Little Greene launches Archive Trails II, a beguiling compendium of archive floral wallpapers.
We continue our quest for authentic archive wallpaper designs, adapting patterns and colour palettes to suit 21st century living. Our latest range, Archive Trails II, will be launched at Paris Déco-Off in January 2018.
Much like its highly successful predecessor, Archive Trails, this sequel collection comprises patterns drawn from a range of archive material, including precious remnants discovered and conserved by English Heritage and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Exhumed and reimagined by a talented team of artists and historians, working closely with the Little Greene Studio, the designs have been judiciously re-coloured and their scale subtly adjusted to fit effortlessly into the 21st century interior.
Spanning a period from the early-18th to mid-20th centuries, the eight designs in Archive Trails II represent a spectrum of printing methods throughout that time, united by themes of freely-flowing flora and occasional fauna.
As is customary with Little Greene’s wallpapers, each design has prescribed its own print techniques, including tactile surface print and shimmering mica grounds, to achieve a timeless surface finish of the highest quality.
Unlike most of the source material for Little Greene wallpapers, this design is not drawn from a conventional pattern but rather is a reinterpretation of a fine illustrative painting from the mid-20th century. It represents the high-society trend for hand-painted murals, which were the precursor to commercial wallpapers. The fine detail of the original painting, combined with an ability to print this as a three-panel design, provides a cleverly repeating floral trail with the sensibility and touch of a fine artist. Available in four colourways.
Brooke House (c.1922)
Found by English Heritage at Brooke House in Hackney, the document from which this pattern was drawn is identified as 1920s in origin, notably because of the way it had been printed: a ‘gravure’ technique, which only became commercially viable after the turn of the last century. In fact, the design is likely to have been copied from a much earlier paper and the five colourways have been made using the rather more painterly, textural surfaceprint technique which is more typical of the older, original wallpaper.
Crowe Hall Lane (c.1898)
A large-scale, late-19th century wallpaper with a bold pattern of exotic birds and flowers. The paper had been used in a curving stairwell in Crowe Hall, a Suffolk manor house where the vertical nature of the trailing pattern emphasised the height of the room. It is likely to have been hung around the turn of the century and was recovered during extensive conservation work to the house much later. This design is an existing and much-admired part of the Little Greene portfolio; it is available in three new colourways as well as four existing ones.
A surface-printed design featuring exotic Lory birds and oriental blossom, which has been inspired by a charismatic 20th century piece held by the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. The exotic subject matter and almost symmetrical repeat are typical of 1930s designs and reflect the aspirations of travel to distant lands and a show of wealth to visitors to the house. Although recoloured for today’s home, the selected colourways bear testament to the use of bright colours, commonplace in the 1930s, and the Lory may have been chosen as a subject on these grounds alone! Available in five colourways.
The second paper in this collection taken from Brooke House in Hackney, East London. For a long period, Brooke House was home to a private hospital and this design takes its name from one of its significant 19th century owners: a Dr John Monroe. The pattern is recreated from a relatively small remnant found by English Heritage before the house was pulled down in the 1950s. It is undoubtedly inspired by the Art & Crafts Movement and its familiarity would have been used to help hospital patients feel comfortable and aid their recovery. Available in five
Woodblock Mono (c.1735)
Created through the simplification and reduction of the larger ‘Woodblock Trail’ paper and represents the trend throughout the ages for varying the scales of designs to create different visual effects. Rather more delicate, and infinitely usable in a smaller space, this monochrome version is available in five colourways.
Woodblock Trail (c.1735)
An early block print design, the original paper once adorned the walls of a ground floor room, most probably a dining room, in a historic house in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Its simple graphic elements are typical of a design that would have been cut from wood and applied by hand with the assistance of a suspended block press. Although the application of several print colours required the dedication and accuracy of a master craftsman, wallpaper as decoration at this time was the preserve of the privileged few and, as such, expensive statement designs were in higher demand than cheaper alternatives. Available in four colourways.
Wrest Trail (c.1848)
Derived from an interesting piece in the English Heritage Archive, this design is particularly noteworthy for the style of drawing used to create the all-over trail effect. A structured, wandering stem is adorned by rather relaxed, almost sketch-like interpretations of leaves and fruit. At a glance, it is more mid-20th century in style than its actual origin of a hundred years earlier. Available in five colourways.
David Mottershead, MD of Little Greene enthuses: “From watching fragments of fragile, antique wallpapers come to life from the archives, journeying through the hands of the artist and, after an intricate process of research and re-colouring, to see them rolling off the printing press is akin to alchemy. Our team of experts works in that very special place between trend and tradition to create rejuvenated, re-energised wallpapers – designed with today’s interiors in mind but with one foot still proudly rooted in heritage and tradition.”
‘Archive Trails II’ will be available nationally and internationally through Little Greene’s network of distributors, as well as via mail and phone order and online at www.littlegreene.com.