The condition of our papers ranges from almost impossibly fragile and/or tragically stained, torn or damaged, to as sharp, clean and sturdy as the day they were printed. Some will have ragged edges from decades of neglect and rough storage, some have water stains/oxidation spots/foxing, certain rolls have faded along their selvage due to air exposure or light infiltration, and mice and worms have been known to munch through them on occasion.
Often imperfections actually add to the charm and character of a piece more than they detract, but we will inform you of condition issues in our descriptions whenever possible. We carefully repair small tears, and in most cases these (and even moderate creases) are minimally noticeable after dry mounting to acid-free board.
Actually, what is remarkable about our collection is the excellent condition of most of our papers, given that they are in fact antique.
Regarding fading, just like when they were first printed, our papers will potentially fade or perhaps discolor from exposure to light, moisture, heat, or harsh environments. This should be gradual though, and occur imperceptibly over time if proper protection is in use.
Believe it or not, with appropriate care and professional handling, most (though not all) old papers can still be installed today, a century or more after they were first printed. This requires a certain level of artistic courage and a talented and experienced paper hanger (we recommend hiring a member of the Wallpaper Installers Association).
Some of our papers are more readily installed than others (for instance, so-called “leather papers” on high-quality heavy stock are easier to work with than the very brittle and acidic pulp papers of the 1890s and 1900s), and the same limitations the papers have always had still apply – you have to be careful with paste and moisture staining, papers are fragile and require hand trimming, and most old papers are neither lightfast nor washable. But the results will be unlike anything anyone else has – that is for sure.
We do not guarantee a trouble-free or fully satisfactory installation (that is out of our hands), nor do we provide mounting instructions or guidance, as conditions and papers vary widely. Please rely on an expert installer, plan your layouts carefully, and always test a small piece or two prior to mounting.
That’s what Bolling & Company was founded to do – collaborate creatively with passionate designers, decorators, home owners and collectors to produce uniquely personalized, high-impact artwork from our singular collection of antique material that is available nowhere else. You bring us your enthusiasm and excitement, find the paper that speaks deeply to you, tell us about how you want to use it, and we’ll work with you to produce a piece of artwork like no other.
Our heirloom-quality pieces should be hung and treated just like any other antique print or piece of fine art. Avoid direct sunlight, temperature extremes, and proximity to sources of humidity/moisture. Our papers glow and shimmer brilliantly when well lit, but use only UV-filtered or non-UV light as colors will fade and papers can become brittle.
However, in the end nothing lasts forever – our approach is to focus on the beauty and pleasure these unique artifacts provide rather than being overly concerned with fading or damage. Loving them to death can be better than long lasting but lonely and unappreciated…
We are currently developing our capacity to reproduce papers in our vast collection of document patterns and sample books to produce the nearest thing practical to a truly authentic period paper. Though not an endeavor for the faint-of-heart or light-of-wallet, these reproductions can capture many of the beautiful effects and imperfections of the old surface printing process and the rich texture of the ingrain and embossed papers that sets antique paper apart from new papers. Call or write if you have a serious interest in pursuing your own custom reproduction of a paper in our collection.
Samples are both essential and tricky. Essential because you really can’t tell much from a computer image. Tricky because we sell our papers in repeats, and cutting samples will often result in the loss of a valuable full repeat for just a small snippet.
That said, in many cases we do have scraps or other cut-offs that we can send as color or pattern samples. Samples – when we can provide them – are $20 each, and size varies based on availability. The $20 sample cost will be credited against any purchase that follows, or $10 will be refunded if the sample is returned in good condition. The samples can be fabulous material for note cards, scrapbooking or other creative endeavors, should you decide to keep one.
There is nothing that we value more than establishing long-term relationships with talented professional designers for repeat custom business, or with high-quality retailers who want to offer unique or exclusive products unavailable anywhere else. We feel our papers present unmatched opportunities for creative, high-impact custom art and décor treatments, and look forward to discussing your ideas with you.
While our pricing structure is not set up to accommodate true wholesale or trade pricing, we would be happy to discuss the possibilities of custom solutions, limited editions, restricted patterns, special quantity purchases, or proprietary product ideas that offer advantages to the sophisticated and visionary designer, dealer or retailer. Please email, or give us a call.
When available, trade or wholesale pricing is handled on a case-by-case basis. We require that dealer or trade customers have an active website.
We can’t make any promises, but that is what we do after all. So we would be happy to look at your papers and make you an offer if they meet our criteria – just send us a few pictures and dimensions, and let us know if there are any identifying details in the selvage. Please understand that we may say “no thank you,” that we do not provide appraisals, and that we do not disclose the prices of past items bought or sold.