Cole & Son have been creating their beautiful designs for over a century in London.
Cole & Son was founded in 1875 by John Perry, son of a Cambridgeshire merchant. In those days the company was situated in Islington, north London, an area famous for the 190 hand block printing companies working there in the 18th and 19th centuries.Throughout the 19th century Cole & Son printed for all the large well-known companies of the time In addition to high quality block printing, the company was renowned for supplying beautiful stripes and jaspes. In the early days the company built machines that allowed the re-introduction of the process of pan coating and also revived the process of Flocking, invented in Holland in 1680, imitating cut velvet.
In 1941 the company was bought by A P Cole, proprietor of the company Cole & Son (Wallpapers) Ltd, with showrooms and offices at Mortimer Street in Central London. The Cole & Son block archive includes designs produced by J C Crace & Son to furnish many stately homes, palaces, castles and theatres throughout Britain and overseas, including the wallpaper designs of A W Pugin for the Palace of Westminster. The amalgamation of the two businesses in 1938 meant that Cole & Son became the custodians of the most significant collection of wooden printing blocks in Britain. In 1949, Cole’s Design Director created one of the first screen print studios in Europe in response to the revolutionary new Contemporary design movement which gave birth to the wild wallpaper designs of the 1950s and 1960s.
Today, the Cole & Son archive consists of approximately 1,800 block print designs, 350 screen print designs and a huge quantity of original drawings and wallpapers, representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst these are some of the most important historic wallpaper designs in the world. Cole & Son has provided wallpapers for many historic houses including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.
We have always admired the striking designs of Cole & Son. This powerhouse and historic business is as relevant as ever with their designs are at the forefront of their industry. We love how fun and colourful their wallpaper designs are ideal for whole rooms or feature walls.
Their vast archives allows them to plunder and rework designs which we find very inspirational and brings true meaning to the term 'modern classics'. Cole & Son were one of the original and early design houses to collaborate with other designers and create adaptations, translating beautiful designs into wallpapers. We have chosen wallpapers from their Fornasetti Collection. Piero Fornasetti was an Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver born in 1913 who created whimsical and iconographic illustrations and designs influenced by Greek and Roman architecture. Cole & Son have adapted his magical motifs from their archives to create wallpapers that will inspire you and bring you joy.