Monday, June 27, 2016

Antique Letter Sorter!

First off, let me say that after years of antiquing in PA, New England is a veritable GOLD MINE of antique glories. I'm assuming it has to do with the fact that "up thar" has been civilized by financially-well-endowed people than "down here". In any case, I've been antiquing/second hand shopping a few times up there whilst going to college, and I've really had to curb my spending. I mean... Brattle Book Shop? Oh, the glories.

I found this beautiful letter sorter in a large antique mall in NH, which was promptly purchased for me by the sweetest of men. We have since speculated a great deal about the original owner. It's great fun. 

It was made of fine leather and embossed in great detail. A name was inscribed with gold leaf on the front, as shown in the picture above. 

1854? This beautiful piece is over 150 years old! However, several questions come to mind. Why is it in such good condition? Was it never used? Who was Eliza L. Heath? And who was D.C.L.? 

Moving along, the inside has three pockets, reading: "Answered," "Unanswered," and "Notes & Addresses." The gold leafing is so intact that I'm tempted to think that Eliza Heath didn't use D.C.L.'s gift very much, or at all. 

But... sigh! The detail! 

The inside is papered with a beautiful print, and included is a copy book covered with the same paper. The pages inside are yellowed and covered with age spots, but it smells clean. 

No markings of any kind, however. Entirely unused. 


Who was Eliza L. Heath? Why did she never use this beautiful letter sorter? The mystery may be no mystery at all- she may have had another sorter that she already used. Or... some dark love story may be lingering around this piece. 

Or maybe some aunt gave it to Eliza as a New Year's present and Eliza carelessly put it aside. 

Regardless of this "mystery", I plan on restoring this piece as best I can and possibly putting some of my best beloved letters in it. I'll be treasuring it for a good long while.

1 comment:

  1. Ooo, how 'citing! Maybe the sorter was from a suitor? Or how about a former fiance trying to regain Miss Heath's good graces...
    Someone should write a book!!!