Bird and Anemone thumbnail 1
Bird and Anemone thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 123

Bird and Anemone

Furnishing Fabric
1881 (design registered)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This printed cotton furnishing textile features one of the few repeating patterns used by the designer William Morris (1834-1896) for both textiles and wallpapers. This was one of three monochrome patterns designed especially by Morris to be printed by the indigo-discharge printing method, which had preoccupied him since 1875.

Existing documents suggest that experiments using indigo for these designs started in April 1881 at Morris's workshop in Queen Square in London. They were finally successfully printed after he moved into his factory at Merton Abbey, Wimbledon, London, in June the same year. This example was surface printed later in madder, a natural red plant dye. The date when this cotton was printed can be calculated through marks and labels on the sample.

The attached paper label has a 'kite mark' indicating that the pattern was registered with the Patents Office on 17 June 1882. The selvedge (finished edge of the fabric) is printed 'Morris & Company 449 Oxford Street'. This form was used between 1877 and 1917, when the shop moved to another address. An additional label marked 'Decorators Ltd' uses a term adopted by the Morris firm in 1905. This narrows the date of the sample to between 1882 and 1905.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleBird and Anemone (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Dyed cotton ground, with a block-printed pattern in red madder dye
Brief description
Bird and Anemone printed cotton
Physical description
Furnishing fabric
Dimensions
  • Height: 62cm
  • Folded width: 46cm
  • Full width width: 96cm (approximately)
Dimensions checked: Measured; 13/05/1999 by LH. Checked 2020 and full width provided.
Gallery label
British Galleries: With Morris and Co., the registration of patterns was haphazard. In the case of textiles the firm concentrated on protecting patterns that represented new ideas or techniques they had developed, such as the indigo-discharge method of printing. This pattern was one of the first Morris designed for this method.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Morris & Co. Ltd.
Object history
Designed by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) and printed by Morris & Co. at Merton Abbey, Wimbledon, London
Summary
This printed cotton furnishing textile features one of the few repeating patterns used by the designer William Morris (1834-1896) for both textiles and wallpapers. This was one of three monochrome patterns designed especially by Morris to be printed by the indigo-discharge printing method, which had preoccupied him since 1875.

Existing documents suggest that experiments using indigo for these designs started in April 1881 at Morris's workshop in Queen Square in London. They were finally successfully printed after he moved into his factory at Merton Abbey, Wimbledon, London, in June the same year. This example was surface printed later in madder, a natural red plant dye. The date when this cotton was printed can be calculated through marks and labels on the sample.

The attached paper label has a 'kite mark' indicating that the pattern was registered with the Patents Office on 17 June 1882. The selvedge (finished edge of the fabric) is printed 'Morris & Company 449 Oxford Street'. This form was used between 1877 and 1917, when the shop moved to another address. An additional label marked 'Decorators Ltd' uses a term adopted by the Morris firm in 1905. This narrows the date of the sample to between 1882 and 1905.
Collection
Accession number
T.654-1919

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Record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL
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