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You can do it in Lion
Authored by: thinkyhead on Dec 10, '11 01:28:56PM

I discovered while working on an update to my Dashboard widget "ImagesForever" that when I click the "set desktop" button in the widget it actually changes the Dashboard background. The widget itself calls the usual AppleScript to set the desktop background, and ends up changing the Dashboard background instead, so it's really just a side-effect of the old assumptions.

So it should be easy to make a dashboard droplet that you could drop an image onto to do the same thing. The AppleScript for this is:

tell application "Finder" to set desktop picture to POSIX file "/path/to/MyImage.jpg"
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