Japanese Wallpaper

Artful and intricate, "Leather Papers" contributed mightily to the elegant late 19th century interior, but we still know too little about them.

I was surprised yesterday when out of nowhere out pops an old friend in the middle of a list of search results: the fine article about Japanese leather paper by Felicity Leung.  The link is below, from which a free PDF can be downloaded.

LEUNG, F.. Japanese Wallpaper in Canada, 1880s-1930s. Material Culture Review / Revue de la culture matérielle, North America, 28, jun. 1988. Available at: <http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/MCR/article/view/17363>. Date accessed: 31 Aug. 2011.

This article is almost a companion piece to Richard Nylanders "Elegant Late Nineteenth Century Wallpapers,"  The Magazine Antiques. August 1982, pp. 284-87. Nylander's article shows many of these wonders.

Swedish Wallpaper

after sending out the essay on historic paperhanging technique I got several interesting "thank you" emails and links to new and interesting sites, like this one in Sweden:


Handtryckta Tapeter are busily engaged in "...handprinting wallpapers for castles, mansions, appartements and huts around the world for 30 years now..."

I do work in castles on occasion (even if my own house is probably closer to the "hut" category).

MORE NEWS: architectural conservator Richard O. Byrne sends a note that he has an antique crank-type wallpaper trimmer kicking around:

"You know anyone interested in wallpaper slitting machines c. 1900? I've one that I doubt I'll get the time to restore, and even then I'm not sure what I would do with it. Seems to be all there with typical surface rust, but nothing the new chelating agent Evapo-Rust would not soak off rather readily."

Historic Paperhanging Techniques: A Bibliographic Essay

"Historic Paperhanging Techniques" is now available as a free download here (bottom of page).

Little has been written on paperhanging technique. Trade magazines tell about the workaday world of the paperhanger, but these didn't start until 1875 and are not widely available. Nevertheless, there's a considerable body of information out there if you know where to look: this essay helps you do just that.

This essay of 6,000 words was written for the International Preservation Trades Workshop, Lancaster, PA, Aug. 2-6, 2011. It's dressed up with a fabulous picture postcard of an early 20th century paperhanger getting it done. The picture was supplied by master paperhanger Don Leetz of Wisconsin. Thanks, Don!

The essay brings in European sources like articles from Geert Wisse (Belgium), and Phillippe Fabray and Bernard Jacque (France). I only regret that the Commonwealth countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada) were not addressed this time around. Surely they deserve further study. Wallpaper  was rampant in the 19th century and we see the same widespread use of hessian on plank walls, for example, in these countries, just as in the United States.

Hard copies in a plastic binder are available at no cost to non-profits, so let me know by email if these would find a good home in a library or other archive: info@wallpaperscholar.com

Download: Full Article


Wallpaper Lovers Unite!: CLICK ON ANY CAT to join us at Wallpaper History Group on LinkedIn!

Follow by Email

Looking For?.....

Use the form above to subscribe to future posts!
Ooh, and there are more articles, links and reviews on our main page:
Email me

All The News That's Fit To Blockprint: an occasional newsletter:

Click Me! To Find Out How To Buy "Backstory"

Click Me! To Find Out How To Buy "Backstory"
Click Me! To Find Out How To Buy "Backstory"