Peacock and dragon thumbnail 1
Peacock and dragon thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Peacock and dragon

Pair of Curtains
1878 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This woven furnishing textile was made for use as heavyweight curtains or a wall covering. William Morris's increasing interest in historical woven textiles can be detected in his woven designs of the late 1870s and 1880s. This textile was clearly influenced by a visit to Vincent Robinson's shop in London in the same year it was designed. He described the room he saw there as 'from Damascus ... all vermilion and gold and ultramarine very beautiful and is just like going into the Arabian Nights'. However, the massive scale of the repeat (109 by 90 centimetres) and dense texture is far closer to northern European sources. By producing it as a thick woollen structure, Morris intended to recreate the effect of medieval tapestries.

Used in a number of schemes, including Morris's own London home, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London, this example is from a set of four curtains used in the hall at Clouds, the Hon. Percy Wyndham's country home near Salisbury, Wiltshire. This pattern proved to be one of Morris & Co.'s most successful furnishings. When purchased from their shop at 17 George Street, Hanover Square, London, in 1933, the firm described the design as 'a favourite with its author, [it] requires a large room to set it off its proportions'.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Curtain
  • Curtain
Materials and Techniques
Hand-loom jacquard-woven woollen twill, with braid trimmings
Brief Description
Peacock and Dragon
Physical Description
Pair of woollen curtains
Dimensions
  • Height: 396cm
  • Width: 353cm
Dimensions checked: Publication;
Style
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Morris taught himself to weave by following instructions in a printed manual. In a short time he was able to produce complex technical structures. This Medieval-looking textile has the largest pattern repeat of all his textiles. It shows his increasing interest in early textiles encouraged through studying the collections in this Museum.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Supplied for the Hall of Clouds, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, designed by Philip Webb between 1881 and 1886 and decorated by Morris & Co. for the Hon. Percy WyndhamDesigned by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) and manufactured by Morris & Co., London
Summary
This woven furnishing textile was made for use as heavyweight curtains or a wall covering. William Morris's increasing interest in historical woven textiles can be detected in his woven designs of the late 1870s and 1880s. This textile was clearly influenced by a visit to Vincent Robinson's shop in London in the same year it was designed. He described the room he saw there as 'from Damascus ... all vermilion and gold and ultramarine very beautiful and is just like going into the Arabian Nights'. However, the massive scale of the repeat (109 by 90 centimetres) and dense texture is far closer to northern European sources. By producing it as a thick woollen structure, Morris intended to recreate the effect of medieval tapestries.



Used in a number of schemes, including Morris's own London home, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London, this example is from a set of four curtains used in the hall at Clouds, the Hon. Percy Wyndham's country home near Salisbury, Wiltshire. This pattern proved to be one of Morris & Co.'s most successful furnishings. When purchased from their shop at 17 George Street, Hanover Square, London, in 1933, the firm described the design as 'a favourite with its author, [it] requires a large room to set it off its proportions'.
Bibliographic References
  • Greenhalgh, Paul (Ed.), Art Nouveau: 1890-1914 . London: V&A Publications, 2000
  • Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Collection
Accession Number
T.64&A-1933

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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