Chinese wallpapers at the National Trust

The National Trust’s Treasure Hunt blog has been delving into the world of Chinese wallpapers recently and I thought I’d share a few of these wonderful photos with you.

Wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Penrhyn Castle (©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel)

Ornate, hand-painted wallpapers like these were the height of luxury during the 18th century and it’s amazing that some are still extant in their original homes.

Wallpapers in the study at Saltram (©NTPL/John Hammond)

Wallpaper in the Chinese Dressing Room at Saltram (©NTPL/John Hammond)

What really caught my eye were the pictures of the newly painted fascimile wallpapers at Avebury Manor.

Wallpaper in progress at Avebury Manor (©NTPL/James Dobson)

The design was applied to the walls by stencil and then details were painstakingly painted in by hand.

Detail of wallpaper in progress at Avebury Manor (©NTPL/James Dobson)

Hand-painting wallpaper at Avebury Manor (©NTPL/James Dobson)

The design may not strictly be historically accurate but I think the decision to feature flashes of local British flora and fauna (such as wild pansies, red admiral and peacock butterflies, great crested newts and foxes) on the wallpaper adds another neat layer of history onto this restoration project. After all, true Chinoiserie, like the original Chinese wallpapers, was always made for Western consumption and Western tastes.

You can read more about Chinoiserie and wallpaper on the Treasure Hunt blog.


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