Sidewall, 1880–1900 Block-printed and embossed design on paper. Gift of Joan D. Wheeler. 2009-25-1.
What is this?
Enclosed within a diaper framework of acanthus foliage is a bouquet containing iris, tulip, rose and carnation flowers. The design is printed in a monochrome scale of tans with metallic gold highlights on an off-white satin or polished ground.
Why is this in our collection?
This paper displays meticulous production, wood-block printing, embossing, and a polished ground that would have made it a very high-end product. The paper’s design shows a strong William Morris influence, but more realistically rendered. Several innovations and a renewed interest in relief and imitative patterning led to the popularity of embossed wallcoverings during the last quarter of the 19th century, including Lincrusta-Walton, Tynecastle canvas, imitation leather papers, and others. This paper would complement the museum’s collection of embossed and printed papers of this period from England, France, Japan, and the United States. The museum already holds a smaller piece of this design in a... more