Carpet thumbnail 1
Carpet thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery

Carpet

1889 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This hand-knotted carpet is the first weaving of a design made by William Morris and his assistant J.H. Dearle. Two later weavings of the design were made. All of Morris & Co.'s hand-knotted carpets are called 'Hammersmiths' after the location of his London home, where they were first woven.

This example is part of the Morris & Co. furnishings for Bullerswood in Chislehurst in Kent, the home of wool trader John Sanderson. Built in 1866 the house was later altered by Ernest Newton. Two Hammersmith carpets were ordered for the house, one for the hall and this one, designed for the drawing room. Museum records dating from a visit to the house in 1921 state 'it appears that the drawing room was decorated by William Morris under his personal supervision and nothing was allowed to be placed in it in addition to objects executed by himself'.

Although Morris believed that Persian carpets were the greatest ever made, he adopted the coarser Turkish (Ghiordes) knot for his own hand-knotted carpet manufacture. They were woven at a thickness of 25 knots to the square inch. The design includes many motif devised by Morris for carpets. It also shows later, more formal elements characteristic of Henry Dearle's work. There is a strong possibility, therefore, that the carpet was a collaborative project.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand-knotted with woollen pile on a cotton warp
Brief Description
Morris, William. "Bullerswood Carpet"
Physical Description
Wool carpet
Dimensions
  • Length: 764.8cm
  • Width: 398.8cm
  • Weight: 129kg
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This is the grandest of all the hand-knotted 'Hammersmith' carpets made by Morris & Co. Its design and technique are based on ancient Persian and Turkish examples which Morris collected. It was woven at a time when Morris was absorbed in many other occupations and was probably designed in collaboration with his assistant, J. H. Dearle.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by J. Sanderson
Object history
Designed by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) and John Henry Dearle (born in 1860, died in 1932); made by Morris & Co., Merton Abbey, near Wimbledon, London



Made for Bullerswood, Chislehurst, Kent; the house was decorated by Morris & Co under Morris's personal supervision
Production
Designed by William Morris (born in London, 1834, died there in 1896) and John Henry Dearle (born in 1860, died in 1932); made by Morris & Co., Merton Abbey, near Wimbledon, London
Summary
This hand-knotted carpet is the first weaving of a design made by William Morris and his assistant J.H. Dearle. Two later weavings of the design were made. All of Morris & Co.'s hand-knotted carpets are called 'Hammersmiths' after the location of his London home, where they were first woven.



This example is part of the Morris & Co. furnishings for Bullerswood in Chislehurst in Kent, the home of wool trader John Sanderson. Built in 1866 the house was later altered by Ernest Newton. Two Hammersmith carpets were ordered for the house, one for the hall and this one, designed for the drawing room. Museum records dating from a visit to the house in 1921 state 'it appears that the drawing room was decorated by William Morris under his personal supervision and nothing was allowed to be placed in it in addition to objects executed by himself'.



Although Morris believed that Persian carpets were the greatest ever made, he adopted the coarser Turkish (Ghiordes) knot for his own hand-knotted carpet manufacture. They were woven at a thickness of 25 knots to the square inch. The design includes many motif devised by Morris for carpets. It also shows later, more formal elements characteristic of Henry Dearle's work. There is a strong possibility, therefore, that the carpet was a collaborative project.
Bibliographic Reference
Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Collection
Accession Number
T.31-1923

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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