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Omar

  • Object:

    Tapestry

  • Place of origin:

    Darvel, Scotland (made)

  • Date:

    1896 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Townsend, Charles Harrison, born 1851 - died 1928 (designer)
    Alexander Morton & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Jacquard-woven wool and cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Jocelyn Morton and Courtaulds Ltd

  • Museum number:

    T.154-1977

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 125g, case WW

  • Download image

This fabric was designed by the leading Arts and Crafts architect, C. H. Townsend. It shows how exponents of this style were keen to be involved in all aspects of decorative work, inside and outside the house. The manufacturer, Alexander Morton, bought designs from many leading designers and produced some of the most exciting and original furnishings of the period.

Physical description

A large heavy-weight curtain of jacquard woven double cloth in wool with a fine cotton binding warp. The design shows large flower buds with small flowerheads growing from the centre all arranged on curving stems. The design is in grey, cream and shades of green and brown on a dark red ground. The ground has a honeycombed surface and the floral pattern is ribbed.

Place of Origin

Darvel, Scotland (made)

Date

1896 (made)

Artist/maker

Townsend, Charles Harrison, born 1851 - died 1928 (designer)
Alexander Morton & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Jacquard-woven wool and cotton

Marks and inscriptions

A label attached to the fabric, which describes it as a 'Cessnock' quality, Pattern No 37, Colour 15.
A label attached to the fabric, which states that the sample was in the Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd Museum and Library (No 1962), that it was designed in 1896 and is a Darvel tapestry.

Dimensions

Height: 96 in, Width: 64.5 in, Weight: 7.5 kg

Descriptive line

Tapestry, "Omar" of jacquard-woven wool and cotton furnishing textile, designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, manufactured by Alexander Morton & Co., Darvel, Scotland, 1896

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

Baker, Malcolm and Richardson, Brenda, eds. A Grand Design : The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 1997. 431 p., ill. ISBN 1851773088.
The buildings of architect Charles Harrison Townsend are recognised as among the most spectacular of the British Arts and Crafts movement. His two best-known London examples, the Horniman Museum and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, are now considered extremely significant expressions of the style. The manufacturer Alexander Morton was an avid follower of William Morris, and he set up his firm with Morris's principles in mind. With important technological developments in dyeing and weaving techniques, and patronage of the most influential contemporary designers, the products of Morton & Co. reflect an ideal union of traditional patterns advanced by modern interpretation.
The name of the Omar textile-an elegant pattern of stylized lotus blossoms, on a deep red ground, aligned in ogival repeats derived from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Turkish sources-may have been suggested by the popularity of The Rub iy t of Omar Khayy m, translated by British poet Edward FitzGerald and first published in 1859. Omar, along with its original design drawing, was part of a large collection of Morton & Co. products given in the 1960s and 1970s by Jocelyn Morton and Courtaulds Ltd., a gift that filled a major gap in the V&A's holdings of English Arts and Crafts, one of the most original and popular British movements of modern times.

Lit. Art Journal, 1900, p. 12; Parry, 1993, no. 134, pp. 28, 111

LINDA PARRY

Exhibition History

Precious: Objects and Changing Values (The Millennium Galleries, Sheffield 02/04/2001-24/06/2001)
A Grand Design - The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum 12/10/1999-16/01/2000)
Precious Hand, Heart and Soul: the Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland:
City Art Centre, Edinburgh, 30 June - 23 Sept 2007
Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, 25 Oct 2007 - 20 Jan 2008
Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen, 14 June - 23 Aug 2008

Labels and date

27 ‘OMAR’ FURNISHING FABRIC
1896-1900

This fabric was designed by the leading Arts and Crafts architect, C. H. Townsend. It shows how exponents of this style were keen to be involved in all aspects of decorative work, inside and outside the house. The manufacturer, Alexander Morton, bought designs from many leading designers and produced some of the most exciting and original furnishings of the period.

Jacquard-woven wool and cotton
Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend (born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, 1851, died in Northwood, near London, 1928) and manufactured by Alexander Morton & Co., Darvel, East Ayreshire

27 ‘OMAR’ FURNISHING FABRIC
1896-1900

This fabric was designed by the leading Arts and Crafts architect, C. H. Townsend. It shows how exponents of this style were keen to be involved in all aspects of decorative work, inside and outside the house. The manufacturer, Alexander Morton, bought designs from many leading designers and produced some of the most exciting and original furnishings of the period.

Jacquard-woven wool and cotton
Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend (born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, 1851, died in Northwood, near London, 1928) and manufactured by Alexander Morton & Co., Darvel, East Ayreshire

Given by Jocelyn Morton and Courtaulds Ltd.
Museum no. T.154-1977

[2013]

Subjects depicted

Floral patterns; Leaf scrolls; Whiplash curve

Categories

Furniture; Textiles; Tapestry

Collection code

T&F

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Qr_O85094
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