Dating wallpapers

Wallpaper is made in long rolls, which are hung vertically on a wall.Patterned wallpapers are designed so that the pattern "repeats", and thus pieces cut from the same roll can be hung next to each other so as to continue the pattern without it being easy to see where the join between two pieces occurs.In the case of large complex patterns of images this is normally achieved by starting the second piece halfway into the length of the repeat, so that if the pattern going down the roll repeats after 24 inches, the next piece sideways is cut from the roll to begin 12 inches down the pattern from the first.The number of times the pattern repeats horizontally across a roll does not matter for this purpose.Among the earliest known samples is one found on a wall from England and is printed on the back of a London proclamation of 1509.

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Wallpapers can come plain as "lining paper" (so that it can be painted or used to help cover uneven surfaces and minor wall defects thus giving a better surface), textured (such as Anaglypta), with a regular repeating pattern design, or, much less commonly today, with a single non-repeating large design carried over a set of sheets.

A single pattern can be issued in several different colorways.

The world's most expensive wallpaper, 'Les Guerres D'Independence' (The Wars of Independence), was priced at £24,896.50 (,091, or €36,350) for a set of 32 panels.

Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries, and large sheets of the paper were sometimes hung loose on the walls, in the style of tapestries, and sometimes pasted as today.

Prints were very often pasted to walls, instead of being framed and hung, and the largest sizes of prints, which came in several sheets, were probably mainly intended to be pasted to walls.


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