Cole and Son
Cole and Son, the company as we know it today, was formed in 1938 but its origins date back to the 19th century. The original wallpaper factory 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 200 mills and hand-block printing companies working there in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Over the course of the next 50 years, John Perry acquired many of the old pear woodblocks from neighbouring firms which had closed down, and so in time, he became the owner of one of the largest archives of traditional woodblocks in Europe. 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 1941 meant that Cole & Son became the custodians of the most significant collection of wooden printing blocks in Britain. An Archive that Cole & Son still maintain today.
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.
Our magnificent archive is the major source of new collections. Cole & Son continue to produce innovative and beautiful designs, and our current collections reflect our long and distinguished history as well as our continuing passion for new and exciting wallpapers. Most recently Cole & Son have dipped into the vast archives again expanding and revitalising some of the most popular prints. Lovers of Cole & Son’s Contemporary Collections can enjoy a fresh take on iconic designs with the launch of Contemporary Restyled. The collection celebrates a selection of patterns that are the heart and soul of the British wallpaper company with new colours, scales and reworked designs.