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Blanchard Ashlar

One mark of a successful block printed pattern is when multiple design characteristics are rendered with just a few blocks. In the case of this ashlar (originally installed in the Medford, Massachusetts home of Andrew Blanchard) not only are the tools of dimensionality – bright highlights and accompanying shadows – depicted, but the nearly geologically accurate marbling is … Continued

Ghost Blossom

Little is known about this fanciful vine pattern, aside from it being found in a cupboard in western North Carolina. The unexpectedly graphic depiction of transparency, plus the dramatic color choices (in the original) would be equally at home in designs of the early 20th century. This pattern is licensed to Adelphi Paper Hangings by the Colonial … Continued

Berrien House Knotted Drapery

Construction of the Savannah house of Revolutionary veteran John Berrien was started in 1791; within a decade of its completion this decidedly graphic pattern was installed in a staircase. Like several other patterns from the Berrien House, this one shares both motif and structural aspects with papers from Philadelphia and therefore a similar attribute seems plausible. This first … Continued

Tumbling Blocks

While the fragment used to reproduce this geometric pattern is in the Adelphi archives, it would be useful to site Richard Nylander’s book, Wallpaper in New England where he discusses similar patterns in the collection of Historic New England. “The design’s similarity to late-19th century patchwork is obvious. Less obvious is its relationship to architectural design. A … Continued

Ribbon Sprig

Ribbon Sprig was discovered in Concord, Massachusetts and may have originated in Boston, but it is of sufficiently high quality to also suggest that it could be of French origin. Free floating, small figured sprig patterns were popular throughout the late 18th century both in French and English wallpapers. The fact that this sprig is … Continued

Prince-Rollins Marble

Versatile marble patterns of this type were utilized either alone and trimmed with a fancy border, or as backgrounds on which Arabesques panels were placed. As a dado paper it would have been found under a chair rail in hall or staircase. Particularly elaborate installations might have had the paper cut and mimicking a marble … Continued

Plymouth Ashlar

This ashlar pattern was found at the 1809 Hedge House in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Ashlar patterns were a very common and enduring style in this period, often kept in use for long periods of time. Used predominantly in heavily trafficked areas such as passages or stair halls they had the practical benefit of being easily repaired … Continued

Philadelphia Harlequin

The bold geometric pattern and refined colorway of this harlequin paper is indicative of the American fascination with turn of the century French styles. The grid like organization and neoclassical ornamentation is found in many popular patterns from this period. Adelphi surmises this paper was most likely printed by Anthony Chardon, a French émigré printer … Continued

Pebbles and Flowerpots

This striking and very distinctive paper, along with the Festoon Frieze, was originally hung in the dining room of one of the most important and ground breaking examples of American domestic architecture, the Pope Villa in Lexington, Kentucky. The house was designed in about 1815 by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, one of America’s first professional architects, … Continued


In 1971 an unused roll of this pattern was discovered in the Rundlet-May House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (The accompanying Gimp Border or Frieze was also found in the house, but not until 2008.) When examining the original document at Historic New England, we realized that the primary pattern element – the netting – measured … Continued