Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Now Available: The latest Historic Stencil from the Knox Hill Collection

The formal Dining Parlor Stencil, our latest release
One of the greatest things to come out of our  acquisition and restoration of the Nagele-Merz house is the discovery of a collection of unknown Neo Grec design stencils that are original to the house. Just who designed and painted these stencils is unknown, however in terms of Historic Victorian decorative arts, these stencils are very significant.
Few believed there was anything "significant" about this run down house

The fact they were found in what was presumed to be a worthless house in a run down neighborhood, serves to illustrate that Cincinnati has many treasures and not just the obvious ones. All of our architecture is important in the history of our city and we should do everything possible to preserve it. Had we not bought this house when we did, it is certain that this house would be in a landfill and the wonderful artistic treasures it contained would be lost forever. The house serves as a rare glimpse into the small highly detailed summer cottages of the Victorian era in Cincinnati. Blight does not equal Bulldozer, Blight=Opportunity. The Nagele-Merz house is a testament to the hidden treasures that remain to be yet discovered in houses accross this great city.
This shows the original stencil as found in the Formal dining parlor

This design was the second discovery and was found on the West wall (the only intact plaster wall) of the Formal Dining Parlor in the house. The colors in the dining room were the same as the front formal parlor and it can be reasonably assumed that these were done at the same time. This work was done at considerable cost at the time and took a while. The original stencils were made of paper that was dipped in wax or shellac to make it paint impervious. In spite of that it took many stencils to do the typical room as they 'wore out' quickly.

We have recreated the stencil exactly as it was placed on the wall and it is the exact size of the original.(4 1/2 inches tall). The pattern is repeated three times on the new stencil to make the job go faster. The stencil is a heavy duty mylar material and the stencil "Run" length is 18 inches long.

This stencil would be ideal above the hanging rail  and would also function well at the chair rail height. I will after the initial release be offering this is a 8' or 12 inch' tall "expanded" version for those of you who need a larger frieze and of course we will offer a single version and a "medallion version" of this in  near  future. We can custom size these designs for those of you with even taller ceilings.
The Front  Formal Parlor restoration shows just how elegant stenciling can be

As those of you familiar with the restoration of our front parlor these stencils can be an elegant addition to any house and by changing the color to compliment your existing wall you can add instant drama to your Victorian home at minimal cost compared to historic wallpaper. These stencils can be used on fabrics, lamp shades and their use is only limited by your imagination. Stenciling is not an "impossible' task but if you just are not handy remember we offer a variety of in home stenciling and mural services. 1st quarter of 2011 is booking quickly.

The stencil will be available for order this afternoon on our Victorian Antiquities & Design sales site: or contact us at to discuss ordering information, multiple ordering or consultation services for your project.

All proceeds from the sale benefit the restoration of the Nagele Merz House

Remember your purchase of our stencil line directly support the ongoing restoration of the Nagele-Merz House, so not only are you restoring your house, you are helping with the restoration of ours..


Byron said...

How did you get that fantastic old photo of your house? Track down old owners? I'd love to find similar photos of my house and neighborhood.

Paul Wilham said...

Our efforts to 'bring back' our neighborhood were featured in the local papaer and one of the decendants (grandson) of Antone Nagele family saw it and contacted me. I am very fortunate to have few photos of the house plus one of Antone Nagele's Business cards.

You can see more old photos here: