Wallpaper Lickers of the World Unite

It’s all perfectly normal, honestly

I’ve been thrilled by some of the wallpaper designs in the house in France. But the thrill is as much the story as it is the design, a growing preoccupation for me as more layers unfold at the house, revealing the choices made by various occupants, reflecting changing tastes and fortunes, and those of the houseteal and silver print room wallpaper

Now I’m going to share something with you, and you have to promise not to laugh…

Just over a year ago I became a fully paid-up member of the Wallpaper History Society, a charity which champions, celebrates and strives to protect historical wallpapers (it also publishes the Wallpaper History Review, header pic)

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

While I myself am more of an interloper, with no more to offer than lots of – no doubt, irritating – enthusiasm, the Society boasts a membership that includes archivists, conservators and researchers, interior designers and the manufacturers and hangers of papers

As well as unqualified devotees of decorative and social history, like myself

Along with the considerable knowledge held by the Society’s members is the shared ability to still be thrilled by a surviving fragment, an ambitious colour combo, a rhythm in the design. Or knowing who bought which paper, and what it would go with

I also love old architectural and decorative catalogues, and I die a little bit every time I see them butchered and the pages sold for framing. This enormous 900-page builders catalogue (hardback and circa 1914-15), is therefore safe from such a fate. I may reveal more of its contents in future, but I think I’ve opened up enough for one post

(There are in fact some incredible records still in existence, such as the fascinating sales books of the Cowtan decorating company, held in the archives of the V & A Museum. These books document sales of papers and textiles across more than a hundred years, detailing the customers, the rooms they were for and the quantities required – often with notes alongside of the complementary design elements of the schemes. At the Society’s AGM in December the group enjoyed a superb presentation about these books, all of which are handwritten and hold samples of every paper)

Social history and wallpaper samples? I didn’t want the evening to stop

Luckily, there are a number of events in planning for the next year, and I intend to attend as many as possible, in the company of likeminded people

If you are a little bit mad for wallpaper, you can get a fix and check out the Society’s Instagram     #wallpaperhistsoc

And you may just start to realise that what you thought was madness is actually completely normal…

 

 

 

 

 

Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

11 thoughts on “Wallpaper Lickers of the World Unite”

  1. I went into somebody’s house recently where the original wallpaper was still there but, despite my oohs and aahs, I think she’s going to get rid of it. I’ll get her to at least take photos of it before she does the deed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am recording ours and keeping samples as they are all too far gone to save. The pieces will all be framed and hung in the rooms where I found them (I do not have a scrap of wallpaper in my UK home and probably never will). I would love to see some pics of your friend’s papers too (is that a bit weird?)

      Like

      1. Not weird at all. Well, some might say so but I don’t.
        I will suggest framing a piece to her. To be fair, it’s a very dark, labyrinthine house and the wallpaper, despite having quite a lot of yellow in it, doesn’t help with lightening it up.
        I will ask her to take photos next time I see her.

        Liked by 1 person

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