Idylwild frieze

Posted on | February 6, 2009 | No Comments

This woodland-themed landscape frieze first made an appearance in the Wallpaper News of January 1905. It was made by the Allen-Higgins Wallpaper Co. and originally titled “The Berkshire Frieze”.

We added it to our line after we were contacted by a family in Lawrence, Kansas looking for a frieze similar to the one seen in this ca. 1905 photo of their dining room.

After seeing the photo, Scott Cazet, a designer here at the time, recalled seeing something like it in our archives. After retrieving it we were all amazed to see that it was exactly the same frieze, which is astounding considering how many hundreds (if not thousands) of landscape friezes were made during the Arts & Crafts era! The only problem we would have now with reproducing it for our client was that our original sample was missing its upper two inches or so, making it necessary to blow up the old photo to recreate the missing section, which we did.  

Our clients were very excited with the result and the fact that their simple inquiry lead to the restoration of a long lost piece of decoration in their home. It was rewarding for us, of course, to recreate this lost piece of art, unearth it from our archive, and see it hung in place for others to enjoy once again.

Landscape friezes enjoyed a relatively short-lived but very vigorous period of popularity during the first decade of the twentieth century. They were one of the last highlights of the waning years of the Arts & Crafts movement.

My thanks to Greg Herringshaw at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum for the article in Wallpaper News.

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