Given by the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum
Length: 180.5 cm, Width: 66 cm
British Galleries, room 120
Printed by Joseph Lockett for George Palfreyman, Manchester
Britannia riding in her chariot with her shield and trident is one of the main features on this printed furnishing fabric. For British consumers it seemed natural and proper that Britannia should take her place alongside classical goddesses such as Minerva, Roman goddess of Wisdom, who occupies the other chariot. [27/03/2003]
The pattern of this printed cotton was made by means of an engraved metal roller. Roller-printing on textiles had been introduced in the late 18th century,and at first it was used mainly for small-patterned dress fabrics. By the time this cotton was printed in about 1816 the technique had been developed for much larger-scale designs, and by the 1830s roller-printing had largely replaced block-printing in the production of fashionable furnishing fabrics.
Many of the engravers of metal roller-plates were skilled draughtsmen. This design was engraved by a Mr Sutherland from the firm of Joseph Lockett. Lockett himself was one of the finest engravers working in the English industry in the first half of the 19th century.
Most of the leading printworks in the London area had closed down by the beginning of the 19th century, and the centre of the textile printing industry had shifted to Lancashire, where this cotton was printed, and to Carlisle in Cumbria.