quietly bear pain


marianne lodge’s practice writing book from 1847 is full of wonderfully instructional old sayings: read good books, venerate old age, wisdom nourishes the mind, gain stimulates industry and, my favorite, quietly bear pain. over the years, i have come across many wonderful examples of ephemera but none quite as remarkable as that of miss lodge. since i collect primarily modern design books by tschichold, bill, sutnar, rand, bayer et al, miss lodge’s practice book stands out. yet it is one of my favorites.

i first moved to new york in 1989 and faithfully attended the antiquarian book fair each spring, a swanky affair for book dealers from around the globe selling rare modern firsts, maps and incunabula. usually there are just a few modernist dealers but each spring it still presents a thrilling prospect. i approach this fair as i would a visit to a museum. the difference being everything is for sale. it was here i happened upon miss lodge’s practice book. i first noticed the wonderful calligraphy horse on the cover but, upon further examination, i realized the practice book was made of real vellum, not paper. as i carefully leafed through the pages, i discovered that miss lodge, or someone at a later date, had carefully pasted a collection of wax seals onto the pages. i turned to page after page, each more beautiful than the next. the dealer was aware of my excitement and  asked if I was interested. “sixteen hundred dollars!” he told me when i said i was. wow. a mighty sum. more than i had paid for anything in my collection. i thanked him and said it was way out of my league. i continued on my way touring the other booths. i eventually made my way back to visit miss lodge’s handiwork. the dealer spied me walking Continue reading quietly bear pain…