Pepys of London polished antique leather five-year diary in blue

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Have just found this one on eBay. Or should I say, eBay found it for me. I have eBay searches set up for various items and I am then emailed when whatever they pop up for sale.  People often say to me ‘oh you can never find xxx’ but I am living proof you can if you are patient. Everything appears in the end.

I collect unused vintage and antique five year diaries. You can still buy five-year and ten-year diaries in the shops today but vintage ones are smaller and often have beautifully made locks and keys. It is quite rare that you find them still in their boxes but they come up now and then.

I use most of the ones I have for various things, but I keep the rarities unused. The oldest one I have is from 1878 and I tend not to use ones from 1945 and earlier, because they are historical and often beautifully made, particularly the ones from the Edwardian and Art Deco eras. They are undated but often have five year’s worth of calendars in the front or back, showing more or less when they were made.

In the past I have used the cheaper, newer (as in 1960s and 1970s) as journals, to use as daily records of what I did with each of my clients during their two-hour appointment with me. I have also used them in the past for exercise/meal/weight trackers, to keep passwords, as recipe books, travel journals, birthday books and notebooks. They tend to be small and very durable so you can easily throw them into a bag and carry them with you. Many of them sell for very little so you don’t have to be too precious about them and, because they are undated, you can carry them over from year to year, or even disregard the dates entirely. Older ones were definitely made extremely well, of quality leather and paper so they stand up to heavy use.

They tend to sell for about £5 – £25 but often go for less because there is not a high demand for them.

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Categories: Diaries and Journals

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