23 January 2017

Vintage Mulberry agenda: take two - by Anita

Following on from my post about cycles of buying and selling, I thought that I would reveal to you my third and final binder. Whilst I loved my previous Mulberry agenda, I wasn't convinced about keeping it as all my inserts are in Filofax personal size. However, I've since realised that I could buy paper quite cheaply, or cut up other notebooks or paper that I already have around the house.

I was having a little look on eBay, as you do, and came across this wonderful croc Mulberry for a great price (I managed to knock £10 off the buy it now price with a cheaper offer too).

It's in much better condition than my previous one and I love the pattern which reminds me of a mixture between an Ascot and a Dundee (best of both worlds). I have seen it described by owners/sellers as both Congo and croc, so contacted Mulberry to ask they could confirm for me. It seems that their photographic records don't go back that far, but I'm lucky that a member of their staff recognised it as walnut Nile leather. The internal layout is exactly the same, and the secretarial pocket plus the gusseted zipped one make a great combination in my opinion.

The Mulberry leather is wonderful. I know that this would've been pretty expensive new, but I'd be happy to shove it in a bag as it's definitely not delicate. When it arrived, there was this scratch on the front which you can see now barely shows in my first picture. I slightly dampened the area and then rubbed with my finger and the leather got its shine back. It was described as 'used but well loved and great patina', so I was happy anyway, especially at the price that I paid.

Once again, it has that great little design feature that the strap shortens or lengthens, depending on which popper you want to use. It's also handy as it tucks out of the way when you're writing inside.

After I'd left feedback on eBay, I contacted the seller to ask if she knew anything about its history. She had actually sold it on behalf of a friend and then very kindly passed on the lady's name and phone number (with her permission). She also said the following - 'I know it was bought in Norway when she worked for someone she's not allowed to talk about, wink, wink !! It's an interesting story'. I had to follow that up as I was curious... I finally managed to get through to the previous owner, and she was polite, but obviously a little bemused about my interest. I explained about being a planner nerd and that I was writing a post for here, hoping to hear a little more. Basically, she told me that she'd purchased it in Oslo about 25 years ago in the small Mulberry shop there, which was before when the company was more well known. And that was it! I politely thanked her and laughed lots once I was off the phone, as either the friend had misunderstood, or the lady decided that she actually didn't want to tell me after all.

I have a suspicion that I may not have purchased my Holborn if I'd found this first, but I feel that I have a good range to choose from. Whilst I love both my Kensington and Holborn, I think that if I had to choose only one, it might be this one. However, that decision may have changed by next week so I'll be keeping the three for now...


  1. It's stunning! I would love to find one of these.

    1. It is, isn't it? Most of the patterned ones for sale on eBay are Congo, but these do come up from time to time. I hope that you manage to find one!

  2. I came here to comment "It´s stunning!" ... but my planner-husband (let´s not tell Joshua) apparently beat me to it.
    Now, as it still is absolutely stunning I would like to suggest another thing. It is best to "build up" leather with conditioner. Use whatever you like, shoe polish, waxes, oils or whatnot but, especially to old leather it is good to moisten the leather little by little. This will build up the natural structure of leather and it will "plump". That´s why one can have practically ancient pieces of leather that still look to be in excellent condition. When you moistened leather with something damp, that brought the oils from inside the leather closer to surface, that is why the scratch became less visible. Should you continue conditioning leather, the old scar will become even less apparent.

    1. Haha, love the bit about 'planner-husband'!
      Thanks for your advice. I haven't conditioned or cleaned it yet, but it's definitely quality leather that will appreciate the TLC that I plan to give it.

  3. Shuuuur, Josh is my planner- husband!Let´s just not tell him that because that would be weird... but in all seriousness, the man speaks with my mouth when it comes to planners. I am sure he is the reasonable voice of many of us plannertastic peeps. So often I have watched his videos, filled with yes´s because he speaks the words that the mere mortals of us think within ourselves.

    This polishins was actually a habit of the "olden days". Gentlemen would have their Jeeves´s polish their shoes until they were "saturated". A rhino´s horn or a piece of ivory would also have been used in polishing. The Jeeves would have been given orders to polish the shoes until unnatural shine came upon them when polishing. It takes some time (can be months even) to saturate the leather to the point that you can muster up unnatural shine. BUT leather needn´t be polished, unless that is what one wants. It can just be saturated enough so that scratches camouflage themselves within the plumpness of leather. (I actually have a pair of shoes that are over 25 years old. They look like they are about a week old. With unnatural shine. They have been polished to the point of "mirror glaze". I cave carpal issues to prove it with...)

    1. Typo on the *polishing*.
      Also, I forgot to mention that new leather items (not only shoes) would have been polished on daily basis, when building up the saturation. When that was reached, they would have been polished after every use.

  4. Usually, not big on croc leathers, somehow thinking about crocodiles bugs me. However, this binder looks really great, Anita.

    Enjoy it!



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