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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

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

Parakeets and Pearls

Typical of French papers of the period, this delicate and highly sophisticated pattern uses naturalistic motifs in an arabesque arrangement. The term “Arabesque” refers to the placement of figures with a bilateral symmetry into a columnar format. In this case the columns are set in a half-drop of the pattern repeat. This Parisian arabesque exemplifies … Continued

Locust Grove Arabesque

During a 1962 renovation, fragments of this pattern were discovered in Locust Grove, the 1790s Federal style home of William Croghan, near Louisville, Kentucky. Though the few surviving pieces comprised only a small portion of the overall pattern, it nevertheless obvious the paper was of a higher caliber than what would have typically been used … Continued


This Early American pattern was probably printed in Boston or the Northeast coastal area sometime after French wallpapers had come into style in the United States. Its arabesque arrangement, neo-classical imagery and use of ribbons and peacocks are all characteristic of French papers from the mid 1780s to 1790. The somewhat naive execution leaves little … Continued

Arabesque Pigeons

From the collection of Old Sturbridge Village, the original document of this paper hung in the Lazarus LeBaron House in Sutton, Massachusetts, and is an American interpretation of the famous French pattern “Deux Pigeons” by Reveillion. This surprisingly bold design is suitable for parlors, dining rooms or entry halls; it was originally hung with an … Continued