The William Morris Woodpecker Tapestry was designed and woven solely by William Morris in 1885, showing a woodpecker in a branch of a fruit tree while chasing another bird. We can see the fine design detailing that was so typical of Morris. The tapestry was inspired by the legend of Picus, an ancient Italian king turned into a woodpecker by the sorceress Circe because she was jealous of the king’s love for his wife. This is a reproduction of the original tapestry with Morris’ own verse:
I once a King and chief • Now am the tree-bark’s thief • Ever ‘twixt trunk and leaf • Chasing the prey
The original Woodpecker tapestry is now on display at the William Morris Gallery in London. Today, it is woven in France in 80% cotton and 20% viscose, and is lined with a rod pocket for easy hanging. The Woodpecker is also available without the verse.
One of the most popular Arts and Crafts tapestries, the William Morris Woodpecker Tapestry is available in two sizes.