Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee

Wallpaper
1887 (made)
Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from engraved rollers, on paper
Brief 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; From the stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire; Great Britain; 1887.
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 66cm
  • Width: 56.5cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Jubilee - Sanitary Washable Paper-Hangings BV (Stamped on the border Jubilee - Sanitary Washable Paper-Hangings BV.)
Gallery Label
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)
Credit line
Given by the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh
Object history
Made in Britain.



Provenance: The stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire.
Production
Provenance: The stock of F. Scott & Son, 26, High Street Hawick, Roxburghshire.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.
Associated Object
E.792-1970 (Colourway)
Bibliographic References
  • 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. 102-103. pl 86.
Collection
Accession Number
E.791-1970

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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