I can't think of a better way to start off the new week than with an awesome collection of vintage office supplies. Today Lito from the London based shop INKLINKS is going to share some of her favorite finds and the history behind them.
Please introduce yourself and your shop.
Thanks for inviting me to play. I’m Lito, the historian and blogger behind INKLINKS, a shop that likes to be stocked with vintage writing supplies and collectibles: there is vintage ink, storage boxes, writing instruments, writing cases and all kinds of office supplies of old. Apart from carrying vintage finds, I also make notebooks out of vintage paper, and paperweights out of British pebbles. Recently I couldn’t resist adding another section in Inklinks: the Vintage Wardrobe which is slowly filling up with 1960s/70s dresses and accessories from a private clothing collection.
Have you always been a collector of old things? What inspired you to open a vintage shop?
As a historian I’ve been a collector of words and of stories, and I’ve always been fascinated by the materials people use to write down these stories. Inklinks was born out of this fascination with writing technology and also out of the stories these very writing materials carry with them. Inklinks is in a sense the child of Palimpsest, my blog about writing instruments.
You also have a selection of handmade products in your shop, including hand-stitched notebooks made from a mix of vintage paper which I love. Do you have a preference between hunting for vintage goods and making your own creations?
I enjoy both! It’s a great feeling discovering something well used with its own story to tell. And it is equally exciting making something inspired by the writing process. The notebooks for instance are made from old paper coming from ledgers, exercise books and notebooks from England and Europe and I love experimenting with the different shapes, textures and lines. The paperweights are very dear to me too. The pebbles that I use I have collected from my travels along the British coastline and the images glued on them are original photographs from my pencil collection, vintage pen and ink ads and typed ancient ink recipes.
What is your all time favourite find that ended up in your shop?
I remember being excited with a pack of Owl paperclips that are so difficult to find… I guess two of my best finds must be the Lamarthe oxblood red writing case made by the Parisian master of leather goods Alfred Lamarthe, and the Mark Cross leather wallet which prompted a bit of historical research too!
Do you collect anything yourself – vintage finds that we won’t find in your shop because you have to keep them for yourself?
I’ve got a collection of Victorian glass ink bottles imprinted with the names of their makers and a mini collection of Stephens’ Ink related items. Stephens used to be a big name in ink manufacturing in Britain until the 1950s. I’m also collecting Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) supplies: from inkstands to ink bottles and from exercise books to paperweights and steel pens – they all carry the distinctive S.O. sign and the crown. If you come along one let me know.
Etsy shop and blog.