Filofax 75th Anniversary Special Edition boxed ‘Grace Scurr’ Filofax

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In 1996, to mark the 75th anniversary of Filofax, the company produced a limited edition of 1,921 burnished calf-leather, dual gilt-mechanism Filofaxes, complete with cream 18-month diaries. The commemorative design was based on one of Filofax’s earliest incarnations: a diary owned by Grace Scurr, who started at Norman and Hill (now Filofax) as a temporary secretary. When the company’s offices were blitzed during the war, it was Grace’s diary, in which she had recorded customers and suppliers, that literally saved the firm. And it was Grace (who went on to become Chairwoman, retiring in 1955) who coined the name Filofax – “a file of facts”. This Filofax was sold in a beautiful wooden case and retailed for £500.

I managed to get my hands on one but sold it when I moved to Sweden as I had decided I would move to my new life with only one suitcase. It seemed silly to keep something I would never use. I regretted it bitterly as soon as I saw it disappearing out the door. I set eBay searches and hunted online antique stores, bulletin boards – to no avail. I did come close to another one but that one went for £800 to a collector in Japan. In the end I all but gave up. My saved searches sat dormant, never finding anything to report back on.

Until 10 days ago when my saved eBay search threw up one hit. I almost fell off my chair. Thought it was an error. But nope, there it was…finally! I set my snipe at quite a high price and went about my business, sure I would not win. Then someone posted a link to the auction in a couple of the Facebook groups I belong to and I was sure there would be so much interest that my bid would sink to the bottom of the list like a stone.

I was watching Big Bang Theory when an eBay ping on my phone alerted me. I had won the auction! I was so flabbergasted I couldn’t believe it. There had been only five other bids and it went for £130.

So without further ado (please excuse the cat photobombing the pics – he was almost as excited as I was!):

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The two little brass plaques had fallen off. I found one and re-attached it.
The two little brass plaques had fallen off. I found one and re-attached it.

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Needs a little polishing
Needs a little polishing but should buff up as good as new
The foam protector is still in place
The foam protector is still in place
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Sorry about the angle – I should have put it on a table instead of the bed but in Sweden in November you have to take the light wherever you can get it!

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This duplex is the narrower version, originally designed to fit perfectly into military uniform trouser pockets. It has beautifully tight, gold rings.
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Under the binder there are three spaces for address, calendar and note inserts, still with the plastic around them. Each small hollow has a ribbon marker to allow the inserts to be easily lifted. The paper is absolutely brilliant quality. It feels handmade.
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With the inserts removed
Blue velvet underneath.
Blue velvet underneath.
Gold rings and leather cover with credit card pockets
Gold rings and leather cover with credit card pockets
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The story of Filofax and Grace Scurr
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Various configurations of the two ring system

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Underground map
Blue satin ribbons to hold everything in place
Blue satin ribbons to hold everything in place
Description of the leather of the binder
Description of the leather of the binder

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The inserts with their covering paper - each has a beautiful f design embossed onto the card.
The inserts with their covering paper – each has a beautiful f design embossed onto the card.
The story of how Grace Scurr's Filofax (of which this one is a copy) saved the company. In the background is an entry from her Filofax
The story of how Grace Scurr’s Filofax (of which this one is a copy) saved the company. In the background is an entry from her Filofax
Made in England. Not something you see every day anymore.
Made in England. Not something you see every day anymore.
Closed - this binder had been closed very few times, if at all, before this.
Closed – this binder had been closed very few times, if at all, before this

 

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Each set of gold rings is engraved with the 75th logo and dates
Each set of gold rings is engraved with the 75th logo and dates

So my question now, dear readers – do I use it?

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

41 thoughts

  1. I have SN 0548 of the 75th anniversary edition bought new and use it every day, it is nicely paternated after all these years but in excellent overall condition and gets many admiring remarks. Looking for another one if anyone wants to sell.

    1. They do come up now and then – I have seen about five on various sites over the last year. The first three went for really good prices, and the last two went for almost what they cost new.

  2. I’ve read the trademark “the british filofax system” was released in 1989, so pre-’89.
    Great condition, but s t i f f as can be! Thanks.

  3. BTW, is there a way to date a “British Filofax System” binder by it’s serial number? As a fountain pen collector, I’ve learned you can date any piece. Thanks!

    1. Yes there is. Have a look at it and see if there is a 3 digit number on the inside of the strap or one of the pockets. If it has one of those you can date it.

      1. On the inside front on flap it’s stamped “71736”
        Appreciate your insight!

  4. Will wait hopefully for a while before considering a Malden. Until then, my 1970’s (dark) red personal will have to do! 🙂

    1. One day, probably 🙂 Do you want me to keep you in mind? They come up regularly on eBay. Over and above the two I have, I have seen four come up on auctions over the past 18 months or so. I can give you a heads up if I see another one!

      1. Please do! I owned number 0448, and gave it to a friend. I’ve regretted it ever since! LOL.
        Thank you!

  5. Great Filofax!!! Janet, you shuldn’t use this miracle filofax!!!
    I think you already knew what yourself want to do…’cause you are not using it now.(=゚ω゚)ノ

  6. Recently been through a divorce and have one of these boxed binders to sell. It’s number 98.
    If anyone’s interested let me know

  7. Oh what a lovely find. Congratulations, Janet, I am so glad that you were able to obtain another one – such a rare find. Enjoy it.

  8. I really think you ought to use this. It’s sacrilege not to use something so finely crafted for its intended purpose, in my opinion. It’s like an unplayed piano. A very sad thing indeed.

  9. You should totally use it. It’s sacrilege to *not* use something so beautifully crafted for its intended purpose in my opinion. Like a piano left unplayed…

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