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Object Timeline

1935

  • We acquired this object.

1991

2012

2014

2016

2020

  • You found it!

Sidewall (possibly England), 1770–80

This is a Sidewall. It is dated 1770–80 and we acquired it in 1935. Its medium is block printed on handmade paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This wallpaper was designed in the style of Jean Pillement, the celebrated French illustrator of chinoiserie and some-time royal painter to Marie Antoinette. The repeating pattern of flowers and foliage show Asian motifs as interpreted through a Western lense. In 1755 a folio entitled A New Book of Chinese Ornaments, Invented and Engraved by Pillement was published in England. At the time, British fashion celebrated all things Oriental, but the difficulty of travel between Europe and the East meant that demand for Asian artworks far exceeded the availability of genuine articles. Naturally, English manufacturers took it upon themselves to end the shortage by producing their own Eastern-inspired wares.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Chinoiserie Wallpaper.

This object was donated by Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood.

Its dimensions are

152 x 50.5 cm (59 13/16 x 19 7/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall (possibly England), 1770–80; block printed on handmade paper; 152 x 50.5 cm (59 13/16 x 19 7/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood; 1935-6-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18340227/ |title=Sidewall (possibly England), 1770–80 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 September 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>