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A MORRIS & CO. 'HAMMERSMITH' CARPET, AFTER A DESIGN BY JOHN HENRY DEARLE (1860-1932)
A MORRIS & CO. 'HAMMERSMITH' CARPET, AFTER A DESIGN BY JOHN HENRY DEARLE (1860-1932)
A MORRIS & CO. 'HAMMERSMITH' CARPET, AFTER A DESIGN BY JOHN HENRY DEARLE (1860-1932)
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Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Ro… Read more PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A MORRIS & CO. 'HAMMERSMITH' CARPET, AFTER A DESIGN BY JOHN HENRY DEARLE (1860-1932)

MERTON ABBEY, SURREY, ENGLAND, CIRCA 1900

Details
A MORRIS & CO. 'HAMMERSMITH' CARPET, AFTER A DESIGN BY JOHN HENRY DEARLE (1860-1932)
MERTON ABBEY, SURREY, ENGLAND, CIRCA 1900
The striated terracotta and rust-red field enclosed within a decorative border of entwined vines with large chequered flowering buds between narrow geometric-patterned guard stripes, handwoven, full pile, a couple of minor spot repairs, overall excellent condition
17ft.6in. x 11ft.8in. (535cm. x 357cm.)
Provenance
Purchased from the Fine Art Society, London, 1980
Special notice

Specified lots are being stored at Crozier Park Royal (details below) or will be removed from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot has been transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection from 12.00pm on the second business day following the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

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Lot Essay

In 1889 William Morris, reputedly, created his final carpet design for Morris & Co. and the following year John Henry Dearle (1860 - 1932) succeeded as principal designer for all carpets woven at the Hammersmith and Merton Abbey workshops, although there was a period of transition when both designers collaborated on projects in several media. Dearle had previously been designer of embroideries with Morris' daughter, May, from 1885 and had been William’s principle design assistant but took over as artistic director of Morris & Co upon the death of the Master in 1896.
When discussing carpets Morris stated, "the designs should always be very elementary in form and suggestive merely of forms of leafage, flowers, beasts and birds etc", (Oliver Fairclough and Emmeline Leary, Textiles by William Morris & Morris & Co 1861-1940, London, 1981, p.50). In keeping with Morris’s ideals, Dearle’s designs incorporated many of the original, quintessentially British, flora and fauna motifs. He combined the importance of finesse in textile draftmanship and an understanding, no doubt under Morris’s influence, of the Persian designs of the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular the ‘vase’ design from the Safavid era. These two disciplines allowed more extravagant and complicated patterns which prepared the company for the oncoming 20th century market.
Dearle recognised the importance of maintaining the link between the company’s founder and its future success but was progressive and prepared the company for the shift in the market at the turn of the century; in which the Morris-led Arts and Crafts approach was being overshadowed by the desire for the exotic.
While few carpets display the simple striated open field design of the present carpet, the same border of entwined leafy vines with large, chequered floral buds, appears on a carpet with a central floral design designed by Henry Dearle (dated to 1900-1902) which was commissioned for the Australian, George McCulloch. " The carpet attained international fame when it was exhibited at the English Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Turin in 1902 and became a very popular design. The border in particular was used a number of times with plain and mottled centres for machine and hand-knotted carpets." (Linda Parry, William Morris Textiles, Weidenfield and Nicolson, London,1983). The narrow bi-tonal barber-pole outer guard stripe and the chequered inner guard stripe are patterns found on many of the Morris & Co carpets.
A related carpet of narrower proportions with a plain mottled green field and similar border, was formerly in the collection of Stanley J. Seeger which sold at Sotheby's 5-6 March, 2014, lot 851, illustrated in Malcolm Haslam, Arts & Crafts Carpets, London, 1991, pp. 50 and 52/53.

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