Wallpaper From The Williams Tavern

The Williams Tavern on North Main street, West side was open to the public from 1781 thru 1824. The pine wall boards shown here likely date back to 1719 when the house was built. Later, sometime between 1786 and 1800 this block printed wall paper was hung in the Inn. The process of block printing is achieved by carving the desired pattern on wooden blocks. A worker then picks up the desired color from a paint pallet by pressing the block on to it. Next the block is pressed to the paper that has been painted in a ground color, in this case Grey leaving behind the printed pattern. Every time another color is added a separate block must be carved. Four were used to create this paper, which was made by Appleton Prentiss Paper Works of Milk Street, Boston MA. This Arch and Pillar pattern was their most expensive paper selling at 3 Shillings per roll. Its design features include repeating arches and pillars with figures dressed in classical garments, shields with flags, and "Putti" (naked children) seated on the arch signifying the ever presence of God. The pattern is derived from an English paper. There are seven known surviving examples of this pattern: the 1767 Oliver-Gerry-Lowell house in Cambridge MA., the 1798 Oliver Wright House Sturbridge, MA, the Gilman Garrison House Exeter NH, the 1799 Broad Oak farm in Hanover MA, and the 1786 Stephen Robbins House in East Lexington MA. There is also an example in Pennsylvania.
Known ground colors are two shades of Grey, Pink, Dark Blue and Yellow.
The Williams Tavern was taken down in 1960 and these boards were recovered and stored on site for 62 years (as of 2022). Patrons of the Inn would have seen this paper. It is the earliest known example of a Sunderland interior.
The first image shows the layout and repeat of the pattern.
The second image shows the 2 1/2" wide swag borders that were hung below the ceiling and around doors and windows.

Date

1786-1800

Format

Photographs of block printed wallpaper on pine boards.
Wallpaper 21" wide.
Swag boarder 2 1/2" wide.

Source

Williams family of Sunderland.
"Wallpaper in New England" by Nylander, Redmond and Sander.
Society for the preservation of New England Antiquities, 1986.

Citation

“Wallpaper From The Williams Tavern,” Swampfield Historical Society, accessed April 18, 2024, https://swampfieldhistorical.org/items/show/232.

Title

Wallpaper From The Williams Tavern

Description

The Williams Tavern on North Main street, West side was open to the public from 1781 thru 1824. The pine wall boards shown here likely date back to 1719 when the house was built. Later, sometime between 1786 and 1800 this block printed wall paper was hung in the Inn. The process of block printing is achieved by carving the desired pattern on wooden blocks. A worker then picks up the desired color from a paint pallet by pressing the block on to it. Next the block is pressed to the paper that has been painted in a ground color, in this case Grey leaving behind the printed pattern. Every time another color is added a separate block must be carved. Four were used to create this paper, which was made by Appleton Prentiss Paper Works of Milk Street, Boston MA. This Arch and Pillar pattern was their most expensive paper selling at 3 Shillings per roll. Its design features include repeating arches and pillars with figures dressed in classical garments, shields with flags, and "Putti" (naked children) seated on the arch signifying the ever presence of God. The pattern is derived from an English paper. There are seven known surviving examples of this pattern: the 1767 Oliver-Gerry-Lowell house in Cambridge MA., the 1798 Oliver Wright House Sturbridge, MA, the Gilman Garrison House Exeter NH, the 1799 Broad Oak farm in Hanover MA, and the 1786 Stephen Robbins House in East Lexington MA. There is also an example in Pennsylvania.
Known ground colors are two shades of Grey, Pink, Dark Blue and Yellow.
The Williams Tavern was taken down in 1960 and these boards were recovered and stored on site for 62 years (as of 2022). Patrons of the Inn would have seen this paper. It is the earliest known example of a Sunderland interior.
The first image shows the layout and repeat of the pattern.
The second image shows the 2 1/2" wide swag borders that were hung below the ceiling and around doors and windows.

Source

Williams family of Sunderland.
"Wallpaper in New England" by Nylander, Redmond and Sander.
Society for the preservation of New England Antiquities, 1986.

Date

1786-1800

Contributor

Laura Williams and Mike Walunas.

Format

Photographs of block printed wallpaper on pine boards.
Wallpaper 21" wide.
Swag boarder 2 1/2" wide.

Output Formats