Thank you for helping us reach our target!
This original design for wallpaper required eight blocks to print and is the only design for wallpaper by May Morris in the Society’s collection. Inscribed on the front in pencil are notes on the printing blocks and on the verso ‘Honeysuckle Wallpaper’ and ‘Mr Morris Esq’. There had been some uncertainty whether May or William Morris designed Honeysuckle as it differs to May’s other designs for wallpapers; Horn Poppy and Arcadia. However, the heavily worked pencil outlines and technique is characteristic of her designs and it was attributed to May Morris for the first time in c1910. Honeysuckle was available in four colourways for wallpaper, and the Society is fortunate to have all of these examples in its collection.
Honeysuckle is now in need of attention by a conservator. Over the years, strain on the frame has resulted in the mount slipping, recently causing the design to come into partial contact with the glazing. A full condition assessment report by an accredited paper conservator will be conducted, previous paper hinges removed and new hinges created, and light humidification carried out on areas of undulation. It is also vital that this unique design is remounted and re-framed in order for it to be safely displayed. All mounting materials will be acid-free and the conservation glazing with ultra violet filtering glass will protect this beautiful watercolour for the future.
The Society has been generously offered a donation of £750 towards this work, conditional on this amount being matched by members and other supporters. If we are successful in raising the money then we would like to display the reframed design besides related items from our collection such as examples of wallpapers printed from May’s designs. This could form the basis of a wonderful learning resource for our schools and family workshops.
We are delighted to announce that we have reached our target! The necessary conservation work can now be carried our and the Honeysuckle design reframed. We hope to put it on display later this year – watch this space for more information.
We are very grateful to all our supporters for their kind donations which have helped us to protect this important item from our collection. If you would like to make a donation to help us in our work of spreading knowledge of William Morris and his circle to a wider audience, please visit the ‘Support Us’ page of this website.