A decorative panel was found on the 3rd floor of
the Single Sisters’ House.
Structurally it is a wooden frame with fabric hanged on
both sides of the frame. Four decorative paper layers were applied
to the fabric’s surface.
The panel edges contain evidence of some kind of missing
structure, probably another frame where the panel was installed. It
is a big possibility that the frame was a part of a screen.
The substrate frame was made with two wooden stiles and
seven rails (see drawing #1). The very top and very bottom rails are
wider than the intermediate ones.
The fabric is nailed to the frame. Paper layers were pasted
on the fabric.
The first paper layer is manufactured wallpaper with two
colors and small-scale design. The design has a gray background with
white decorative elements. The base of the design is a diaper that
is larger in height than in width. This kind of rhomb orientation
was used with purpose to create an illusion of walls been taller
than they actually were. Horizontally orientated rhombs were used
very seldom in wallpaper design. This layer may be dated by early 20th
The second layer was not manufactured wallpaper, but a
handmade one. Simple brown color paper was pasted over the first
layer and then painted with a brush in yellowish-green color. The
thickness of the brown color paper is 0.0085”
The third layer was created with manufactured wallpaper. A
big scale design was applied to its front surface. Nine colors were
used for the design, with a saturated red color being a background.
It is not easy to imagine an interior room with such wallpaper, but
on a screen it could be perfect as an active color spot in a room.
The height of the repeat is 25”. The width of the repeat
is unavailable. The brown color paper is 0.01 in thickness. The
design can be dated by 1920s-1930s.
And finally, design of the fourth layer was done with six
colors and appeared as decorative floral vertically oriented rhombs.
The field of those rhombs was filled with small flower bouquets. The
width of repeat is 6”, height is 9.5”. The thickness of the
brown color paper is 0.007”.
The panel is a significant historical and memorial
artifact, which has to be saved, preserved and presented in a future
physical condition of the wallpaper is not perfect. However, an
entire complex of restoration works cannot be recommended.
Conservation works shall be limited to surface dry cleaning (not
vacuuming) of the last paper layer and pasting some of the detached
paper parts that is very important to the further maintainence of
the artifact. The maintenance shall include a temperature and air
humidity control. Cleaning the surface too frequently cannot be
recommended. For exhibition the panel can be installed in a hermetic
glass or Plexiglas box to prevent a dust accumulation on the paper.