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Baby's crawling rug

Baby's crawling rug

  • Materials and Techniques:

    wool, sewn, woven

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Avril E. Paintin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Lilla McNeil (1848-1925) was a stockbroker's daughter who married a stockbroker, Frederick Butler (d.1882). They had three daughters, Lilian McNeil (1873-1949), Elizabeth Hilda (1875-1941) and Mary (1878-1963). This rug was probably made when the eldest was born, with her two siblings being added to it as they came along. The girls were young when their father died and remained with their mother until her death in 1925.

Physical description

Red, plain woven, wool rug with white appliqué letters, numbers, a flag and animals, as well as the names:Hilda, Lilian and Mary and the year, 1873. White decorative vine motif stitcting around the edge of the rug.

Materials and Techniques

wool, sewn, woven


Height: 184 cm, Width: 195 cm

Object history note

Mrs Butler made the crawling rug for her daughters: Lilian, Hilda and Mary. The rug and a miniature of Mrs Butler were given to the Butler’s family friends (Rotha Mary Reed neé Ingles and her daughter Avril E. Paintin) who they met when they lived at Mowbury Road, Brondesbury, London. When the three Butler daughters moved to Ardane, Spring Grove, Loughton, Essex, the families continued to be friends with Avril E. Paintin becoming a regular visitor to the Butler’s house during Easter and summer holidays. She remembers the miniature of Mrs Butler on the mantelpiece at Ardane. The rug was given to Avril on the death of the last of the daughters, Miss Mary Bulter in the 1960s, as the daughter did not have children to pass them on to. At that time Avril was living in Aberdeen and had two infant children. She inherited the miniature of Mrs Butler upon her own mother’s death in 1997 and wishes that both items come to the V&A Museum of Childhood.

Descriptive line

Red, plain woven, wool rug with white applique animals, names (Lilian, Hilda and Mary) and the year 1873






Museum of Childhood

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