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Document Details :
Title: De Parijse manufactuur Balin (1863-1898)
Subtitle: Pronkstukken van behangpapier
Author(s): WAILLIEZ, Wivine
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Interieurgeschiedenis en Design
Volume: 39 Date: 2014-2016
The Parisian wallpaper manufacturing firm Paul Balin (1863-1898), which was founded in 1863 by the brothers Paul and Albert Balin, is still known for its high-quality wallpapers. The company quickly became very renowned for its production in which highly embossed wallpaper with a gold or silver finish played a central role. Balin’s aim was to produce improved imitations of historic decorative materials which he collected or studied in museums of decorative arts, and in order to achieve this he developed more efficient manufacturing processes, as is evident from his numerous patents. His main sources of inspiration were rich silk fabrics, embroidery and embossed gold leather. These were also the favourite wallpaper patterns of that period, which formed a perfect match in Gothic Revival or Neo-Renaissance interiors. This article offers a historical overview of the factory’s activities and also discusses its most famous wallpaper ranges, especially the imitation gold leathers and silk fabrics. The latter are explained with reference to Balins most important patents (1866, 1869, 1871, 1879). The application of the screw press for lithographers, his masterly use of different bronze powders, and the combination of cylinder embossing block printing and screw-press gaufrage are some of the characteristics of Balin’s manufacture and the key to his success, thanks to the sophisticated results he managed to achieve with them.