As soon as I saw this window, I thought it was the perfect illustration of one of my favourite Latin exclamations (well, actually my only favourite Latin exclamation). I see Eheu! is in the Urban Dictionary, a synonym for 'bummer!', or 'wellaway' as they used to say, but I really can't imagine many young people slapping their foreheads and exclaiming 'Eheu!' or even 'Alas!'. Nevertheless, this is a great stained glass expression of the despair of one of the Foolish Virgins who didn't bring oil for her lamp to the wedding.
These gloriously big-eyed girls with thick tresses and cascades of curls are in a three-light window in a little chapel off the main part of St Mary's Church in Putney. It's one of those windows which it is easy to walk past because it's Victorian and depicts a parable not many people know these days.
But if you put the parable aside and look instead for other things, there's plenty to interest and hold the viewer. The Pre-Raphaelite influence, the incredible hair and eyes, the ideas and ideals of beauty, the backgrounds (canopies, flowers, Gothic details), even the touches of Aestheticism and Japonisme in the virgin on the right below who could easily be in the chorus of the Mikado.
Not to mention the spectacular Arts & Crafts fabrics, and the kinds of clothes Rossetti and Holman Hunt liked to dress their models in, the lovely, glowing colours, and the pretty floral garlands
It may not be a famous window, or one that is sought-out because it's by a famous designer/maker (it isn't), but it's a wonderful period-piece, and tells us just as much about the time in which is was made as it does about its religious significance.
In one source it is attributed to Morris and Burne-Jones, but I doubt it (it doesn't have all their hallmarks). Elsewhere in the more reliable listing information (the church is Grade II), it is believed to date from 1872 and have been made by Heaton, Butler and Bayne, a very prolific company whose work covered many periods and several styles.
You wonder if anyone really knows for sure; it's a shame, and pretty frustrating, that the makers of stained glass are so quickly forgotten, especially if they don't sign their work. Alas! Eheu! It happens all too often.