While it is not my style to publish gift guides, or push my wares too aggressively, I have a great gift item in the shop that I've been selling for years. A few regular customers have caught on and keep coming back year after year for one. What is this fabulous, gift-able item? It's the annual Travelers Insurance Calendar decorated with Currier & Ives prints. This is what the Hartford-cased company has to say about their product:
The Travelers signature calendar for 2017, bearing Currier & Ives reprints from our print collection, was first introduced in 1936. Now 81 years later this handsome calendar has become a part of American culture, with its illustrations decorating homes and business establishments across the country. It remains a perennial favorite of Travelers agents, brokers, and their clients, and is considered a unique and valued marketing tool.
But I am not selling NEW calendars, I am selling vintage ones that will match the coming year. This year I am offering 1967 calendars (and a handful of 1961) that match the days of 2017. Last year, sadly, I was unable to find a match due to it being a tricky leap year.
Several years ago I was at an estate sale at a very grand Pleasantville Victorian home. In the basement were boxes and boxes of unused Traveler's calendars from the 1940s through the 1970s. I was told that the family had owned an insurance brokerage in nearby Ossining, NY. They must have given the calendars out to their customers and saved the rest. Needless to say, I bought them all, and will, hopefully, have them for years to come.
Currier & Ives is a fascinating subject in and of itself. They ran the first print shop with mass-market commercial appeal. By the 1850s they were producing affordable lithographs with quaint genre subjects and composed Americana scenes. They were based in New York City and produced many images of the city- especially of the Great Fire and idyllic Central Park.
If you are interested in reading more about Currier & Ives, click here for a short but informative article.
If you would like to purchase a 1967 Travelers calendar, come in the shop or visit my Etsy shop.