Gift ideas -- arts, literature, books for children; Wallpapers -- a design history; Wallpapers: An Internatinal History and Illustrated Survey, by Charles C. Oman and Jean Hamilton. New York: Harry N. Abrams. 464 pp. $75.
Wallpapers originated as a poor man's substitute for tapestries, murals, and other more expensive forms of wall decoration. It seems to be human nature to elevate and refine the most humble workaday articles. Today, wallpapers enjoy status as a decorative art, equal in craftsmanship, labor, and expense to those forms they were intended to replace. This benchmark collection consists of an updated version of Oman's exhaustive history of wallpapers (first published in 1929), Hamilton's essay on subsequent designs and developments, a comprehensive bibliography, and three sections incorporating 902 illustrations that catalog wallpaper design from 1509 until 1978.