Tag Archives: walls

Tin: Victorian Decoration Gone Insane

This photograph of a blue door with a tin wall was a first for me. The faded blue door itself was little more than two pieces of painted plywood being held into place by a set of old rusty hinges. There is no telling how long this building has sat in disrepair. Even the latch where the lock once held the doors had and been long forgotten.

The door was being held shut by a thin beam of wood, showing a lot of weathering from the dry alpine desert conditions and the bushes were overgrown all around the place. Overall the door provided an interesting view into the history of this old dilapidated building

However, the most striking feature by far was the brightly colored tin wall panels attached to the decaying adobe exterior. It is the first time I ever saw decorative tin used on the outside of a building to such an extent. Normally,  tin a decoration used inside of a building.   Of course, this does not mean it’s never used outside, but I’ve never heard of it being used on the outside from ground to roof. Surely the use of it as a full outdoor wall covering is a very rare event.Blue Door 2

In the 1800’s during the Victorian era, the use of decorative tin for ceiling tiles and other cosmetic features was very popular .  Even today, it is often used as a decorative and easy to clean back-splash for a kitchen or wet bar area. So the using tin is not that unusual in the decorations found in some very old buildings.

I’ve seen decorative tin tiles lining roofs and even used as wall hangings on the outside of a building. They usually appear as stars or decorative shapes that give the building a distinct character.

Indeed, there are hundreds of designs and patina available for walls, separate wall framing and ceiling covers. They are still a favorite decoration used while  restoring 19th and early 20th century homes and farmhouses. On the outside of a building though, you might see only a few decorative pieces displayed as a garden fixture or hanging on a barn door or wall but never in the measure as this photograph suggests.

So, even though it’s a mystery you walk away from this piece with two known facts. The owners really wanted to stand out in their community.   I mean, look at that use of tin and of course the color!   The second is that this door with it’s faded blue and white really give contrast to the bright red of the tile, making this a unique piece of art worthy of any wall.

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