The Kitchin Sketchbooks I bought from Julia of Ponder & Purchase have proven to be just the beginning. Since the two of us first started talking about the sketchbooks, a friendship has been formed over our appreciation of history and a mutual love of antiques. When Julia shipped out the box of sketchbooks to me, she said she included a few little bits and surprises for me. As someone who loves mail and happy surprises, it made me even more excited to receive the package.
The sketchbooks were, no doubt, the star of the show in the box…
…but I was delighted by all of the thoughtful little things she included. This small tin of goodies was my favorite to dig through…
She sent a lovely old pair of sewing scissors (pewter, I think), a bone and wood crochet hook, a small metal crochet hook, and a couple of lead holders.
The bone and wood crochet hook is such an interesting piece. I’ve never seen one like it!
The little booklet is a pocket-sized book of cross stitch monograms!
She also sent some paper labels for mixed media art (Julia carries a lot of ephemera in her Etsy shop.)
She also included this amazing ceramic Reeves watercolor pan in the original box! My Victorian watercolor box is made by Reeves, so she’s been looking for supplies that might have been in the box for me.
Sadly, the gold paint could not be rehydrated. It was just a brick, so I soaked the ceramic pan and cleaned it, so I could fill it with paint that can be used.
It put the clean pan in the box along with some of the watercolors (in Reeves ceramic pans) that she sent me as well.
I also got this tourist’s book of London. Opening the map and looking through it made me so thankful for apps like City Mapper that make it so easy to navigate a foreign city! I can’t imagine how easy it was to get lost just using this book.
It is such a cool book with all sorts of tips on things to do and places to visit when in London and the surrounding “environs.”
And, I saved one of the best things for last…
It’s a handwritten indenture on vellum paper from 1842! This thing is massive, probably over two feet wide, and has multiple pages. The calligraphy and handwriting on it are just magnificent! There’s a little seal that reads “Fifteen Shillings” and it was stamped in Devon.
I haven’t read through the whole thing, but it is a marriage settlement. In the US, we tend to think of indentures as being related to an indentured servant, which was sort of the predecessor to slavery in the colonies. Indentures, though, are legal agreements, contracts, or documents in general. They can be related to marriage, real estate, business, etc.
Can you imagine writing all of that out by hand?? It made me think of Nemo the law writer in Dicken’s Bleak House.
The document folds up into a little bundle, almost a package. When folded up, it reminded me of the circumlocution office in Little Dorrit…all of those stacks and stacks of folded documents. Finding and making props for a series like that would be a blast.
Anyway, you can find indentures on Etsy for as low as $12 and, of course, the prices can get higher depending on age, size, and the aesthetic beauty of the document. I was surprised at how inexpensive they could be given how cool they are!
My friend Julia is also always adding new things to her Etsy shop, Ponder & Purchase, and is willing to keep an eye out for things you collect or are on your wish list. That’s been a bit dangerous for me since she seems to have the magic talent of finding just what someone wants! I joked with her that I’m a flagship member of the Ponder & Purchase box-of-the-month club. Before I left for my trip, I got another box from here and I’ll share those treasures with you soon.