Founded in 1860 in Islington, London by Arthur Sanderson, the company began as an importer of French wallpapers. Merchandise featured expensive, luxurious wallpapers manufactured by Paul Balin of Paris, for whom Sanderson was the sole agent in England. In 1879 Sanderson established a factory of his own in Chiswick and in 1924 Sanderson received a Royal Warrant as ‘Purveyor of Wallpapers and Paints’ to George V.
William Morris (1834-1896) is regarded as the greatest designer and one of the most outstanding figures of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He provided beautiful, hand-crafted products and furnishings for the home – highly controversial at the time as it denounced the ‘progress’ of the machine age by rejecting unnecessary mechanical intervention. When Morris & Co. was dissolved in 1940, Sanderson and Sons bought its wallpaper business and rights to use the Morris name. Many 19th century designs by Morris & Co remain in production today. Though mostly used on textiles, Strawberry Thief (as pictured above) proved to be one of Morris’s most commercially successful patterns.
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