At last! The return of the French Book Arts Ephemera Boxes. Each parcel is filled with vintage French treasure to inspire your art journals, junk journals, collage, altered books, or other mixed-media work. Each box is curated by hand and is filled with hard-to-find handwritten paper, post cards, cabinet photos, and French brocante, all authentic and little pieces of mysteries and unfinished stories that have been waiting to be found. Here is a video of an unboxing or if you prefer there are photos at the end of this post.
While every box is different, each contains:
- Five yards French linen thread (unwaxed);
- Vintage tin (distressed);
- Three handwritten cartes postales;
- Edition of La Mode Illlustrée, a womans fashion magazine dating from the 1870s to the 1880s. Four pages;
- handwritten legal documents (actes notaires);
- French dictionary pages, 1842, four pages;
- Signatures from various French texts, 1611-1878;
- Three cartes de visites (photographs), circa 1880s;
- Four playing cards (jeu de tarot), 1870;
- Five vintage prayer/holy cards;
- Edition of Bulletin Des Lois (1835 to 1854). Printing is letterpress and they open to 16” x 20”.
- Three large pages of ads from L’Universe (1861) or Femina (1911);
- Five hand-lacquered mother-of-pearl shells;
- 10ml sample of handmade walnut ink;
- Length of vintage lace;
- 18 inches of sari silk;
- Length of tea-dyed gauze;
- UHU, archival [read more]
Last year I got lucky and found a book called Paxton’s Magazine of Botany from 1838. (Or maybe it found me.) Inside were 48 insanely beautiful, hand-coloured botanical plates of flowers. Repeat – each one of these prints was painted by hand. I am still working out how (or if) I will sell the originals but in the meantime, I am offering them as digital downloads that you can print and use in your own artwork. Each plate is high resolution, 300 dpi.
Note that the originals of these plates are over 180 years old some of these copies will have foxing and other smudging from over the years but if you love old paper as I do, you will consider this part of their patina and part of the story that they are telling. They are also in the public domain so you can use them in your creations safely.
Please go to the bottom of this post to see a video of ways that I use these images in my mixed-media and art journal [read more]
As in other parts of the world, on April 1 French children love to play pranks. Instead of April’s Fools Day it is called Poisson d’Avril. The origins are murky but for whatever reason, there is a tradition of sticking a paper fish to someone’s back and when they finally find out, you shout “C’est le poisson d’Avril !” This post is not to dissect those wacky French fish jokesters but to offer you these vintage postcards from back in the day for you to download. To use, right click and copy then add to your favourite program such as Paint or Word. Print at will and use in your collage, art journal, or mixed media projects. Happy April and Joyeux Avril !
This is a set of vintage, pocket-sized holy books from Britain, The Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern. Printed by Eyre and Spottiswood. Although there is no date of publication, there is a handwritten inscription on the inside cover dated 1903. The covers are leather. These books come in a leather carrying case that has a rope handle with beads. The case has wear and could use some TLC. One of the books has a loose binding at the front (see photos). This could be mended. Even with the age-related damage, these would make a special gift.
Cost is $20 with $5 shipping in the U.S. If you are buying from other countries, please contact me for exact shipping, or I can ship it for free at the end of February when I [read more]
This is an adorable set of antique holy books: The Book of Common Prayer and Hymns A & M (Ancient and Modern). Publisher is William Clowes & Sons and while there is no date of publication, both books have handwritten dedications on the front covers that show they were a gift given in 1896. (“To Annie, on her 25th birthday”.) Both books have leather covers and are in good condition with expected wear to the spine on one. They come in a leather case which has wear to the handle (see photos). It is still sound and could also be easily mended. this is a beautiful and unusual set of books that would make a lovely gift. They entire set in the box measures 4″ x 2.5″ x 1.25″ (10cm x 6cm x 3cm). To see larger image, click on any photo.
This set is $45 with free shipping in the U.S. If you are shopping from the U.K. or other countries, please contact me for exact shipping, or I can post it for free at the end of February when I [read more]
SOLD: This is an altered book about gamesmanship, 1950s, full of pockets and tags and vintage ephemera. On the cover is an ink blotter from the 1920s and inside are (click on any photo for larger view):
- carte de visit c. 1880s
- small calling card c. 1910s
- French holy card
- handwritten French invoice, 1878
- belle from La Mode Illustrée, 1880
- handmade tag on vintage book frontispiece with photo of girl, 1910
- two French postcards, 1902 and 1903, altered with
- animal engravings, 1912, into which are tucked:
- French holy card and French playing card, 1890
- Small Swiss German new year’s card in trifold.
