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Strawberry Thief

A work made of cotton; plain weave, block printed, wool trim with tassels.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of cotton; plain weave, block printed, wool trim with tassels.


Design 1883, made 1883–1917


Designed by William Morris (English, 1834–1896)
Produced by Morris & Co., London (English, 1875–1940)
Merton Abbey, London (English, 1881–1940)

About this artwork

Islamic textiles informed the design of this 19th-century printed curtain. William Morris, a key figure in the British Arts and Crafts Movement, reportedly fashioned this pattern after watching birds steal strawberries from his kitchen garden. The flattened profile of the birds as well as the stylization of the plant forms highlight Morris’s appreciation and adaptation of Islamic designs.

These small birds invading a strawberry patch have charmed consumers for more than 120 years, making Strawberry Thief one of the most recognizable and popular Morris & Co. patterns. It can be seen on wallpaper as well as dishtowels, shower curtains, and tea cups, and it even has its own Wikipedia page and spinoff video game.


Currently Off View




William Morris (Designer) , Morris & Co. (Producer) , Merton Abbey Works (Weaver)


Strawberry Thief


England (Object made in), London (Object made in), Merton Abbey Works (Object made in), Great Britain (Object made in)


Made 1883-1917 , Copyrighted 1883


Cotton; plain weave, block printed, wool trim with tassels


Label (on reverse): MORRIS & COMPANY Upholsterers 449, OXFORD STREET LONDON, W


283 × 106 cm (111 1/2 × 41 3/4 in.); Repeat: 50.9 × 46 cm (20 × 18 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by John H. Bryan, Hope McCormick, and Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation; and the Textile Society

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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