Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Postage Stamps Celebrate History of Morris & Company Arts and Crafts

Royal Mail is celebrating the creative genius of Victorian arts and crafts designers, Morris and Co., on a new set of stamps.

The set of six stamps (two 1st Class, two 76p and two £1.10) highlight some of the company’s most beautiful designs, which were fashioned in wood, fabric, wallpaper, tiles and stained glass.

The original company of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company was founded 150 years ago in 1861, and quickly established a reputation for fashionable interior design and manufacture of fine furniture and decorations.

Its Pre-Raphaelite founders were artist and designer William Morris, together with partners Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the architect Philip Webb, artist Ford Madox Brown, his associate Peter Paul Marshall and Charles Faulkner.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: “The work of Morris and Company has inspired generations of designers and manufacturers and was also a major influence on the arts and crafts movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their legacy is still with us today on wallpaper, fabrics and decorations gracing homes across the UK and around the world.”

William Morris’s work appears on two stamps; a complex fabric print on one of the 1st Class stamps, and a series of hand-painted glazed tiles designed with William De Morgan on one of the £1.10 stamps.

The other 1st Class stamp shows a design used on a wall panel by Philip Webb, which can be seen in the Morris Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The two 76p stamps show a distinctive wallpaper design by John Henry Dearle and a ceramic tile design by Kate Faulkner.

An example of the company’s exquisite stained glass work can be seen on the second £1.10 stamp - The Merchant’s Daughter - by Edward Burne-Jones, the firm’s principal stained glass panel designer.

Through the purchase of the original firm by Arthur Sanderson & Sons Ltd in 1940, the company, now known as Morris and Co., continues to thrive, with the timeless patterns reinterpreted for new generations.

Full stamp details at: Royal Mail

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