Not currently on display at the V&A

Owl

Wall Hanging
ca. 1895 (designed), ca. 1898-1900 (embroidered)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Embroidered wall hanging worked in silks on a background of green woven silk damask. Wide borders on each side which have been hemmed to the back of the hanging and cut away on the right hand side.

The design shows a central motif of large meandering acanthus leaves worked in shades of peach, yellow and ivory with vein markings and outlines in pale and dark brown. Intertwined with the acanthus is a blue branched tree with large-headed exotic blooms on which perches an owl worked in natural shades. There are branchless tree trunks running up either side of the hanging, and the background and foreground is cluttered with various other plants including roses, honeysuckle, cornflowers and tulips. A partridge peeps from behind an acanthus leaf in the lower right hand side corner.

Worked mostly in darned stitches, the hanging uses stem stitches for outline work. Many different coloured silks are used including shades of green, brown, purple, yellow, cream, blue, red, pink, orange, peach and white. The birds are embroidered through an additional cotton backing.

Unlined and originally nailed to a stretcher, and some of the nail-holes are still visible.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Embroidered in silks on silk damask, cotton backing
Brief Description
Embroidered wall hanging 'The Owl' worked in silks on a background of silk damask, designed by John Henry Dearle, ca. 1895, and embroidered by Mrs Battye, ca. 1898-1900, made by Morris & Co., England
Physical Description
Embroidered wall hanging worked in silks on a background of green woven silk damask. Wide borders on each side which have been hemmed to the back of the hanging and cut away on the right hand side.



The design shows a central motif of large meandering acanthus leaves worked in shades of peach, yellow and ivory with vein markings and outlines in pale and dark brown. Intertwined with the acanthus is a blue branched tree with large-headed exotic blooms on which perches an owl worked in natural shades. There are branchless tree trunks running up either side of the hanging, and the background and foreground is cluttered with various other plants including roses, honeysuckle, cornflowers and tulips. A partridge peeps from behind an acanthus leaf in the lower right hand side corner.



Worked mostly in darned stitches, the hanging uses stem stitches for outline work. Many different coloured silks are used including shades of green, brown, purple, yellow, cream, blue, red, pink, orange, peach and white. The birds are embroidered through an additional cotton backing.



Unlined and originally nailed to a stretcher, and some of the nail-holes are still visible.
Dimensions
  • Height: 289cm (approx.)
  • Width: 161cm (approx.)
  • Height: 114in
  • Width: 63.5in
  • Weight: 1.92kg
Credit line
Given by Misses Audrey and Norah Battye
Production
Designed by J.H. Dearle ca. 1895 as a kit for Morris & Co., and worked by Mrs Battye from 1898.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Collection
Accession Number
T.369-1982

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record createdJanuary 14, 2004
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