To create a new form of art must be the dream of every aspiring artist and to do this when one is 72 years old is a remarkable achievement. Mary Granville (1700-1788) spent her happiest married years in Ireland and, encouraged by her second husband, Dean Patrick Delany, she developed her original artistic talents. She decorated ceilings, walls, mantelpieces and grottos with festoons of shells; with fine precision she cut silhouettes of family groups, of birds and animals, her needlework was exquisite and always depicted flowers and she drew and painted in watercolours and oils. However, it is probably for her collection of botanical pictures created out of coloured papers, at an age when most people’s powers are declining, that she will be remembered best.
In the autumn of 1772 Mrs. Delany wrote to her niece, Mary Port “I have invented a new way of imitating flowers, I’ll send you next time I write one for a sample”. Her ‘paper mosaics’, as Mrs. Delany called her collection occupied her until October 1782 when failing sight constrained her to stop, but she had completed nearly one thousand. She placed her pictures in ten volumes, each with its own index of botanical and English names written in her clear hand; they are now in the Prints and Drawings Department of the British Museum in London, it is by kindness of the trustees of the British Museum that Gaelóra has created these table mats and coasters.
Set of eight cork-backed coasters
Manufactured in Ireland by Gaelóra