"The Briar Rose" Intertwining Vine Frieze

While Birge's hand-printed leather papers get most of the attention, the company offered a wide range of surface printed papers just like other manufacturers - which due to their more ephemeral nature survive less frequently than their heavy-duty cousins.

This captivating frieze (which also had a coordinating sidewall) stands out not just for the unusually delicate yet dense treatment of the common rose vine motif, but even more strongly for the breathtakingly subtle color palette of warm tans and soft olives, from which the crimson spot blossoms stand out like tiny fireworks. This example is a reminder that wallpapers were about creating beauty first and foremost, and pattern and novelty second.

M.H. Birge & Sons, introduced in 1910 for the 1911 season. View Ready-to-Hang item.