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  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dufour & Cie (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour print from wood blocks on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514a, case SH, shelf 31

This is an unused length of early 19th century French ‘drapery’ wallpaper, designed to be used as a border paper, and probably dating from around 1820. Such papers had emerged in the late 18th century but the fashion lasted into the 1830s. ‘Drapery’ papers are so-called because they were designed to produce a trompe l’oeil effect: when hung they appear to be swagged and pleated fabrics rather than printed paper. The design of this deep border would have been modelled on the design of contemporary pelmets, and it would have been intended to complement panels of wallpaper designed to imitate draped or pleated fabric held in place with gold braid or tie-backs. This design includes imitation moulded gilt borders which frame the white satin fabric. The grey background has been printed to imitate watered silk. The manufacturer of this paper has not yet been established but it is in the style of the papers manufactured in Paris by Dufour.

Physical description

Length of unused wallpaper; a deep border printed with a trompe l'oeil design imitating swagged drapery, held with gilded clasps, and with a moulded gilt border above and below

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1820 (made)


Dufour & Cie (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Colour print from wood blocks on paper

Object history note

A matching piece of this paper is in the collection of the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Both pieces came from the stock of Toynbee-Clarke Interiors, a interior decorating and antiques business specialising in historic French and Chinese wallpapers. The company closed in 2002.

Descriptive line

Drapery wallpaper border, possibly by Dufour & Cie., French, ca.1820

Subjects depicted



Wall coverings; Textiles


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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