Moorcroft Threads of Time



Here Nicola Slaney takes her inspiration from William Morris' loyal colleague, John Henry Dearle. Dearle created a trio of wall hangings entitled Owl and Pigeon c.1895, and they were bought from Morris & Co as work kits, and were all very ambitious projects. One such kit was bought by a very good client, Mrs Battye who embroidered her wall hanging in silks on silk damask between c.1898 and 1900 and which are now on display in the V&A Museum. By the end of his life, Dearle was one of those rare people who had no need to cling to the Morris name to carve out a career for himself. He was too good for that. Instead, he delivered an outpouring of excellence which was so good that when Morris died in October 1896, Dearle had been in effective charge of Morris & Co. since 1890. Not bad for a young lad who started his working life as a shop assistant under the watchful eye of Morris himself. No surprise also when you find that Dearle remained in charge of key sections of the Morris business until January 1932. Dearle never sought to raise himself to the top of the mountain by effectively stealing the Morris halo. Instead, everything that he did was done for his mentor, friend and idol. Only in the 1980s, following intensive research by the Victoria and Albert Museum, was Dearle given his full credits and his designs are no longer attributed to Morris. This would have included the Owl and Pigeon, so admired by Nicola. Her prestige vase is for the Moorcroft connoisseur and keeps the story of Morris and Dearle very much alive today.

Designed by Nicola Slaney

Ltd Ed 10

Size | 45cm