2018 is nearly over and it’s time to look forward to a relaxing break and then the coming year ahead. But right now, it’s time for a much-needed break, so our offices will be closed from Friday 14th December until Friday 4th January inclusive. Any inquiries received between those dates will be answered when we reopen
If you would like to give one of my books as a Christmas gift, all orders must be received by Wednesday 12th December at the latest.
Any orders placed after this date will be shipped on Monday 7th January.
Although this seems like an early closure, please consider the often considerable delays Christmas causes to the postal service. All UK orders should almost certainly arrive in time for Christmas and we hope, but cannot guarantee, that all overseas orders will do the same.
Now for some information about the picture below! My first professional job in the industry was as a porter and then Junior Cataloguer in the Collectors Department at Bonhams. One of my favourite areas at that time was vintage fountain pens, and I was always delighted to work on those auctions. I still use a vintage Parker 51 or mid-1950s Mont Blanc every day, and was over the moon when Ian Dixon, the award-winning picture framer I’ve known for years gave me the festive front page of the Daily Mail shown below.
Dated Saturday November 20th, 1920, the full page advertisement for Waterman’s pens at L.G. Sloan shows an early version of Santa Claus. This was before the fat, jolly man in a short red coat popularised by American-born Swedish artist and illustrator Haddon Sundblom during the 1920s in a series of advertisements for Coca Cola. Santa’s bulging sack carries the screw-motion ‘Safety’ pens typical of the 1920s, as well as early lever fillers in engine turned black hard rubber, some with metal embellishments.
It’s a wonderfully visual thing, but doesn’t really have a value as it’s in terrible condition, having been found behind a picture that Ian was asked to reframe. It’s torn in a number of places, drier than the Sahara, and stained where it was folded to fit the frame. But that’s not the point – it’s just a wonderful thing, and very rare and very festive too. If you’re not after a fountain pen this year, I hope that you receive whatever ‘Christmas Gift of Permanent Value & Appreciation‘ you desire.
Happy Christmas, one and all!