English wallpaper manufacture, c.1700-c.1800

Taylor, Clare (2012). English wallpaper manufacture, c.1700-c.1800. The Quarterly (Journal of the British Association of Paper Historians), 83 pp. 13–23.


It is over twenty years since the journal carried material on wallpaper, so the article opens with a discussion of why the eighteenth-century industry remains so little known. It explores the collecting and exhibition initiatives which led to its scholarly study, drawing on materials including unpublished archives on the 1946 exhibition of Historical & British wallpapers. The article focuses on eighteenth-century innovations in manufacture, which have often been ignored in favour of a focus on stylistic development. It argues for the importance of links to the paper industry for the developing wallpaper trade, drawing on unpublished sources . New types of products which have been hitherto ignored by historians of wallpaper, such as papier mâché, are analysed to demonstrate the breadth of output. It also argues that links to the textile industry were of particular importance in design development and discusses methods of applying colour to create innovative and imitative patterns, arguing that these could be used to disrupt hierarchies within the home.

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