WALTHAMSTOW: William Morris tapestry fails to sell at auction

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Part of Sir Edward Burne-Jones' tapestry Part of Sir Edward Burne-Jones' tapestry

A TAPESTRY made in William Morris's workshop and owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page went under the hammer at Sotheby's.

The Pre-Raphelite work, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, which was expected to sell for £1 million was auctioned but did not reach its reserve price.

But other work by Burne-Jones, as well as pieces by Morris himself and Frank Brangwyn did sell at the famous Bond Street auction house.

A set of five stunning stained glass panels, also by Burne-Jones, sold for several times more than the estimated value of between £25,000 and £35,000 each, one going for £84,000.

A decorative fire screen by Morris sold for £2,500 and a rare sofa by Frank Brangwyn, whose gift to the people of Walthamstow makes up the major part of the William Morris Gallery in Forest Road, Walthamstow, was exhibited and not auctioned but sold separately for an unknown sum.

For now the 24ft-long tapestry, called The Attainment: The Vision of the Holy Grail to Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Perceval, will stay as part of rock star Mr Page's collection.

It was woven for Stanmore Hall in Middlesex in 1893 and Mr Page is only its third owner - he bought it himself at auction in 1978.

Burne Jones was a lifelong friend of Walthamstow-born William Morris after they bonded over a shared love of poetry at Oxford University, and he was persuaded to become an artist by the younger man.

He studied under Dante Gabrielle Rossetti, was influenced by John Ruskin and was largely responsible for bringing the Pre-Raphelites into the mainstream of the British art world.

The 24m-wide weave is considered to be a seminal work of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was the star item in a sale of more than 130 lots in a showcase stretching from the Gothic revival of the 1840s through to post-war design of the 1960s.

A spokeswoman at the famous Bond Street auction house said she could not say if it would go on sale again.

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