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AN ENGLISH WHITE LINEN AND SILK DAMASK TABLECLOTH
AN ENGLISH WHITE LINEN AND SILK DAMASK TABLECLOTH
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PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH PRIVATE COLLECTION
AN ENGLISH WHITE LINEN AND SILK DAMASK TABLECLOTH

DESIGNED BY WALTER CRANE, CIRCA 1895

Details
AN ENGLISH WHITE LINEN AND SILK DAMASK TABLECLOTH
DESIGNED BY WALTER CRANE, CIRCA 1895
Woven with an allegory of the five senses in the centre, the border with animals including satyrs, deer and boar, entwined with oak leaves and acorns, the corners with scallops flanked by dolphins, woven inscriptions 'SEE, HEAR, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH', and 'REGD', and woven 'PEARSON' with the crest of a demi-gryphon holding in its claw a millstone
336 x 87 in. (855 x 222 cm.)
Provenance
Possibly Sir Weetman Pearson, 1st Bt., (d.1927) and Lady Pearson (d.1932), later 1st Viscount and Lady Cowdray.
Clive and Alicia Pearson, Parham Park, Sussex, sold Christie's, London, 13 May 1996, lot 952.

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Carys Bingham
Carys Bingham

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Lot Essay

Walter Crane (1845-1915) was a prolific painter, book illustrator and writer. He participated in the first exhibition for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888 and was appointed Principal of The Royal Collage of Art. Although he designed for various media including textiles, ceramics and wallpapers, Crane referred to textiles as 'the most intimate of the arts of design' due to their association with everyday life (G. Smith and S. Hyde, Walter Crane, 1845-1915: Artist, Designer, and Socialist, 1989, p. 124).
The design for the present tablecloth was created by Crane circa 1893 - 1900 and was manufactured by John Wilson & Son. It was reportedly the most widely illustrated item of the 1893 Arts & Crafts Exhibition and the most popular of the modern damask designs Wilson and Co. produced (ibid.). A comparable cloth is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London ( T.450-1976 ). Crane also designed costumes for the 'Dance of the Five Senses' made for the masque 'Beauty's Awakening', performed by the Art Worker's Guild at the Guildhall, London, June 29th, 1899.
The woven name Pearson with the family crest implies that the cloth offered here was commissioned , possibly by Clive's parents Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson and Lady Pearson, later 1st Viscount and Lady Cowdray, who acquired Paddockhurst, Sussex, in 1894 and 16 Carlton House Terrace, London, in 1898, before finally settling at Cowdray Park, Sussex, from 1908.

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