Author: Gregory Herringshaw

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Wallpaper panel showing full length view of George Washington in cutaway coat with epaulettes and a sword. At his feet are a conventionalized cannon and three cannon balls. All supported by shallow circular base. Imitation of statuary. Of the series "America's Heroes" [Les Grands Hommes] which also includes Franklin, Lafayette and Jefferson. Printed on light wood grain background.
Portraiture on Wallpaper with George Washington
This wallpaper panel contains a block-printed portrait of George Washington rendered about half-life size. It is unusual to have portraits featured on wallpaper but is seen more often on panels as opposed to repeating designs. The portrait is printed in a monochrome colorway of tans and brown imitating statuary, on a combed ground simulating oak...
Horizontal rectangle, on two joined sheets of paper, printed in brilliant colors. Esther, seated, being attended by serving woman, with Hegar standing by. Architectural background with drapery.
Will the real Esther please stand up?
This firescreen or overdoor is based on the 1738 painting La Toilette d'Esther by Jean-François de Troy (French, 1679-1752). This wallpaper is an almost exact replication of the original oil painting by de Troy. The manufacturer has used about 40 printed colors to capture the lushness of the original painting with all its luxurious textiles....
Cubist motifs of red, blue and yellow printed over geometric background of light green and off-white. Printed on ungrounded paper.
Wallpaper Cubed
I have always found these cubist wallpapers charming and attractive in their simple design format. These were produced in a wide array of styles but all contained some arrangement of seemingly random cube patterns printed in pastel colors. Virtually all of these designs were printed on an ungrounded paper. The application of a ground color...
All-over design of spiderwebs on background of tiny dots and very fine vermicelly-lines. Printed in chartreuse, dark green, brown on a pale chartreuse background.
Sticky Decorations
I have always been curious and slightly amused by wallpapers containing imagery of cob webs. Seems to me people are always taking brooms and vacuum extensions to get rid of these pesky things and I could not understand why people would buy papers with these spider-inspired motifs to decorate their homes. The sample I’m showing...
Children's frieze, featuring four children at play, two girls and two boys. Also shown are a large dog, goat and two rabbits. The children and animals are situated on a walk which leads up to a large gate.
Make Every Day a Dog Day
I was recently scrolling through images of wallpapers in the collection and was surprised and delighted to see how many of them contained images of dogs. While dogs appear on wallpapers intended for adults as well as children, the imagery on papers for children is far more amusing and the focus of this blog. The...
Block-printed on handmade paper
The Enduring Diamond Trellis Wallpaper
I would like to talk about one of the more enduring motifs in wallpaper design, the trellis, or diamond trellis to be more specific. This bamboo design is from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton (completed 1823) which was the residence built for George IV, Prince of Wales. This is about the earliest this motif shows...
blue, red, and white wallpaper with poppies
Another Floral Wallpaper
Floral designs make up the largest grouping of wallpapers in the Museum’s collection by far. Many of the gilded embossed leathers, some of the oldest wallcoverings in the collection dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, contain repeating floral patterns and I would guess that every style and period has representative samples in the...
screen print on canvas of letters
The Writing is on the Wall
Typography has been used on wallpaper since the early days of children’s wallpaper in the 1870s, but wasn’t used as a decorative graphic element until the early 20th century, reaching its peak of popularity during the 1960s. The early children’s papers were educational in nature and as many were inspired by literature, carried captions beneath...
border with grape details
Borders that Blend
This piece offers a unique take on border designs. Borders with the bottom edge cut out to follow the printed design began appearing shortly after 1900. This die-cut and embossed example came into fashion around the same time and carried this cut-out idea a step further. This paper is embossed to give it some relief,...
detail of green and yellow print that blends three male faces and hair together
Beauty in Form, and Color
Beauty is an interesting take on a stripe design. The design is composed of thin stripes in brilliant shades of green creating silhouettes of women’s faces, alternately facing left then right. The overall effect is a wide stripe or column of green against a white background. Papers of this sort are used to create a...