Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Trellis

  • Object:

    Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    11/1862 (designed (pattern))
    01/02/1864 (design registered)
    1864 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
    Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
    Jeffrey & Co. (printer)
    Morris & Co. (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    block-printed in distemper colours, on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Morris & Co.

  • Museum number:

    E.452-1919

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case DW, shelf 5, box 2

Object Type
In Britain, paper printed with patterns has been used for decorating walls since the 16th century. By the late 19th century wallpapers were widely used by all classes, in homes and also in public buildings. William Morris designed a number of wallpapers, all with repeating patterns based on natural forms.

Places
Morris was prompted to design his own wallpapers because he could not find any that he liked well enough to use in his own home. He designed 'Trellis' shortly after moving to the Red House. The gardens at the Red House were arranged in a Medieval style, with roses growing over trellises which enclosed the flowerbeds. This wallpaper pattern was inspired by these trellises.

Design & Designing
'Trellis' is typical of Morris's early wallpaper patterns. It combines simple bird and flower forms with a plain coloured background. It is a compromise between the boldly coloured pictorial patterns which were then popular with the general public, and the formalised flat patterns in muted tones which were promoted by the design reform movement. Philip Webb, the architect of the Red House, drew the birds for this wallpaper design.

Physical description

'Trellis' wallpaper pattern, thorned rose bush, with red flowers, growing on a wooden trellis, with birds and flying insects, with a pale blue ground; Block-printed in distemper colours, on paper; Inscribed in ink on the back 'Trellis 9 / 8/8'.
Part of Volume 1, a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919).

Place of Origin

London (printed)

Date

11/1862 (designed (pattern))
01/02/1864 (design registered)
1864 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
Webb, Philip Speakman, born 1831 - died 1915 (designer)
Jeffrey & Co. (printer)
Morris & Co. (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

block-printed in distemper colours, on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed in ink on the back Trellis 9 / 8/8

Dimensions

Height: 68 cm unframed, Width: 52.9 cm unframed

Object history note

Given by Morris & Co.
The first paper William Morris designed, but the third to be issued (1864).
The birds were designed by Phillip Webb.

Designed by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) with additions by Philip Webb (born in Oxford, 1831, died in Worth, West Sussex, 1915); printed in London by Jeffrey & Co. for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.

Descriptive line

'Trellis' wallpaper pattern, thorned rose bush, with red flowers, growing on a wooden trellis, with birds and flying insects, with a pale blue ground; Block-printed in distemper colours, on paper; Inscribed in ink on the back 'Trellis 9 / 8/8'; The first paper designed by William Morris, but the third to be issued; The birds were designed by Philip Webb; Part of 'Volume 1', a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919); England; Designed 1862; Registered and produced 1864.

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, p.206.
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

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Philip Webb supplied the bird designs for this, the first wallpaper that William Morris ever designed. The pattern was inspired by the garden at Red House, Bexleyheath, near London, Morris's first home. Wallpaper was one of the earliest forms of decoration supplied by the firm. Their own early attempts to print their designs failed and from this time all Morris papers were produced by Jeffrey & Co.. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

The 'Trellis' design was the first paper William Morris designed, but the third to be issued. Produced 1864. The birds were designed by Phillip Webb.

Materials

Paper; Distemper

Techniques

Colour woodblock print; Block printing

Categories

Wall coverings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.