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French Papers

In a beautiful workshop in Paris, three trained paper conservators, Julie Stordiau, Vincent Farelly and Jean-Baptiste Martin, came together to form “A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson” in honour of Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour - patron of the arts and wallpaper enthusiast.

Rediscovering a method of printing wallpaper not seen in practice since before the French Revolution, the three artisans were working as freelance restorers when a project in the Auvergne called for an eighteenth-century 'domino' paper to be reproduced. Domino papers were the first real wallpapers and are distinguishable by their unusual size.

These hand-made papers are used to make the most beautiful notebooks, journals and little canvas card wallets - each one hand-printed and bound.

During the Age of the Enlightenment in France, the dominotiers’ guild printed ornate motifs on 35 x 45 cm paper sheets using engraved plates and applying colour with stencils. These decorative sheets of paper were called “dominos”.

Coffers, furniture or boxes were lined with domino paper, the ancestor of wallpaper. Small rooms such as corridors or alcoves were also adorned with the paper. A popular use was the binding of paperback books and these books are today the most frequent illustration of a craft which disappeared at the end of the 18th century.

These are very special things indeed. In beautiful subtle colours, each paper is hand printed, then hand painted and finished with a touch of gold foil.