One can’t go through the mid-century without being shown some poodles. French poodles appeared on numerous wallpapers during the 1950s. This is Gigi, printed on Super Sanitas. As you can see, Gigi is getting coiffed for a night out in Paris. The design contains 4 different scenes, showing Gigi getting coiffed and pedicured, having her hair set, and promenading with her beau in front of Club Chien. The color is predominantly pink, with accents of metallic silver and gold. Very 1950s! I always thought this fascination with the French Poodle was rather odd until I did some research. The standard poodle was the popular size of the 1930s and the one most frequently shown on wallpapers. At this time, a standard white started winning championships across Europe, and went on to win Best of Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 1935. This is the first time a poodle has ever won the top award at Madison Square Garden. The amazing publicity sparked an interest that has never subsided. By 1960, poodles had become the most popular breed in America, a title it held for many years. Also fueling the interest in all things European was the international travel boom following the war, with its new transatlantic flights.
Sanitas was an oil-impregnated fabric introduced in 1903 by the Standard Table Oil Cloth Company and was one of the early washable wallcoverings. The fabric support was initially soaked in oil pigments which created a very durable, washable surface. As technology advanced the manufacturer began treating the fabric with latex and the product was renamed Super Sanitas. There were very few washable wallpapers prior to 1934 so Sanitas was a major advancement in wallcoverings. Sanitas is still available today.
19 thoughts on “Fascinated with French Poodles”
Linda Burak on January 3, 2015 at 10:48 pm
This wallpaper was in our previous home. It was in the only room I didn’t update. this 2 pieced bathroom was affectionately referred to as “the Poodle Parlour. Where can I order it from and what is the price?
maureen broussalian on April 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm
I’m a poodle artist and my genre is france! http://www.poodlesinprovence.com
Greg Herringshaw, Assistant Curator, Wallcoverings on April 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm
Hi. This poodle wallcovering is called Gigi and was a Super Sanitas produced in 1960. I checked the websites of two vintage wallpaper dealers, Second Hand Rose and Hannah’s Treasures, and neither had this design in stock. The Sanitas company is still in business but I didn’t notice this design in their current production. Not sure what else to suggest.
Adrian Rosen on May 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm
This was the wallpaper in our pink tiled bathroom in the 1960’s. I wish I had a panel of it. As a small child I was quite fascinated by it.
Barbara on October 4, 2016 at 11:53 am
I think this might have been the wallpaper in my grandparent’s bathroom. Does this wallpaper have little shimmery spots on it? Thanks!
Lynn Shuster on February 25, 2017 at 11:13 am
The bathroom that we, 6 sisters shared, has this wallpaper today! The vanity and tub have pink ceramic tile…..
Carin on July 9, 2018 at 2:12 am
My grandmother was a beautician who died 3 years ago. She was 103 when she died. When she and my grandfather had their house built in the 50’s, she had a beauty parlor built onto the front of the house. And she did hair and nails (and sold herbs and vitamins) there well into her 90’s. This wallpaper was in the beauty parlor. I never visited my grandma without seeing this wallpaper. It was three years ago today that I last walked out of her house and I snapped a picture of this paper on my way out. I hope to find a roll or two of it someday and do my bathroom.
KC on February 18, 2019 at 10:53 am
My wife and I bought a condo from an older couple (a VP of Jim Beam) in Chicago 20 years ago. They had the greatest wall coverings! One wallpaper had bamboo and monkeys or something. The bathroom had this wallpaper and there was no way we were removing it. We ended up making it the doggy bathroom, a tradition that still holds, hanging pictures of ours and friends dogs in the bathroom. We wish we had just a rectangle of “Gigi” to frame. I will do my best googling…but seeing it here brings back incredible memories!!!
Anna Carlson on August 27, 2020 at 10:55 am
I am looking for this French poodle vintage wallpaper black, pink, and white to put in a frame and put in my bathroom. If anyone knows where I can order it or purchase it please let me know Thank you. It is a memory from my childhood that brings a lot of joy to me. After my parents died when I was young I went to live with my grandmother and she had it in her bathroom.
Dianne on November 23, 2020 at 4:20 am
Can anyone tell me is the Gigi wallpaper allowed to be reproduced, that image, and that it does not violate any copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property of any third party
Linda on February 14, 2021 at 7:49 pm
This wallpaper was in my bedroom as a child. I would love to have a small piece of it. Has anyone been able to locate it in any of the vintage wallpaper stores online?
Pam on April 3, 2021 at 12:55 pm
We had this wallpaper in our bathroom when I was growing up. The coloration was black, gray/silver and gold. When we redid the bathroom, I cut out each of the four vignettes and framed them, but after two divorces and moving four times, they have gotten lost.
I would so love to get a sample in any coloration.
Bel on June 24, 2021 at 4:02 pm
My sister and I had this in our bedroom during 1960s I was fascinated by it and really want to get a sample to put in a frame – anyone found ???
Mary on November 2, 2021 at 1:15 pm
We also had this great wallpaper in our powder room in my childhood home. We said it was a “poodle-ful” bathroom. I would love to buy it now and re-do a powder room of my own.
Gray Panther on November 6, 2021 at 10:09 am
I am looking for this wallpaper to just cover one wall in our master bath; my parents had this wallpaper in their bathroom. Very fond of it.
Kurt Ronn on February 5, 2022 at 1:10 pm
My childhood bathroom featured Gigi getting ready fir a night out at Club Chien. House was built in 1961.
Gina Guerin on April 22, 2022 at 2:59 am
I have what appears to be a toy crib with a double sided pad in this image, Gigi. Is anyone able to provide knowledge of others that may be similar or where I might be able to sell (perhaps a ballpark) to an admirer.
I wish I could post a picture
Peggy Gilley on August 14, 2022 at 7:39 pm
Mother had this wallpaper in the basement cedar lined bedroom with attached bath.♧, which later became my room. I love this paper & have searched for it occasionally over the years. Would love to frame a piece of it. ❤️
Debbie Kuhfahl on February 13, 2023 at 11:07 am
I too am fascinated with all things Poodle, including pet poodles. They are however German in origin!
We had this wallpaper in my bathroom as a child. One bathroom for seven people! It was my only private escape and I remember staring at the wonderful vignettes.
As many others have commented…I’d love a piece of the original paper too.