Japanese Wallpaper

Textured gold and orange wallpaper with bird motifs done in a Japanese artstyle
Eldon House Wallpaper. Photo courtesy of Jason Plant

Country of Origin: Japan 
Year: 1898 
Materials: Paper, paint   

While on their 1897 trip to Japan, the Harris Family had the opportunity to tour a wallpaper manufacturer famous for creating faux leather anaglypta wall treatments.  The company was named ‘C.E. Leopold and Co’ and had offices in Yokohama, Japan and London, England in the late nineteenth century.  The Harris family liked what they saw and ordered a significant number of rolls of a thick paper, with tones of maroon, green and gold, and including organic motifs for acanthus leaves, pomegranate, and owls.  The paper was installed in the main halls of Eldon House on two stories upon the family’s return from their travels.  It served two purposes: first, as a unique aesthetic feature, and second, to correct any visual irregularity that the then 65-year-old lathe and plaster walls had developed.  It was a feature that the family took pride in and maintained well – going so far as to have their domestic servants’ oil the paper with linseed oil once a year.