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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

Persian Volute

This pattern dates from the period when several major shifts were underway in wallpaper design and manufacture. First, it shows the influence of Owen Jones and Augustus Pugin, English designers who were fascinated by ancient and exotic ornament. They were determined to replace the French fashion for overtly three dimensional wallpapers with those that treated … Continued

Hermitage Vine

There is evidence that this pattern was another of those French papers that President Andrew Jackson selected for his Tennessee home (see Hermitage Leaf Border and Hermitage Maple Leaf). Unfortunately, an entire repeat of the pattern has not been found. When the Ladies’ Hermitage Association commissioned a reproduction, historic wallpaper expert Laura McCoy composed this … Continued

Hermitage Maple Leaf

Wallpaper designers often strove to evoke other materials in their patterns. In this example the use of thin tone-on-tone diagonal lines was intended to suggest the appearance of silk. (Another version of this pattern from the same time period enhances this effect by printing the leaves atop a set of irisé, or rainbow colored stripes.) … Continued

Griffin House Sprig

In 1834 Eneral Griffin, an escaped African American slave, purchased a small, 1827 house near Hamilton, Ontario. Whether this paper was already installed at the time of sale or if it was hung soon after is unknown. A precise date is difficult as this was the period when mechanized printing methods began to appear. Certain … Continued

Florence Place Foliate

The Florence Place house is no longer at its original site but at another location in Louisiana. It is not known in which room this paper was originally installed. What is certain is that this “papier peint” is French. Wallpapers imported from France were popular throughout America of the early 19th century and Louisiana was … Continued

Dundurn Castle Gothic

Although it is uncertain in which of the seventy-two rooms of Dundurn Castle this pattern was installed, it seems likely to have been a bedroom or similarly modest-sized room rather than a larger public room. When Adelphi staff first viewed photographs of the fragment – but before we viewed the actual document – we imagined … Continued

Dundurn Castle Ashlar

The 18,000 square foot home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab in Hamilton, Ontario, was no doubt replete with wallpaper, but this pattern is one of the few of which fragments remain. It was likely installed in a bedroom, or possibly a sitting room. The use of the ashlar paper may have been intended to extend … Continued

Bellingham Cary Vine

Found in the parlor of the 18th century Bellingham-Cary House in Chelsea, Massachusetts, this scrolling vine pattern is an example of an early 19th century roller printed pattern. The relatively small repeat is typical of early mechanized printing, as the technology for producing larger rollers, and therefore larger repeats, had not completely been developed. The … Continued

Beall Foliate

Floral medallion designs began appearing in the 1820s and maintained popularity through the 1850s. This fine example was discovered in the family parlor of the Reasin Beall home, an Adamesque style brick and stone structure in Wooster, Ohio, built in 1826. Architectural evidence and the absence of hand-joined seams help date the manufacture and installation … Continued