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Cory Diamond

Before the Revolutionary War, most wallpaper installed in Colonial homes was imported from England or, to a lesser extent, France. There are a few reference to pre-War manufacturers in New York and Philadelphia but none in New England. However, after the War, the numbers of wallpaper manufacturers increased rapidly. Cory Diamond is an example of … Continued

Lear’s Folly

Unlike other French wallpapers of this period, ones which receive accolades for the many colors printed with steady handed precision, this pattern – found in New Hampshire – was destined for a different market. The paints were thin. The printing registration was somewhat casual. Even the paper stock had been repurposed – the wallpaper was printed on the … Continued

Trophies

This pattern is replete with juxtapositions. Not only do groupings of the tools of war – a shield, sword, flag and a quiver with arrows alternate with gatherings of flowers and foliage but the two muscular scaled and barbed stripes have to contend with a delicate shifting line of bell shapes. It is this last motif which frames … Continued

West St. Mary’s

This wallpaper has been reproduced from worn fragments discovered in West St. Mary’s City, Maryland; the original document is part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collection. The wallpaper designer borrowed heavily from textile motifs, as was often the case during this portion of the 18th century. Cross hatching inside s-scroll ribbons gives the appearance of … Continued

Webb House Damask

A flocked version of this flowering vine with diaper pattern is found in a bedroom of the 1752 Webb House in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It is supposed to have been hung in 1781 in preparation for a visit from George Washington, although that date is perhaps late for this pattern. The use of such a very … Continued

Walpole Damask

Despite its lengthy repeat, this formal damask was apparently quite popular in the mid-17th century. The same pattern used at Strawberry Hill was also installed in a different colorway in the Doddington Hall (Lincolnshire) drawing room, and at Eagle House (Bathford) in yet another colorway. The original versions were, not surprisingly, flocked papers. Flocked wallcoverings … Continued

Strawberry Hill Quatrefoil

This tight geometric pattern from the mid-18th century is reminiscent of French domino papers. It is also quite similar to a printed silk fragment at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The paper was installed at Strawberry Hill in the Green Closet, a small room which Walpole used for keeping manuscripts and for writing letters. As … Continued

Strawberry Hill Plaid

This pattern was discovered in 2007 in the so-called “Plaid Bedchamber” of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, near London – although the room was never actually used as a bed chamber! Nevertheless it is an appropriate pattern for a secondary room, such as a bedroom. In order to maintain the very tight detail of the original … Continued

Strawberry Hill Floret

This spare but quietly dramatic pattern was found in the Tribune Passage at Strawberry Hill, a short hall between the Tribune and the Gallery. As with our Everard Medallion, the Strawberry Hill Floret creates a sense of depth by using the “slip print” technique. On the paper’s first pass over the printing bench the block … Continued

Sayward Gothic

Sayward Gothic is a classic quatrefoil pattern found under several layers of later paper in the home of Jonathan Sayward in York, Maine. It was installed between 1761 and 1767. In examining the original document, the background color appears to be a light blue. However, the reverse side of the subsequent paper layer – where … Continued