Design Story 3: The Ormond Papers

Ormond Quay is central to an area of the Dublin where many of city’s wallpaper makers lived and worked  in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. James Boswell’s wallpaper printing works on Bachelors Walk was the largest in the city in the mid 1800s, but numerous much smaller enterprises flourished or foundered in the streets and lanes north of the Liffey. Across the river, on Clarendon Street, the factory of Patrick Boylan produced wallpapers of the finest quality for the top end of the market.

The Ormond collection of seven patterns mixes high end design with homely charm – grandiose or simple, these papers have been selected and recreated from the best examples of the work of Dublin paper stainers during the trade’s heyday, the century before the 1860s. They are offered in both historic and contemporary colourways, and can also be custom coloured to the customer’s specification.

Carton, Clarendon, Bachelors Walk, Ormond Tabby and Ormond Herb are hand screen-printed in our County Leitrim studio. Perrin Stripe and Castletown Chintz are available as high quality digital prints on ‘paste the wall’ paper.

Carton

Carton

This elegantly composed damask pattern was used in different colourways in two bedrooms at Carton, County Kildare, the country seat of the Dukes of Leinster, as part of a remodelling by the architect Richard Morrison around 1820. The identity of the original maker is not known, but a tax stamp on the reverse confirms the pattern to be Irish, and it is likely that it came from either the Boylan or the Boswell factories. The pattern incorporates paired serpents, an often used motif in Regency decoration.

 

Clarendon
Clarendon

Clarendon

The original paper was supplied by the eminent  Dublin wallpaper maker Patrick Boylan in 1819 for Castle Coole, the Earl of Belmore’s palatial residence in County Fermanagh, where it was hung in the state bedroom in preparation for an anticipated visit by the Prince Regent. The royal guest never arrived, but the paper, in crimson flock, still adorns the walls of the room today, nearly two hundred years after it left the Boylan’s Clarendon Street factory.

 

Bachelors Walk

Bachelors Walk

This four-colour damask was one of several registered for copyright in the year 1841 by James Boswell, who had opened Dublin’s most extensive and successful wallpaper factory on Bachelors Walk around 1805. The flowing lines and exotic plant motifs are characteristic of decoration and furnishings in the post-Regency period, before the advent of the florid naturalism popular in the early Victorian era.

Bachelors Walk, printed in the colourway of the sample registered in 1841, was used to decorate the two first-floor rooms of 18 Ormonde Quay, the current home of the Dublin Civic Trust, whose exemplary restoration has brought this historic merchant house on Dublin’s quays back to life, and who are generously hosting the launch of our two new collections in June 2019.

Ormond Tabby

Ormond Tabby

Background patterns imitating the appearance of watered silk (also known as moiré patterns) were much used to give an extra depth and richness to wallpapers in the nineteenth century. Ormond Tabby is simply the background of Bachelors Walk, without the main pattern, and offers a discreet but effective textural pattern, enhanced by the counterplay of matt ground and silk-sheen pattern.

Castletown Floral

Castletown Floral

Floral trail patterns influenced by imported Indian cottons were highly fashionable in eighteenth-century Ireland, generally being used in bedrooms and dressing rooms. This example, with stencilled colours, block-printed outlines and a fine pin-dot background pattern, was used in a bedroom in Castletown, County Kildare. It was almost certainly the work of one of the several wallpaper makers active in Dublin at the time, and must have been chosen by Louisa Connolly, who married Irish craftsmanship with European style in her transformation of Ireland’s first great Palladian house.

Perrin Stripe

Perrin Stripe

This  two-colour stripe composed of floral motifs and delicate pin dots was registered in 1854 by Paul Perrin of Capel Street, who advertised ‘room paper manufactured with all the advantages of steam power’. It is one of the few machine printed patterns registered by Dublin paper stainers.

Ormond Herb

Ormond Herb

The original of this pattern was one of the first in Dublin to be produced on continuous roll paper – up until the mid 1830’s all wallpaper rolls were made from small sheets of hand-made paper joined together. Although cheaply produced at the time, the pattern has an enduring and endearing simple charm.

The Ormond Papers are printed to order, and will take up to four weeks to deliver. Prices below do not include delivery.

Other colourways are available – an online brochure showing all colourways will be available shortly.

Carton Damask: 10m x 53cm roll:  Euro 120.00, hand screen printed

Clarendon: 10m x 53 cm roll: Euro 120.00, hand screen printed

Bachelors Walk: 10m x 50cm roll: Euro 200.00, hand screen printed

Ormond Tabby: 10m x 50cm roll: Euro 120.00, hand screen printed

Ormond Herb: 10m x 53cm roll: Euro 150.00, hand screen printed

Perrin Stripe: 10m x 52 cm roll: Euro 120.00, digital print

Castletown Floral: 10m x 52cm roll: Euro 120.00, digital print

 

Design Story 2: The World’s End papers

Six months have slipped by since the last post, and they have been busy ones. We now have not one but two new collections of patterns, soon to be launched with an exhibition at number 18 Ormond Quay, Dublin, present home of the Dublin Civic Trust. The exhibition runs from Tuesday 11th to Saturday 15th June, 10.00 – 5.00.

Two heads are better than one, and I have been fortunate in coming across and enlisting the help of designer Christine Westcott of Westcott and Heaney, whose input into the World’s End Papers has been invaluable. With a fresh take on the creative possibilities and armed with the most up to date pattern design software, Christine has been able to resolve the issues I was having around converting the painterly images drawn from photographs of chinaware into motifs which could then be arranged into patterns.

In order to really preserve the hand-painted quality of the imagery a combination of digital editing and hand-drawn artwork proved to be the best approach. This is most true of the pattern Captain Delamain’s Ramble (named after the owner of the World’s End pottery), in which those inspiring landscape scenes are set within a trellis derived from some of the floral elements used on Irish delftware. The final version of the trellis was hand painted by Christine, while the scenes went through several stages of digital ‘painting’ and retouching before they had the right coherence and consistency.

The trellis is also available on its own, without the scenes, and named Mrs Bijar after Captain Delamain’s business partner and second wife Mary Bijar, who ran the pottery after Delamain’s death.

The other two patterns are China Warehouse and Delft Damask. China Warehouse is a collage of images and decorative text celebrating the many and varied themes and forms of Irish delftware. Here the patriotic motifs used on Irish commemorative ware are mixed together with the Oriental figures, animals, plants and buildings which the World’s End painters copied so successfully from imported Chinese porcelain.

In Delft Damask , inspired by the Dutch delftware which had such a strong influence on the World’s End potters, an exuberant floral arrangement in an elaborate architectural planter and stand is repeated to form a damask pattern of imposing scale (the paper is 70cm wide).

The wallpapers in the World’s End collection are digitally printed onto high quality paste-the-wall paper, making them easy to install.

They are printed to order, and will take up to four weeks to deliver. Prices below do not include delivery.

Other colourways are available – an online brochure showing all colourways will be available shortly.

Captain Delamain’s Ramble: 10m x 52 cm roll, Euro 120.00
Mrs Bijar: 10m x 52 cm roll, Euro 120.00
China Warehouse: 10m x 52 cm roll, Euro 120.00
Delft Damask: 10m x 70 cm roll, Euro 140.00