Landscape views have always been a popular theme on wallpaper, and with good reason. For the urban migration during the Industrial Revolution it allowed people to bring some country with them. For rooms with few windows or no view, the wallpapers provided one. The trompe l’oeil aspect of landscape papers also visually enlarged the size of a room. From the delicately floating landscape plateaus in the eighteenth century arabesque designs, to the scenic wallpapers popular during the first half of the nineteenth century, to the smaller repeating designs of the nineteenth century to today, designers always find a way to make them appear fresh.
This wallpaper was part of a matched set of sidewall, border and ceiling paper. Matched sets were available by 1898 and simplified the buying process for consumers, who then only had to select a color and style. They no longer had to sort through endless samples of wallpapers, borders and ceiling papers to find one of each to match. While each of the different papers could be purchased separately buying them as a set guaranteed a uniform and cohesive look.
This was an inexpensive paper given a little luster by the printing of some elements, which includes the clouds, mountain tops and trellis pattern with a mica pigment. The wallpaper contains a landscape view of mountains, trees and birds as seen through an ornate framework. This alternates with a smaller framework containing a different view. The matching border continues these same elements, alternating large and small “windows” with the addition of a terra cotta blend running the length of the border, which appears as a sunset in the larger views. These wide borders or friezes were usually hung at the top of the wall and formed the transition between the wallpaper and ceiling paper.