Bird in the Wallpaper
Views of the Bird in the Japanese Wallpaper, c.1897. Photos by S. Butlin.
The Bird in the Wallpaper
Created: Japan c. 1897.
Designed: Unknown. Manufactured for C.E. Leopold & Co., London and Japan. Japanese ‘leather’ wallpapers were created almost exclusively for the leather markets.
Medium: Paper, layered, moulded, and embossed, painted with pigments, principally dark red and black, and highlighted with gold-coloured metallic paint to resemble embossed leather.
Dimensions: bird, 23 x 15.5 cm.
Collection: Eldon House.
The bird which makes its’ home in the wallpaper on the first and second floor hallways has been variously described as an owl or as “parrot-like” by visitors and experts. The bird’s animated features peer out at the world as he perches precariously on fanciful golden foliage. His handsomely embossed plumage, ears and curious expression enlivens the flat home in which he lives. The overall design of the wallpaper, highlighted by texture and metallic paint, shows the influence of the Aesthetic movement and Arts and Crafts designs as seen in wallpaper and textiles in the late nineteenth-century. Many rolls of this wallpaper are thought to have been purchased by the Harris family during their 1897 visit to Japan.