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Little Tree

Date: ca. 1890
Dimensions:
110 1/2 x 50 in. (280.7 x 127 cm.)
Medium: wool on cotton warp
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Object Number: 2000.5.511
Label Text:In 1879, Morris relocated his looms from Queen Square to the converted coach house in his own backyard in Hammersmith. The carpets made for the short period between 1879 and 1881 bear the distinctive "M" mark with a picture of a hammer and waves (symbolizing the Thames). For these hand-made carpets, which the firm called "Hammersmith" carpets, Morris developed two-way designs that could be read from any direction, as seen here. This example also shows Morris "quartering" his design, or dividing it into four blocks, each of which mirrors its neighbors. The star-like medallions that appear at the center and sides of the design were based on Persian carpets, which exerted a strong influence on Morris's designs and technique. The carpet thickness, measured at twenty-five knots per square inch, made them very durable and worth their higher price tag.