Draft July 3, 2019. Editions to be added.
Welcome to the highly decorative idealized world of chinoiserie gardens, indoors, in wallpaper with an abundance of auspicious symbols -- flowers and gardens and birds and butterflies for harmony and happiness, good fortune and wealth, longevity, loyalty, peace, prosperity, humor, serenity and wisdom -- enjoy
Chinese garden wallpaper at left, a guest suite commissioned and painted on silk by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1784 at Brockett Hall, Hertfordshire, about 22 miles north of London. Compare the Hamlen Collection at right, also originally hand painted on silk in China in the early 19th century, now available for new audiences in new wallpaper panels above, renewed in limited editions digitally printed by Wallquest on premium nonwoven wallcovering. Envisioned by Dev Hamlen, owner of the heirloom originals, and available print to order from Holly Alderman.
New editions: Order 1 to 8 panels of Hamlen heirloom chinoiserie panels. The facsimiles retain authentic patina: unique imperfections are intentional and are representative of the original.
New Heights include: 103", 96"h, 92", 80", 79", 58" and bespoke
From the late 18th century through the mid 19th century, Chinese export ateliers painted chinoiserie wallpaper gardens and landscapes for export to England and North America, that are still treasured today as the epitome of glamour in royal palaces and grand estates by descendants, connoisseurs, museums and designers.
See a flamboyant menagerie, a pageant of high comedy staged on the paths between scholars rocks and shallow pools, performed by garden denizen in concurrent scenes amidst hundreds of blooms, with an aviary chorus of sophisticated tropical birds. On the ground, mirthful ivory ducks laugh, suave pheasants stroll and chat, droll mandarin ducks debate, egrets stretch and step around lotuses, while white bamboo leaves frame vignettes above.
Three years ago, Dev Hamlen of Wayland, Massachusetts, explored innovative potential to renew his heirloom garden wallpaper and preserve the artists’ legacy to retain unique patina to look very old yet be a model of sustainability.
Hamlen's great grandfather Nathaniel Hamlin of Boston had sailed from Long Wharf, beginning at age 21, on voyages on the clipper ship Union to trading ports in India and the Far East where he bought the Chinese wallpaper for his family. Letters to Nat from his father, mother, and sister survive as poignant narratives, with selections, portraits and maps of ocean journeys in a notebook at the exhibit. They moved from Boston to Wayland in 1872 to build Mainstone Farm, long a dairy farm and today with a herd of grass fed belted Galloway beef cattle, a pen for pigs plus five acres growing vegetables for a farm stand beloved in the region. Nat’s wallpaper masterworks were fortunately safe from sunlight for over a hundred years, partly by being forgotten in a barn attic about 70 years, rediscovered and installed the dining room for enjoyment of generations and later removed by Dev for conservation and preservation in digital scans.
Wallpaper owner Dev Hamlen envisions both conservation of the original art plus renewal and digital printing that transcends traditional techniques. His great grandfather, Nat Hamlin sailed to China by clipper ship and brought the wallpaper back to Boston in the 1860s. In 1872 the family established to Mainstone Farm in Wayland where the wallpaper rolls, forgotten in a barn attic for about 70 years, were installed in the dining room in the 1940s, and fifty years later removed for conservation and exhibition. The intriguing irony of the new editions is their authentic unique antique trompe l'oeil patina.
The wallpaper was installed in the dining room in Wayland where Devens Hamlen, the owner today, had birthday parties. Dev envisioned renewed editions and managed the digital capture of original panels removed from the house for restoration.
Nathaniel Hamlin, age 21 of Brookline, Massachusetts sailed from Boston Long Wharf on the clipper ship Union to Calcutta, and for 6 months while he sailed, almost every day his parents and sister wrote letters later collected in a volume for the family. He returned months later, and made another voyage to Calcutta the next year. Age 23, he sailed from Boston to the Pacific, to Hawaii and then 'Canton', China (illustrations tba - map and photo).
He bought the original hand painted wallpaper in China for his family and when he returned, established an import business and lived in Back Bay on Beacon Street. In 1871 his uncle established Mainstone Farm in Wayland, Massachusetts, a family dairy farm with a herd of Gurnsey cows, for about 80 years, and still the Hamlen farm, now with Belted Galloways, beef cattle, five acres of vegetables and a rustic farm stand well loved by the region.
All these limited editions, images, papers and fabrics are Copyright ©2018 by Devens H. Hamlen, all rights reserved.