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.
Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 111. pl 92.
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, pp.206-207, ill.
Julius Bryant, ed. Art and Design for All. The Victoria and Albert Museum London: V&A Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 9781851776665.
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

Materials

Paper; Distemper

Techniques

Block printing

Subjects depicted

Fruit; Lime; Flowers; Branches; Pomegranate

Categories

Wall coverings; Prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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