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Cory Diamond

Before the Revolutionary War, most wallpaper installed in Colonial homes was imported from England or, to a lesser extent, France. There are a few reference to pre-War manufacturers in New York and Philadelphia but none in New England. However, after the War, the numbers of wallpaper manufacturers increased rapidly. Cory Diamond is an example of … 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

Strawberry Hill Plaid

This pattern was discovered in 2007 in the so-called “Plaid Bedchamber” of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, near London – although the room was never actually used as a bed chamber! Nevertheless it is an appropriate pattern for a secondary room, such as a bedroom. In order to maintain the very tight detail of the original … 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

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

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

Neoclassical Squares

With two distinct versions of this pattern available in early 19th century America, and two additional reproductions offered by mid-20th century manufacturers, this pattern must certainly have been hung in a great many homes over the last 200 years. The original document used to prepare our version is from the archives at Colonial Williamsburg. Another … Continued

Moses Grant Stripe

This bold stripe was found in the parlors of houses in Strawbery Banke and West Kennebunk, Maine. It was printed by Moses Grant Jr., who is documented as working in Boston from 1811-1817. It is typical of the strongly abstract, geometric “Harlequin” patterns popularized by the French in 1800. Americans printed many of these harlequin … Continued


Adelphi’s Early-Twentieth Century Collection draws on the work and influence of the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna and the French Moderne movement–later known as Art Deco – two of the most influential design schools of the century. Designers in Vienna and in Paris inspired and influenced a generation of designers throughout Europe and the United States, … Continued

French Wave

If one pattern, printed in one colorway, were used to illustrate the exuberance of early 19th century French wallpaper this might very well be it. The pairing of a strong pinkwith arsenic green, the fluid linear field and stabilizing, neo-classical diamonds will create an environment not for faint of heart.