Sunday, December 15, 2013
You never know what will turn up in the mail
So, on Friday, I received a package from my friend Jo Diamantes, a wonderful Cincinnati book artist. It was taped within an inch of its life. At first, I thought it was something related to the Cincinnati Book Arts Society, which we both belong to. But what could warrant such intense packaging?
I soon found out. Inside was a worn, crumbling scrapbook, circa 1890, and a note from Jo explaining that it had belonged to someone on her mother's side of the family, but she wasn't sure who. She said she had no use for it, but suspected I might. How thoughtful!
It's a small - 6" x 8.5" - album with pressed cardboard covers that mimic leather. The front cover - above - has hand painted roses, and the fading inscription: "A Present from London."
The first "scrap," is a large chromolithograph glued to the inside of the cover. The rest of the book is filled with an eclectic mix of paper: scraps, trade cards, personal calling cards, etc. Here's a quartet of the most arresting images … those with a keen eye will note that the final scrap is similar to one written about last August in a post about Victorian oddities.