Weird and Wonderful Wallpapers

“My wallpaper is killing me. One of us will have to go” – Oscar Wilde.

Among many other things, the Prints, Drawings and Paintings collection also includes a spectacular selection of wallpapers. This post showcases some of the more striking, unusual and eclectic wall-coverings spanning the late 18th to the late 19th centuries. Click on the images if you would like more information about each one.

Image of a blue and grey wallpaper with a building themed design

Potters of Darwen. “Perspective views of a Railway Station”. Lancashire, 1850-1853.

Colour woodblock print.

E.558-1980

Surreal wallpaper peopled with strange figures

F. Scott & Son. Grotesque/comic wallpaper. British, 1870s.

Lithograph.

E.626-1945

Image of a wallpaper with an Indian theme

Allan, Cockshut & Co. “Hindoo Gods”. London, 1880s.

Colour machine print.

E.1821-1934

Wallpaper depicting Queen Victoria

F. Scott & Son. “Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee” Hawick, Scotland, 1887.

Colour print from engraved rollers.

E.791-1970

Wallpaper featuring a bird in a cage

Unknown. Wallpaper showing a birdcage and a drum. Lancashire, c.1800.

Etching hand-coloured with watercolours.

E.937-2000

Wallpaper with a design of half naked women

Unknown. Risqué wallpaper for a gentleman’s club. American, c.1900.

Machine  print on laminated paper.

E.590-1994

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