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by: Michael Lech
published by: Historic Houses Trust

Since the 1840s, fashions in wallpaper have come and gone in Australia. This new book published in April by the Historic Houses Trust celebrates our long, on-off love affair with wallpaper, showcasing over 60 historic examples from the collection of the Historic Houses Trust.

Wallpaper showcases the wallpaper collection of the Historic Houses Trust's Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, the leading library in Australia dedicated to the history of house and garden design and interior furnishing. Housed at the HHT's head office at The Mint in Sydney, the library has for the past two decades been actively acquiring wallpapers ranging from small fragments to complete rolls and sample books dating from about 1840 to the present day.

While many of the designs reproduced in this book are visually appealing, the HHT's primary reason for acquiring a new wallpaper for the collection is not good design but rather the wallpaper’s association with, or provenance to, an Australian home, merchant or manufacturer. By choosing wallpapers on the basis of provenance rather than design or taste, which vary over time, we intend the wallpapers in the collection to offer a glimpse into the domestic lives of Australians since 1840.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Lech is the Assistant Curator of the Historic Houses Trust's Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection. He specialises in the history of the home and its furnishings and has written a number of articles and delivered talks in these areas. Michael has previously worked as an assistant curator and registrar for the National Trust of Australia (NSW), and is the current secretary of the Australiana Society.

Wallpaper is the first book in the Historic Houses Trust Collection series. Each title will bring to life a slice of the diverse Historic Houses Trust (HHT) collections. Unique in Australia, the HHT manages 12 very different properties – historic houses, public buildings and museums – and over 400,000 items. The Collection series will celebrate particular features of these extensive collections and interest those passionate about houses and gardens, design and the decorative arts.

RRP $19.95

Published April 2010 by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales

Distributed nationally to all good book shops


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