Secondhand Stationery: The “Impressionist Stationery Box”

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As an avid letter-writer, I’m delighted by the fact that stationery seems to always find me–even when I’m not looking for it!

After last weekend’s stationery haul, I didn’t expect to be adding to my pen pal supplies collection for quite some time. Notecards and envelopes are expensive! While visiting the local farmers’ market, however, I was surprised to notice a community tag sale taking place further up on the town commons. I decided to just walk by, and was briefly letting my eyes wander over the old goblets and dolls’ furniture when I saw  a massive box of vaguely Impressionist-inspired stationery.

For a dollar.

I guess it was just meant to be!

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According to a caption on the back of one of the cards, this set was made in 1998 (back when my five-year-old self was using stationery primarily for scribbling barely legible thank-you cards to relatives around the holidays). The multi-tiered structure of the box, to be honest, kind of reminds me of another hallmark of the 90s: those “drawer sets” of stickers, markers, and art supplies that could provide endless hours of entertainment for the creative child. (Or am I the only person who remembers this?)

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Within the drawers are sets of matching notecards, envelopes, and blank sheets of writing paper. The box had clearly been used already, and was missing a few of the cards, but one of the packs remained intact. These envelopes look like they’d be a little too small for most pen pal purposes, but I’ll definitely add a few of the cards into my outgoing mail!

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One joy of buying secondhand items is that you may get a little surprise tucked in your purchase! (Ideally, this would take the form of a forgotten fortune, but I’ll take what I can get.) The previous owner of this set apparently also used the box to store this lovely seashell stationery, which is perhaps even more to my tastes than the Impressionist cards themselves.

With enough cards and stationery to keep me stocked up for some time, this box’s $1 price tag was undoubtedly worth it–even if it was the last thing I expected to find today! What random stationery treasures have you found in the most unlikely of places?

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