The 24-Hour Museum reports:
Rare hand painted Chinese wallpaper discovered in a carpenter’s loft has been restored and re-hung in a bedroom at Harewood House in Yorkshire together with furniture of the period.
The remarkable discovery was made in 1988, when the carpenter’s workshop on the estate was being cleared. Beneath the rubble were extraordinary rolls of wallpaper made in China in the eighteenth century, which had travelled across the world to Harewood to be hung in 1769. . . .
The wallpaper shows idealised scenes of Chinese life in great detail and in colours that would have been stunning at the time.
“It is possibly one of the best examples of Chinese wallpaper anywhere in the world,” added Allyson [McDermott, a wallpaper conservator]. “The colours are wonderful and the quality of painting extraordinary. What Harewood has is something wonderful and unique”.
The paper was made in Canton China in the mid eighteenth century and probably came back on a ship of the East India Company and the original owners of the Harewood estate, the Lascelles family, have a connection with the East India Company.
Edwin Lascelles, who was building Harewood in the 1760s and 1770s, had a younger brother, Henry, who was a captain on one of the East India Company ships and it is possible that it was he who brought the wallpaper back for Edwin.