Vintage Wallpaper--Made in France

I recently purchased some vintage wallpaper that was manufactured in France. They have some beautiful floral patterns and have already become some of my favorites! Then again, I seem to fall in love with almost every new pattern I come across... Can you tell I am fascinated with vintage wallpaper?? Anyway, that purchase got me thinking about the history of wallpaper in France, so I did a little research and came up with some interesting tidbits to share with you.

Apparently, wallpaper was big business in France. The earliest mention I found was in 1481, when artist Jean Bourdichon was commissioned by King Louis XI of France to paint 50 rolls of wallpaper. The design featured angels on a blue background. The King then had it mounted on panels so that he could take it with him as he moved frequently from castle to castle. The result, basically, was traveling wallpaper!

In 1675, a French engraver named Jean-Michel Papillon, created complex patterns for wallpaper using multiple wood blocks and a continuous pattern.  A black outline of flowers, vases and shields were printed onto paper while the color was carefully filled in with a brush or a kind of stencil. When pasted on a wall, the designs would join together at the edges. In this sense, Jean-Michel Papillon is originator of wallpaper as we know it today.

In the 18th century, wallpaper manufacturing became more sophisticated. In 1785, Christophe-Phillippe Oberkampf invented the first machine for printing wallpaper. Around the same time, Louis-Nicolas Robert designed a process that would produce a continuous length, or rolls of wallpaper.

By this point in time, the French had taken over the industry, which was then important enough to be regulated. Finally, a law was passed by King Louis XVI that established a wallpaper roll at a length of about 34 feet. Now, I am very curious to know how he decided on 34 feet exactly, but unfortunately, I couldn't find that info.

So until next time, happy wallpapering!


Vintage Wallpaper -- New Listings

With the holiday rush over and our kids back to school, I finally had time to add more vintage wallpaper patterns to my website: www.rosiesvintagewallpaper.com  

The photos below are some of my favorites.