- Reproduction birds on French military notebook page, 1911
- Pocket from vintage butterfly guide
- French first communion card, 1939
- Engraving of Queen Mary from English history book, 1878
- Page from guide to Worcester cathedral c. 1930s
- French cigarette card of vamp, and English cigarette card of butterflies
- Reproduction birds on handwritten French invoice
- Distressed label from vintage Irish linen thread packet
- Reproduction of praying nun
- Mini pocket of eco-print
- Mourning card, 1918.
Many, many hours of handwork went into this altered book. It is one of a kind and can be displayed on a table or shelf, and it makes an unforgettable gift.
Book is £95 plus £5 worldwide shipping. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
(SOLD) Here is the first altered book of the new year! Actually, I have been working on it for months but it is finally seeing the light of day. This philosophy textbook from 1959 is covered with a variety of original French ephemera: cartes postale, handwritten invoices and letters, fashion belles from the 1870s, vintage holy cards, a playing card from 1890, and a tintype in paper frame, circa 1860s. Inside are many pockets and secret tags, including an altered carte d’identite. (If you want, you could use the ephemera is work of your own and replace with handmade tags.) To see a larger photo, click on the ones below.
This vintage altered book is £95 GBP with free worldwide shipping. To buy please use the Bu It Now Button below or contact me at email@example.com or by DM @book.and.paper.arts. Please let me know if you have any [read more]
Bonjour ! I have six lots of vintage French paper packs for use in art or junk journals, collage, or other mixed media projects. These are all authentic, original pieces of antique paper miscellany. Each pack includes:
- Handwritten legal document with cover, cover plus three pages (six front and back), appr. 1826
- Handwritten legal document of four pages (eight front and back) with stamp, appr. 1800s or late 1790s
- Handwritten legal document (1794) two pages
- Patent application record. This is letterpressed printing on stunning laid paper with deckled edges. It is 5.50″ x 8.25″ unfolded and unfolds to a large 21.5″ x 17″ (51cm. x 42cm)
- Two copies of La Mode Illustrée, fashion magazine, 1880s. Each has four pages (eight front and back). I am including two copies because when I have sold these in the past, people have told me they can’t bear to use them. So one is for keeping and one is for using, by which I mean cutting it up
- Three pages of vintage French ads from Femina magazine, 1911
- Eight holy cards
As each piece is authentic and one of a kind, each pack will vary but each will be similar and live up to what you see here! To [read more]
Vintage Paper Co is one of my favourite sites for drooling over. Based in Scotland, they source hard to find handmade paper, both vintage and contemporary, as well as hand decorated paper for fine art, handmade sketchbooks, and journals. As the owner William says, “We do not sell things that are readily available from other paper merchants or art stores because what’s the point? There are businesses out there who do a brilliant job doing this and I genuinely respect what they do but I don’t want to do that.”
Earlier this year, Vintage Paper Co published a super handy glossary of paper terms to help readers and shoppers understand some of the finer points and terms used to describe their wares. If you are like me you probably pretend to understand more of these than you actually do and paper is my full time job. William was good enough to allow me to repost it, so consider the glossary below a crash course in everything you need to know about paper phraseology. Then go check out his delightful site and their inspiring wares: https://vintagepaper.co/
A PAPER GLOSSARY
ISO range of paper sizes
The degree to which paper [read more]
Last May I bought several volumes of French fashion magazine La Mode Illustrée. This was the fashion magazine of its day. A woman would buy her weekly edition that might include engravings of hairstyles, dresses, embroidery patterns, home decorating, and hats – lots of hats. When she had a year’s worth, she would have them bound in a hardcovered volume that she could then use for inspiration or to share with friends over tea.
To see a larger version, click on the photo in the gallery.
So here’s the deal. Sadly, most of the bindings of the hardbound volumes was in too poor of shape to salvage but that just gave me permission to take out the individual signatures/editions without feeling guilty. (Whew.) I am selling them like this: three (four pages – eight sides) editions per shipment. While all of the editions of this magazine are good, some are very good and I have gone through them one at a time, making packages of three numbers that include two very good ones and one okay, still pretty darn good one. The way I see it is you can cut that one up (permission!) and either cut up and/or [read more]