Aren’t those the most beautiful wallpapers? Since I discovered them at Cole & Son, an almost mythical british company, I long for a great wall to cover with the “Palm Jungle”! (For the moment, I’ve made it my screensaver.. ) What I post here is just a tiny little example of their vast, wonderfully crafted and designed collections, all the rest is over here at their website www.cole-and-son.com.
Here’s what I found about the story of Cole & Son: It was founded in 1875 and was, in the early days, known for high quality block printing and for supplying beautiful stripes and jaspes. Their archives own designs produced by J C Crace & Son to furnish stately homes, palaces, castles and theatres throughout Britain and overseas, including the wallpaper for the Palace of Westminster – the amalgamation of the two businesses in 1941 meant that Cole & Son became the custodians of the most significant collection of wooden printing blocks in Britain.
In 1949, Cole’s Design Director created one of the first screen print studios in Europe in response to the revolutionary new Contemporary design movement which gave birth to the wild wallpaper designs of the 1950s and 1960s. Today, their archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screen print designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries! Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world.
Of their contemporary production, they say: “Our magnificent archive is on occasion the source of new designs within our collections. Designs are carefully selected, adapted and coloured by our designers and printed by craftsmen to produce wallpapers faithful to the character of the original document, yet contemporary in feel.” So true!