caption

Edward Burne-Jones, Design embroidered on bed board

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)

Details

Country House
Mells Manor
Title(s)
Design embroidered on bed board
Date
1891
Medium and support
Cloth
Dimensions
Overall height: 24 cm, Overall width: 30 cm
Artist
Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
Catalogue Number
MM74

Description

The unfinished embroidery on the bed board takes its design from a Burne-Jones watercolour of a female figure reclining with her left arm resting on a vase while she reaches out to a flower with her right arm.1 An almost identical figure by Burne-Jones, which retains a painted face and arms, is inset in a large tapestry worked by Frances Horner, hanging above the fireplace in the Drawing Room at Mells.

In an undated letter (probably around 1891) from Burne-Jones to Frances Horner, he refers to a drawing that may be the present design:


Dearest Frances

Rooke tells me you want little figures in the spaces left in his bed quilt thing he has copied for you – so I have done a sort of Flora, amended from the original which may perhaps do – but it is only a guide for the outline & I dont know what colour the rest is – so dont bother about the colour, make it what you like that will go with the rest – its the first work I have done & I am still as weak as can be, but perhaps it is good enough for the purpose . . . I wonder if the figure will do – Rooke drew the space out but on such nasty coloured paper that it was discouraging to work but I dare say it will do my dear . . .2

by Devon Cox

Footnotes

  1. A similar drawing embroidered by Frances Horner was recently with the London art dealer H. Blairman & Sons: https://blairman.co.uk/stock/flora/ (accessed 15 June 2020).

    1
  2. Sir Edward Burne-Jones to Frances Horner, n.d. [c.1891], Mells Manor Archive, M/04/1353.

    2

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