John Henry Dearle was a textile, wallpaper, and stained-glass designer in late 19th century London. He was working under William Morris of Morris & Co. when he designed the Partridge embroidery. A kit of the design and corresponding silks were sold to Mrs. Cunliffe in 1904. She completed most of the kit, before gifting it to Lady Margaret Ayre, who completed the majority of what was left. The century old piece has now become a family heirloom, and aside from a gallery tour, has spent most of its life in the darkness of preservation.
The Partridge Reproduction (Private Collection)
A Morris & Co. Embroidery of a John Henry Dearle Design
The embroidery, just over 9.5 by 5 feet, is a stunning display of iridescence and vibrancy. It was featured in The Earthly Paradise: Arts and Crafts by Willaim Morries and his Circle from Canadian Collections (1993). It has also toured through the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Musee du Quebec, and the National Gallery of Canada, as part of the Earthly Paradise collection. The family that owns the embroidery reached out to Resolve Photo to help capture the colour and beauty that had fallen flat in previous publications.
We’re familiar with working on reproductions of all kinds. We take extra measures to control light consistency, sharpness, and colour. The embroidery was a challenging piece due to the size, and the sheen and colour of the materials. The payoff was huge. We printed it on Hahnemuhle Bamboo, a matte, warm bamboo/cotton blended paper that lent a life-like quality to the image. Our neighbours at Jarvis Hall took on the ornate frame that kept the feel of the reproduction consistent. The history of the embroidery played an important role in the overall outcome of the reproduction.
We love projects that help us grow while delivering a piece to the customer that exceeds expectations. The owner has said that the reproduction allows the piece to shine as an enjoyed and talked about piece in their home.