Old Swan House Chelsea

Old Swan House on Chelsea Embankment was designed by Norman Shaw and built in 1876 for solicitor and art collector Wickham Flower and his wife, Elizabeth. The Flowers hired William Morris to decorate the house.

In March 1881 Frederick Leach recorded details of his estimate for Morris at Old Swan House in Chelsea, noting that the wood was to be painted white, the ceiling was to be ‘as at Howards’ (1 Palace Green) and the frieze was to be ‘cost as Rownton silvered’.

On May 23rd 1882, David Parr noted leaving London after ‘working at Lady Maines, Mr Howards, Mr Beaumonts, Old Swan House, St James Palace, Mr Rawlings, Mr Fergusons, Old Swan House 2nd time and Miss Gearys’.

One of the designs on a window reveal in Old Swan House bears a striking resemblance to the design David Parr pounced and painted onto the upper part of the walls in his Drawing Rom at 186 Gwydir Street, the design having to be shortened to fit the much more modest scale of a small terraced house.


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