Old wallpaper

I know it's a long shot, but does anyone have any idea how to work out how old some wallpaper is? We're having the kitchen refitted and behind a built in cabinet were some wooden boards with what looks like 1970s paper on (blown vinyl in geometric pattern) then behind that was three layers of paper.

Top one is a brown background with cream leaves and flowers in swirls with traces of green or blue colour on them. The design is quite a natural one.

Middle one is again brown background with more natural looking flowers and leaves although dots have been used for hading within the leaves.

Bottom (and oldest) one is lighter brown with very stylised leaves and flowers  in cream and a very vivid blue. The pattern has a lot of dots and dashes on it and there's very little background space undecorated.

I've tried googling for dating wallpaper, but can't find the right combination of words to get the returns I'm hoping for. All suggestions welcome image


  • Could try the V&A website Kwilter?  Maybe email them some pics.
  • As BDB says, definitely try the V&A, not sure which department though!image
  • <slaps head in a D'oh why didn't I think of that manner>

    Thanks guys, email sent off! image

  • Do you know when your house was built? Might give you a starting point.

    Any good quilting designs in them?image

  • Have you tried focus they probably have a roll of the original image
  • Good thinking Ginntonix I might have a look at some of the flowers and see if they can be adapted for applique.

    The house was built about 1890, and I'm pretty sure what is now our kitchen would have been a bedroom, the house was split into two flats years ago, we're in the upstairs one.

    LOL Nicko! image

  • Hey, let us know what you find out Kwilter - that sounds really interesting!
  • I've just had a reply from the V&A. She can date the later two pieces to about 1840-1850. There's an inscription on a house further up the street with 1890 on it, so it looks as if my house is slightly older and it's possible the wallpaper would have been used when the house was new.

    Just remembered we've got all the original deeds, might be worth trawling through them to find who lived here then.

  • That is old wallpaper Kwilter.  Hope the new kitchen is finished before the new wallpaper gets as old image
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