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 Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 12:52

Mankind has been communicating information or opinion right from the earliest times thus. Let's have some interesting examples please.
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MadNan
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 13:17

This is probably not what you mean but it reminded me that when my parents stripped wallpaper from a bedroom in a house they moved to they found some writing on the wall that said "1940 Hitler, Mussolini or Chamberlain who will win" which was quite interesting as the answer turned out to be none of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 13:44

Ah but it does fit the bill. Nan because for whatever reason someone felt impelled to record a notion.
Mny years ago. a New York competition for the best was awarded to one that proclaimed that Jean Paul Satre saved green stamps.
I also happened on one that mystified - on a station wall in the suburbs I saw one which stated "Change of life OK." What prompted who, for gawd's sake, to pen that on a wall? She must have had good reason to want to share it.
There is purported to be a cave in the Eastern Himalayas that has a Latin sort of 'Marcus was here' inscription. And no doubt Marcus died there too.
then there was war time Chad who gave a popular but anonymous remark about the problems of everyday life - some one might suppy a pic example. The tiny computer I am using at the moment doesn't support such effectsT
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 14:23

The graffiti in the Tower of London is fascinating.

My favourite is simply a girl's name: JANE.



It is very likely that this was carved by Jane Grey's young husband, Guildford Dudley, who was imprisoned in the Beauchamp Tower. Young Dudley was executed on Tower Hill on Monday, February 12th 1554. He had asked to see Jane Grey before they both died, but she wrote to him that she would rather wait until they could meet "in heaven". Perhaps she hoped he would be different there.

But that said, she might have thought better of him if she had known he had spent his last days chipping away at the letters of her name - that mute appeal to her that would endure as long as the Tower should remain; thousands of eyes would look on it with pity, but not hers.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 14:28

Good one P, I was just reading an article the other day on grafitti and thinking of starting a thread on the subject. Grafitti was indeed the ancient version of the message board.

There is currently an operation underway at Norwich Cathedral, recording the centuries of grafitti that litter the walls. I found this particularly interesting

The initial results have been very encouraging”, continues Matthew Champion, “and
we have made a number of superb discoveries. The walls are covered in
everything you can think of. Medieval ships, names, animals, windmills,
figures and prayers – even musical notes. Just about everything that
would have been important to the citizens of Norwich during the middle
ages
”.
Although today graffiti is regarded as something undesirable and
destructive this doesn’t appear to have been the case during the past.
Many of the inscriptions found by the survey members appear to be ritual
protection marks or prayers, and the fact that they have been deeply
etched into the stonework suggests to scholars that they were created
with the full knowledge of the cathedral authorities – perhaps even with
their blessing.
“I think we have to understand that our modern view
of the cathedral is very different from the way in which it was viewed
by the local people during the middle ages”,
continues Champion, “particularly
the ways in which it was used. Although it was a place of spirituality
it appears that their views of prayer and religion were much more
hands-on. They saw nothing wrong with carving their prayers into the
very stones of the building”.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2013/medieval-secrets-revealed-in-norwich-cathedral
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 21 Feb 2013, 13:04

Viking graffiti from Maeshowe;

http://www.maeshowe.co.uk/maeshowe/runes.html
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sat 23 Feb 2013, 16:36

Original Banksies will be up for sale all over now. Which is your favourite?
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sat 23 Feb 2013, 17:28

That's difficult, I like a lot of them but in situ. They are situationist in every sense and shouldn't be confined in a room or a gallery. The back lane though, that would be an ideal place if he's ever passing through.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sun 24 Feb 2013, 12:50

The graffiti found in Pompeii covers everything from buggery to bread-making. It is a crude but eloquent voice from two thousand years ago and encapsulates the minds of the city's ordinary inhabitants in a way that no amount of scholarly dissertations could even hope to emulate. Some examples:

(Bar/Brothel of Innulus and Papilio): Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men's behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!

(peristyle of the Tavern of Verecundus): Restitutus says: "Restituta, take off your tunic, please, and show us your hairy privates".

(exterior of the House of Menander): Satura was here on September 3rd

(House and Office of Volusius Iuvencus; left of the door): Secundus says hello to his Prima, wherever she is. I ask, my mistress, that you love me.

(Bar of Astylus and Pardalus): Lovers are like bees in that they live a honeyed life

(Bar of Athictus; right of the door): I screwed the barmaid

(Pottery Shop or Bar of Nicanor; right of the door): Lesbianus, you defecate and you write, ‘Hello, everyone!'

(gladiator barracks): Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The women did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, too few for such a stallion.

(gladiator barracks): On April 19th, I made bread

(House of Pascius Hermes; left of the door): To the one defecating here. Beware of the curse. If you look down on this curse, may you have an angry Jupiter for an enemy.

