One of the most renowned and influential Arts & Crafts designers and architects, C.F.A. Voysey, is renowned for his designs for textiles, carpets, and wallpapers. As a designer Voysey paid meticulous attention to detail, designing every aspect of a project whether architectural or in a design.
His fabric designs are typically produced on standard graph paper and are used for setting up steam-driven looms. Tomkinson & Adam’s looms were American and so specific grids were required for different types of machinery and weaves. These designs, so charming and vivid in their colours, serve as important interpretation tools for the technicians to bring the designs to life, direct from the master’s hand. The colour sequence would have been transferred to a series of punched cards by a technician, who would use strands of different coloured wools to realise the products. Each minute square on the paper represents a single carpet tuft. To ensure the end-products remained true to his original intent, Voysey often made several annotations with instructions for the weavers concerning the repeat and colouring of the design.
Many of Voysey's carpet designs for Tomkinson & Adam are dated between 1895 and 1907, though later examples exist. The watercolour designs by Voysey for Tomkinson & Adam featuring in our April 2023 Design Since 1860 auction dating from 1898 to 1900 have all been previously exhibited at The Fine Art Society's exhibition C.F.A. Voysey: Designs for Tomkinson & Adam Carpets in 2013. They are fine examples of Voysey’s stylised patterns inspired by the natural world and reflect his ‘puritanical love of simplicity’.
Lyon & Turnbull’s Decorative Arts & Design specialists are renowned for both their knowledge and their sales of artworks conducted from London and Edinburgh and via our live online auctions. Our specialists are experts not only on design from 1860 to the present, but also on current market conditions, an essential combination to any successful auction.
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OLIVIA ROSS | JUNIOR SPECIALIST
0131 557 8844