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A carpet of crosses

Object number: ROMGH.2006.10

Type: Drawing

Material: Paper, Pen and ink

Width: 14cm | Height: 16cm

Production date: 1946 - 1952

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

In this design Bain uses the five-square cross from the Pictish Ulbster Stone to build an all over pattern. Specific crosses are highlighted using shading to add a layer of complexity. It is quite mesmerising.

There are a number of drawings of the cross in the George Bain Collection. He was clearly fascinated by this particular use of knotwork. And he compared it with numerous other Pictish examples in his Methods of Construction.

The note (‘No 14’ bottom left) probably means that this drawing was a design for a rug or carpet. He submitted over 20 ideas to the manufacturers Quayle and Tranter of Kidderminster. They had commissioned him to produce a range of patterns, some of which were chosen for commercial production. As far as we know this design was not taken any further.

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction page 41 Plate F

Author: Alastair Morton

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