wallpaper

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Image shows a wallpaper border filled with symbols of the French Revolution. Please scroll down for further information on this object.
Vive la France!
There are a number of wallpapers in the museum collection produced during the French Revolution period, but this is the only border paper. The design contains numerous symbols of the Revolution. There are two medallions, each framed in scalloped tricolor ribbons. The top medallion contains Hercules, sitting on a stool with his club and lion...
Image features a wallpaper with orange and white checkerboard pattern along with its matching border of dishes and fruit. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Kitchen Pick-Me-Up
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...
Image features a wallpaper frieze with lots of floral swags and ribbons suspending from an architectural molding. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Did Someone Say Swag?
I decided to blog about this floral swag frieze produced in the early twentieth century. The design is fairly typical for the period with large floral swags, which here alternate with ribbon swags, suspended from pendant fixtures projecting from an architectural molding. What is unusual about this paper is the width, measuring in at thirty...
Image features a wallpaper frieze with inset panel containing cherubs harvesting wheat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Wheat Harvest
I came across this frieze paper and the image seemed a little unusual. The whole theme of the paper is wheat. Printed in grisaille, or shades of gray, this frieze is a trompe l’oeil design with a large inset panel as the main element. A wide architectural molding runs across the top edge, with a...
Image features a wallpaper and matching border containing grass and a landscape view. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
No Surf with this Turf
Wallpapers were rarely designed to be used alone, and fashions in wall treatments changed frequently. In the early twentieth century, wall treatments began to get simpler, consisting of a wallpaper and wide border, or frieze, and it remained popular to paper ceilings into the 1950s. This turf design is part of a matching set of...
Image features an art deco-style wallpaper with pink birds against a background of gray foliage. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Pretty in Pink
Here is a charming wallpaper in the art deco style. The motifs are highly stylized with bright pink and fuchsia-colored birds nestled among dense gray foliage. The design is rendered in a minimal fashion, with the leaves consisting of little more than a metallic gold outline around ovals in two shades of gray, with larger...
Image features a children's wallpaper illustrating the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Little Boy Blue, Asleep on the Job
This is a charming children’s wallpaper based on the Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme. The design contains three different vignettes, arranged in trefoil format, each one illustrating a different line from the verse. A cow is shown in the first view, two sheep in the next, while the little boy in blue is shown sound...
Image features a blue wallpaper with alternating images of a naval battle and a portrait of Commodore Isaac Hull. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Wallpaper Commemorates American Naval Victory
This wallpaper commemorates Commodore Isaac Hull and the first important American naval victory of the War of 1812 in a battle between the USS Constitution and the British frigate HMS Guerriere. Commodore Hull was credited for the victory owing to his superior seamanship, even though the Constitution was nearly 50% larger with a better firing...
Image features a wallpaper printed in greens, reds, browns and yellows on a glazed cream ground, illustrating scenes from the poem "The Diverting History of John Gilpin." The vignettes include Gilpin riding his horse, and highway and tavern scenes in a random arrangement, with lines from the poem accompanying each one. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
John Gilpin’s Diverting Ride
Early children’s wallpapers were designed to be educational, with many based on popular books. This wallpaper illustrates four scenes from William Cowper’s poem The Diverting History of John Gilpin written in the 1780s. The story contains some silly antics that would capture the fancy of children. The nutshell version of the tale goes like this:...