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Nudelman Rare Books

Morris & Company- Long Woven Kneeler] Exquisite Detailed and Colorful Merton Abbey Woven Kneeler

Morris & Company- Long Woven Kneeler] Exquisite Detailed and Colorful Merton Abbey Woven Kneeler, ca. 1880’s

A wonderful, long and fine Morris & Company kneeler made at the famous Merton Abbey plant, ca. 1882-1887, double woven in superb colors and typical Morissian pattern reminiscent of the grapevine pattern seen on the title-page border design on the Kelmscott Press Chaucer, and may represent an early motif in this Morris patterning. Certainly, Morris produced many designs involving grapevines and this may be one specially chosen for the narrow border-esque design of a kneeler. This is a very long, thin specimen, measuring 650 x 30 cm (21 1/3 feet long, 11.5 inches wide). The long thin panel features fine woven craftsmanship, decorated with a waving grape vine motif in red, green and salmon pink on a blue ground, unsigned. Provenance: West Down Preparatory School, Winchester private collection. Literature: Malcolm Haslam, Arts and Crafts Carpets, David Black, page 6-7, this kneeler illustrated. The Abbey was restructured for textile printing in the early nineteenth century and was acquired by William Morris in June 1881 as the new home of Morris & Co.'s workshops. The complex, on 7 acres, included several buildings and a dyeworks, and the various buildings were soon adapted for stained glass making, textile printing, and fabric, tapestry, as well as carpet-weaving. A remarkably preserved and rare example of Morrisian Arts & Crafts design and craftsmanship.