'Willow Bough' wallpaper

William Morris, Morris & Co., and Jeffrey & Co.designed 1887, printed before 1940

William Morris Gallery

William Morris Gallery
Walthamstow, London, United Kingdom

'Willow Bough' is one of William Morris's most enduring wallpaper designs, in continuous production since 1887. The design consists of willow branches that form a diagonal branch pattern over the plain background. As he eloquently expressed in his lecture ‘Hints on Pattern Designing’, a successful design should combine a degree of abstraction with a gentle reminder of the outdoors rather than a few "sham-real boughs and flowers, casting sham-real shadows on your walls, with little hint of anything beyond the Covent Garden in them".

In 1874, Morris had designed a similar wallpaper called 'Willow', a simpler stylised representation of willow branches. 'Willow Bough' is a more naturalistic version of this earlier pattern with curling leaves in tones of green.


  • Title: 'Willow Bough' wallpaper
  • Creator: William Morris, Morris & Co., Jeffrey & Co.
  • Date Created: designed 1887, printed before 1940
  • Location Created: Islington, London, England
  • Type: wallpaper
  • Rights: © William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Physical Dimensions: 62.9 x 57.2 cm
  • Object Number: B96
  • Medium: block-printed in distemper on paper
  • Credit line: Presented by Miss Frances Lefroy, 1965

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