Saunders, Gill. Wallpaper in Interior Decoration. V&A Publications. London. 2002. pp. 59. pl 52.
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1966 pub. HMSO 1967
Full text of entry is as follows:
ANONYMOUS: Wall-papers, English
Wall-paper border with a design of Egyptian motifs, made for the drawing room at Crawley House, Bedfordshire. English, 1806.
Colour print from wood blocks and flock. (26.5 x 13.5 cm.) E.2259-1966
Given by Mr. John B. Fowler
Note: The pattern of this paper is identical to that of E.2498-1966, except that the design is horizontal
This wallpaper border would have been highly fashionable in a British drawing room in 1806. Egyptian motifs came to the forefront of fashion after 1802, when the French scholar, Baron Dominique Vivant Denon published his book on Egyptian antiquities, 'Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte'. [27/03/2003]
In the 18th century wallpapers were often fixed to the wall with nails or tacks, rather than pasted up. Printed borders were used to conceal the heads of the tacks and to give a neat and finished appearance to the papered wall. The fashion for using borders continued even when methods of hanging wallpapers changed and borders were no longer strictly necessary. By the early 19th century borders were available in elaborate designs to use as a frieze decoration around the upper part of the room.
This wallpaper border was apparently made especially for the Drawing Room of Crawley House, Bedfordshire. It was probably designed to suit a decorative scheme in the Egyptian style, which was popular at this time.
The border is printed with alternating motifs of a sphinx (a mythological winged lion with a woman's head and chest) and a sarcophagus (a coffin).