Sunday, 22 April 2012

I do love a bit of scrapbooking!

In Context: a brief history of scrapbooking

Scrapbooks gained prominence during the Renaissance. These precursors of the modern day scrapbook were called 'commonplace' or 'table' books: Hamlet writes in one the saying: "Smile and smile and be a villain" (1:5, 43) - the stage direction indicating that he is writing as he speaks. G. B Harrison notes that table, or commonplace books, were actually popular devices in the early 16th century wherein "intellectual young men...recorded good sayings and notable observations." (Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare, the Complete Works, G. B. Harrison, ed. New York; Harcourt, Brace & World, 1952, p. 895). John Locke, the philosopher, highlighted them in his manual titled: 'The New Method of Making Common-place Books'. However, the comparison to be made between commonplace books and contemporary defined scrapbooks is found in motivation, not their aesthetic. A scrapbook utilizes a plethora of sources (actual things, scraps of paper, photos, mementos, etc.) in its end to display an underlying theme, whereas a commonplace book generally consisted of quotations, as written by the complier. 

1769 saw the advent of 'Granger books', a development Robert DeCandido describes as "one odd turn in the history of scrapbooks",  when William Granger published 'Biographical History of England', by James Granger. Otherwise known as 'extra-illustrated books', these books included both printed material and blank pages on which could be pasted whatever appropriate illustration the purchaser chose, an amalgamation whose popularity reached its zenith during the 19th century. Pre-19th century scrapbooking also emerged state-side, with the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) being amongst the most famous early enthusiasts.
However, the art and craft of contemporary scrapbooking sees its beginnings manifest in the early 19th century, the publication of works detailing 'how to' scrapbook: for example, John Poole's 'Manuscript Gleanings and Literary Scrap Book' (1826), which published poems, engravings and also advised how to collect and what to do - during this time such activities became an exclusively middle class craze. 

The invention of poetry had a profound effect, with Louis-Jacques Daguerre and the daguerreotype, 1837 and the onset of the public eventually having the means to process their own pictures. Simultaneously, the mid-1800s saw the production of embossed papers that enthusiasts could use to adorn their albums.

Notable versions of 19th Century scrapbooks included the "carte-de-viste": albums which contained photo pockets (an increasingly popular feature), whilst also including pages for watercolour and pencil drawings. Mark Twain, being a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks, in the year 1872 patented the 'self-pasting' scrapbook, of which there were 57 varieties by 1901. 

The early 20th Century brought a lull to the pastime, with World Wars and economic depression forcing many scrapbook based merchants out of business. It was not, then, until the 1980s that scrapbooking was again an endeavor embarked upon, a growing trend that has spurred a plethora of associated paraphernalia, incorporating the now heralded 'vintage' pieces heralding to a previous age of scrapbooking enthusiasm.

Victorian Scrapbook
(Date. 1880-90)

Britain. 4to, [9 x 11ins.] 88 Full page coloured scraps, (up to, approx' 12 per page), including Christmas cards, Birthday cards, lithographic views, etc,some marked. Original decorated gilt, spine faded...£110.00, from David Hulse Associates.

Victorian Scrap Album
(No Date, ca. 1870)

England. Folio, [18 x 15 ins.] 46 linen leaves with 170 plus, chromolithographs, (colour printed) pasted on to both sides of the page, some slight surface loss to a few plates. The plates are taken from various children's natural history books, alphabet picture books, greeting cards, etc. "Ye Book of Scraps" " Collected and Pasted in - by Edward and Ellen Bates of Manydown Park - Hants - for the entertainment of their Grandson. Edward Bertram Bates. In the year. 1877 - Subsequently passed on to his six brothers in turn". Original half morocco gilt, boards detached. Sold from the Gyrn Castle Library, North Wales. £120.00: from David Hulse Associates.

A Penchant for Paraphernalia


Animal Stamps - £5.99

Alice drinking stamp - £5.20

'To-and-from Stamp' - £2.50 
[I direct you to The Oak Room to buy this simply effective East of India manufactured rubber stamp]

Themed stamp tins, courtesy of Cavallini - £18 - £20
[Cavallini are one of my favourite paper and print producing companies at the moment. Learn more by reading THIS previous entry dedicated to them!]


An amazing array of ribbon, priced from £1.00 per metre, can be found at The Oak Room's online shop! Simply click HERE now!

Reproduction traditional-style scraps

Gold foil oval frame - $2.75
Set of 6 reproduction scraps, made in Germany - £7.50
Fancy ladies reproduction scraps - $3.50
Children playing scraps - $4.50
Reproduction vintage fashion prints - $6.00
Vintage dance tickets - $2.75
My Scrapbooking Story

Volume I: commenced in September 2009

Volume II: commenced in November 2011

[The carry-around, some 8 months or so old and subject to whim and want]

[A birthday card, made with accumulated odds and ends]

My Collection: vintage scraps pre-1960

'Seven Little Kids' story scraps
'The Brave Little Tailor' story scraps
'Don Quixote' story scraps

'Robinson Crusoe' vintage scrap set - procured from Ebay

'Wild Animal' vintage scrap set - procured from Ebay

For information and interest:

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