Sunday, May 25, 2008

Flea Market Find

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.

6 comments:

Jill said...

What a fabulous find, it was obviously waiting just for you!

Marilyn said...

I have an album like yours. It was given to me some years ago by an old man who was closing up his home. It is covered with green velvet with brass trimmings. Gorgeous! He had taken out all the photos so there is a little damage to some of the pages, but not bad. I have been collecting vintage photos at flea markets to put in it. So much fun ...

Marilyn said...

I have an album like yours, an old man gave it to me for helping him with his garage sale ! He had torn out all the pictures (boo-hoo) but it is in good shape otherwise. I have been collecting vintage photos to replace what he took out . Mone is covered with velvet and the hinges etc are brass.

Heather Robinson said...

This makes me drool...what a find! I can't imagine that it could have found a more appreciative home.

Jeanette said...

Excellent treasure, luckily it found it's way into the right hands!

Indigo Chyld Resources said...

Thats beautiful! I love Art Nouveau and wish I could find something like that here!