So this will be the template for Wednesdays. I'll pick a product, post it in the shop, and write about it. I'm super excited about this because I think it gives my products sort of a soul. I love knowing the history of a piece and knowing where it came from. We live in an age of mass production so I think it's good to take some time and learn about the things we surround ourselves with.
This summer I took a trip to the UK to visit a friend studying at Oxford. In the two weeks I was there I went into an antique shop on High Street, probably half a dozen times. There's just something so intriguing about antique shops in different countries. I feel like in the states when you go into an antique store, you know what to expect. Old cameras, armchairs, china cabinets, etc. When you go into antique stores overseas, you get a lot of those same items but they are different. The old tins are from British companies, binoculars are made by a shop in Paris, books are in different languages, the old skeleton keys unlock cabinets that might have sat in a castle in Germany. They are tangible pieces of history that aren't localized to the US. In a way, they give the world depth and history that's hard to envision just reading in textbooks or watching movies. When I saw this book at Antiques on High I felt that way.
It was printed in 1895 in Paris using a letterpress machine. That alone sold me. It has 128 color plates throughout the book and has descriptions for all of them in French. It's entitled Atlas De Poche Des Plantes Des Champs Des Prairies & Des Bois a Lusage Des Promeneurs & des Excursionnistes. My French is a little rusty so according to Google Translate, it means, pocket atlas of the plants of the field of meadows and woods for walkers and day-trippers. My mind immediately imagined that this book belonged to the French version of that kid in Moonrise Kingdom. Some twelve year old French kid who took this book a hundred years ago, went out into the woods and tried to identify the flowers he saw. I can't say for certain thats how this book was used, but in my head its how it was used. The plates still have amazing color to them and are great for framing.....or for wandering through the woods trying to identify flowers in French. This is for purchase in the New Products section of the site or just click here.