How I LOVE Antique Paper!

I was doing some Christmas shopping in a small town north of Houston last week, and came upon an old house that was slated to either be moved or razed.  This was an OLD house – probably dating to the turn of the last century, just sitting on its site, totally empty, doors and windows open to the weather.  I couldn’t resist, and walked inside.

The walls were stripped down to the shiplap and lath.  Over the shiplapped wood was some very old wallpaper, sill in good condition.  In those days, a loose cheese cloth type fabric was tacked over the wooden walls, and the wallpaper was pasted and applied over the cheese cloth.  Because it was suspended away from the boards, the paper would hang nice and straight, and free of wrinkles or impressions.

What amazes me is that the colors hold up so well, with virtually no fading.  The paper itself is generally in good shape, too, although it can become brittle with age and brown on the back side – like the pages of an old family Bible.  The cheese cloth, too, holds up well – until it’s touched, when it can become a little weak. 

I collect samples of these old papers, and have a growing collection.  So I took samples of what was in this house, too.

Since in “the old days” all the rooms (including inside closets) were papered, to disguise the ugly wooden walls, usually they used very bland “background” patterns.  So, unfortunately, instead of bright colorful scenes of poodle dogs in skirts or pink flamingos on seafoam green paper, from this house I got tone-on-tone overall small florals and other not-very-interesting designs.

But just finding these treasures was very exciting to me, and I am thrilled to have little pieces to update my collection.

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