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Sanitary wallpaper with repeating design of a large ship at sea, framed within rolling waves and dolphins. Printed in blue and green on white ground.
Sailing Around the Bathroom
This design of tall ships surrounded by dolphins in a turbulent sea was first used as a cretonne design, or printed cotton fabric, produced by Steiner & Co. This was published in The Studio magazine in 1899. The design re-surfaced years later as this sanitary wallpaper. This is a classic pattern for a bathroom, a...
1998-75-105 lo res
The Rosetta Stone of Wallpaper?
Pretty and pleasant, this unassuming wallpaper plays an important role in the scholarship of early American design. In 1821 Adrian Janes and Edwin Bolles opened a wallpaper business (creatively named Janes & Bolles) in the bustling industry town of Hartford Connecticut. In the American Mercury, June 1st 1824, they advertised they had an “extensive assortment...
Fanciful, organic shapes, printed in orange, green and pink, on a light blue ground. The large floral motif has a hand-like appearance.
Wallpaper Sure to Come in Hand-y
This machine printed wallpaper features a repeating pattern of orange hands and pink feathers floating down a light blue background like snowflakes – or does it feature flower buds and tiny balloons? Or, wait, maybe it’s actually a portrait of microbes having a party. The only woman who knows the true inspiration behind this funky...
Two columns of scaled dots in pale yellow printed against a background which shades from light to dark orange. The largest dot is printed against the darkest orange. This is the cantaloupe colorway.
Taking Wallpaper Back to its Roots
Infinity is a pattern of dots that scale from small to large back to small, printed in two columns across the width. When seen from a distance the design is slightly reminiscent of crocodile hide. I find a great energy in this crescendo of dots over the ground painted with a mottled finish, and the...
1931-45-59 lo res
The Delicate Balance of Nature
This figural landscape paper contains four different views and is printed in about 13 colors. This is a cleverly rendered pattern with a complicated format that was inspired by arabesque designs of the late nineteenth century. The earlier arabesque designs contained landscape scenes or activities placed upon thin plateaus, each delicately balanced and supported by...
2004-22-1
Britannia in America
The lovely lady featured on this late 18th century panel of wallpaper is Britannia: the United Kingdom personified as a classical deity (think the British version of Lady Liberty). The neo-classical “pillar and arch” design that frames her is a distinctly English style of wallcovering, and she was without-a-doubt manufactured across the pond. Despite her...
chw4962
Teacher’s Pet: Bright, and Furry?
This children’s wallpaper combines both new and old thoughts on designing wallpapers for children. Introduced in the 1870s, children’s wallpapers were designed to be instructional, to engage children and help them learn. From the late 19th century until the early years of the 20th century, wallpapers were meant to be an interactive way for children...
Vining floral pattern, printed in black, with background of leaves forming bullets, printed in gray, on green ground.
A Diaper for Your Walls?
Wallpaper is a direct descendant of the elaborate tapestries that hung heavy on the walls of the wealthy since ancient times. Therefore, it is only natural that a significant portion of early wallpaper imagery closely correlates to patterns originally developed for textiles. This woodblock-printed paper is of English manufacture, dates to c.1765 and is clearly...
Roll of paper printed in a repeating design of flowers and foliage in the style of Pillement. Roll formed of joined sheets.
Chinoiserie Wallpaper
This colorful 18th century English wallpaper was designed in the style of Jean Pillement, the celebrated French illustrator of chinoiserie and some-time royal painter to Marie Antoinette. The repeating pattern of flowers and foliage show Asian motifs as interpreted through a Western lense. In 1755 a folio entitled “A New Book of Chinese Ornaments, Invented...