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  • Object number: BlA456

Design for Embroidered Table Cover (c. 1880)

William Morris (1834 - 1896)

This design for an embroidered reversible table cover has clearly been used as a working drawing, intended to communicate the design and choice of colours to the artisan who would make up the piece. The swirling, symmetrical floral pattern and choice of earthy, natural hues are typical of the smaller pieces of embroidery sold by Morris & Co. for domestic decoration.

"At first glance, this design appears unfinished, but looking more closely you can see faint pencil markings underneath the coloured sections. The pencil markings have vertical and diagonal symmetry with the parts that are coloured in, in a mathematical pattern. The purpose of the design is to convey information to the maker. Therefore because of the symmetry, the composition is complete."

Raizel Frankl-Slater, WMG Young Producer