Wallpaper

1730-1740 (made)
Wallpaper thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 52, The George Levy Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This wallpaper panel is hand painted in watercolours. The design shows a Chinese lady and gentleman in a rural setting surrounded by a shell shape, flower garlands and an unfinished design of a cherub's head.

Time
When this paper was produced, in the early part of the 18th century, the recurring fashion for Chinese design was at its height. Objects made in China as well as those made in Europe 'in the Chinese manner' were mixed together in the same room settings.

Trade
Although Chinese wallpapers exist in large numbers in houses in Britain, the trade in these objects remained marginal in commercial terms. The East India Company, which dominated the trade with Asia at this time, were exempted from paying taxes on papers imported into Britain. As a result they do not bear the all-important tax stamp that would allow for more accurate dating.

Subjects Depicted
This wallpaper panel has a European air about it. The border design shows no trace of Chinese imagery and even the couple in the centre are in an idealised Chinese landscape and wear clothes that only approximate what Chinese people would have worn at the time. Although such Chinese export wallpapers were made specifically for the European market, this one is unusual in using European motifs.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Fragments of a panel of wallpaper, showing a Chinese garden scene, with two figures within a decorative cartouche. From the library of Hampden House, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire; Guangzhou, China, 1730-40
Physical Description
Fragments of a panel of wallpaper, showing a Chinese garden scene, with two figures within a decorative cartouche.
Dimensions
  • Framed height: 286cm
  • Framed width: 95cm
Style
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The Chinese painter of this wallpaper copied the ornamental framing from a print of 1710-1720 by the French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). The fragments have been laid on paper and the missing design is indicated in pencil.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by the Earl of Buckinghamshire
Object history
From Hampden House, Great Missenden, BuckinghamshireMade in Canton (now Guangzhou), China for export to Europe
Summary
Object Type
This wallpaper panel is hand painted in watercolours. The design shows a Chinese lady and gentleman in a rural setting surrounded by a shell shape, flower garlands and an unfinished design of a cherub's head.

Time
When this paper was produced, in the early part of the 18th century, the recurring fashion for Chinese design was at its height. Objects made in China as well as those made in Europe 'in the Chinese manner' were mixed together in the same room settings.

Trade
Although Chinese wallpapers exist in large numbers in houses in Britain, the trade in these objects remained marginal in commercial terms. The East India Company, which dominated the trade with Asia at this time, were exempted from paying taxes on papers imported into Britain. As a result they do not bear the all-important tax stamp that would allow for more accurate dating.

Subjects Depicted
This wallpaper panel has a European air about it. The border design shows no trace of Chinese imagery and even the couple in the centre are in an idealised Chinese landscape and wear clothes that only approximate what Chinese people would have worn at the time. Although such Chinese export wallpapers were made specifically for the European market, this one is unusual in using European motifs.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1968 London: HMSO, 1969
Collection
Accession Number
E.51-1968

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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