Wallpaper flower pattern
Colour print from woodblocks
Width 57 cm x height 40.6 cm
Museum no. 1112B-1868
The pattern is an open half drop repeat. The repeat is formed by placing each pattern unit half-way down the next pattern unit. There is space around each pattern unit in this design hence it is known as an ‘open’ half drop repeat.
This wallpaper is a colour print from a woodblock. This technique of printing is known as a relief process. In this particular process the printing surface is raised above the areas which are to remain blank. The printing surface is a block of wood known as a ‘woodblock’. The surface of the woodblock is inked with a sticky ink which is thick enough to stop it from flowing into the hollows. The pattern is formed by cutting hollows into the woodblock with a sharp tool known as a burin. The cut-away hollows are thus lower than the surface which carries the ink. Most relief colour prints have been printed from several different woodblocks. Each woodblock is cut with a different part of the pattern left on the surface. This surface carries the ink. The surface of each woodblock then prints a particular part of the pattern in its own unique colour. The printer positions each woodblock in the correct place on the paper by using pins in the corner of the woodblock. Then each separate colour is printed in the right place by each different woodblock. The relief colour print is then said to be ‘in register.’
This wallpaper was designed by Miss Maria Brooks when a student at the Royal College of Art about 1868. The wallpaper was made at Corbière and Sons, France.
This image can be found in Print Room Box 7.