My 101 year old, new best friend…

Sometimes, the best treasure is always found when you are looking for something else…
A couple of weeks ago, I spent hours trying to research the story behind Dorcas pins. I really wanted to discover old adverts, a lovely history and some detail about the lives of the people behind the product. I ended up so frustrated after 5 hours of searching. I learnt a little about pin manufacture and the origins of "distribution of labour"… really interesting but not what I was looking for.
But you know, just when I was thinking, "Well, what a complete waste of time", I stumbled across a real treasure… and she arrived in my letterbox today!
I can see myself spending hours enjoying Priscilla's company… yep, she's my new best friend! 

The Modern Priscilla 1 One Day In May
Whenever I go looking for antique needlework tools or notions, I don't find them. I feel very fortunate to have accidentally found a copy of a "Priscilla Fancy Work Catalogue" from 1910. 
The Modern Priscilla 2 One Day In May
This 99 page catalogue is in great condition and was too affordable to pass up… It doesn't feel like treasure unless it's at a great price. Don't you think?
Inside there is page upon page of illustrations, advertising transfers, stamped linen and kits for every kind of embroidered fancy you can imagine… heaven!
The Modern Priscilla 4 One Day In May
The Modern Priscilla 5 One Day In May
The Modern Priscilla 8 One Day In May
The Modern Priscilla 6 One Day In May

I think many an hour will be spent engrossed amongst these pretty pages… they're so very inspirational. 
I hope to learn some more about "The Priscilla Publishing Company" in the next weeks.
I just love history and discovering little details about the lives that people have led. I'm sure there will be lots of interesting tidbits of information hidden within these pages.
The Modern Priscilla 3 One Day In May
The Modern Priscilla 7 One Day In May
This particular issue has been owned or used by someone with the initials "E.B". It's wonderful to find her letter sketches on the cover.
Maybe she's an Elizabeth, Emily, Emmaline… I wonder.
I'm sure this isn't the last time you'll see snippets from this treasure… I'm in love and feel the need to tell everyone! Heehee!
Until next time,
Melissa  x

7 Responses

  1. what a great find Melissa,i think you have a real treasure there,enjoy

  2. No wonder you love this book….its divine! I too love things like this….true treasures Melissa 🙂 hugs Vicki x

  3. Wonderful! I love the fancy aprons and the opera bags! Enjoy it 🙂 Brazilian kisses…

  4. kel

    lucky you, a beautiful treasure indeed!

  5. SuzK

    What a wonderful treasure! I work about 5 blocks from that address in Boston!

  6. wow great find! I have a few of my MIL’s old catalogues that are a bit like this one – but yours is an absolute GEM!!!
    Like you I would spend hours and hours reading and exploring it…
    xo Catherine

  7. Pauline Ross

    Hi Melissa

    I spotted your article and thought I might help you with your search. The manufaturer of “Dorcas” pins was my GtGtUncle Joel Merrett.

    If you would like to log onto Ancestry.co.uk my tree is available for public viewing. There you will find the information you need. Along with photo’s of Joel and Dorcas his wife. It is unsure whether Joel named the pins after his wife or his sister or both.

    http://www.randwicksources.org.uk gives you an insight into his background and where he came from.

    There are several mis-spellings of the name. As you will see.

    1851 Census as Joel Mirrett and spouse Dorcas Mirrett
    Marriage: E&W FreeBMD Q3 1846 X1 553
    Death: E&W FreeBMD Q1 1898 6c 269
    National Probate Calendar reads : MERRETT Joel of Legge-street Birmingham and of “the Oaklands” Selly Oak Kings Norton Worcestershire pin-manufacturer died 30 January 1898 Probate Worcester 1 June to George Walter Merrett pin-manufacturer the reverend Frederick Smith clerk and Abraham Rooke solicitor Effects £94001.2s.7d

    DORCAS
    Death: E&W FreeBMD Q1 1898 6c 282 the same quarter as husband Joel
    National Probate Calendar reads : MERRETT Dorcas of “the Oaklands” Selly Oak Worcestershire widow died 27 February 1898 Probate Worcester 15 July to George Walter Merrett pin-manufacturer Effects £7421.12s.

    At this point George Walter became very wealthy.

    Polly

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