Fetes de la Grece et Jeux Olympique, 1818
This antique scenic wallpaper, handblocked in 1818, was an original first edition by Dufour. It was block printed on joined sheets, with 30 lengths total. The client requested that the paper be removed from the walls of her current residence and reinstalled on large panels which could then be hung like artwork in her new residence. It was possible to safely remove the wallpaper because it had been previously hung on both muslin and liner paper.
The wallpaper had been installed in a room with archways, an alcove and multiple inside and outside corners. The wallpaper was painstakingly removed from every surface and delivered to the preservation studio. The preservation team separated each wallpaper panel from its muslin and liner backing and prepared the panels to be reinstalled on boards. The individual scenes or 'fetes' determined the size of the boards used.
The boards were prepared and the preservation team hung the wallpaper on the boards. John Nalewaja then inspected the paper and prepared a restoration plan for the artist to follow. The artist in-painted and restored any areas that suffered paint loss during the transfer process.
John and his assistants make every effort to minimize paint loss and reattaches even very small flakes of paint to preserve each panel. Interestingly, any paint lost during the removal/reinstallation process is generally from earlier in-painting and restoration. Original paint tends to be quite stable so clients can be confident that their antique papers are as complete as possible.
Once the boards with the newly restored scenes were completed they were delivered to the client who then hung them in her new residence, continuing a relationship with a lovely antique scenic wallpaper.