It's been a strange week - I have repeatedly found wonderful items I had totally forgotten! I found a big stash of beautiful old buttons, handfuls of antique lace, and this old album. It hasn't been that long since I received it, maybe less than a year even, but it arrived at a moment when there was tons of things to do and admire, so I just put it aside along with some old books and forgot all about it. On Tuesday I was tidying things up and had a wait-what's-this-have-i-seen-this-before moment. Well, this is a small album filled with photos, business cards as well as visiting cards, and I most likely have seen it before and thought I could possibly maybe use it in my mixed media projects. Today I'm sharing my favourite bits of the card section. The dates found in this album range from early 1920's to late 1940's and there's material from both the US and Latvia.
The album itself is bent and worn, but I really like that embossed cover paper. It reminds me of the black, embossed papers you sometimes find in old sewing needle packages, only this surface is a hundred times larger.
Charles Clever, unusual, has the most important place on the album pages. The internet led me to find out that Charles, and possibly many of the others featured here, had come from Latvia to Detroit after fleeing the Nazis. Charles Clever probably wasn't Charles Clever back home, though.
I must admire the wood grain minimalism of this visiting card. (This can also be seen as having that 2013 Etsy look, but I don't mind.)
A tiny embossed visiting card with an ear of rye. This one measures only 3x6,5cm / 1.2"x2.6".
With the help of Google Translate I found out this Latvian card from 1925 is an engagement announcement!
Charles Clever has many of his business cards in this album, so maybe this album once belonged to him or his family. All the photo corners are so tightly glued most cards are stuck with them, so I'm unable to take a good look of the reverse sides, but it looks like there's handwriting on some. Maybe one day I'll explore more and take everything apart. I try not to get too attached to these old albums so I can actually use them in my work and not become simply an archivist for abandoned family albums. Seems brutal, but it cannot be helped.