(on the wall in the street): Theophilus, don't perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog

(House of Caecilius Iucundus): Whoever loves, let him flourish. Let him perish who knows not love. Let him perish twice over whoever forbids love.

(just outside the Vesuvius gate): Defecator, may everything turn out okay so that you can leave this place

(barracks of the Julian-Claudian gladiators; column in the peristyle): Celadus the Thracian gladiator is the delight of all the girls



"Weep, you girls ..." Quoted in full above


(on the Street of Mercury): Publius Comicius Restitutus stood right here with his brother

(House of Sextus Pompeius Axiochus and Julia Helena; left of the door): Hectice, baby, Mercator says hello to you

(vico degli Scienziati): Cruel Lalagus, why do you not love me?

(House of Orpheus): I have buggered men

(Bar of Salvius; over a picture of a woman carrying a pitcher of wine and a drinking goblet): Whoever wants to serve themselves can go on an drink from the sea.

(atrium of a House of the Large Brothel): Blondie has taught me to hate dark-haired girls. I shall indeed hate them, if I can, but I wouldn't mind loving them. Pompeian Venus Fisica wrote this.

(House of Caesius Valens and Herennius Nardus): Rufus loves Cornelia Hele

(atrium of the House of Pinarius): If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend

(vicolo del Panattiere, House of the Vibii, Merchants): Atimetus got me pregnant

(House of Caprasius Primus): I don't want to sell my husband, not for all the gold in the world

(House of the Calpurnii): Crescens is sweet and charming

(Eumachia Building, via della Abbondanza): Secundus likes to screw boys.

(the Lupinare): I screwed a lot of girls here.

(the Lupinare): Sollemnes, you screw well!

(Vico d' Eumachia, small room of a possible brothel): Gaius Valerius Venustus, soldier of the 1st praetorian cohort, in the century of Rufus, screwer of women

(Vico d' Eumachia, small room of a possible brothel): Vibius Restitutus slept here alone and missed his darling Urbana

(above a bench outside the Marine Gate): If anyone sits here, let him read this first of all: if anyone wants a screw, he should look for Attice; she costs 4 sestertii.

(in the basilica): No young buck is complete until he has fallen in love

(in the basilica): Epaphra, you are bald!

(in the basilica): Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than they ever have before!

(in the basilica): Samius to Cornelius: go hang yourself!

(in the basilica): The one who buggers a fire burns his penis

(House of Poppaeus Sabinus): If you felt the fires of love, mule-driver, you would make more haste to see Venus. I love a charming boy; I ask you, goad the mules; let's go. Take me to Pompeii, where love is sweet. You are mine...

(bar/inn joined to the maritime baths): Apelles the chamberlain with Dexter, a slave of Caesar, ate here most agreeably and had a screw at the same time.

(bar/inn joined to the maritime baths): Apelles Mus and his brother Dexter each pleasurably had sex with two girls twice.

(in the basilica): O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sun 24 Feb 2013, 14:56

According to research it now looks as if home owners in Pompeii had control over what slogans were written on their walls, and were happy to do so. I don't see why they wouldn't have rented the space also

Viitanen suggested the rich Ancient Romans were happy to allow their
lavish homes to be used as prime advertising space for political slogans
aimed at drumming up votes for political candidates during electoral
campaigns. Such permission may have even signalled an endorsement.
Viitanen told the journal ‘LiveScience’: “The facades of the private
houses and even the street walks in front of them were controlled and
maintained by the owner of the house, and in that respect, the idea that
the wall space could be appropriated by anyone who wanted to do it
seems unlikely.”


http://www.allaboutitaly.us/2013/02/22/ancient-graffiti-at-pompeii-early-wall-posts-and-political-slogans/
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sun 24 Feb 2013, 15:42

At Beit She'arim in Southern Galilee, a necropolis dating back to the 1st century AD has many examples of grafitti in the 30 odd tombs that have been excavated to date. But one, written in Greek, is particularly amusing



It reads, 'good luck with your resurrection'.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 09:48

Loved it, ID - what's with the blue, 'tho? I assume it highlights faint traces but given the background I could have managed a few myself there..... like one to confirm the resurrection would be fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 10:12

Yes P, the blue is to highlight the scratching. There were two photos, one with and one without, but the original was too feint to read properly.

I agree, the possibilities would be endless for a bit of mischief there!
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 10:51

This one from Pompeii is brilliant, a caricature of a politician that could easily have been drawn today. Looks rather like Mr Magoo!

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Arwe Rheged
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 15:18

This is one I wrote after a visit to some tediously self-obsessed modern "art" exhibition at the Baltic in Newcastle:-

"Put it on the wall of a bus shelter and it's criminal damage. Put it on the wall of the Baltic and it's art."

