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Woodblock for Pink and Rose Wallpaper

Maker: Unknown

Date: ca. 1890
Dimensions:
21 1/4 x 22 3/8 x 2 in. (54 x 56.8 x 5 cm.)
Medium: pearwood with brass pins
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Object Number: 2000.5.1874
Label Text:This woodblock was one of several used to print the Pink and Rose pattern on display to the left. Although the manufacture of wallpaper was one of the few parts of the firm's business that was contracted out to another company, Morris insisted on overseeing much of the process. He was even known to throw out sets of woodblocks when he thought them insufficiently capable of rendering one of his designs. In this case, extra care would have been required of the block-cutter in order to display in relief the intricate veining of flowers and leaves. While not unusual at this time to use woodblocks for printing wallpaper by hand, by 1850 the rapid machine-printing process already dominated wallpaper manufacture. In the more time-consuming and meticulous hand woodblock-printing process, each color required a separate woodblock and had to dry before the next could be applied.