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Geranium Trellis

Chinese trellis designs seem to be the inspiration for this British pattern.  Although there was not a complete repeat of this pattern, which was discovered lining a trunk, there was sufficient information for a successful reconstruction. With its rambling vines, strict trellis structure and subtly shifting hexagonal lozenge shapes, this pattern illustrates a fine and … Continued

Kennebunk Foliate

Remnants of this machine printed pattern were discovered in a front room of the Samuel Simpson House in Kennebunk, Maine. Though the Federal style house was built circa 1820, this wallpaper was not installed until the mid-century. Unlike similar designs which combine pin dots and foliage, this one places the dots on the foliage, rather than on the … Continued

Quarter Sawn Oak

From the archives of Historic New England, Boston. Although the original wallpaper was machine printed, the precise design structure allowed for an easy translation to block printing. This type of pattern may have been designed to be used as a wainscot decoration.

Wheatlands Volute

The “Wheatland” house was built in 1828 by William Jenkins, a wealthy Lancaster, Pennsylvania banker. In 1848, James Buchanan (then Secretary of State) bought the house and 22-acre estate. From there, in 1856, he conducted his “front porch” campaign for the Presidency. Wheatland became its symbol, and in many areas Buchanan supporters formed “Wheatland Clubs” … Continued

Westwood Gothic

The pointed arch, one of the most popular motifs of the Gothic Revival period, was thought to convey a sense of spirituality and harken to back to a earlier, more romantic time. Needless to say, it is amply evident in this pattern. Like the Gothic cathedrals which inspired it the piercing of the tracery serves … Continued

Volute

Although this paper was discovered in the stair hall of the Hancock-Wirt-Caskie House in Richmond, Virginia, the design is related to a large category of patterns in the Bibliotheque Forney, which are generally referred to as “Volutes” (meaning spiral). With their scrolling foliates they reflect the influence of the Renaissance Revival. A color scheme of … Continued

Soane Diaper

An entire wall of this diaper pattern was uncovered beneath layers of paint during the initial stages of renovating Sir John Soane’s private apartment, at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London. While there was more than enough evidence to determine the structure of the delicate design the colors had understandably not fared as well. When … Continued

Rococo Strapwork

Though the specific setting where this pattern originated is unknown it was, undoubtedly, a formal room – a parlor or dining room. As with most successful patterns of it’s type this one illustrates a balance of pattern to open space. One unusual feature is that it may be installed as either a match drop or … Continued

Renaissance Strapwork

Renaissance Strapwork was one of many layers of patterns found in the principal upstairs bedchamber of a Greek Revival farmhouse in Greenwich, New York. The scrolling strapwork is characteristic of the Renaissance Revival designs, which began to appear in the 1840s and maintained popularity throughout the 1850s. The colorway, using a subtle grey on a … Continued

Pineapples

This exuberant paper was discovered covering a wooden bandbox made by Hannah Davis, who worked in Jaffrey, New Hampshire between 1825 and 1855. Well known for her carefully made hat and bandboxes, Davis is also credited with designing a machine to cut thin sheets of wood for the sides of her boxes. The Pinapples pattern … Continued