Collage of Chinese prints set into overmantel
Collage of two sections of a Chinese woodblock (or prints), coloured by hand, depicting a bustling urban landscape with waterways and gardens, set into the overmantel in the Chinese Bedroom.
This collage was probably created when the Chinese wallpaper was installed in this room, and probably by the same paper-hangers, although the print fragments making up the collage are distinct from the fully painted wallpaper. The right-hand quarter of the collage, depicting a pavilion with a bell-shaped roof flanked by two pine trees, is on a larger scale than the section comprising the middle and left of the collage. The right-hand section was deliberately cut in an irregular way, following the contours of the pavilion, in order to disguise the join with the left-hand section. The collage was mounted on textile stretched on a wooden frame which was inserted into the overmantel. The collage may show impressions of Suzhou, in Jiangsu province, which is known for its picturesque gardens and waterways, and which had a thriving woodblock printing industry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. See Emile de Bruijn, Andrew Bush and Helen Clifford, Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses, Swindon, 2014, cat. 7, p. 19; Emile de Bruijn, Chinese Wallpaper in Britain and Ireland, London, Philip Wilson Publishers in collaboration with the National Trust, 2017, pp. 89-90.
Probably installed around the time of the marriage of John Hobart, second Earl of Buckinghamshire (1723-93) to Mary Ann Drury in 1761. Bequeathed to the National Trust by Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian (1882-1940), as part of the contents of Blickling Hall, 1940.