Cushion cover panel of roller-printed cotton, designed by The Silver Studio for Liberty & Co. Ltd., probably made by Swaisland Print Works, Kent, retailed in London, 1904
Height: 60.3 cm, Width: 61 cm
British Galleries, room 125f
Designed in the Silver Studio for Liberty & Co.
Probably printed at the Swaisland Print Works, Crayford, Kent
The design shows the stylised, naturalistic motifs that were often associated with the Liberty style. Roller printing provided a method for manufacturing such fabrics cheaply and in large quantities. Liberty & Co., the fashionable department store in Regent Street, London, was quick to exploit such developments to increase its market for mass-produced 'artistic' goods. [27/03/2003]
This printed cotton panel for a cushion cover would have been a fashionable yet moderately inexpensive furnishing. Liberty's sold a range of furnishings with strong contemporary Arts and Crafts styles, which could transform simple homes into very fashionable interiors with a minimum of expense. This cushion cover is one of a series that were sold at the shop between the late 1890s and the First World War.
It is probable that this panel was printed at the Swaisland Print Works at Crayford, London, which was owned at the time by the importers and textile manufacturers G.P &.J. Baker. The design was drawn by one of the designers working in the Silver Studio, which was founded in 1880 in Brook Green, London, by Arthur Silver (1853-1896) but later moved to Haarlem Road in nearby Hammersmith.
Founded for the production of entire interior schemes as well as for repeating designs for fabrics, wallpapers and floor coverings, the Silver Studio also sold patterns for plasterwork, dress fabrics, stencils, metalwork, furniture, book jackets, advertisements and trade cards. The studio had a wide range of clients, including Liberty's. This cushion cover is reminiscent of the work of C.F.A. Voysey (1857-1941), one of the most popular of all British Arts and Crafts designers, and follows the studio's practice of working in the style of popular contemporary designers.