It’s time to share some more antique and vintage art supplies! Obviously, I haven’t bought any this month because of “no-spend February”, but I bought an antique Victorian-era watercolor box with some Christmas money in January and I received a few little things last week as a gift.
An antique dealer from PA who used to buy things for me to resell sent me a few art supplies she picked up as a part of an auction lot. It was a total surprise and so sweet of her to think of me! She sent me a box of vintage Flair vine charcoal…
I love the label on the box, but was even more delighted to see it was full of vine charcoal sticks!
And she also sent a glass dip pen! It has the most interesting nib. I haven’t had the chance to use it, but I’m looking forward to taking it for a test run.
I really didn’t know what I wanted for Christmas this year. My wardrobe is pretty set, I certainly have plenty of art supplies and books…I was feeling pretty content. So, my family ended up giving me money to spend when I find something I want to purchase. I have been looking for a Victorian/Edwardian-era watercolor box for a while, but I haven’t found just the right one. They are either amazing and incredibly expensive (they can run around $1000 and up to as much as $40,000) or they are in poor condition. I spotted this one (for about $130 including shipping) and immediately fell in love with the patina of the wood, the little brass handle, and the green Reeves & Sons label. It also came with a bunch of tools and brushes.
It didn’t come with any of the interior compartments, palettes, water cups, etc, so I put it in my cart and thought about it for a couple of weeks. In the end, I decided I didn’t really want all of that. I wanted to be able to use this box as a functional watercolor box on my desk, so it was better that it was empty and I could fill it with functional pieces.
And I was just smitten with that label! When I saw “Cheapside London”, I immediately thought of Jane Bennet staying with her unce in Cheapside.
The lock doesn’t work any longer, but otherwise, everything on the box is in great condition. The lower drawer slides in and out and it has a sweet little handle that folds in flat. I am going to have Jeff tighten up the back left joint, though. It isn’t loose or rickety, but I’d like to keep it in good working order.
All of the brushes and tools were such a wonderful bonus. I need to take some time to go through them all, clean them, and test them out. I do plan on using them!
The rolls of paper are tortillions, which are used for blending graphite and charcoal. A couple of the tools look like pottery tools that were probably used for making scratches in wet paint.
There was one other surprise bonus in the back of the drawer – a Queen Victoria diamond anniversary coin! I felt like Gary Drayton, the metal detecting expert on Oak Island. “It’s a coin!!” (Anyone else captivated by that show, but slightly annoyed by the repetitive and often ridiculous narration?)
It was in a bag with an auction lot number indicating that it was probably overlooked either at an auction house or by the buyer who shipped it to me. I immediately looked up the value. If it was a rare and valuable coin, I would, of course, notify the seller of the mistake. It is only worth about $10, so I viewed it as a little reimbursement of some of the shipping costs.
One other fun thing about this box is that it’s a perfect fit for a Reeves & Sons antique watercolor palette I got from The Arqivist. They carry premium art supplies from England and I was so excited to get this palette.
It’s was probably once paired with a watercolor box very similar to this one, if not the same model.
I love this palette because I mostly just use four colors plus white, so the four-well palette is perfect for me.
It’s been a busy, full week, so I haven’t had the time to do much organizing, but I’m hoping things will settle down a bit more next week and I’ll be able to get back to it. I can see that the organizing will likely trickle into March. Anyone else?