It is thought that they intended to create 12 embroideries of famous women to decorate the dining room, but just seven were completed. Only six of these were known - three at Castle Howard and three at Morris's summer home Kelmscott Manor - until July 7 when a seventh turned up in the 709-lot sale at Shapes (15% buyer's premium) of Edinburgh.
The 3ft 101/2in by 15in (1.2m x 39cm) unfinished and unframed wool embroidered panel was attributed to Bessie Burden and depicted Aphrodite wearing only a halo and a floral waistband, her hair cascading down almost to her feet.
Shapes consulted The William Morris Society who were able to provide the information on the panel from pre-Raphaelite biographer Jan Marsh and Arts and Crafts textiles specialist Linda Parry. It emerged that the figure of Aphrodite was known only from a painting at Kelmscott.
When the Morris family moved out of Red House in 1865 the panels were dispersed among Jan Morris, Bessie Burden, Kate Faulkner and Georgiana Burne-Jones.