charcoal, a glass dip pen, and a Victorian watercolor box…

by | Feb 25, 2021 | All Things Home, Antiques, Art, art supplies, Artistic Endeavors, Favorite Finds, Watercolors | 19 comments

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…

vintage flair vine charcoal sticks | miss mustard seed

I love the label on the box, but was even more delighted to see it was full of vine charcoal sticks!

vintage flair vine charcoal sticks | miss mustard seed

 

vintage flair vine charcoal sticks | miss mustard seed

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.

glass dip pen | miss mustard seed

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.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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!

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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?)

queen victoria diamond anniversary coin | miss mustard seed

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.

queen victoria diamond anniversary coin | miss mustard seed

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.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

It’s was probably once paired with a watercolor box very similar to this one, if not the same model.

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

I love this palette because I mostly just use four colors plus white, so the four-well palette is perfect for me.

color wheels | miss mustard seed

reeves & sons antique watercolor paint box | miss mustard seed

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?

19 Comments

  1. Susie

    The box is wonderful. I love the label and patina of the wood.

    Reply
  2. Vikki Nay

    I’ve been organizing all of January and February. And I think I will have to go through March to really get a handle on it. I am really loving how nice it feels to pull out a drawer or open a cabnet and see all that room. I have gotten addicted to getting rid of stuff. Best part of this has been my pack rat hubby is now getting rid of stuff.

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Oh I love watercolor so much. The box is amazing! What colors do you use for your watercolor palette?

      Reply
      • Alison

        I was wondering the same thing….. I see that she has Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine blue labeled on her color wheel. I can only guess that the other two MAY be yellow ochre and maybe like a hansa yellow medium???

        Reply
        • Maxime

          I was wondering too. Maybe the yellow is cadmium?

          Reply
        • Marian Parsons

          Yes, it’s Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre Light, and Cadmium Yellow.

          Reply
  3. Di

    We have been cleaning and organizing as well. During the pandemic it has been refreshing to use the supplies I have found in cleaning. I love your paint boxes.

    Reply
  4. Kathleen

    I love any kind of old wood box and that one is a beauty❤️ That coin looks like a top pocket find to me😁. My husband and I watch the show every week and have a few laughs at the narrative, could it be, lol.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, a top pocket find for sure! I love Gary and think he’s one of the best parts of the show. He’s so genuine and good-natured. And yes, I actually have arguments with the narrator sometimes. “No. This is metal hinge is not the thing that is not confirmation that treasure is buried on the island and no, it’s not going to change the history of the entire world.” 😂

      Reply
  5. Susan

    Marion,
    I know next to nothing about paint boxes and all the art supplies it needs to have; to function. The green top of this box would’ve lured me, since green is my favorite color. I love your explanations and was amazed to know that your colors mainly number four plus white! I aim to own one of your water colors that has fields and trees and those billowy clouds in those incredible blue skies….
    I just started purging clothes today; I want to whittle down what I have and what I really wear. Then, my dish room.
    I really love your blog, it encompasses so many different stories.

    Reply
  6. Susan Tofteland

    I keep wondering…what is the point of not spending for a specific time, if a participant then just goes out and buys the same things the next month. If it’s for a change it habit, I have never seen any long term spending changes. Just curious, as I think of this, whenever I hear about a no spend month…

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I think it can be for different purposes. It might be to save money that specific month, to change a habit, to delay purchases that might be made on impulse, etc. For me, it was about breaking the habit of frequent online shopping and to make me more intentional about using things I already have and really thinking through purchases. It’s really helped me with both! I have a small list of things I’d like to buy in March, but I don’t feel the urge to run out and buy everything I haven’t bought in February!

      Reply
  7. Mary

    I love, love, love the patina of the wood!!!!! What a score.

    Reply
  8. Diane Christy

    Your cleaning/organizing inspired me to do the same. I cleaned out supplies from my former custom children’s clothing business. It only took me 18 years to get that done. Shocking! I have a flea market booth and had a cleanout sale last October and desperately need to do another one in April. There are layers and layers in my warehouse that need to be unearthed and exposed to the light of day. Keep sending good vibes to motivate us out here!

    Reply
  9. CELIA

    You find the BEST things!!! Thanks for sharing them with us!!

    Reply
  10. Cheryl Tracy

    You found a “Bobby Dazzler!” My husband watches the show but, yes, it annoys me. 🤣

    Reply
  11. Kim

    The coin is the best treasure of all! Wow, I’d love to find that!

    Reply
  12. Addie

    Once again Marian, you prove why I continue to read your blog and why you have become so successful. Your honesty in wanting to return the overlooked coin, if it was of great value. Two thumbs up to your parents!!! They did a good job!!! And your Christian walk shines through.
    I am NOT on board for this no-spend February!!! My birthday is in February!!!! …… enough said!!!!

    Reply
  13. Michele M.

    What a glorious find, Marian.

    My British son-in-law is a Reeve – no S – so I find it all extra fascinating.

    I have been organizing too – yesterday I tackled the walk in pantry. Loving it!

    Hope your weekend is going well, too.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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