It is to China and Japan that Europeans have borrowed employment and the manufacture of wallpapers.
Formerly, in the princely or opulent dwellings one was content to cover the walls with embossed leathers, tapestries or as one still sees in palaces and old castles.
This rich and severe decoration matched the vast four-poster beds, carved furniture, chests, buffets and credenzas.
As for the poor houses, they were at most adorned with a layer of plaster, sometimes mixed with ocher or other colors.
So when, about the year 1555, the Dutch and the Spaniards brought back samples of wallpaper from the Far East, it was gradually thought of making use of it in the ornamentation of the apartments
It is, moreover, to French houses that most of the progress achieved is due.
Without wishing to go back further, let us recall the progress made since the XVIIth century, at which time François, of Rouen, imagined to cover the paper, impregnated with a sticky matter, of waste of wool coming from the mowing of sheets, from there the name "tontisses", garments dyed with various colors, which he had in drawings; then the passage of this industry, originating in China, in England; that it was around 1820 that the endless rolls of paper were created replacing the paper in sheets; finally, in 1850, the impression to the cylinder appeared, a performance that had already been remarkably successful at that time, since one obtained 6 to 8, even 15 and even 20 different colors.
In 1875, there were thirty or so factories in Paris or the suburbs, and then Lyon also saw the emergence of a few rather important establishments, of which, certainly, many of our readers had to preserve the memory.
There was a paper factory in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, then the Maison RICARD, in Quarantine, successively THIBAUDIER and G. FAIST and C °. The PIGNET-PAILLARD House in Saint-Genis-Laval, whose style was, moreover, the decor.
Here, moreover, as historical, some names of its collections: The Harvests (in 32); the railway of Lyon-Saint-Etienne, of which we still see some views in a cafe of Saint-Genis; the military forts, the Arcole bridge wars of the first Empire, African campaigns, taken from Algiers, Paris, London and Rome (1852), of which a sepia collection still exists in Lentilly, decorating a vestibule of the villa of Charmilles; another collection in grisaille was sold in 1907, in Paris, to a great Collector merchant.Roman scenes, the discovery of America, in colors; a large decoration, also in color, always printed on the board, forming four panels of four each, representing the "Departure of the Crusades", "Slave Market", "Dance in front of the Sultan" and the fifth act of the "Huguenots" ". This collection was sold in 1910 in America. Other manufactures were established: at Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d'Or, Maison PELLETIER; House MOURRETON-PERRIN, in SansSouci; VINDRY-LAFOY, Brotteaux; GRAILLIER-BOUCHE, rue Chabrol, at Guillotière DUPERRAY, at Vassieux, then some local merchants, such as LIVET, FRIZE, who manufactured for their own sale; lastly, painters in faux-bois, marbles, who have disappeared with the new decoration, such as the names GIRARD, BOUCHY, & c.
Today, we have reached a degree of perfection that makes the requirements of consumption more sensitive than ever.
There is, as it were, no more individual who accepts, from the outset, in a facility so modest as it is, a disposition, a motive that does not satisfy him fully. So contemporary collections have inevitably acquired a surprising variety.
For their part, the reproductions of past styles, to which the taste of our compatriots knows how to leave all their original flavor, charm as much by the respect of the traditional line as by the scrupulous execution.