Jul 11, 2017
Nov 8, 2006
Jul 12, 2017



Early 20th century

designed in imitation of

William Morris

(British, 1834–1896)

Plain weave cotton, printed

Overall: 85.1 x 100.3 cm (33 1/2 x 39 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Henry Chisholm 1937.695



When Morris designed Snakeshead in 1877, Indian silks were in style and widely imported from British India. This design stands out for its diminutive motifs and the strong red and black colors, which were fashionable only for a short time before paler hues regained favor with clients. While its color scheme suggests distant lands with warmer climates, the pattern showcases one of Morris’s favorite flowers: the fritillary, a wildflower that he remembered growing in the meadows near Oxford.

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