JAIC 2004, Volume 43, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 91 to 110)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2004, Volume 43, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 91 to 110)

INVESTIGATION, ANALYSIS, AND AUTHENTICATION OF HISTORIC WALLPAPER FRAGMENTS

FRANK S. WELSH


ABSTRACT—Although wallpapers are more ephemeral than painted finishes, they share an equal significance with paint in the investigation of finishes in historic buildings. Ceiling and wall papers were important in a room's overall decorative scheme, but they were often removed as fashion changed. If removed, finding evidence of their use is sometimes as challenging as determining their original colors and patterns. This evidence may include fragments as small as a millimeter or as large as several meters. Whatever the fragment size, microscopical analysis of associated paper fibers and paint pigments coupled with identification of any apparent style or pattern can provide critical information before restoring a room or reproducing a wallpaper. In this article, the process of investigation and analysis is organized into five principal categories that should assist those responsible for the interpretation and restoration of historic surfaces. Numerous examples illustrate the significance of each of these five categories.
[Spanish Abstract] [French Abstract]

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTON
2. SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE
3. EVALUATING THE CONTEXT OF THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
4. IDENTIFYING PATTERN STYLES
6. ANALYZING MATERIAL COMPOSITION AND EVALUATING ORIGINAL APPEARANCE
7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
a: Notes , References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 2004 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works