13 Antique Regency Era Wallpaper Designs
Featured here are Regency era wallpaper patterns and border samples from an early 19th century American company. These antique wallpaper designs are from the Philadelphia firm of Messrs. Virchaux & Co.
Antique Regency era wallpaper design number forty-seven above, circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co is the border for number forty-six shown below. Composed of a band ornamented with stars and rosettes, surmounted by three palms united by a garland of olive leaves forming an arch beneath two swans, and a Grecian lyre in the center. The whole imitating gilded bronze.
Wallpaper of expensive styles and artistic variety were brought to America as early as 1735. Rolls of wallpaper did not appear in America until 1790, so most antique wallpaper designs imported before this time arrived in square sheets. Directoire, a period intermediate between Louis XVI and the Empire days of Napoleon, had some of the character of Louis XVI and showed the beginnings of the Empire grandiose and stereotyped manner. Its backgrounds were the big scenic papers in pastoral or illustrative fashion, showing both mythological and historical scenes, or the interesting garden spots and boulevards of the day. French influence dominated the design of domestic wallpapers; but by the end of the eighteenth century, Philadelphia had become the center of wallpaper production in the United States. Subjects ranged from commemorative and panoramic scenes to designs drawn from architecture and nature.
Wallpaper design by Messrs. Virchaux & Co., composed of arch and trees circa 1816. Printed label matted with LOT 14050, no. 18-b describes the pattern as "Number One. Ground, tea-leaf. First print, black. Vines covered with leaves of various kinds and colours, which will be changed conformably to the several seasons of the year in which it may be used. With a border of similar ground and colours. The print is called a Forest Entry. Thomas Hurley, of Philadelphia, by right obtained from the United States, intends to execute this design of his invention on every different ground with correspondent colours at his Manufactory of Paper Hangings."
Antique wallcovering design number forty-six circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co., is composed of festoons, roses, and two entwined ribbons at margin. This paper is paired with border number forty-seven shown at top.
Antique Regency era wallpaper design circa 1815 was accompanied by a printed label describing the pattern: "Number Fifty-Three. Border for number fifty-two. A drapery supported by a crescent, the sides folding round a rosette, a garland of vine leaves thrown over the drapery. Messrs. Virchaux & Co. intend to execute the above design of their own invention on every different ground with correspondent colours, at their manufactory of Paper Hangings."
Antique wallcovering design number fifty-two circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. The ground imitating drapery attached at each side to a cord by buttons; in the center a garland ascending of colored flowers clematis Virginiana and jasmine. This paper is paired with border number fifty-one shown above.
Wallpaper design accompanied by printed label describing the pattern: "Number Sixty-Eight. Design of double columns, ornamented with grapes and vine leaves. Another part ornamented with losanges, placed horizontally forming the intervals. Messrs. Virchaux & Co. by right, obtained from Joseph Ramee, intend to execute this design of his invention, on every different ground, with correspondent colours, at their manufactory of Paper Hangings."
Wallpaper design number forty-four circa 1814, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. Top border for number forty-three shown below. Composed of a horizontal garland ornamented with a rose in the center and on each side with leaves and jasmine in gray colors, the top ornamented with pearls, palms, and rosettes in gold colors on a purple spotted ground work, under the garland a design in Arabic style, imitating embroidery, terminated with a cord in gold colors supporting the drapery of the paper number forty-three.
Wallpaper design number forty-three circa 1814, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. Ground imitating a drapery, shaded and lighted by stripes and ornaments in sections of a circle, printed in grey and white on a lighter grey ground. The center is ornamented with ascending bunches of roses and cape jasmine alternately, on one side a bar ascending composed of pearls, gold colors. This paper is paired with border number forty-four shown above.
Wallpaper design number fifty circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. Border for number forty-nine shown below. Forming a cornice divided by an ornament Arabesque set with palms, in the center a medallion, and beneath two palms bowed. The top part imitating gilded bronze, and the lower part participating in the same colours as number forty-nine.
Wallpaper design number forty-nine circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. Ground in Arabic style, composed of an Arabesque ascending in the center - the sides lighted and shaded by horizontal lines, terminating in points - on one side an ornament indented and studded with flat pearls forming a column. This paper is paired with border number fifty shown above.
Wallpaper design number fifty-five circa 1815, by Messrs. Virchaux & Co. Border with festoon terminating in points, ornamented with fringe, crescents, and stars - the lower border printed on the same piece with ornaments of stars and palms. "No. 759. Title page of "Paper Hanging 55." Deposited 5th August 1815 by Virchaux & Co. as proprietors" penned on back.
Regency era wallpaper design circa 1815. Printed label for companion sheet, LOT 14054, no.14-a, describes the pattern: "Number Sixty-Six. Ground imitating a garden gate, of open ornamental iron work, gilt, on one side a pialster forming the intervals. Messrs. Virchaux & Co. by right, obtained from Josesh [i.e. Joseph] Ramee, intend to execute this design, of his invention, on every different ground, with correspondent colours, at their manufactory of Paper Hangings."
Regency era decor wallpaper design accompanied by printed label describing the pattern: "Number Fifty-One. Ground pin work, ornamented with a garland of vine leaves and bunches of grapes, between each garland a palm ornament, on one side column formed by leaves and white flowers ascending. Messrs. Virchaux and Co. intend to execute the above design of their own invention on every different ground with correspondent colours at their manufactory of Paper Hangings."
[Images of wallpaper from Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division]