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All the great art which the world has produced is in fact, decorative. ~John Ruskin, Modern Manufacture and Design
William Morris described Acanthus as a "luxurious" pattern, a quality May worked throughout her embroidery implementation of her father's design. May's implementation is less bold than her father's design, and more in keeping with the smaller patterns favored by many Victorians.
These Acanthus tiles are based on a later Morris & Co. embroidery by May Morris, William Morris's younger daughter. By the 1890s, nearly all Morris & Co. designs were registered under the name of John Henry Dearle, who had initially worked as a shop assistant and then became a design apprentice. He was appointed chief designer at Morris & Co. in 1890 and while May's Acanthus clearly shows the hand of John Henry Dearle (see the daffodils), it even more exemplifies the style of May Morris, who headed the Embroidery Department at Morris and Co. both before and after her father's death in 1896.
Designer: William Morris, implemented by May Morris
Date: As early as 1874, but Acanthus evolved well into the 1880s and beyond.
Backgrounds: White, wheat (warm white), cobalt, black
6 x 6 inch tiles: $66 each
8 x 8 inch tiles: $81 each
Each Acanthus border mural is 12 inches square, on four 6 inch tiles. This configuration may work for an undercabinet area or above a sink / below a window.
Backgrounds: The four-square border is only available on wheat background.
6 inch tiles (4 tiles): $372 each (first set, $331 each additional set)
May's Acanthus embroidery 12-tile backsplash is available on 4.25 inch tiles (12.75 inches x 17 inches) and 6 inch tiles (18 x 18).
Backgrounds: White, wheat, cobalt, black
4.25 inch tiles (12 tiles): $1295 each
6 inch tiles (12 tiles): $1795 each
May Morris Acanthus, foursquare on six-inch tiles
Custom border (18 tile) based on the 12 tile mural.
Copyright information: Images of tile products on this website are ©William Morris Tile, LLC. They are derivative works requiring considerable creative effort. You are welcome to use the images, with attribution, for any non-commercial purpose, including displaying them on your blog or personal website. You may not use them for any commercial purpose without written permission, including but not limited to creating counted cross-stitch patterns, calendars, or any other commercial purpose. Contact me for images.