Saturday, August 2, 2014


One of the spin-offs of an interest in miniatures is you learn little bits of history and information about other crafts as you go. It can often lead to an interest in or love of things other than miniatures. In my case, amongst other things, I have developed a love of antique and vintage wallpapers. I could sit and look at the wonderful designs of antique and vintage wallpapers on the internet for hours and the social history behind the wallpapers of a particular era. It is a fairly recent interest so I have a lot of learning ahead of me and I look forward to it.
For those of you more recently following my blog you may not have stumbled across the you tube video I provided a link to some time back that gives you a glimpse of 300 years of wallpapers in 3 minutes:
I am lucky to have obtained a few pieces of antique wallpapers from a friend which I have shown in a previous post:
While I recently took you on a guided tour of my craft room and my treasures I realised there was one treasure I haven't shown you. It is a little 1938/39 sample book of Sanderson fancy papers. The whole book is only 7 inches by 3 inches. I am sure many of you will recognise the name Sanderson in relation to wallpapers and fabrics.
In brief, the company's start was in 1960 when Arthur Sanderson established himself in London as an importer of French wallpapers. In 1968 he started commissioning block-printers in England to print designs and in 1879 the company's first wallpaper factory was built.
The sample book I have is divided into sections and I give you a tiny glimpse of some of the contents below:

 31 Papers.
Most of the flocks are a single colour but there are two multi-coloured flock papers.

83 Papers.
Many of the papers in this section are gold textured prints.

Approx 175 papers.
Some of these scaled down would make great mini bags and suitcases.


27 pages.

15 pages.

77 pages.


Some of you who have vintage houses may recognise some of the last few papers.
While I originally bought this sample book to use the papers I have found it hard to pull it apart.
I did use a tiny piece of paper for this table.

I could copy the papers of course, albeit that they are very small, but then you don't get the wonderful textures of some of the papers. I might do that though at some stage with some of the leatherettes to experiment with some miniature handbags and suitcases.
In the meantime I am just happy to own this wonderful glimpse of the past.
I do have a project in mind relating to antique wallpaper that I hope to start soon ... watch this space.
I'd better stop typing this post and try to finish my Petite Properties book-ends first though.
Have a great weekend.


  1. Thank you for such a fascinating posting and have found the pics of your old wallpaper so interesting. I absolutely love antique and vintage wallpaper too and it never ceases to amaze me how some wallpaper that can be really old can still retain its vibrant colours. I know it sounds weird, but I love the smell of old wallpaper too! I have some 1930s wallpaper here at KT Miniatures and plan to use my favourite floral pattern to line the back of my real life sized old kitchen cupboard with glass doors and shelves, to give a nice backdrop to my old china. Celia

  2. Celia, your idea of backing your china cupboard with 1930s paper is wonderful. It would look fabulous. I love the florals from the 1930s. In fact I love the textiles from that era too. Beautiful designs and crafts made for the home.

  3. Qué libro tan fantástico, la mesita quedo genial! un abrazo

  4. What a wonderful wallpaper book :-) A fascinating look at the past!


  5. I like these wallpapers. And the pieces you've done with them are very beautiful.

  6. Looks like Blogger ate my previous comment. :-( Thanks for writing on this interesting topic and sharing the links to previous posts so that everything is in one place. I love vintage papers and fabrics and look forward to seeing more of your projects using your antique wallpapers. xo Jennifer

  7. This was very interesting... and I can truly understand that you have difficulties with tearing it apart. I even have this problem with my paper stacks... but yours are real treasure papers.


  8. Wow the books is amazing, I cant imagine seeing a whole wall portion in some of these prints especially back in the late 30's!

    Oh the possibilities of these beauties!

  9. Don't you just hate it when you buy something to turn into another project and then you just can't bring yourself to do it! All to familiar!! LOL!

  10. It's amazing to see not only the design influences in the wallpapers, but also the technology that has inspired new ways of manufacture - Ink, block prints, embossing...wonderful =0)

  11. I love old wallpaper samples, and sample books - this one is utterly AMAZING as you have just identified the maker of these dolls house wallpapers!!!! And it's dated!!! So now we know the source of the dolls house wallpapers sold by Hobbies in the late 1930s - as well as the lino flooring, the roof tiles, the brick and the slate paper, the middle of the other patterns is in the Hobbies Handbooks of 1938-1940. And there are 77 pages of these papers!!! Plus Hobbies sold veneer and leatherette papers, which are probably these Sanderson ones too, and are also used in dolls houses sometimes. I am absolutely thrilled, as you can probably gather, as I have hoped we would discover who actually made these papers! Could you take photos of more of them, and the backs, and email them to me, please? I would absolutely love to have an article about them for the DHP&P magazine! :-D

  12. I'm trying to catch-up a little on blogs after my vacation, I'm glad I saw this. I just love wallpapers too =)
    I like the gold textured prints, I got a new wallpaper-book and there are some cool golden wallpapers that reminds me of these, some textured ones to =) I do like new, modern wallpapers too, and I just discovered 50-60-70's prints too =) I never thought I was interested in history, at all, but houses and wallpapers, that's very interesting. =) Thank you for sharing these, it was very interesting to see =) And I was surprised there were wallpapers for dollhouses too =) I would have a hard time using these, but better use them than hide away them =) Copying sounds like a good idea, that way you can get bigger parts of each too, and save them in a computer if you use up all the originals =)