As I left, I saw one of the curators tearing it up and sticking it in the bin. Good that "conversations" about "conceptual" erm "work" are so encouraged..........
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 15:36

Duchamp's urinal has caused all sorts of confusion over the years too, AR. Those who take his "work" at face value (as he intended) can find themselves in a spot of hot water (not least because it's not plumbed in)
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 20:14

nordmann wrote:

(gladiator barracks): On April 19th, I made bread

The insults, sexual boasts and adverts are all what you'd expect, but this one is delightfully bizarre! Especially at a gladiator barracks.

Not sure if this counts as graffiti, but on the outside wall of the Curfew Tower, Windsor Castle, carved in the street-level stones are a series of small crosses. Their precise origins are uncertain, but the Tower was fitted with both a gallows and a gibbet at various times and it is believed that the crosses were unofficial memorials to some of those executed and/or displayed, presumably put there by friends or relatives:



There's also a fair bit within the walls, too - mostly names and the like from the 17th and 18th centuries, though also a possibly medieval panel of seemingly random letters in around ten groups of three letters. Apparently no-one knows what it is, but it's the sort of thing that would doubtless have Dan Brown and co jumping for joy; the Windsor Code, anyone? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 00:31

Didn't/Don't pilgrims on the several pilgrims' ways to St Iago of Copostella make similar marks enroute at staging places en route? Possibly those are similar - and yes, I would count that a graffiti because - for what ever reason - someone is trying to communicate something. On a post near o my rural aunt's place, Gentlemen of the Road - as she called them, tramps, left several signs. those indicated that hot tea would be given - and , I assume- something about staying hidden because billy cans came and went but I never saw anyone doing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 15:31

Not grafitti as such, but an interesting little post WWII time capsule found at Notting Hill Tube Station

http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/01/07/the-secret-museum-entombed-in-the-notting-hill-underground/
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 20:41

Priscilla wrote:
Didn't/Don't pilgrims on the several pilgrims' ways to St Iago of Copostella make similar marks enroute at staging places en route? Possibly those are similar - and yes, I would count that a graffiti because - for what ever reason - someone is trying to communicate something. On a post near o my rural aunt's place, Gentlemen of the Road - as she called them, tramps, left several signs. those indicated that hot tea would be given - and , I assume- something about staying hidden because billy cans came and went but I never saw anyone doing it.
Yes, Priscilla...
On the road to Santiago de Compostela...
Quote :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_St._James_(route_descriptions)
http://www.turismo.navarra.es/eng/propuestas/camino-santiago/peregrinos-en-bici/informacion-practica/Informacion-practica.htm
And in Bruges you have these signs by cupper plated Saint James shells (they translate "St jacobs schelp" in my dictionary by "scallop"? Is that slang? ) of the Via Brugensis from the nowadays Netherlands to France.
http://www.focus-wtv.be/nieuws/algemeen/bronzen-sint-jacobsschelpen-in-de-grond-wijzen-weg-pelgrimsroute/article-1194769461391.htm
The route from the 14th century starts from Sluis (Zeeuws-Flanders-nowadays Netherlands) via Hoeke. In the inner city of Bruges we go to the St-James Church and then via 't Zand and the nowadays railway station of St-Michiels southwards to Zevenkerke (Loppem) and to Sebourg France.
And Priscilla, by your use of Saint Iago, I see now for the first time in my life the relationship with Sant Iago...you clever girl...
Kind regards and with esteem,
Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 20:48

It's a step up from what Dutch and German pilgrims were in the habit of leaving lying around on their travels normaly, Paul.

Some examples:



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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 23:03

Nordmann,
You!...you!... from a Roman-Catholic college in Ireland...
"pilgrims' badges in late medieval devotional..."
Quote :
http://books.google.be/books?id=p4KS2g6AtvwC&pg=PA260&lpg=PA260&dq=insignia+brugge+%22santiago+de+compostela%22&source=bl&ots=4yTR14kfz-&sig=Q7_HzM9sWyB6Py2pAa03v2Z4GDI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4dYvUdj_NoaQhQfLwoCgBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFAQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=insignia%20brugge%20%22santiago%20de%20compostela%22&f=false
from page 227 on.
And:
https://www.google.be/search?q=pilgrims+badges&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=9dgvUfKGOJGyhAf6yYGoBg&sqi=2&ved=0CDgQsAQ&biw=1240&bih=747
But yes some "holy" men in our Roman-Catholic colleges had also a double moral...listen to what we say but don't always look to what we do...and those medieval sinners are not always to blame...not to speak from the nowadays pilgrims...
But as I see it from my mentioned Google book, the Dutch and German ...
But yes in the picture gallery I mentioned you find also the phallus symbol...but from Chinese?...Hindou? pilgrims...? Yes with those you can be right but with our Christian medievals...? Or perhaps they didn't show their deeds that ostentative...
Your, from his childhood on, Roman-Catholic friend, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 23:11

The flying penis signified good luck and had the blessing of the church. A very old motif indeed though - came into Europe from Roman roots. This tintinabulum from the 1st century CE was a popular design for garden wind chimes in better Roman houses.



