Waterhouse's collection contains many authentic reproductions of original wallpapers that were first used in this country, circa 1700-1895. During these years, sea captains returning from trading in France, England, and the Orient, brought back with them, as part of their cargo, handmade papers. These were designed by true artists who excelled in the creation and painting of wall hangings. Many of their designs were inspired by the valuable brocades and tapestries which adorned the homes of wealthy nobles and merchants. These imported papers were sold for the most part in New England seaport cities and towns.