Tuesday, 8 November 2011

on the trail of a mystery wallpaper

Here at MoDA we often receive enquiries from museums and historic houses wanting our help in identifying unusual wallpapers. Unusual wallpaper is frequently uncovered as part of the restoration of an old building, and finding out about the wallpaper can reveal important details about the tastes, income level and aspirations of the people who lived there at the time.

We recently received an enquiry about this wallpaper, from Sagtikos Manor in New York, which dates from around 1902:

We're pretty sure it wasn't designed by the Silver Studio; the peacocks are very unlike anything else designed by Silver Studio designers at the time, and it doesn't appear in the Studio's surviving photographic records. However, the trees are a bit similar to those in this wallpaper, which was always attributed to Rex Silver:

SW1161, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture

This is a mystery we haven't yet been able to solve - if you have any thoughts about who might have designed the peacock wallpaper, do let us know!

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