Trophées de Chasse is screen-printed on vinyl and features a repeating, overlapping pattern of mounted deer antlers printed over a dark background of tribal-inspired stripes. And it was available with a matching frieze to top off the wall.
When I first saw this wallpaper, I had to laugh. Not because it’s silly (maybe it is?) but because I’ve noticed that similar, antler-themed papers are gracing the walls of several newer restaurants and bars in Bushwick (Brooklyn’s trendy neighborhood a la mode). Bushwick, as you may have heard, has been getting a lot of press lately as the official seventh coolest neighborhood in the world. Even though the style of this wallpaper is currently quite on trend, it was actually printed in the 1960s.
The paper was designed by Joe Martin for Piazza Prints, a small NYC wallpaper company that was known for their creative and unique patterns. Another paper Martin designed for Piazza, featuring a “whimsical design of frolicking monkeys” won top honors at a 1964 international design competition. The monkey paper was said to be inspired by an eighteenth century French wallcovering, and Trophées de Chasse clearly pulls from earlier French designs as well. The five different colors of the design were each hand-printed, and the realistic shading gives the antlers a three dimensional appearance that is stylistically similar to high-quality French wallpapers of the early nineteenth century.
Trophées de Chasse was most likely originally intended for “man cave” type spaces in private dwellings, and would have appealed to a certain type of gent who felt the need to create a room that exudes the machismo of a hunting lodge within his immediate domestic environment. The common thread between mid-century man-caves and current Bushwick eateries, of course, is that it’s possible to find mustachioed gentlemen drinking scotch in either location.
Anna Rasche is a student in the History of Decorative Arts & Design graduate Program at the Cooper Hewitt, and is a Master’s Fellow in the Wallcoverings Department.
Just for fun, some Bushwhack Establishments with Antler Paper:
Not only are they both antler papers, but they are the exact same antler paper!