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Aw, yiss…

Well. I knew Reeves was a British art material company, but I had no idea it was so old until this 18th Century watercolor box turned up on eBay. Do check out the pictures — it’s very nearly complete. It’s got untouched cake watercolors with a pattern stamped in them, it’s got all but one of the porcelain mixing dishes, and most of the printed ephemera. The neato engraving above is inside the lid (splattered with paint).

It’s also £500, but I don’t actually want it. This kind of thing belongs in a museum, not a working studio. I wasn’t looking for a paint box, I was looking for a writing slope that I can use for a paint box — hopefully, one that comes pre-battered. As you might imagine, very cool antiques turn up here on the regular and it’s nothing special.

Stupid, the Reeves website doesn’t say anything at all about the company history, that I could find (though it does have a cool front page animation). I had to go to some other art supply site to find “REEVES WAS FOUNDED IN 1766 AT A TIME WHEN ART WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH TRADITION AND WERE A BRAND THAT CHAMPIONED CREATIVITY. WILLIAM REEVES’ OPENED HIS FIRST SHOP CLOSE TO ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL IN LONDON, AND THE COMPANY REMAINS AS PASSIONATE ABOUT ART MATERIALS TODAY AS IT WAS WHEN IT WAS FIRST ESTABLISHED OVER 200 YEARS AGO.”

The site goes on to say the original Reeves made his fortune when he invented the moist watercolor. I don’t know what that means. Tubes?


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 11, 2018, 9:27 pm

Somebody shd reproduce the illustration, suitable for framing. It reminds me of Jewel In The Crown.

Googled No. 80 Holborn Bridge, London, but didnt find much. It did look cool during the day but now — no:

Comment from thefritz
Time: April 11, 2018, 9:38 pm


“After setting up shop in 1766 William Reeves (UK) began selling the first water soluble dry cake watercolors. By 1780 a bit of honey was added to the formulation to make the paint pliable for manufacture in various ways. Honey is a natural humectant, attracting and retaining moisture.

The first hard—but brush-soluble—cakes were fancily embossed with crests and heraldic figures (see photo). Mr. Reeves’ was even given an award “for the manufacture of Watercolour improved,” in 1781 for his moist pan watercolours.”

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: April 12, 2018, 4:07 am

so not like attracting and retaining water.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 13, 2018, 9:18 pm

Auction over no bids. Guess seller overpriced it.

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