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!

 

Please share this post!
This entry was posted in Decorating. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Vintage wallpaper sample book

  1. Angela says:

    Such a unique find! Love the designs!

  2. Taína says:

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

  3. Ann says:

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

  4. Samantha says:

    What a cool find!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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