I'm not sure when it was that Irene Dove lost interest in stamp collecting ...
... but whenever it was her Wanderer Album of Postage Stamps of the World at some point in the last 70 years made its way into the world without her.
Eventually, [although through what route, through whose hands, through how many abandonments and trades, we'll never know] what began in Irene's hands ended up in mine.
Its now empty pages, no stamps remain inside, would make an incredibly unique base for art journaling, for collage work or even your life story! And goodness ... how perfect would it be if it was to enter into a new life as a travel journal??!!!!
While I can't find a publication date in the book there is a sentence on the page about Monaco that makes me suspect it's from circa 1936: "Commerce is relatively unimportant, the revenue being mainly derived from the gaming tables, which will provide in 1937 over £1000,000 and keep the population tax free!". It's that 'which will provide' phrase that makes me think 1937 hasn't ended yet.
Similarly on the page about Germany, while there's a mention of World War One there's no word on the 1939-45 war. What it does, rather enigmatically say, however is: "The Germans have always been in the vanguard of literature, music and science, and the future of this great country is impossible to determine."
I'm certain someone with a greater knowledge of Geography and History may be able to date it more accurately ... but all I'm really trying to show you is ... this is old, it has history.
And while its cover may be a bit creased and scuffed [and which of us can say we haven't felt similarly ourselves?!] it is still a fascinating treasure which could be a joy to work in.
So, why aren't I using it? Well ... I did buy it with the intention of using it myself but ... if I kept all of the old books I buy then I'd have no space to keep all the new ones I buy. If you follow my logic?!
Seeking out papery treasure is one of my absolute favourite things to do ... and passing that treasure trove on to others from time to time is a way for me to keep being able to enjoy the chase! Plus it means I've saved someone else the job of rummaging around ten dozen dusty tea chests and 4 miles of old shelving just to find one pure gem like this one.
If it's your art / journaling / memory-keeping that you can imagine covering its pages then - at the time of writing - it's here for you to stake your claim on it. [Edited to add: Irene's book is now on its way to its new owner.] Like all of my orders it will be eclectically wrapped with a sprinkling of bits, bobs and ephemera tucked safely inside to spark your creativity.
And, of course ... you could always just use it as a stamp album ... a thought which only just occurred to me!
And if you just enjoyed seeing the book today, that's great too ... there's plenty more where that came from ... enough to keep a blog [or two] well stocked for a while! Maybe I'll share some others sometime too.
If you haven't popped your head around my shop door for a while then get your head over there - no need to travel - just a click of the mouse, a swipe of the smart-phone or tabletty dooh dah thing.
There's all kinds of additional bookish doings going on right now over there, with:
- pocket-sized books made with retro postcard covers;
- retro 90s notebooks from China;
- and handbound [by my own fair hand no less!!] 'Little Books' [many of which are made from map covers ... so even more potential to be turned into travel journals!]
Happy wandering ...