Sunday, January 10, 2010
Something that I like to look for when I'm traveling is local ephemera. I really scored in Lyon, France at an antique bookstore. Most of the books with the vintage illustrations I crave were way too many Euros for this girl's budget and were too valuable to do any repurposing. I like to find pieces of books or workbooks and advertisements that have the quality vintage images from early to mid 1900's. ( I guess that turn of the century isn't such a specific term anymore!) I did manage to find a couple of booklets for an affordable price and asked the proprietor in my limited botched French whether there was any "ephemere" for under 5 Euros. Imagine my thrill when she went into the back room and brought out a huge folder with old advertisements and partial children's booklets for me to pore through! I got a collection of a series of wonderfully illustrated children's booklets from 1927 thru 1930. Classic French illustrations of little girls in flapper era dress. Since they were incomplete I got a tremendous deal on them. Even the proprietor agreed. My quest was complete!
Once we got to Morocco I was hoping to find a stationery type store that would have children's learning materials such as charts and illustrated workbooks as they seem to usually be illustrated in a more vintage style even if they are new.
I had an unfortunate experience on Etsy ordering some illustrated charts from India from Nutmegclick. She never delivered my order and then closed shop with many dissatisfied customers. I guess I'll have to go to India and pick some up myself one day.
Meanwhile I'm on the quest for something along that line from Morocco. On our second day in Marrakech we get caught up in a burro jam along a narrow alleyway. The burros are putting up a big fuss with braying and won't budge. It was rather hilarious to hear the motorbikes and cars honking to no avail. Somehow the clog broke free and there on my left was a display outside with charts and workbooks. I think I've gotten my husband into the quest as he insisted on getting a Berber/Arab language poster. I picked up a small religious booklet in Arab script with some illustrations that most likely are instructing boys about piety. I also found a story book with some really great illustrations, kind of out of proportion yet interesting and quite dated looking yet I couldn't determine if it was an old book or not but it had the quality of images I'm after. (I'm thinking that the illustrations were probably from the 60's) I even went back today to see if he had anymore and picked up another.
A bonus of the nearly 10 miles we walked today was some litter I picked up which were pages in Arabic from a child's workbook. I had a few people staring at me as I scrambled around in the light rain picking up the garbage.