Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Style Starters: Liberty's of London Peacock Fabric, 1887

Roller Printed
Designed by Arthur Silver for Liberty's of London, 1887
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see a textile sample from a roller-printed cotton which was used for furnishings, as curtains or upholstery. The brilliantly colored tail feathers of peacocks were very popular motifs with designers of the Aesthetic Movement. In addition to being a popular theme in textiles both for home and fashion, the feathers themselves were often used in the home—placed in vases and containers to add rich color to any space.  That’s a trick that I use around my own 1890s home and I must say it’s an elegant addition to a room.

This pattern was drawn in 1887 by Arthur Silver who set up the Silver Studio at Brook Green in 1880, later moving to Haarlem Road, Hammersmith, London. The Silver Studio was renowned for its designs and supplies them to a host of high-end retailers.

This particular textile was originally sold through Liberty's on Regent Street, London.  Liberty’s notably helped proliferate the Aesthetic style in England. This pattern was resurrected for the V&A's Liberty exhibition in 1975 and has since become almost a trademark for the company.

Reverse of the fabric.

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