Bransche: Gebr. Rasch & Co., circa 1952. Pictorial wallpaper sample, printed in black and grey, measuring 15.5 x 18 inches. Stamped on verso: “RASCH WATERFAST / HAMBURG 1 / R2087 / $3.25 PER SINGLE ROLL.” Two short closed tears to top edge.
Scarce sample of midcentury wallpaper designed by Alfred Mahlau, professor at the College of Fine Arts in Hamburg, best remembered for his stained-glass windows in the Lübeck Marienkirche. Founded in the late nineteenth century, German wallpaper firm Rasch won an international reputation through its collaborations with modernist designers from the Bauhaus and Vienna Secession. In the 1950s and 1960s, owner Emil Rasch commissioned wallpaper designs from artists across Europe, including Salvador Dalí and Bruno Munari, for the International Artists Collection. Mahlau’s whimsical “Hamburg” wallpaper, featuring that port city's coat of arms, harbor, and zoo, dates from early in this period. A fine example of midcentury popular design.