This wool-embroidered panel of Aphrodite will return to Red House at a cost of £13,000.

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Morris spent five of the happiest years of his life surrounded by artists and friends decorating his new home. Webb made heavy oak furniture and candlesticks, Edward Burne-Jones made tiles and murals, and Morris designed his own wall hangings, which were then embroidered by Jane's sister and Morris's pupil Bessie Burden (1839-1914).

It is thought that they intended to create 12 embroideries of famous women to decorate the dining room, but just seven were completed. Only six of these were known - three at Castle Howard and three at Morris's summer home Kelmscott Manor - until July 7 when a seventh turned up in the 709-lot sale at Shapes (15% buyer's premium) of Edinburgh.

The 3ft 101/2in by 15in (1.2m x 39cm) unfinished and unframed wool embroidered panel was attributed to Bessie Burden and depicted Aphrodite wearing only a halo and a floral waistband, her hair cascading down almost to her feet.

Shapes consulted The William Morris Society who were able to provide the information on the panel from pre-Raphaelite biographer Jan Marsh and Arts and Crafts textiles specialist Linda Parry. It emerged that the figure of Aphrodite was known only from a painting at Kelmscott.

When the Morris family moved out of Red House in 1865 the panels were dispersed among Jan Morris, Bessie Burden, Kate Faulkner and Georgiana Burne-Jones, but this one ended up on the market.

The vendor's grandfather, a keen collector of Morris's work, acquired it around 1900 and it was passed down through his family. It attracted lots of interest and on the day a bidding war ensued between multiple collectors, a very keen London dealer and a representative from Red House, which was acquired by the National Trust in 2003.

The latter secured it at a quintuple-estimate £13,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) so Aphrodite will be returning to her original home after almost 150 years.

By Stephanie Harris