These books are one of my favorite finds ever! I have found them yesterday at the same vendor where I picked up the Russian button tin, and I’m sure they come from the same family. I don’t know the English name for this practice of writing some small poems, some words of advice or favorite quotations and of drawing something or collaging something to make the page prettier for a friend. We would make these souvenir notebooks for each other in primary and secondary school (only the girls would). I still have mine, with drawings and messages for the future from my friends, family members and class mates.
These are that sorts of books. They are not complete, there are marks on many pages that show missing cards or photos, but I’m glad with what had stayed. They are very clean, without a smell of something old, and in such a good shape for their age.
The brown one has entries from 1887, with beautiful hand writing in Russian and kitschy prints. There is also a hand drawing of a boat on a lake.
The green velvet one has the first entries in 1911. There are also prints in it, pages colored in soft pink and green, one entry in French from a grandmother in Warsaw and one gouache painting. The last entry, from 1966 is in Romanian and it is written by a men who, on the occasion of their second wedding anniversary, wishes his wife to share in the future the same love for each other. Probably the book belonged to someone in his family and he gave it as a gift to his wife.
I’m not sure how this Russian books (and the button tin) ended up in my city. Maybe their original owner fled the October Revolution and ended up in Romania? Maybe someone moved from Russia to Romania after 1945 and brought also some family heirlooms?
I would really like to read the entries, especially a long one that seems like a letter, but I have to find someone who speaks Russian.
Linking up with Idle Needle’s challenge Make, Thrift and Tell.
Also, linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.