In an earlier post I mentioned finding this beautiful book on Swedish embroidery, written by Eivor Fisher for an Anchor series in 1953. Here is a sneaky peek to show you how inspiring this book is. I loved reading about the traditional bridegroom shirts, made by their future wife to be worn on their wedding day, and “often not used again until needed as a shroud”.
I’ve recently been doing some research on Jane Morris. She was named Jane Burden before she married William Morris, the poet and designer craftsman, and she modeled for many of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s drawings and paintings. Her features have come to represent the quintessential Pre-Raphaelite female beauty, and might look familiar from the posters for the current Tate Britain exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avante-Gardes.
I was bemused/ amused to come across this less-well known drawing by Rossetti of her with …a wombat.
Rossetti had an ongoing fascination with wombats, and even kept one as a pet. The drawing was made after the death of ‘Top’ the wombat and Rossetti clearly laments its passing in the accompanying poem, which also seems to be a reference to his love for Jane: