Asprey

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Some of my best finds have come mostly by accident. I was in the Golden Square Mile area for an appointment on Monday. I usually enter this building a different way but because of renovations I had to go inside via the garage. That led me past the building’s recycling bins.

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I couldn’t resist taking a quick peek. I noticed a few things inside one bin weren’t the typical dull recycling.

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I saw a couple old 1950s theatre programs …

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… and a 1960s Canadian Jeweller magazine.

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There was also a small box full of portable phones.

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However, this mail order catalogue was without a doubt my best find.

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The catalogue was made by Asprey, a designer, manufacturer and retailer of luxury good since 1781. Their flagship store is on New Bond Street in London, one of the most expensive retail strips in the world.

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It’s actually an incredible book. It looks to be from the 1930s, around the time that art deco design was at its peak.

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It provides an amazing look at what wealth and luxury would have looked like in those times.

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The book is in exquisite condition, as if it was handled only with the utmost care.

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A sticker on the inside indicates that it once belonged to a Kenneth G Mappin. There’s not many references to him online, but it does seem like he was a part of the Mappin and Webb silver company. Here’s a mention of him donating a cup to the Montreal Hockey Club in 1925.

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I thought it’d have some value; old luxurious items usually do. However, I was a bit surprised to see how valuable it might actually be. It was a challenge to find any similar ones online – there are none at all similar on eBay – but I did manage to track down a few on other sites. There’s one on Abebooks selling for over 1000$ US. One that in poor condition is selling on the same site for 250$. Another bookseller is selling a copy for 4000$, though that includes a best offer option. That last listing has some nice scans of the catalogue, if anyone’s curious.

It seems like I made a pretty good score no matter what! I love finding things in places that I least expect to. It’s a bit odd that there was so little else in the bins, unless of course there was more that was covered by other junk. I wonder where it came from…

I’m aiming to do a yard sale this Sunday. My storage room is getting full and I have so much stuff to unload. I’ll keep you posted!

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18 thoughts on “Asprey

  1. You are the best…little stories like this one keeps people coming too see your finds over and over…

  2. LostRoses says:

    Score, yes! Pretty amazing.

  3. Donna says:

    I’m interested in genealogy, history and ecology. You are doing a great service to all. i’m glad you are rewarded from your efforts. Thank You!

  4. Nancy says:

    That catalogue is priceless! So glad you saved it!

  5. sybil says:

    I’d love it if folk who so carelessly discard such treasured items learned of their foolishness. Let us know what you get for that marvellous catalogue.

  6. Nancy says:

    Is it me or are you being especially productive on the blog these days? I’m not complaining! Like many of your readers my day is always made whenever you post your ‘finds’.

    • martng says:

      It has been a good stretch indeed. Sometimes you get luckier than you do other times. However, it being summer definitely helps, as there’s a lot more people moving, cleaning and generally being productive. Right now it feels like I’m going to find something everytime I go out!

  7. Just goes to show … you never know when or where you’ll come across a treasure.

  8. …I must say that I’m enjoying this new smaller, more frequent format for your blog….what was once a highlight of my week is now a highlight every couple of days!…I wish my town was big enough to support a similar life style!!….you’re doing a wonderful “job”….never stop digging…

    • martng says:

      Thanks for the input. I like it better myself as well. For whatever reason, I find this format a lot easier to write, and it takes less cumulative time even though I’m doing more posts. It’s also more satisfying, as I get a sense that I accomplished something (in regards to the blog) much more frequently than when I only did one post a week!

      • …breaking one big “job” into lots of smaller ones…always works!….although, now I can’t tell what day of the week it is based on when your posts turn up!…. : )

  9. tssharp says:

    Great finds. Every large company or organisation should have a ‘take for free’ area where ‘garbage’ with potential uses could be placed for people to collect from.

    I had a good and completely random find the other day. Me and couple of mates were on our way back from seeing a band, and one of the lads needed a pee stop, so we pulled over by the roadside of a major highway to relieve ourselves. Mid-piss, my friend discovered that the undergrowth was strewn with discarded cookware, namely several sealed stainless steel stockpots! No doubt dumped via some kind of criminal activity!
    We grabbed one each and made a getaway, as it might have looked a little shifty as it was late at night by the side of road etc.

    Anyway, I’ve listed mine on eBay and if/when it sells it will pay off the expense of the night! I love stuff like that, entertaining as well profitable…

  10. Fresca says:

    I too am “enjoying this new smaller, more frequent format” (as said above).
    THANKS for your work on behalf of teh humans. (And the Earth!)

  11. Jan says:

    Love the new format and of course your more frequent posts! You do find some treasures!

  12. earthknight says:

    Great post! 🙂

  13. […] a while back, originating from the same place in the Golden Square Mile that provided the great art deco era Asprey catalogue I’m trying to get big money for. I thought the catalogue was a one off find, but when I came […]

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