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As early as 1712, England established a tax on wallpaper of 1d (pence) per square yard in addition to the tax levied on the individual undecorated sheets of handmade paper used to make a roll.
Duty officers stamped each individual sheet of undecorated paper with a “First Account Taken” stamp and, after it was decorated, with a charge stamp in the form of a crown above an interlaced GR monogram.
The earliest record of wallpaper in America is in the estate inventory of a Boston stationer in 1700, where “7 quires of painted paper and three reams of painted paper” were listed.
Like all early references, it is more descriptive of quantity than of design.
They were used at the ceiling level and on top of dados or baseboards as well as around door and window frames.
In many eighteenth-century installations, the borders were also applied running down the corners of the room so that each wall appeared to be framed individually.
Clough is best known for the commemorative paper of George Washington he advertised less than one year after Washington’s death in 1799.
Another type of large-scaled pattern available to New Englanders was the so-called pillar and arch paper.
These classically inspired architectural designs were printed en grisaille and were most often used in stair halls where the forty-eight-inch repeat would not overpower the space and the pattern would transform it into a series of colonnades.
The most sumptuous eighteenth-century wallpapers were the flocked patterns which imitated silk or wool damasks and cut velvets.
The patterns were often large-scale foliate designs printed in bold colors.