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Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee

  • Object:

    Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    Hawick, Scotland (made)

  • Date:

    1887 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    F. Scott & Son (supplier)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour print from engraved rollers, on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh

  • Museum number:

    E.791-1970

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2A, shelf DR, box DW3II

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Object Type
In Britain, paper printed with patterns has been used for decorating walls since the 16th century. By the late 19th century wallpapers were widely used by all classes, both in homes and in public buildings.

Historical Associations
This wallpaper was designed to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, the fiftieth year of her reign. The design shows a portrait of the Queen surrounded by representations of India, Canada, Australia, and the Cape Colony (part of what is now South Africa), which were then part of the British Empire.

Ownership & Use
Wallpapers commemorating important historical events and royal anniversaries were produced in large numbers in the second half of the 19th century. They were intended for the cheaper end of the market. At the time many critics and design reformers condemned pictorial patterns like this as evidence of bad taste and poor design. This wallpaper is a 'sanitary' paper. It was printed with oil-based colours that were not soluble in water, so that the surface was washable. Sanitary wallpapers with commemorative designs would probably have been used in an inn or hotel rather than in an ordinary home.

Physical description

Portion of wallpaper with a design commemorating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Portraits of the Queen are interspersed with vignettes illustrating the people and the wildlife in the outposts of the British Empire on four continents: Australia, Canada, Cape Colony (later South Africa), and India; Colour print from engraved rollers, on paper.

Place of Origin

Hawick, Scotland (made)

Date

1887 (made)

Artist/maker

F. Scott & Son (supplier)

Materials and Techniques

Colour print from engraved rollers, on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Jubilee - Sanitary Washable Paper-Hangings BV

Dimensions

Height: 66 cm, Width: 56.5 cm

Object history note

Made in Britain.

Provenance: The stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire.

Descriptive line

Portion of wallpaper with a design commemorating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Portraits of the Queen are interspersed with vignettes illustrating the people and the wildlife in the outposts of the British Empire on four continents: Australia, Canada, Cape Colony (later South Africa), and India; Colour print from engraved rollers, on paper; From the stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire; Great Britain; 1887.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
The full text of the entry is as follows:

'393
Portion with a design commemorating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee; stamped on the border Jubilee – Sanitary Washable Paper-Hangings BV
1887
Colour print from engraved rollers
67.3 x 55.9 cm
PROVENANCE The stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire
Given by the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh
E.791-1970 CT 5411 (see col pl, p 182)

See Entwisle, V, pl 21. Another portion, printed in brown, instead of black, is no 394.'

For the reference to Entwisle, V given above, see:
Entwisle, E. A. Wallpapers of the Victorian Era. Leigh-on-Sea, 1964.

NB: The 'no 394' referred to above is V&A object E.792-1970.
Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 102-103. pl 86.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This is one of several wallpapers designed to commemorate royal anniversaries. It would have been used in a hotel or pub rather than a private house, and is an indication of how popular the image of Victoria had become by the time of the 1887 Jubilee. The portrait of the Queen is surrounded by representations of the colonies of the British Empire. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Provenance: The stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Engraved

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Plants; Lion; Elephant; Victoria, Queen; Tiger (animal); Ostrich; Kangaroo

Categories

British Galleries; Wall coverings; Black History; Scotland

Collection code

PDP

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Qr_O17882
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