Tuesday, February 2, 2010

May Morris

circa 1890

Embroidered Panel
c.1885 stamped MORRIS & CO. to reverse of frame
19 3/8in. (49.2cm.) high

mahogany, silk
32 5/8in. (82.8cm.) high

"By producing small embroideries, for firescreens and cushions, many more people were able to acquire designs. Many of these designs were sold in kit form, becoming the financial mainstay of the business. The designs were available in three different stages of completion; as background fabric marked with the design to be embroidered entirely at home, with the embroidery already started as a guide or, all the work could be done in the Morris & Co workshops.

William Morris in 1885 handed over the management of the Embroidery Section to his daughter May, aged 23. She had already designed embroideries and was a skilled embroideress. All designs for embroidery were either designed by her or John Henry Dearle, Morris's assistant, who on Morris's death became Art Director."
- Meg Andrews


Photograph by Frederick Hollyer
circa 1890


A threefold screen
Designed by J.H. Dearle and May Morris, circa 1885,
retailed by Morris & Co.
Mahogany frame with ebony banding,
glazed panels with satin stitch embroidery,
central drop leaf shelf
69in. (177.3cm.) high; 20in. (51.3cm.) width of side panels;
23in. (58.7cm.) width of central panel
Stamped twice Morris & Co 449 Oxford St West, numbered 1586


  1. Amazing! I love these portraits and the most fine, sensitive works of art! Like father, like..hmm..daughter! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Indeed ... she carried on his work in a most beautiful way.