Birds and flowers

Treasure Hunt

©National Trust/Andrew Bush ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

The catalogue of Chinese wallpapers in the historic houses of the National Trust is now on its way to the printers and should be out by the middle of March.

©National Trust/Andrew Bush ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

We hope it will stimulate debate and research around the dating, stylistic development and social and economic contexts of Chinese wallpaper – as well as providing some jolts of visual beauty, of course.

©National Trust/Andrew Bush ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

It is interesting to compare the wallpaper at Erddig, hung in the 1770s (seen here), with the wallpaper at Nostell Priory, mostly hung in 1771 (as seen in this post). They are technically and stylistically similar: fully painted (without the printed elements seen in earlier wallpapers), but with ‘painterly’ scenery quite close to traditional Chinese ‘bird and flower’ painting.

©National Trust/Andrew Bush ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

Later, nineteenth-century Chinese wallpapers tend to more stylised – developing away from…

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