Monday, 3 October 2011

Even the walls

My parents didn't really do wallpaper - at least in the sense of applying any more.  Our house had elderly and dodgy plasterwork, and my parents took the view that removing the wallpaper covering it would only cause a lot of problems no one really needed, and what was wrong with paint, after all?

This did mean I didn't get horsy wallpaper.

Riding, August 1960

I would have liked horsy wallpaper. Our playroom had a field sports wallpaper with pheasants on it that I was very fond of. Shooting was a field sport, as was hunting, and hunting had horses, and that I knew was as close as I was going to get to wallpaper with horses on, so that pretty loose association satisfied me.

Fortunately for my parents, I had no idea the examples above existed.  And in all those colour ways too.  It is incredibly frustrating to have no idea at all of what the wallpapers would have looked like in the full colour flesh. Well, two colour flesh if I have read the copy correctly. Imagine the sunshine yellow!  Are there any walls out there with them on? Still? Or have they been Farrow and Balled out of existence?

A few years ago I saw a more glamorous and upmarket example of a wallpaper aimed at the adult market. On the Saddle Up forum pictures appeared from a house in (from memory) Aberdeen that had a Cecil Aldin hunting frieze. Alas I don't have any photographs of that frieze, which I remember as being a cracker, but here's an advertisement for the nursery friezes Aldin also did.


The V&A have an article on children's wallpaper which has an illustration of a scaled down Aldin frieze in a doll's house.

I haven't been able to find an example of the Aldin hunting frieze. The V&A article mentions a hunting frieze designed by H Watkins Wild for Sanderson, and issued in 1904, and Sanderson still do a hunting wallpaper. I wondered if there would be anything available showing hunting in full modern cry, bearing in mind the current situation hunting is in.  I dug up another period one: Alken this time.  Presumably a modern day hunt is too strong meat these days.

Today's child, however, is spoiled. You can live in your own stable. I'm sure you must be able to get My Little Pony wallpaper, but I couldn't face the thought of actually having to look at it once I'd found it.  Pony book children used to make their own murals, carefully cutting out pictures from magazines; begging them from friends, and then sticking them on a green line lovingly painted on the wall by their mother.  No need to do that these days.

7 comments:

mokey said...

I would steal my dad's telex paper ( like the dot matrix, perforated printer paper) and trace horses from my books, one after the other, til I had a long trail of galloping, cantering, trotting "wild" horses, lovingly coloured in exotic equine shades (blue-black with a golden mane, anyone?) running the length of my bedroom.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

My late great aunt and uncle had a hunting themed wallpaper which must have dated from around when the bungalow must have been built, which would have been the 1940s. It was fabulous and been as it was in the loo/bathroom (the bathroom was seperate from the loo), each time I went there I made sure I went to the loo. Been as they werent the sort to decorate frequently the house was untouched since the 1970s until about 3 years ago when the bungalow was sold (for various reasons) and demolished.

I do remember it well, and wanted it for myself.

Jane Badger said...

Mokey, do you still have your mural? I do rather like the idea of blue-black with a golden mane. What exactly would you call it? Noir-o-mino?

PTA - that wallpaper had a good long run. It's sad the bungalow was demolished though. All those childhood memories.

Christina Wilsdon said...

I remember Jill had a frieze in her room, didn't she? Ponies cut out and placed on a green line?

I would've loved horsy wallpaper--ours was not a wallpapered house, but my mother kindly got me a green carpet for my pistachio-colored room so that I could have good grazing for my toy horses. I still have the green towel she let me use as "pasture" before the green carpet arrived.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

Jane,

Yes it was a shame that the bungalow got demolished. It's a bit of a sore point in my family.

I had My Little Pony wallpaper during the 1980s, but you cant get them these days. You could during the late 1990s circa. 1997, but since My Little Pony was relaunched in 2003, no wallpaper appeared.

Utterly Horses (primarily a model horse website, but they sell some horsey themed stuff aimed at young girls) sell horsey murals and a frieze/cutouts, so I suppose that the nearest horsey young girls get these days.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

I have noticed that Utterly Horses also sell wallpaper, either in pink or chocolate. If anyone wants to see it themselves, go to www.utterlyhorses.com and select gifts, then "wallpaper and murals".

mokey said...

I'm afraid the frieze is long gone :( However I do still have a self-illustrated book I made when I was 10 for a competition containing some illustrations of my wacky colour combos. The protagonist ( a wild horse of course) was the black and gold combo. My favourite story and horse at the time was the Pahute stallion on the cover of "Ghost Horse",who was blue-black with a silver mane ( a chocolate silver I would imagine using today's terminology) Using him as my inspiration, but figuring I must be original and couldn't possibly copy his exact colour for my book - I simply invented my own. I went on to horribly plagarise "Summer Pony" for most of the scenarios in the second half of the book.