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Tablecloth - Vine Leaf

Vine Leaf

  • Object:

    Tablecloth

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1896 (designed)
    ca. 1896 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, Mary (May), born 1862 - died 1938 (designer)
    Hodson Mrs (maker)
    Morris & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk thread on linen ground, silk lining
    Worked in darning stitch, stem stitch and satin stitch
    Silk lining attached with running stitch

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr and Mrs L.G. Hodson

  • Museum number:

    T.426-1993

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Tablecloth, table cover, of linen with silk embroidery. It has a blue 'art silk' lining. The symmetrical design shows a central cartouche of vine leaves and trailing stems. Originally worked in pinks, reds and greens on a blue ground part of this ground has now faded showing dye differences. The central disperses outwards with a row of carnation heads and rose branches finishing in four corner ogee devices of tulip plants with two ragged leaf tulip heads on each side of the cloth.

There is an outer border of shaded green to cream onto which are placed nine roundels to each side. These show alternate circular shaded blue to cream circles with ones depicting a stylised flower form.

The cover is completely surface embroidered mostly with darning and stem stitching (each central motif has a stem stitched outline). Some satin stitch has been sued in the floral roundels of the outer border. The colouring, which has now faded slightly, is of reds, pinks, browns, greens, creams, black and blues on a blue/cream. The blue showing strongly in the outer cartouche, the cream in the centre and the borders.

The lining is anchored to the surface with four symmetrically placed circles of running stitches which show on the back as they are in pink silk.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1896 (designed)
ca. 1896 (made)

Artist/maker

Morris, Mary (May), born 1862 - died 1938 (designer)
Hodson Mrs (maker)
Morris & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silk thread on linen ground, silk lining
Worked in darning stitch, stem stitch and satin stitch
Silk lining attached with running stitch

Dimensions

Height: 108 cm, Width: 108 cm, Weight: 0.58 kg

Object history note

This tablecover was donated by the grandson of Laurence Hodson of Compton Hall, Wolverhampton a great admirer of the work of William Morris who commissioned the firm of Morris & Co. to decorated part of the house. The commission was completed in 1896 and this cloth and related carpet (see T.425-1993) are likely to have been purchased for the house at this time.
(Registered File number 1993/904)

Historical context note

May Morris's embroidery designs for Morris & Co. comprise many practical domestic items including cushion covers, firescreens, tablecloths, table runners, bedspreads, card cases and sachets. Although many examples were sold in the Oxford Street shop, the firm is now best known for large, showy hangings. Because of this May Morris's work is under-appreciated today. This tablecloth is one of her finest designs for the purpose and shows her ability to produce an interesting and complex design for a mundane purpose.

Descriptive line

Tablecloth, linen with silk embroidery, probably designed by May Morris, 1896, worked by Mrs Laurence Hodson or in the Morris and Co. workshops, ca.1896, England.

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

M.34
Parry, Linda (ed.), William Morris London : Philip Wilson, 1996
Menz, Christopher. Morris & Company: Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Adelaide: Art Gallery Board of South Australia, 1993, p. 163.

Production Note

Possibly worked by Mary Elizabeth Hodson. Probably sold as a kit (started) in the Morris and Co. workshops.

Materials

Linen (material); Silk thread

Techniques

Embroidered; Woven

Subjects depicted

Flower

Categories

Embroidery; Textiles; Interiors

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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