Tapestry. `Angeli Ministrantes', woven wool, silk and mohair on a cotton warp. Designed by Henry Dearle with figures by Edward Burne-Jones and woven at Merton Abbey, Morris and Co., England, 1894.


  • Title: Angeli Ministrantes
  • Date Created: 1894 (made) - 1894
  • Location Created: London, Greater London
  • Type: Tapestry
  • Rights: Purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund
  • External Link: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O78864
  • designer: Dearle, John Henry
  • Place Part Of: Greater London
  • More Information: This is a hand-woven tapestry depicting angels. Although unique in design and manufacture, a number of tapestries showing variations of this composition were woven by Morris & Co. in later years. The figures for this tapestry were originally drawn in 1877-1878 by Edward Burne-Jones for stained-glass lancet windows in the south choir of Salisbury Cathedral, which were made in the Morris & Co. workshops. An entry in Burne-Jones's account book between March and August 1878 lists '4 colossal and sublime figures of angels œ20 each'. The original Burne-Jones cartoon, in chalk on stretched paper, is in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In 1894 Burne-Jones's cartoons were converted to tapestry with the addition of background and border designs by John Henry Dearle. This design proved popular for use in churches. J.H. Dearle was William Morris's first tapestry apprentice. He eventually became Morris's assistant and, on Morris's death, was appointed Artistic Director of Morris & Co. Made by Morris & Co's most experienced tapestry weavers, John Martin, William Haines and William Elliman, this tapestry was woven at six warp threads per centimetre. Although coarse in comparison with medieval examples, this suited the designs used and the skills of the Morris & Co. weavers.
  • Materials and Techniques: Wool, silk and mohair on a cotton warp, hand-woven
  • Dimensions: Height: 241.5 cm, Width: 200 cm

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