The cat’s whiskers: a detail of a 1930s embroidery panel by May Morris that provided one of the strongest results at the Lyon & Turnbull ‘live online’ sale on April 1.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

As early as 1885, at the age of 23, she became manager of the Morris & Co embroidery department at Merton Abbey and continued there until the death of her father in 1896.

Much of her later works were private commissions.

This 18in x 2ft 4in (45 x 70cm) embroidered panel has a handwritten inscription reading Hunter at Bay was designed and worked by me in 1935, May Morris and a paper label for Kelmscott Manor, the Morris family’s Cotwolds home.


The 1930s embroidery panel by May Morris that sold for £8500 at Lyon & Turnbull.

The May Morris archive, in the Ashmolean Museum since 1941, includes the watercolour design for this piece. Estimated at £3000-5000 in Lyon & Turnbull’s ‘live online’ sale on April 1, it sold at £8500 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).