Wallpaper fragments: Chawton Vine

Object name: Fragments of historic wallpaper

Object number: CHWJA:JAH31

Category: Objects

Description: A collection of fragments of historic wallpaper featuring a pattern of white vine leaves on a yellow background.

Made: c.1800

Context: These fragments of historic wallpaper were discovered in the Drawing Room in the late 1940s, when Jane Austen’s House was being turned into a museum. They were found on the plaster covering a bricked-up window, now hidden behind Rev Austen’s Bookcase. This window, which looked straight onto the main road, was bricked up by Edward Austen in 1809 to give his mother and sisters more privacy. The wallpaper design dates from about 1800 and is based on a vine leaf. It is printed in red and ‘Dutch Pink’, a curiously-named yellow pigment that was popular in the Regency period.

In 2016 the Museum commissioned historic wallpaper specialists Hamilton Weston Wallpaper Ltd to reconstruct the pattern from the historic fragments and to create a replica wallpaper to be hung in the Drawing Room. The reproduction wallpaper has been made using the same hand block printing processes that would have been used in the nineteenth century.

The reproduction paper is known as ‘Chawton Vine’ and now hangs in the Dining Room, as it would have done in the Austens’ day.

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