Speaking to the ABC, historians have been left dumbfounded after finding a beautifully preserved and rare type of rococo wallpaper, along with a child’s drawing, hidden behind a cupboard in a Tasmanian property for more than 150 years.

The owners of Jordan House in the southern Tasmanian town of Broadmarsh recently uncovered the section of wallpaper and a sketch of a coastal town while renovating.

The rococo wallpaper has been called “incredibly rare” and Southern Midlands Council Heritage Projects Officer Alan Townsend said the find was significant.

“Rococo wallpaper was big in the 18th century,” he told the ABC. “It’s full of shapes like scrolls and seashell, really over the top and curvaceous

“This find is amazing because it's incredibly high quality.”

After estimating the wallpaper’s installation in around 1850, soon after the time of the building’s construction Mr Townsend said, “We know the reason the paper has survived is because sometime in the 1870s, a set of matching built-in cupboards were put in, and they covered up the wallpaper.

“Sometime later, someone has come along and done what everyone did, which is steam everything off the walls.”

Mr Townsend put the odds of finding that particular wallpaper in Tasmania at “astronomical” – before adding that it was the child’s drawing discovered beneath the wallpaper that made the find all the more special.


“It just puts you into the outer stratosphere in terms of likelihood. It looks to me like a child's drawing of a wall harbour, which are of course common on the coast of England.

“I've never seen anything like this in Tasmania before.”

The owner of the property, Ben Geard, is currently looking at options for preserving and showcasing the rare find.

IMAGES: Natalie Geard

This article originally appeared on Over60.