Sarah Orne Jewett House

Guest Room Wallpaper

To anyone who lived through the 1960s, this wallpaper seems remarkably modern. And yet papers like this that suggest an optical illusion were surprisingly popular in the early years of the nineteenth century. This is a reproduction of the paper that was installed in one of the bedchambers, probably in the 1820s by Sarah and Mary’s grandfather. It remained on the walls throughout their lives.



This is a slightly earlier example of another paper in Historic New England’s collection that also has an optical design.