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All the wallpapers for the Palace of Westminster were designed by Pugin, in an amazingly short period of five years. After Pugin's death in 1852 his designs continued to be used right up to the present day. They were revolutionary for his day, being at once inventive and plausibly Gothic.

The designs are very diverse. Some, such as the flock wallpaper (seen here) are on a very large scale, with a pattern repeat of nearly a yard, whilst others, were produced in various sizes and finishes to suit the scale of different rooms.

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Beginning from autumn of 1847, AW Pugin began to design wallpapers for the new Palace of Westminster. He was the only designer involved, and over 100 patterns in different colourways still survive in the logbooks which are kept at the Islington firm of John Perry, where Pugin's wallpapers are still printed today. The Victoria and Albert Museum likewise contains the pattern books of the firm of Crace, with many designs for the Palace of Westminster. These patterns were all produced over a period of five years, ending with Pugin's early death in 1852.

Pugin's designs are enormously varied and inventive. At a time when the technology of wallpaper printing had made great advances, the wallpapers of Pugin's day were notable mainly for an artificial realism and three-dimensionality, and for riotous and often meretricious ornament. To Pugin, attempts by designers to represent three dimensions in wallpaper were dishonest and objectionable. Just as architecture should not, he said, conceal the function or construction of a building, so wallpaper must never mask or disguise the solid appearance of a wall. As he said: 'A wall may be enriched and decorated at pleasure, but it must always be treated in a consistent manner.'

In place of three-dimensional effects, Pugin insisted on flat treatments and stylised patterns, which enhanced the two dimensional nature of the surface. Some of his designs, such as the flock wallpaper in the Queen's Robing Room, are on a very large scale, with a pattern repeat of nearly a yard. (Its design is imitated from 15th-century Italian textiles.) Whereas others, such as the Rose and Portcullis design, were produced in various sizes and finishes to suit the scale of different rooms The richness and many colours of such papers are a contrast to the simpler, smaller-scale, but still charming papers produced for domestic residences and servants' rooms. The fleur-de-lis and pomegranate design of 1848 was extensively used in the Conference and Committee Rooms.

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