Lot 11: Monuments of Paris wallpaper panels, after Joseph Dufour

Charlton Hall

November 22, 2008
Columbia, SC, US

More About this Item

Description: Monuments of Paris wallpaper panels, after Joseph Dufour with 22 panels and extra pieces.

Provenance: Property of a Southern lady.

Other Notes: Brochure reads:
After two and one-half years in the making, the Twigs' reproduction of "Les Monuments de Paris" is now on permanent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As original copies of this document virtually unobtainable today, the Twigs cooperated with the Museum to reproduce in faithful detail one of the most important examples of this genre. The reproduction measures 8 1/2 feet high by 48 feet in length and is printed in full color-depicting a variety of pastoral scenes against a backdrop of architectural monuments.

Documentation was exhaustive throughout its manufacture, and a product of impeccable provenance and outstanding authority is positively assured. A limited number of additional copies were printed and are available for private installation. We are confident that THE MONUMENTS OF PARIS may be recommended without reservation to the most discriminating client.

At the turn of the eighteenth century, colorful and decorative block-printed wallpapers began to enjoy widespread popularity in both Europe and the United States, gaining official recognition with their use at Fontainebleau by Napoleon and at Mount Vernon by Washington. Rival firms vied with one another to create increasingly luxurious block-printed murals and panoramic papers, leading such manufacturers as Joseph Dufour to produce room sized murals which were printed with hundreds of colors and thousands of hand carved wood blocks.

In the United States, France's support of the American Revolution helped promote a sense of fashion and prestige for French-made goods in prominent American homes. The sparse décor of Federal dwellings and the unforgiving tedium of East Coast winters seemed to invite the use of cheerfully colorful and decorative scenic panoramas from France. Les Monuments de Paris was particularly popular in the United States where several partial sets still hang at their original installations.

Les Monuments de Paris provides rare glimpses of important Palaces and monuments of the Parisian landscape, many of which have long since been destroyed. Records from Joseph Dufour's firm indicate that several years of work went into preparing the original edition, with a staff of over two hundred and fifty workers including the master artist-in-charge, several draftsmen, block carvers, colorists, printers and chemists to supervise the mixing of the many pigments required.

This important document was saved from extinction in 1977 when the Twigs was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to reproduce the panorama for the Museum's newly renovated American Wing. Original fragments were located and documented in situ, from which a full color, full scale master was constructed and from which the reproduction was traced. A team of artists worked for two years to produce the drawings and more than a thousand silkscreens were engraved to complete the printing-after which the screens themselves were destroyed.


1. Palais des Tuileries
2. Arc du Carrousel
3. unnamed
4. Palais Mazarin and Notre Dame
5. Porte Saint-Denis
6. Palais-Royal
7. Saint-Jacques du Haut Pas
8. Le Pantheon
9. Palace Vendome
10. unnamed
11. Hotel de Ville
12. Val-de-Grace
13-14. Colonnade de Louvre
15. Saint Sulpice
16. Chambre des Desputes
17. Les Invalides
18. Saint-Germain-des-Pres
19. Palais Bourbon
20-21. Palais du Luxembourg
22. Jardins des Tuileries
Condition Report: All panels are mounted on canvas-backing and were previously installed. Panels are in good condition unless otherwise noted. Comprised of 20 rolls.

The Entire scene is complete unless noted.

Scene 10 (seems some inches missing on rt).
Scene 12 (some inches missing on rt).
Scene 13 missing (only fragment remains).
Scene 14 with horizontal tear.
Scene 16 (missing some inches on rt).
Scene 20 (missing some inches on rt).
Scene 21 (cut in half).

Rolls to Scene listing:
2-3: mounted together

4-5: mounted together with cut-out for electrical outlet.

6: slight separation at top left corner.

7: good condition for having been previously installed

8-9: mounted together, with doorway, fireplace surround and over-mantle cut-outs; with horizontal tear along center. Panel 8 has been trimmed vertically.

10-11: mounted together, with ten bearing fireplace surround and over-mantle cut-outs along left side. Panel 11 is trimmed.

11-12: mounted together with cut-out along right, horizontal tear near top right, and electrical socket cut-out.

13: fragment; trimmed substantially and painted to appear seamless

14, 15, 16: mounted together with horizontal tear on lower middle section of 14 and small tear at top right portion of 16.

17: good condition for having been previously installed

18, 19, 20, 21 (partial): mounted together.

21(partial): fragment, trimmed.

21 (partial), 22, 1: mounted together.

Extra panels:
4 (partial): with doorway cut-out
5 (double): trimmed slightly along left
8 (double): small horizontal tear along middle left.
9-10 (double): mounted together.

Miscellaneous panels:
A: section of clouds, H28" W45"
B: section of clouds, H28 1/2" W49"
C: section of balustrade, H14 1/2" W53 1/2"

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Grand Estates

Charlton Hall
November 22, 2008, 10:00 AM EST

Columbia, SC, US