Tulip thumbnail 1
Tulip thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Tulip

Embroidered Runner
c.1904 (made), 1890 (Designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Embroidered textiles were the first furnishings designed and produced by William Morris, enabling him to decorate his homes with the historically inspired textiles he desired, and providing an outlet for his intellectual and physical need to make things by hand. After Morris’s interests moved on to designing and manufacturing other products, the Morris & Co. embroidery studio, managed by his daughter May from 1885 to 1896, functioned as one of the most commercial areas of the company, producing kits and finished embroideries, which were popular with the middle classes and wealthy aristocrats and business people. Embroideries available ranged from cushions and tea cosies to panels for folding screens, and large scale decorative hangings. May Morris introduced many new designs, and was responsible for the success of the embroidery department, as a highly skilled designer and embroiderer, and effective manager.

The design of this embroidery may be a version of the 'Tulip' table cover exhibited by May Morris at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1890. It was a versatile pattern, appearing over thirty times times in various forms in the Morris & Co. embroidery workroom daybook in the NAL collections (MSL/1939/2636), in which May Morris listed all embroidery work commissioned for the years 1892-96. Many of her designs continued to be sold by Morris & Co. well into the twentieth century.

The embroidery was passed to the donor, Jill Ford, by her grandmother, Elsie Winifred Couper (1906-1954), the daughter of the Scottish civil engineer Benjamin Blyth II (1849-1917).



object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleTulip and Acanthus (alternative title)
Brief Description
Embroidered sideboard runner, 'Tulip' design, cotton embroidered with coloured silks and with a woven silk braid border. Worked with stem stitch and darning stitch.

Physical Description
Tulip sideboard runner

Coloured silks on cotton

Worked in stem stitch
Dimensions
  • Length: 166cm
  • Width: 32cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Jill Ford
Summary
Embroidered textiles were the first furnishings designed and produced by William Morris, enabling him to decorate his homes with the historically inspired textiles he desired, and providing an outlet for his intellectual and physical need to make things by hand. After Morris’s interests moved on to designing and manufacturing other products, the Morris & Co. embroidery studio, managed by his daughter May from 1885 to 1896, functioned as one of the most commercial areas of the company, producing kits and finished embroideries, which were popular with the middle classes and wealthy aristocrats and business people. Embroideries available ranged from cushions and tea cosies to panels for folding screens, and large scale decorative hangings. May Morris introduced many new designs, and was responsible for the success of the embroidery department, as a highly skilled designer and embroiderer, and effective manager.



The design of this embroidery may be a version of the 'Tulip' table cover exhibited by May Morris at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1890. It was a versatile pattern, appearing over thirty times times in various forms in the Morris & Co. embroidery workroom daybook in the NAL collections (MSL/1939/2636), in which May Morris listed all embroidery work commissioned for the years 1892-96. Many of her designs continued to be sold by Morris & Co. well into the twentieth century.



The embroidery was passed to the donor, Jill Ford, by her grandmother, Elsie Winifred Couper (1906-1954), the daughter of the Scottish civil engineer Benjamin Blyth II (1849-1917).



Collection
Accession Number
T.157-2016

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record createdAugust 25, 2016
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