arsenic 125

This is less subtle than the other ones, but maybe when you’re going with beige you want your other elements to be bolder. The big skulls kind of balance out that bright arsenic green, I think.

Wallpapers made with pigments from arsenic—it was a thing in the 19th century! And now you can pay tribute to your colorful goth side in these patterns but without the risk of dying from them.

The base pattern for this design comes from the 1874 volume compiled by R.C. Kedzie, Shadows from the walls of death: facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers. The book was digitized in full by the amazing staff at the U.S. National Library of Medicine and can be viewed at You can also read more about the book and its preservation and digitization in the blog series at (links to parts 1 and 2 are at the end of this post). The skulls interposed in this pattern are my addition and are taken from J.G. Heck’s 1852 Iconographic encyclopaedia of science, literature, and art, digitized in full by the Smithsonian Libraries and available at

Wallpaper, fabric, and various household goods from this pattern are in the process of being made available for purchase at Spoonflower.

I don’t love it as a wallpaper, actually. Maybe if the pattern was bigger? I’m limited a bit by the size of the files I’m working with, but if you wanted a bigger version, get in touch and I could play with it.

But I do love it as a fabric pattern. Are you brave enough to serve dinner on arsenic skulls?