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West St. Mary’s

This wallpaper has been reproduced from worn fragments discovered in West St. Mary’s City, Maryland; the original document is part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collection. The wallpaper designer borrowed heavily from textile motifs, as was often the case during this portion of the 18th century. Cross hatching inside s-scroll ribbons gives the appearance of … Continued

Webb House Damask

A flocked version of this flowering vine with diaper pattern is found in a bedroom of the 1752 Webb House in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It is supposed to have been hung in 1781 in preparation for a visit from George Washington, although that date is perhaps late for this pattern. The use of such a very … Continued

Walpole Damask

Despite its lengthy repeat, this formal damask was apparently quite popular in the mid-17th century. The same pattern used at Strawberry Hill was also installed in a different colorway in the Doddington Hall (Lincolnshire) drawing room, and at Eagle House (Bathford) in yet another colorway. The original versions were, not surprisingly, flocked papers. Flocked wallcoverings … Continued

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


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

Virchaux Drapery

This stylized drapery pattern and its coordinating Swan Frieze (a separate border) were designed by the internationally known architect Josef Ramée, in Philadelphia. Ramée, who had previous wallpaper manufacturing experience while in Belgium, entered into partnership with Henry Virchaux, a French émigré printer working in Philadelphia. This paper was one of many they submitted for … Continued

Vine and Paisley

This pattern was discovered in the front parlor of a Greek Revival farmhouse in Schuylerville NY, along with Adelphi’s Grape Cluster Frieze and the Greek Key Border, which was used to trim the doors and windows. All three papers were printed by the French firm of Jacquemart et Bernard. The surprising use of violet in … Continued

Viennese Trees

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, who created … Continued

Van Cortlandt Rosette

The Georgian style home of Frederick Van Cortlandt, in The Bronx, was commissioned in 1748. However, the dining room wallpaper reproduced here was a later, 19th century addition. By this time American clients viewed France, rather than England, as the preferred source for high end wallpapers. The original Jacquemart et Bernard pattern (#5063) is an … Continued

Urns and Medallions

Although found covering an American made bandbox, the Urns & Medallion pattern was most likely printed in France between 1790 and 1810. Not only does this mid-scale paper include the neoclassical motif of urns placed in a formal frame, typical of French patterns of the period, but it employs a cross diagonal structure not unlike … Continued