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This is a timeless design and were it not for the stamp found on the reverse, it would be difficult to determine that it was an English paper printed in the eighteenth century.
Fascination with the Orient created colorful and fanciful depictions of Westerners interpretations of Chinese design known as “Chinoiserie.” Before the American Revolution the majority of wallpapers used in the American colonies were imported from England.
In addition to papers that came off the walls of New England buildings, the collection includes wallpapers used to line trunks, cover bandboxes, and decorate fireboards.
Many of these patterns can be identified in Historic New England’s collection.Prior to 1760, only the wealthiest colonists in urban centers in New England could afford to decorate their homes with wallpaper but it became increasingly available as the century progressed.Much of the expense of these early wallpapers was due to the fact that the rolls they were printed on had to be made up of individual sheets of paper glued together and that they were hand-printed with wood blocks, one block for each color of the design.Wallpapers by several other New England paper strainers are also included in Historic New England’s collection.Ebenezer Clough established his paper staining business in Boston in 1795.