An important set of woodblock panoramic wallpaper in 20 panels designed by Jean-Gabriel Charvet and manufactured by Joseph Dufour in 1805. Part of the Captain Cook Series: Sauvages de la Mer du Pacifique:
Dufour started by tinting the entire panorama a light blue which was then retained for areas such as sky that were not printed. He used up to 60 wood blocks for each panel and then the whole was hand coloured with gouache and watercolour washes. Five sets are still known to exist and I was very fortunate to have excellent photographs from a set in New South Wales to aid the retouching process and understand the wood block printing that had been largely lost from over-painting.
Two sets were restored for Maggs Brothers. One set (panels 1-9) had been very badly overpainted and needed extensive cleaning and retouching. The other set (panels 10-18; panels 19 and 20 were missing) was in better condition and needed only a light cleaning with minimal retouching.
Completed work to panels 3, 4. 5 and 6 below, details of before and after below that:
Panel 10 detail from the second set after cleaning and retouching. You can see from this image that up to 60 wood blocks were used for each panel and, once printed, it was hand coloured with gouache: