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Cowtan wallpaper order book thumbnail 2
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On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C

Cowtan wallpaper order book

Order Book
1836-1841 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Cowtan & Son was a decorating firm with premises in Oxford Street, London. They supplied wallpapers to clients across Britain. Each order was recorded by date under the customer's name and address, and small samples of the papers purchased (and in some cases also fabrics and trimmings) were pasted in. These volumes comprise a valuable record of what people were actually buying, and shows that many resisted the changing fashions, and ignored the advice of design critics and decorating experts, in favour of the ever-popular bright florals, stripes, 'satins' and trellis patterns.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Book containing cuttings of wallpapers and other materials, mostly colour prints from woodblocks, annotated in ink, and pasted into a volume bound in vellum.
Brief Description
One of twenty-four order books (E.1862 to 1885-1946), containing cuttings of wallpapers and other materials for interior decoration; Bound in vellum; Sold by Cowtan & Sons Ltd., formerly of Oxford Street, London; England; Book for the years 1836-41.
Physical Description
One of twenty-four order books, containing cuttings of wallpapers and other materials for interior decoration, mostly colour prints from woodblocks, annotated in ink, and pasted into a bound volume; Bound in vellum.
Dimensions
  • Height: 33.5cm
  • Width: 28.5cm
  • Depth: 16cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mr A. L. Cowtan, in memory of his father, Arthur Barnard Cowtan OBE
Object history
Sold by Cowtan & Sons Ltd, formerly of Oxford Street, London.



Given by Mr A. L. Cowtan in memory of his father, Arthur Barnard Cowtan, OBE.
Subject depicted
Summary
Cowtan & Son was a decorating firm with premises in Oxford Street, London. They supplied wallpapers to clients across Britain. Each order was recorded by date under the customer's name and address, and small samples of the papers purchased (and in some cases also fabrics and trimmings) were pasted in. These volumes comprise a valuable record of what people were actually buying, and shows that many resisted the changing fashions, and ignored the advice of design critics and decorating experts, in favour of the ever-popular bright florals, stripes, 'satins' and trellis patterns.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
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.
Collection
Accession Number
E.1864-1946

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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