Kew Gardens scene

One of the 12 panels depicting the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This one is of the pagoda. The panels were sold by L&V Art and Design at the Battersea Decorative fair.


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But this 12-panel scenic panorama actually depicts a garden: the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Offered with an asking price of £18,250, it sold to a UK private buyer on May 4, the first day of the fair, from the stand of local dealer L&V Art and Design.

Screens unveil panoramic view of Kew Gardens

Wallpaper and fabrics firm Arthur Sanderson & Sons (now known as Sanderson) was founded in 1860 and this collection of 12 handprinted wallpaper panels dates to 1926.

Kew panorama

The 12-panel scenic panorama of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The panels, each measuring 5ft 5in x 1ft 9in (1.7m x 55.5cm), depict an idealised panorama of the Royal Botanic Gardens inspired by the kind of scenic wallpapers produced by French manufacturers in the early 19th century. Among the scenes featured are Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, the Temple of Aeolus, Victoria Gate, The Palm House and The Great Pagoda.

Museum research

A version of this set is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, except the V&A’s copy is black and grey, compared with the hints of colour on this group. Ahead of the sale L&V spent a day researching the panels at the V&A.

Block printed and registered as design No 718338-39 on January 1926, they were mentioned and illustrated in The Journal of Decorative Art, January 1927.

The Decorative fair ran from May 4-8. L&V Art and Design is also based in Battersea, just to the south of the park.