The christian variety sometimes became very ornate. One has a tiny woman mounted (if that's the right word) on top between the wings and pushing an equally tiny wheelbarrow which itself is filled with dozens of even tinier penises. Very ornate. And very strange!

No wonder nuns are always smiling in medieval portraits.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 23:14

As a very lapsed Presbyterian, I feel I can safely add this these,

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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 23:24

They're lovely. But I fear we're digressing from graffiti (mea culpa).

Here's a lovely graffito from 1672. It's basically a lad advertising his pottery business (hence the pot). What's weird about it is that it's about a kilometre down along the interior of the Alba Fucens aqueduct. To get there from the surface takes about an hour of struggling along narrow shafts tunnelled deep into the mountain. Guided tours of adventurous travellers make the effort these days but back in 1672 I'm not sure that Pietro would have attracted that many new customers given the site he chose to make his own billboard!

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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Fri 01 Mar 2013, 19:20

Nordmann,
I bow for your greater knowledge, but I found also this:
http://www.medievalbadges.org/p2elinkerotic1.html
http://www.medievalbadges.org/p2e.html
But yes, you can imagine that pelgrims too could buy such erotic badges...
Kind regards and with esteem,
Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Sat 02 Mar 2013, 15:46

A whole section of Chapter 18 (Signs of the Times) in Peter Ackroyd's London: The Biography is devoted to the capital's rich tradition of graffiti.

Ackroyd mentions Thomas More who, in one of his prose works, quotes a fifteenth-century slogan which was apparently scrawled upon many walls: D C hath no P. This cryptic comment can perhaps be deciphered with the help of More's summary that "it toucheth upon the readiness that women hath to fleshly filth, if she falls into drunkenness." One may, says Ackroyd, surmise the unpleasant meaning of the D C, "but the P is mysterious."

London lavatories are the principal source for urban graffiti: here "in confinement and secrecy, the Londoner speaks to the entire city with words and signs that are as old as the city itself." One lavatory attendant apparently told Geoffrey Fletcher, the author of The London Nobody Knows, that "the lavatory in Charing Cross Road was the place to go if you want the writing on the wall...make your blood run cold, it would."

Ackroyd also mentions a message scratched on an ancient window: "Thomas Jordan cleaned this window, and damn the job, I say - 1815."
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PostSubject: Re: Message boards and assorted graffiti ancient and modern   Mon 04 Mar 2013, 06:38

In New Zealand there are some lovely examples of Maori rock art which we visited some years ago. They are quite accessible, but there has been the odd bit of other less attractive graffiti added to some of them. This newspaper article says 95% of them are on private land and not seen much.

http://www.odt.co.nz/your-town/timaru/10355/north-otago-south-canterbury-maori-rock-art-records-history

I found online a nice bit of graffiti in a house built by one of our early premiers. It dates to the Wars here, and has 1864 quite prominently and some picture of a man (woman?) falling down, perhaps due to a weapon injury. The articles about it call it mysterious. I couldn't seem to put it here; it is a PDF file and though I could copy the picture I couldn't paste it here and the file name took up lines and lines, but if you google Hurworth graffiti, there is a historic places site - second one down - which has a good clear picture of it. It's less an artwork and more like a piece of the Bayeux Tapestry or rock art.

Sideways to this, in early NZ houses people often used newspapers to cover the walls. Sometimes people renovating an old house will find newspaper underneath whatever wallpaper is there now. It's not graffiti but I don't suppose people would use a page with an advertisement for a rival political party for instance. One assumes there would be some censorship for their wall on some grounds or other. I don't know whether this would have been a common practice in British houses or not. I read in an academic paper on behalf of the Centre for Building Research:
Quote :
The use of newspapers though still continued as a wall covering during this time. Cochran, Day and Hill all refer to the use of newspaper to paper both walls and ceilings,(27) Day referring to the papering of an attic in the early 1860s, (28) and Cochran citing an instance of the 2nd March 1867 issue of the London Illustrated News as wallpaper.(29) Salmond notes that when people could wallpaper was used, but in other cases "newspaper or magazine illustrations were popular." (30) Arden and Bowman also note however that "paper was pasted onto a backing paper of newspaper or brown paper," (31) pointing to a possibly preparatory nature of some newspaper coverings, anticipating the hanging of wallpaper.

They also mentioned people using flour, chaff or sugar bags, or calico to cover walls. (Not for decorative or publicity reasons of course, but for shelter and protection from the elements.)
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