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Sidewall And Attached Border, République Française Liberté Égalité, ca. 1792

This is a Sidewall and attached border. It is dated ca. 1792 and we acquired it in 1986. Its medium is block printed on handmade paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This is a paper from the French Revolution, wood block-printed ca. 1792. The citizens of France felt that the Revolution could not be won just by fighting in political circles or on the battlefield and had to also occur in the ordinary citizen’s everyday life. It was believed that symbols had a powerful effect on the spirit and could reinforce the validity of the new principles. The domestic nature of wallpaper as well its repetitive aspect made it an ideal medium for portraying such motifs, and bringing these ideals into the home. This paper contains numerous symbols of the Revolution including the red Phrygian cap, cockade, and a banner with the words liberty and equality, which are all combined in this rather beautiful format. Unlike posters or flyers used today for the spread of information, these are block-printed wallpapers, made by some of the top French manufacturers. The Cooper Hewitt contains about a dozen different versions of these papers, both sidewalls and borders.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled French Revolution Wallpapers.

This object was donated by Mrs. John Jay Ide and catalogued by Gregory Herringshaw. It is credited Gift of John Jay Ide Collection.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 45.5 x 77.5 cm (17 15/16 x 30 1/2 in. )

Cite this object as

Sidewall And Attached Border, République Française Liberté Égalité, ca. 1792; France; block printed on handmade paper; H x W: 45.5 x 77.5 cm (17 15/16 x 30 1/2 in. ); Gift of John Jay Ide Collection; 1986-106-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Virtue in Vice.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Sidewall And Attached Border, République Française Liberté Égalité, ca. 1792 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 June 2018 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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