Bransche: Gebr. Rasch & Co., circa 1952. Pictorial wallpaper sample, measuring 15.5 x 18 inches, printed in ivory, sepia, black, and grey on pearlized textured paper. Stamped on verso: “RASCH WATERFAST / Zauberflöte - sepia / R2029 / $4.50 PER SINGLE ROLL.”.
Scarce sample of midcentury wallpaper designed by Tea Ernst (1906-1991). 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. Ernst's “Zauberflöte” paper, featuring stylized characters from The Magic Flute, dates from early in this period. A January 1953 article in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, “Germany Sends New Wallpaper Designs to U.S.,” singles out Ernst’s contributions for special notice: “All feature interesting textures and are charming and rather whimsical. They resemble pen drawings with the color delicately laid on in the manner of a painting more than wallpaper.” A fine example of midcentury popular design.