A pair of Victorian decoupage panels

A pair of Victorian decoupage panels



An unusual pair of late 19th century decoupage panels, each decorated with a tall vase within a decorative border set against a black ground, the vases profusely decorated with flowers, birds, butterflies and gilt decoration all in cut and applied card, further embellished with many birds, fish, hounds, ferns and fruit. One inscribed with the date 1880 on the prow of a rowing boat.

The origins of découpage, pasting paper onto a surface of an object or item of furniture, were first recorded in 12th century China. During the 17th and 18th centuries, artisans in Florence and Venice created elaborate pieces of furniture entirely decorated with the technique, also known as arte povera, or 'poor art'. By the 19th century it was highly fashionable in Victorian England. From the French, découper, to cut out, paper or card were pasted to a surface and then thin coats of varnish were applied. From the 1870s, colour printing made the process more affordable and commercially produced scrapbooks were sold, allowing for cutouts to be readily available. Popular subjects included children, flowers, fruit and birds in outdoor settings.


Height 177 cm / 69 34"
Width 58.5 cm / 23 "
Depth 3 cm / 1 "

circa 1880






The panels originally as a screen. Now shown in modern painted frames.