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AMERICAN COLLECTIONS: 

Farm House of the Grange Estate (Havertown, PA) 

Pennipacker Mills  (Schwenksville, PA)

Catherine Street (Philadelphia, PA)   

Victorian Mansion on the Ridge Pike, PA 

General Godfrey House - Cookstown, NJ 

New:  Wallpapered Screen, Single Sisters' House, Winston-Salem, NC . 

 

 

 

   

AMERICAN COLLECTIONS

Wallpapered Screen, Single Sisters' House, Winston-Salem, NC . 

 

 

 

 

 

First Wallpaper Layer

   

 

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 century.

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 memorial exhibition.

 The 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.

Igor Kiselev                                            June 2004

 

                                                                      


Original Third Wallpaper Layer on the Screen

 

Third Wallpaper Layer

 

   Original Fourth Wallpaper Layer on the Screen

 

Fourth Wallpaper Layer

 

Fabric Nailed to a Frame. Traces of Stiles and Rails are visible on the Surface

 

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