Smooth Ivory

Some early 20th-Century 'Smooth Ivory' writing paper and envelopes.

Since last writing about mourning stationery, I have acquired a third set of the stuff, this time in a box commemorating the life of Queen Victoria. It seems reasonable to assume it might have been sold within a year or two of the monarch’s demise, and could very well be in the region of a hundred and twenty years old.

The watermark in this ‘Smooth Ivory’ paper matches the text on the bands wrapped around it. Looking in the usual reference, my best guess is that it was made by Edward Collins & Sons of Kelvindale, Glasgow. Stationery with a broad black border like this would have been seen as appropriate for use in the earliest or deepest stages of grief; although in this case the set may just have been kept as a slightly morbid item of memorabilia.

Many of the envelopes have sealed themselves shut, but most of the sheets of paper are still in great shape, and present an appropriately smooth surface to the pen.