Wallpaper In Ireland.....a series

Herewith an examination in serial form of David Skinner's 2014 book Wallpaper In Ireland 1700 - 1900.


Introduction: 

...One of Ireland's lesser-known trades, its history largely forgotten, wallpaper manufacture employed many hundreds of people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when locally-produced papers were sold and used alongside those imported from other countries. Charting the history of wallpaper use by examining surviving examples and the documentary record, this book aims to awaken some echoes of the people who bought wallpaper in Ireland or who spent their lives in making it, and to trace the 'things' which formed the contexts of its production and design…



Paper-staining, as the trade came to be known, took root, flourished and declined in Ireland in an arc of activity spanning the century and a half between the 1720s and the 1870s…In England wallpaper manufacture was developed by well-capitalized companies like the Blue Paper Company, backed by investors with an expansionist outlook on foreign markets, while in Ireland artisanal family businesses, passed on from fathers to sons, operated in an isolated and hermetic economy, training apprentices who, when they became masters, had either to carve out a share of a limited market or emigrate. By the 1830s Dublin was said to have more master wallpaper makers than all of Britain, but only a few of them were doing much more than eking out a living. To a great extent, what differentiates Irish wallpapers from those made in Britain is not so much their design as the circumstances and conditions of their production…




A central aim of the present study is to chart the rise and fall of the Irish paper-stainer, from the artisan workshops which supplied the wealthy elite of Georgian society to the clandestine garrets which sent contraband wallpapers to Victorian Britain...[This book] illustrates the richness and diversity of the styles and patterns which formed the backdrop to domestic lives in Ireland over two centuries...


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