Trellis thumbnail 1
Trellis thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case MB2A, Shelf DR76, Box LOANS

Trellis

Wallpaper
11/1862 (designed (pattern)), 01/02/1864 (design registered), 1864 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
In Britain, paper printed with patterns has been used for decorating walls since the 16th century. By the late 19th century wallpapers were widely used by all classes, in homes and also in public buildings. William Morris designed a number of wallpapers, all with repeating patterns based on natural forms.

Places
Morris was prompted to design his own wallpapers because he could not find any that he liked well enough to use in his own home. He designed 'Trellis' shortly after moving to the Red House. The gardens at the Red House were arranged in a Medieval style, with roses growing over trellises which enclosed the flowerbeds. This wallpaper pattern was inspired by these trellises.

Design & Designing
'Trellis' is typical of Morris's early wallpaper patterns. It combines simple bird and flower forms with a plain coloured background. It is a compromise between the boldly coloured pictorial patterns which were then popular with the general public, and the formalised flat patterns in muted tones which were promoted by the design reform movement. Philip Webb, the architect of the Red House, drew the birds for this wallpaper design.
read William Morris and wallpaper design During his career, William Morris produced over 50 wallpapers. These designs – many of which feature in the V&A's extensive Morris collection – adopted a naturalistic and very British take on pattern that was both new and quietly radical.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
block-printed in distemper colours, on paper
Brief Description
'Trellis' wallpaper pattern, thorned rose bush, with red flowers, growing on a wooden trellis, with birds and flying insects, with a pale blue ground; Block-printed in distemper colours, on paper; Inscribed in ink on the back 'Trellis 9 / 8/8'; The first paper designed by William Morris, but the third to be issued; The birds were designed by Philip Webb; Part of 'Volume 1', a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919); England; Designed 1862; Registered and produced 1864.
Physical Description
'Trellis' wallpaper pattern, thorned rose bush, with red flowers, growing on a wooden trellis, with birds and flying insects, with a pale blue ground; Block-printed in distemper colours, on paper; Inscribed in ink on the back 'Trellis 9 / 8/8'.

Part of Volume 1, a pattern book containing 25 Morris & Co. patterns from 1862-81 (E.441-529-1919).
Dimensions
  • Unframed height: 68cm
  • Unframed width: 52.9cm
Dimensions checked: measured; 10/10/2000 by PaperCons
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
Inscribed in ink on the back Trellis 9 / 8/8
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Philip Webb supplied the bird designs for this, the first wallpaper that William Morris ever designed. The pattern was inspired by the garden at Red House, Bexleyheath, near London, Morris's first home. Wallpaper was one of the earliest forms of decoration supplied by the firm. Their own early attempts to print their designs failed and from this time all Morris papers were produced by Jeffrey & Co..(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Morris & Co.
Object history
Given by Morris & Co.

The first paper William Morris designed, but the third to be issued (1864).

The birds were designed by Phillip Webb.



Designed by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) with additions by Philip Webb (born in Oxford, 1831, died in Worth, West Sussex, 1915); printed in London by Jeffrey & Co. for Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
Production
The 'Trellis' design was the first paper William Morris designed, but the third to be issued. Produced 1864. The birds were designed by Phillip Webb.
Summary
Object Type
In Britain, paper printed with patterns has been used for decorating walls since the 16th century. By the late 19th century wallpapers were widely used by all classes, in homes and also in public buildings. William Morris designed a number of wallpapers, all with repeating patterns based on natural forms.

Places
Morris was prompted to design his own wallpapers because he could not find any that he liked well enough to use in his own home. He designed 'Trellis' shortly after moving to the Red House. The gardens at the Red House were arranged in a Medieval style, with roses growing over trellises which enclosed the flowerbeds. This wallpaper pattern was inspired by these trellises.

Design & Designing
'Trellis' is typical of Morris's early wallpaper patterns. It combines simple bird and flower forms with a plain coloured background. It is a compromise between the boldly coloured pictorial patterns which were then popular with the general public, and the formalised flat patterns in muted tones which were promoted by the design reform movement. Philip Webb, the architect of the Red House, drew the birds for this wallpaper design.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
  • Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris London : Philip Wilson in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 9 May-1 Sept. 1996, p.206.
  • Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1919, London: Printed Under the Authority of His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1921
Collection
Accession Number
E.452-1919

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL