Today was flea market day in town, and I decided, on a whim, to take a look around.
I found this photo album. I spied it in a box, leafed through it, then plucked up courage to ask the guy what kind of price he had in mind. I expected him to ask around €40, which I didn't have on me and wouldn't have been able to spend in any case. Then he said "before it falls apart completely, how about five (euros)?" Stunned, I stuffed the bill in his hand, picked up the album and walked away, inwardly squealing with delight.
The album is genuine vintage (Art Nouveau), probably 90-100 years old, and it is around one third full of cabinet cards and photos, most of which date circa 1900-1920. The cover is green velvet with metal art nouveau ornaments attached. Someone has tried, badly, to replace the original closure, only half of which is still attached, so I may decide to do something about mending that. The album is hand-bound and gilded. As a hobby bookbinder, I really appreciate the style and quality of this binding, which, in contrast to what the seller said, is fully intact and in anything other than a delicate condition. The only damage is to some of the pages, where photos have been pulled out of the niches over the years.
When time allows, I'll scan the cabinet cards and upload them as blog freebies. I've been meaning to scan my entire cabinet card collection for this, actually.