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Wallpaper

Wallpaper

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)
    Colchester (paper hung)

  • Date:

    ca. 1715-1730 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stencil, with details printed from woodblocks, on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Colchester and Essex Museum

  • Museum number:

    E.517-1964

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case DW, shelf 3

This paper was found in the west wing of The Holly Trees in Colchester, Essex. The house was built around 1716 and altered in 1748. The west wing was built around 1730. This design is a very simplified version of a Chinese wallpaper. These so-called 'flowering tree' Chinese wallpapers were imported into Britain from the late 1600s. They became very fashionable, and English wallpaper manufacturers made many imitations. The original Chinese papers were hand-painted. However, the English manufacturer printed this wallpaper in blocks of stencilled colour to resemble the embroidered panels and bed hangings of the late 1600s.

Physical description

Fragment of wallpaper with a design of stylized leaves and branches, imitating crewel-work. Stencil, with details printed from woodblocks, on paper. The fragment is stamped twice on the back with the Georgian Excise duty stamp.

Place of Origin

England (made)
Colchester (paper hung)

Date

ca. 1715-1730 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Stencil, with details printed from woodblocks, on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped twice on the back with the Georgian Excise duty stamp

Dimensions

Height: 117 cm size of support sheet, Width: 67.5 cm size of support sheet

Object history note

This paper was found in the west wing of The Holly Trees in Colchester, Essex. The house was built around 1716 and altered in 1748. The west wing was built around 1730.

Historical context note

This design is a very simplified version of a Chinese wallpaper. These so-called 'flowering tree' Chinese wallpapers were imported into Britain from the late 1600s. They became very fashionable, and English wallpaper manufacturers made many imitations. The original Chinese papers were hand-painted. However, the English manufacturer printed this wallpaper in blocks of stencilled colour to resemble the embroidered panels and bed hangings of the late 1600s.

Descriptive line

Fragment of wallpaper with a design of stylized leaves and branches, imitating crewel-work. Stencil, with details printed from woodblocks, on paper. English, ca.1715-1730.

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.
Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 48.
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1964 published by HMSO 1965

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Wood-cutting; Stencilling

Subjects depicted

Branches; Crewel-work; Trees

Categories

Wall coverings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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