Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Embroidered panel of a pomegranate tree
Embroidered panel of a pomegranate tree with a linen ground embroidered with wools in brick, stem, satin, long and short, and couching stitches. Only the top part of the tree has been completed. The design shows ripe and unripe pomegranates hanging from a tree worked in shades of orange, brown, pink and red wools with brown and blue-green leaves and trunk. Holes down the edges of the background linen show where the panel was attached to a frame.
The source for this embroidery is not known. Whereas it may be a set of Arthurian designs by Edward Burne-Jones and embroidered by Georgiana Burne-Jones for their home at 62 Great Russell Street, the embroidery is far more competent than the other extant pieces. It is therefore possible that the tree formed part of another earlier series designed by William Morris and embroidered by jane Morris and others for the Red House, Bexley Heath, about 1860. Of similar design this scheme was intended to show Chaucerian figures of 'Good Women' attanged between trees. The style of embroidery is much closer to the earlier Morris scheme.