We get our first glimpse of James Bond’s flat in the novel Moonraker. As he is preparing for an evening at Blades:

He walked through into the smallish bedroom with the white and gold Cole wallpaper and the deep red curtains, undressed and threw his clothes, more or less tidily, on the dark blue counterpane of the double bed.

This is yet another example of Ian Fleming’s fondness for putting “brands” into his writing. While 60 years later, some of these brands and terms may not be familiar to us, many are still going strong. The Cole wallpaper is a reference to Cole & Son (which has a gorgeous, modern website) a company that dates back to 1875. Cole & Son has provided wallpapers for many historic houses including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.

A couple other notes from this scene – the “counterpane” of the bed – if you’re not familiar with that term, it is simply the bedspread, or top blanket of the bed. So the “smallish” room has white and gold wallpaper, deep red curtains and a deep blue bedspread. Not hard to picture, really.

Just prior to coming into the bedroom, Bond walks past “the ornate Empire desk near the broad window. ”

I wonder what Bond’s desk looked like. Given the relatively small proximity of the flat, I wonder if it was something like this 1950’s Empire Desk:



2 thoughts on “Cole Wallpaper

  1. Fantastic site! As a fan of the books (by Fleming) but not the movies, I really enjoy it. In FRWL, in the breakfast scene Fleming mentions that Bond’s eggs were from French Marans hens, his coffee service Queen Anne and his china Minton. Oh, and he only reads “The Times”…Wow, four more product (three, if an egg is not a product) posts I’ll be waiting for. Again, outstanding site, keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate the support! Love the avatar. William Powell might be my favorite actor these days.

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