Perpetuating the memory of one of the greatest men of the Victorian age

OBJECT OF THE MONTH: SEPTEMBER 2020

Posted on September 4, 2020

Wey textile (on velvet)

This textile was produced in 1883 using the surface block printing method at Merton Abbey. The piece is a printed velveteen textile depicting a branch design of diagonally meandering stems with acanthus leaves and unopened chrysanthemum flowers, and with large red and yellow chrysanthemum open flowerheads, on a red background.

The pattern was designed by Morris in response to a 15th century velvet acquired by the South Kensington Museum in 1883. A strong diagonal pattern was typical of his wallpaper and textile designs around this period. It is one of 13 textile designs by Morris named after tributaries of the River Thames.