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Tartan Tidbits ~ Pocket Books

Shawn and I have been married for 29 years!  How many 47 year olds can say that?   We didn't make a big to do out of celebrating, but instead we chose to have a relaxing weekend free of work.  I stayed off the computer all weekend (well, for the most part!) and we leisured about, ate out a few times and spent Friday and Saturday antiquing at some of our favorite antique shops and malls in small towns around Tulsa.   When I say antiquing, I really mean I bought stuff to resale!  =)   I can't help it.  I find things that I love but I really don't need to add one more thing to my own collections so instead I buy them for those of you who like what I like.   Sometimes though, I keep some of the pieces in the house until they sell.  This Herme's plate is one such find. 

  I spotted this as I was looking at a single piece of purple transferware I'd eyed from a couple of booths away!  I bought the purple piece too, in case you're wondering.  It's a cigar ashtray made by Clarice Cliff in the Tonquin pattern.  They are hard to find!  It is listed for sale in my shop, as is the English Setter Hermes plate which I'm looking at as I type and keep thinking to myself how nice it looks in here.

Don't laugh, but do you see the very faded  blue ribbon hanging from the picture? 

 It's one that I won at the State Fair in, I think, 3rd grade for some of my art work.  Somehow I managed to salvage the ribbon but the artwork is nowhere to be found.  I thought the ribbon would make a nice substitute for a horse ribbon since I've got a bit of an Equestrian theme going on in here.  I know, I know.  I'm such a dork.

But, honestly the main reason I'm writing this post is because, as I usually do, I enjoyed putting a vignette together in my office and thought that you all might like to see it to.   It's a small vignette on the mantle and it encompasses not only the plate, but these teeny tiny tartan cloth covered books as well, which I am crazy about.  Did you notice them?  I bet if you are Alison from The Polo House you did.

  They are miniature or pocket books, sometimes called midget books and have cloth coverings in a plethora of tartans and plaids. As you can see, I have a few of these books.   Most of the ones I own are Poetry books dating to the late 19th / early 20th century.  There are a number of books from the Thistle Library containing works from Scottish writers like Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.  

This collection sold for $650 on Live Auctioneers.  Most of the value is in the Mauchline ware box but it isn't uncommon for these little books themselves to bring $25-40 a piece.
I'm really not changing the subject, but…
 I have a nice sized figurine of a boy and his dogs.  I keep it on the mantle in my office almost all the time but sometimes he works his way into tablescapes as you can see below when I placed him amongst a pumpkin patch in a Spode Byron tablesetting I did a few years ago.

When I got my first miniature tartan covered book I wanted to display it, but where?  Sometimes I will walk around the house, room to room, with a tiny little thing like this pondering about how to display it.  As I did this, it struck me.  I'm gonna wedge that sucker into that boys hand if it kills me because that's where it is going to look perfect!

And, I do think it looks perfect.  He looks like he's taking a walk with his dogs and contemplating where he's going to stop along the way to read his book that he's brought along, maybe in the shade of an old Oak tree.

 I love to decorate with plaid and tartan any time of the year but is there a better time to do so than in the season now upon us? 


The Polo House


  1. Perfect and wonderful Nancy! You have such perfect tablescapes and vignettes. The lad is such a handsome young fellow with his beloved book.

  2. Thank you for all the details. I love dishes and any transferware are my favourite.
    Christine from Ontario

  3. Perfection, Nancy! I collect miniature books, and while I was perusing the internet the other day for tartan plaids, I came upon one of those books - $100!, so it's definitely a supply/demand thing. Love your collections. You must be a sister of mine in another life. :)

  4. Hi Nancy! The plate is so sweet and looks so pretty in your lovely vignette! Love those sweet little plaid books too! You do find the most wonderful pieces. Happy Anniversary!!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  5. What an interesting and informative post. The books are wonderful and now I will know to keep an eye out for them. Your home and taste is so refined, just love the aged look of everything and the plates and transferware. Yes, your 'boy' needs a book, as do we all. Thanks for the great share, Sandi

  6. I love books, all books! What a beautiful mantel display!!

  7. Fabulous display. Love every little bit of it. Great job.

  8. Lovely office and vignettes!...Christine

  9. Nancy, congratulations on your anniversary! We recently celebrated our 40th with a quiet weekend as well. I love seeing your petite tartan books. I have one or two and am always looking to add more. I spent today shopping for antiques at Round Top. I saw plenty of tartan pieces, but they were all pricey. Didn't bring any tartan home this trip. Your office vignettes are charming. Thanks for sharing.

  10. First of all, let me wish you and your husband a very happy anniversary! David and I have been married 26 years now and honestly, it just keeps getting better and I wish the same for you. Secondly, I believe you and I are kindred spirits. We really seem to like all the same things. As I roam around in blog land, I see so many constantly changing their decor style to fit the current trend, and for me, it's nice to visit a blog like yours, where traditional style still reigns. I love everything in this post, and especially those darling tartan books!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  11. Happy Anniversary! Gorgeous decor, love the dishes and have a gift sweet friend!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  12. Nancy, I'm back for another look at this fun post. You should link this to Alison's Tartan Parade over at Polohouse.

  13. NANCY!!!!!!
    I am going crazy here! That is THE prettiest mantle arrangement EVAH!
    You know I am mad for your wee book collection, but where oh where did you
    find that figurine and who is the maker?
    I love your plaid wallpaper, and your herringbone lampshades, etc etc etc!!

    Wow! Looks great and what a wonderful new find from your antiquing.
    My mother-in-law lived in Miami, OK for years and we shopped all the Joplin
    antique malls every Easter and Thanksgiving. Now she lives in OKC so we
    are just starting to explore the shops down there as well.'

    I am SO glad you linked this up (thank you Sarah!)
    I would have been terribly sad if I would have missed all
    this virtual eye candy.


  14. I love those little plaid books...hae never seen them before and now, of COURSE, I am going to hunt hi and lo for one. :)
    I LOVE PLAIDS.....
    here from Polo

  15. OMG Finally a blog that is not about all white chalk washed out decorating. Absolutely love your style. Give me color or give me death is my motto. I will be your biggest fan. Love, Love.


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