Smythson, luxury stationery and accessories retailer, will mark 130 years of operation this May with a special exhibition showcasing the brand’s history through the years.
Items on display at the exhibition will be gleaned from the archives, which are stored in the basement of the Bond Street store and periodically displayed in store, or on request for clients of Smythson’s bespoke service.
Pieces featured in the exhibition will include Katharine Hepburn’s bespoke address book, Personalised stationery made for Diana, Princess of Wales, dance cards produced for Government House in India, and several personal diaries donated by customers and acquired from eBay and private auctions.
The Smythson archives are also provide inspiration for the brand’s modern-day designers, who frequently create new products based on original classics. For example the currently available Greenwich travel collection uses the same lining as the Bond Street bag, launched in the early 1900s.
The collection also tracks the evolution of modern transport through the years. Examples of stationery from the early 20th century features steam trains, the first motor cars, and Zeppelins. Motoring accessories and travel goods such as portable writing bureau and “bon voyage” cards also give an insight into the trends of the time.
The exhibition will be held from 4-7 May at the flagship Smythson store located at 40 New Bond Street, London.