Gothick ‘Stucco’ Paper
This is a facsimile reproduction (by Allyson McDermott) of a wallpaper almost identical to the one hung in this room, on the first floor of the West Wing, in 1759. The original had been hung by Frances Ingram Shepheard – later to become the last Viscountess Irwin – after her marriage the previous year to the Hon. Charles Ingram. Small fragments of the Temple Newsam paper were found in 1993 still pasted to the timber wall-linings. The reproduction was copied from a wallpaper found at No. 1, Amen Court, London – a house belonging to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Stucco papers, as they were called in the 18th century, enjoyed a brief vogue in the 1750s and 60s. The contemporary revival of the Gothic style – called Gothick at the time – affected all the decorative arts, but was soon replaced by the Neoclassical revival. There is evidence that the Temple Newsam wallpaper hung for no more than eight years, from 1759 to no later than 1767, when a chimney-sweep’s account indicates that the room had already been hung with green silk damask. Perhaps the Gothick pattern was even then thought to be too insistent for what was always a bedroom. What do you think of it?
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