This is a perky kitchen paper being shown with its matching cut-out border. Both of these samples are pages that were removed from a wallpaper sample book, one of those huge books used in showrooms that contain the full design. The grid pattern on the wallpaper is reminiscent of ceramic tiles, and while this paper wouldn’t offer much protection against water or moisture, it would sure brighten up the room with its orange and white checkerboard pattern. Until maybe the 1960s, kitchen papers typically contained images of dishes, food, or beverages, in a fashion similar to bathroom papers all containing water themes. And as both rooms contain running water, papers for each were frequently available in a varnished or unvarnished finish. Wallpapers did not become washable until 1934 so for areas around water the varnish coating was important.

The border is a swag design composed of dishes and fruit with the bottom edge cut out in scalloped effect. This adds a little more visual interest than a straight cut border. This design was available in multiple colorways but the dishes always remain blue and white.

The Grantil Company is, or was, one of the older extant wallpaper manufacturers. They were founded in 1838 and at the time of this acquisition in 2010 they were still making wallpaper. They offered a wide range of fashionable wallpapers that sold for an affordable price. Grantil was acquired by the Balta Group in 1999, and a quick check of the company’s website at this time does not show any wallpaper.

Greg Herringshaw is the Assistant Curator of Wallcoverings.

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