Vintage wallpaper sample book

A couple of years ago, Greg and I were traveling down to flea markets in Missouri and Kansas. One of them was in White Cloud, KS – it was a smaller event, vendors up and down a main street and then off in a small field at the end of the last block. Out in the field, one of the vendors had an item that caught my eye – and the more I studied it, the harder I fell for it. It was a wallpaper sample book from the year 1940 – thick, heavy and mostly intact.

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

It was like looking at a mini-time capsule!

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

At this time we were looking primarily for objects to buy and flip, but this was something I wanted solely for myself. I tried to negotiate the price, but the seller had only recently acquired it and wasn’t in the mood to haggle over it. I walked away – but it remained on my mind and eventually I went back. Fortunately it was still there, and I paid the asking price for it.

The book contains samples of a variety of designs, some of which have companion borders. Paper samples are about 16 x 14 inches. In 1940 there were a variety of design categories, including:

Cameos

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Toiles

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Colorful tropicals

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Character Motifs

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

All-overs

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

and textured geometrics, among others.

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

There was also this section showing different ways to use one of the patterns:

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral CottageWallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here is the pattern, called “French Urn,” featured in the above page:

Wallpaper sample book | Vintage Floral Cottage

I would love to find a way to use some of these designs today, but I don’t want to ruin the integrity of the book by removing them. Maybe there’s something digitally that could be done – they would make great backgrounds or elements for vintage-inspired blog images, for example, if I could find a good way to scan them.

An awesome vintage find offering a peek into design options of more than 70 years ago!

 

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Please share on your favorite sites!
This entry was posted in Decorating. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Vintage wallpaper sample book

  1. Dorwin Starr says:

    Dear Greg Do you still have the wallpaper sample book? If so I have some stories about vintage wallpaper books. Some from 1906 and 07. Sold some and donated some and bought some.Let me hear from you. Dorwin Starr Nov. 8 2018 4:30 p.m.

  2. Angela says:

    Such a unique find! Love the designs!

  3. Taína says:

    What a treasure, definitely need to have it digitally scan.

  4. Ann says:

    This is so amazing, I luv it🙋🏼 Great find🤗

  5. Samantha says:

    What a cool find!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *