Friday, April 16, 2010

Sanderson Wallpapers

Illustration: Arthur Sanderson & Sons. Wallpaper design, 1907.

Arthur Sanderson founded Sanderson the British textile and wallpaper manufacturing company in 1860. It seems only fitting in this the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Sanderson that we should highlight some of the wallpaper design work from at least a small period of the company's history.

The wallpaper design works that are illustrated in this article are some of those that were originally featured in the English The Studio magazine between the years 1906 and 1908. The Studio magazine, which had been founded in 1893, was one of the premier influences on the decorative arts in Britain. To be featured within The Studio in the first decade of the twentieth century which was arguably at the point where the publication was at its most influential, was no mean feat.

Illustration: Arthur Sanderson & Sons. Wallpaper design, 1907.

The first decade of the century was one of particular innovation and exploration, but also that of transition from the aspect of the long and varied history of nineteenth century decorative arts and interiors, to that of the twentieth century a largely unknown aspect, bringing to some at least a certain air of insecurity.

A number of British designers had successfully made the transition from the largely English Arts & Crafts based nineteenth century to that of a European dominated Art Nouveau twentieth century. Others had at least made some effort, even if in passing, to what was assumed by many to be a short-term transitory European style. The fact that by 1906, when the first of the wallpapers produced in this article was featured in The Studio, the decorative style was to be seen as anything but transitory.

Illustration: C F A Voysey. Wallpaper design, 1908.

The company of Sanderson had made strenuous and largely successful attempts towards incorporating the major styles of the day within its expanding design library. It easily made the transition from the English Arts & Crafts distinctive decorative style to that of the equally distinctive European dominated Art Nouveau style. By securing the work of designers such as C F A Voysey, Louis Stahl and Will Kidd, Sanderson was able to invest heavily, both financially and creatively, in the style that clearly dominated the first decade of the century.

Sanderson went on to play a major part in the decorative interiors of Britain through to the Art Deco phenomenon and past the war into the 1950s and beyond. That the name of Sanderson is able to celebrate its 150th anniversary when so many other companies have long since disappeared, is a credit to the direction taken by the company and its investment in the future of the decorative arts.

Illustration: Louis Stahl. Lollard wallpaper design, 1906.

 Illustration: Will Kidd. Old woman who lived in a shoe wallpaper design, 1906.


faisal said...

should we use jacquard loom to weave them?

John hopper said...

I would have thought that for some of the more complex decorative work in these wallpaper examples a jacquard, or even a CAD would have to be used.