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Furnishing fabric - Owl


  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Darvel (made)

  • Date:

    1898 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    C. F. A. Voysey, born 1857 - died 1941 (designer)
    Alexander Morton & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jacquard-woven wool tissue

  • Credit Line:

    Given by C. Cowles Voysey, FRIBA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Charles Voysey was one of the most original and influential architects and designers of all forms of decorative art working at the end of the 19th century. In 1882 he set up his own architecture practice and from the late 1880s started to design repeating patterns for wallpaper, woven and printed textiles and carpets.

Voysey's most interesting designs date from this time and show the influence of William Morris's principles of pattern design and use of plant forms and animals as standard motifs. Voysey's textiles are dominated by flowing patterns incorporating birds, deer, hearts, flowers and trees in silhouette. He sold his work to manufacturers such as G. P. & J. Baker, Thomas Wardle and Alexander Morton, and many of his designs were sold through Liberty in London. Voysey's work was well known in continental Europe, and though popular with French Art Nouveau designers, his influence was felt more dramatically by the founders of the Modern movement.

Physical description

Furnishing fabric of Jacquard-woven wool tissue. With pairs of confronted green owls and nests of young owls on green and yellow trees against a green-blue ground.

Place of Origin

Darvel (made)


1898 (made)


C. F. A. Voysey, born 1857 - died 1941 (designer)
Alexander Morton & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Jacquard-woven wool tissue


Length: 146.1 cm, Length: 57.5 in, Width: 49.5 in, Width: 125.7 cm

Descriptive line

Furnishing fabric 'Owl' of Jacquard-woven wool tissue, designed by C. F. A. Voysey, made by Alexander Morton & Co., Darvel, Scotland, 1898

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

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date


The architect C.F.A. Voysey’s ingenuity as a pattern designer is shown in this fabric, which could be used for curtains or upholstery. The design was originally used for wallpaper and was adapted by the manufacturer Alexander Morton for this woollen textile. Voysey’s stylised birds and trees became his trademark. Because of the popularity of his work at the time, they came to characterise the Arts and Crafts style.

Jacquard-woven wool
Designed by C.F.A. Voysey (born in Hessle, near Hull, East Yorkshire, 1857, died in Winchester, Hampshire, 1941); manufactured by Alexander Morton & Co., Darvel, East Ayreshire

Given by C. Cowles Voysey, FRIBA
Museum no. T.11-1953

Subjects depicted

Owls; Floral patterns; Whiplash curves; Leaf (plant material)


Textiles; Furniture; Interiors; Scotland


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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