Collection Online
linen, silk (thread)
190.0 × 98.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1976
Gallery location
Not on display
This embroidery features a Grecian style vase containing a white flower with an extended stem and green leaves as its central motif. The background is made up of twelve large flowers in full bloom surrounded by foliage coloured in various shades of blue. These flowers are predominantly pink and yellow and placed symmetrically either side of the vase. Four flowers with surrounding leaves appear at the base, either side of the vase. Around the exterior of the wall hanging is a border in green and orange with a curved line through the centre. Long and short stitches.

This classical-inspired wall hanging was designed by the painter and stained-glass designer Henry Holiday and embroidered by his wife, Catherine Holiday. It was retailed by William Morris’s firm Morris & Co., for whom Catherine worked as a freelance embroiderer. Morris described her as one of the most talented embroiderers in Europe, and trusted her artistic aesthetic so implicitly that he allowed her to choose her own colours and stitches. The hanging is worked in long and short stitch with polychrome colours of blue, pink, yellow and white.

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)