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Old Manse Vine

The delicately undulating vine design which still lines a bedchamber closet at The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, was installed between 1790 and 1800. The house was built by Reverend William Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandfather, and his wife Phoebe who chose this wallpaper for the upstairs bedchamber. Later, when writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia … 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


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

Votive Goddess

Found in two front rooms of a 1777 Newburyport, Massachusetts house built for Captain William Pierce Johnson, this highly refined pattern reflects the taste for imported French papers in the early American Republic. The manufacturer has not yet been identified, although other examples of work attributed to the same maker are in the collection of … Continued

Urns and Medallions

Although found covering an American made bandbox, the Urns & Medallion pattern was most likely printed in France between 1790 and 1810. Not only does this mid-scale paper include the neoclassical motif of urns placed in a formal frame, typical of French patterns of the period, but it employs a cross diagonal structure not unlike … Continued

Stars and Squares

This Federal style pattern was one of many wallpapers discovered during the 1917 restoration of the first Harrison Gray Otis House, in Boston. According to Richard Nylander’s Wallpaper in New England, it was chosen by the original owners for a chamber over the office. This late 18th century geometric design appears at first glance to … Continued

Reveillon Vine

Though the Reveillon factory is famous for elaborate multi-color arabesque patterns their designers created equally engaging, yet simple papers, for smaller or secondary rooms. When installed, the slender stems create a subtle undulation, not apparent from the viewing a single width of the paper. The reproduction of this pattern was commissioned by George Washington’s Mount … Continued

Reveillon Damask

Adelphi’s Réveillon Damask is reproduced from a fragment in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg. The pattern has also been found underneath a simple flowered paper in a house on the Quai Voltaire in Paris. It was printed by the firm of Jean-Baptiste Réveillon, the most famous French manufacturer of wallpaper in the late 18th century. … Continued

Reveillon Arabesque 810

The reproduction of this pattern was commissioned by the Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University; the original document is in their collection. While many double repeating arabesques – those with two veritical rows of the pattern per width of paper – use a modest number of colors this one incorporates 14 colors printed with 24 … Continued

Reveillon Arabesque 600

Pattern #600, from the factory of Jean-Baptiste Reveillon, is a most unusual example of a French arabesque pattern. Not only does it exhibit finely detailed block printing but many of the colors are hand painted transluscent washes. Highlights on the allegorical figures are 23 karat gold leaf. No pattern which we have set out to … Continued