Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Print Monday: Arthur Silver & Silver Studios

Hera or Peacock Feather 
Often attributed to Arthur Silver of the Silver Studios
also Rex Silver 1900 or
Christopher Dresser in 1876

Liberty & Company Ltd. About 1900
Collection: Middlesex University's Museum of 
Domestic Design & Architecture

Hera is a print that defined it's era, turn-of-the-century art nouveau. The peacock feather print has been a big seller for well over a century.

Liberty reprinted and recolored Hera in the 1970s, and 
again it became a classic in that decade of art-nouveau revival.

The paper label on the right on this sample from the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture collection says:
"First designed in 1900 by Rex Silver, used in 1975 as Liberty's Centenary Symbol."

Isabella & Arthur Silver
About 1895
Collection of:
Middlesex University's Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture

The design is usually attributed to Arthur Silver (1853-1896), founder of London's Silver Studios.
That influential company's records are at Middlesex University's Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, MoDa (a catchy name don't you think?)

Moda Fabrics from United Notions

Middlesex University's Museum of 
Domestic Design & Architecture

On their website they discuss recent research by Harry Lyons indicating an earlier patent to Christopher Dresser for the peacock feather pattern. Silver Studios sold designs to a number of textile and wallpaper manufacturers including Liberty of London.

Arthur Silver died at 43, soon after the photo above was taken. His sons ran Silver Studios until 1963. Son Rex is also credited with Hera. Do a search for Silver Studios at the MoDa website (the other MoDa). See if this link works:
You'll find an abundance of art nouveau textile pattern there.

And read a PDF on the history of the Silver Studios Collection by clicking here:

The MoDa museum's blog address:


  1. I recently purchased a very small but brand new blouse at Salvation Army....the fabric was this Hera design. I had thought it was quite pretty, the blouse still had the Nordstrom's tag and the Liberty label. How fun to learn something about the designer and the print's history.

  2. In the early 60's I bought a set of printed sheets that looked very like above photo #4. Maybe they were Arthur Silver's! Used them for many years - wish I still had them - disposed of them before being infected with the quilt bug. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Neame, WA