This Early American pattern was probably printed
in Boston or the Northeast coastal area sometime after French
wallpapers had come into style in the United States. Its arabesque
arrangement, neo-classical imagery and use of ribbons and peacocks are
all characteristic of French papers from the mid 1780s to 1790. The
somewhat naive execution leaves little doubt that it is American,
rather than a French import. It is likely one of the many patterns
advertised by Boston printers as being in the "latest French Style".
Like many samples in Adelphi's collection, this
one was found lining an early hide-covered document box, so there no
specific room reference. However, such a versatile pattern would likely
have been found in a passage, a major chamber such as dining room,
parlor or perhaps an important bedchamber. Typically this type of
pattern would have been hung with either a very narrow (1 to 1 1/2
inch) border or a combination of a festoon frieze around the ceiling
plus a narrow border trimming doors and windows.
Repeat 20 inches
Width 21½ inches
The historic colorway image above shows two widths of the
pattern installed. Alternate colorway images show one
complete width of the pattern.