January 15 2011
’Tis the season of the thank-you letter and, since these expressions of gratitude are best penned by hand, it is also the season of the stationery set. Each January I set myself the challenge of finding rare and beautiful paper and note cards and this year’s discovery is the delightfully named Allotment Fanciers box (pictured).
Created by Messrs Thomas Boulton and Theo Wang of the equally delightfully-named Society of Revisionist Typographers – or SORT for short – the set has been made entirely by hand using treadle-operated printing presses which date back to 1890. It’s a slow process – each colour must be printed separately, the inks take 24 hours to dry and every print has to be placed into and removed from the press by hand – but the results prove the virtues of patience and craftsmanship.
The 30 sheets of heavy weight, chicly off-white A5 writing paper are printed with either a handsome carrot or a row of cloche-covered cabbages. Meanwhile the eight card notelets boast ornamental borderwork and garden-themed motifs, including a produce-laden trug. Rather wittily, the reverse flap of each envelope bears an image of that allotment essential, the garden shed.
All these pieces of papery perfection (plus a bonus notebook) come packed in a hand-made box printed inside and out with a pattern of ornamental cabbages. It’s a modest thing but one that is so carefully made that it almost makes up for the fact that I’ve had to post away its contents.
The Allotment Fanciers stationery set costs £15.