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Ribbon Border

This border exists in two documented colorways; the one reproduced above was discovered near Concord, Massachusetts; the other was found in Liege and is now is a private collection in Belgium. Probably of French origin, the striking use of lime green and pale lilac is typical of the French predilection for sophisticated color combinations during … Continued

Réveillon Border

This border was used with Réveillon Damask and is most certainly also a Réveillon product. The architectural aspects of the motifs were intended to imitate stucco or carved plaster work and were generally printed with tone-on-tone colors such as stone or grisaille. First developed in the 1760s, this manner of ornamentation remained popular throughout the … Continued

Prentiss House Border

Construction of the Prentiss House in Cooperstown, New York, began in 1815. It was the Main Street home of John Holmes Prentiss, who served not only as a U.S. Representative but was also a newspaper publisher and the town’s postmaster. As would befit a citizen of his stature, the entry hall was decorated with an … Continued

Peony Frieze

This striking frieze comes from the “Boy’s Room” of The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson and his wife Sarah. The unusual juxtaposition of blue/green floral elements floating over a deep earth red are indicative of the French Empire style found throughout this Nashville landmark. Unlike the Lion Frieze, also from the Hermitage, no manufacturer’s … Continued

Pearl Border

A string of pearls or beads was a popular motif in late 18th century French arabesques, but it was also found frequently in other patterns well into the 19th century. This very simple mid-19th century English border makes an appropriate trim for modestly-sized sidewall patterns in intimate settings. The small scale also makes it a … Continued

Palmette Border

Originally a machine printed pattern, this border, with clearly deliniated areas of color, lends itself to being block printed. The document colorway is subtle but more a more active . . .yet cohesive trim can easily be achieved by employing a brighter palette.

Otis Federal Chain Border

This sophisticated pattern of interlocking rings was used with the Otis Federal Stripe in a bedchamber of the first Harrison Gray Otis House (1796) in Boston. A sample of the same design was found in a first floor room of a London house and is now in the collection of English Heritage.

Orbes Directoire Border

This unusual border was discovered lining the inside of a small box in upstate New York. Both the abstract motifs and highly charged use of color (particularly pink and green) point to an early 19th century French origin.

Moses Grant Border

This border was found installed in the kitchen of the Stephen Robbins House in East Lexington, Massachusetts.The use of orange and black was a popular neo-classical color combination of the period. The naïve rendering of the image, while perhaps not intended for formal spaces, makes it an appropriate choice for a secondary room.

Mock Flock Border

Found in the 1768 Jeremiah Lee Mansion in Marblehead, Massachusetts, this border was originally hung with a color coordinated, rococo foliate sidewall pattern. It is narrow, as is typical of 1760s borders, and features a white diaper fill intended to imitate lacework. The dark leaves, printed in contrast to the lighter ground, are intended to … Continued