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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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