14th October 2017
Depending on the colouring of William Morris’ designs, each can look completely different as you might have seen throughout the years. As long time fans of Brother Rabbit (also known as Brer Rabbit) by Morris and selling it in our blue colour way for a while now, we’ve had so many people requesting us to sell it in red and so we’ve listened to you and have finally launched our new licensed William Morris Brother Rabbit design in red!
Brother Rabbit was first produced in May 1882. One of nineteen designs Morris registered at the Patent Office between 1881-1882.
The design uses pairs of small animals and birds conforms to the marked turnover pattern. It’s a beautiful design that has various aspects to it – from further away you’ll see the overall design and admire it, but take a closer look and you’ll see why Morris’ designs really stand out from the rest. An intricate pattern, the rabbits and birds within the design are so beautiful – his naturalistic observations aiding him in producing his detailed designs.
Brother Rabbit was inspired by the Uncle Remus Stories written by J.C. Harris. These were the stories Morris read to his children Jenny and May at their home Kelmscott Manor, so it was a special design to the whole family, inspired by fond family memories. The birds in the design were drawn by Morris’ close friend Philip Webb as the birds in his designs often were. W.R. Lethaby spoke of the shared passions of lifelong friends Morris and Webb “They had religious love for England … [an] affection and even worship for the very earth, trees, fields, animals, ploughs, wagons and buildings —and yes, the weather too“
Different in temperament, it’s been said Webb had a stabilising influence on Morris – who often had headstone and impulsive moments, which Webb gave practical and realistic solutions to. Red House was built for Morris in 1859-60 and unable to find soft furnishings he deemed suitable, it became a collaborative project of Morris and Webb to furnish the home with their ideas and creations. This encouraged them to found their own business which was Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. in 1861. Following this, after the company had been dissolved, it was reformed under Morris’ ownership after fractious friendships came to a head – yet Webb and Morris’ friendship remained and he continued to work for Morris until Morris’ death in 1896.
Our products are both printed and manufactured in the UK, are licensed designs by William Morris, and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications to best suit our products.
So what do you think? Do you prefer Brother Rabbit in the blue or the red?