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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Tapestry fetches small fortune
Greenery depicts a woodland scene and includes a 19th Century poem
A rare Victorian tapestry has sold for 180,000 at an auction in Edinburgh.

The 19th century artwork, entitled Greenery, was bought by a London buyer at a decorative arts sale held by art auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull.

Made by Morris & Co on a commission in 1892, it depicts a woodland scene with trees and woodland creatures and has a William Morris poem inscribed on it.

The mystery buyer is said to be an avid antiques collector but has never before bought a work by Morris.

Love at first sight

In a statement issued by the auction house, he said: "I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and just had to have it.

"It is a beautiful thing and worth every penny."

The work was created by Morris & Co chief designer John Henry Dearle and woven at the firm's Merton Abbey workshops in Surrey.

The poem woven into its fabric is called The Forest and dates from 1891 from a series written by company owner William Morris, entitled Poems by the Way.

John Mackie, director of Lyon and Turnbull, said: "This beautiful tapestry epitomises the work of William Morris and his firm.

"It incorporates his love of poetry, pattern, nature and the English countryside, as well as exemplifying arts and crafts ideals and the medieval tradition".

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