Various Oddments

Portable Writing Set

This favorite item from my collections is a miniature portable writing set, c1770. The tiny tortoiseshell box measures only 2½” by 1½” — so small it might have easily been carried in a lady’s reticule. It is lined in red velvet, and all the fittings are sterling silver. Inside is everything needed to pen a quick note, perhaps when traveling or otherwise away from pen and ink. As you can see in the image below, there is a tiny ink bottle and matching pounce bottle, with remnants of...

Miniature Almanacks

A series of miniature “London Almanacks” was produced by the Company of Stationers between 1690 and 1885. They were favorite Christmas gifts that could be purchased at stationers shops. From the mid-18th century, they might also be distributed by various merchants to favorite customers in appreciation of their business. They were very popular with ladies, and it is likely that dress makers, milliners, etc. gave them away as Christmas novelties. Because the materials used might include gilt-tooled leather, Venetian bindings, hand-painted silk, and marbleized...

Dance Instruction Cards

This tiny case of dance instruction cards dates to c1820. The small leather case measures 2½" x 2", and contains a set of gilt-edged cards describing various quadrille sets....

 

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