Sweet summer days, as fleeting as they can be in the Pacific Northwest, often fuel our desires to get out of town, near or far.  Consequently, we’re currently taking a lot of inspiration from a fantastic book at the shop: Early Travel Photography.

Compiled from the photographs of Burton Holmes (1870–1958), a man who spent his life traveling the world during an era when world travel was neither as efficient nor as common as nowadays, Early Travel Photography presents what would have been a first look for many Westerners and US natives at the world beyond their homeland.

Holmes took lengthy tours of regions of the world and, upon his return, toured the states giving lectures and presentations on his “Travelogues” (a term he coined.)  Thanks to his hand-tinted photographs and the early films taken by his crew, Holme’s “Travelogues” were a smash success, and allowed Holmes & co. to repeat the process of far-off exploration and homeland exposition over and over again.

Holmes home in Chicago became filled with souvenirs from his voyages, he received a star on the Hollywood Boulevard, made several travel films for Paramount Pictures and wrote several books.  Despite achieving quite a level of fame and success for his day and age, Holmes had this to say about life experience:

“The only things I own which are still worth what they have cost me are my travel memories… the mind-pictures of places which I have been hoarding like a happy miser.” – Burton Holmes





A well-traveled life, indeed.  A few of our shop girls are travelers in their own right, too.  We’ll be expanding on this theme here on our blog to present them an opportunity to share memories of their journeys in the coming months.  Stay tuned!

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What a joy it is to announce that spring has at last arrived in Portland, hallmarked by several days of 70°+ weather, sunshine and blue skies.  It’s also showing up all around Eden with all sorts of beautiful, brightly colored arrivals: vintage furnishings, gowns, lingerie and ephemera; cosmetics and fragrances, jewelry and more!

Above photos from our Instagram feed.  You can follow us at @edenpdx, and follow our sister shop Flutter at @flutterclutter!  If you don’t have Instagram, you can still check these photos out in our Facebook album or Pinterest board.

Scotch Naturals nail polish in “Leprechan Lynch,” “Queen of Scotts,” and “Seething Jealousy.”

Tocca Fragrances in “Stella,” “Florence,” and “Cleopatra.”

MOR Basil and Grape hand creme, Annick Goutal Petite Cherie perfume, Voluspa Soleil candle, Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger perfume, Brehan Todd earrings.

V&A Pattern Books: Garden Florals, Spitalfield Silks and Walter Crane (background images in above collages are from the excellent dvds from these three books, which feature all of the artwork included in digital versions as well!)

We’re so enjoying the beauty of the season and these wonderful items reminiscent of spring – come visit Eden soon to see what’s new!

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Many of our new (and vintage) spring arrivals are reminding us of Imperial- and Soviet-era Russia!

We thought it might be interesting to share some of this inspiration in a blog post, along some of the items at Eden with a decidedly Russian style.

Images of early 20th Century Russia from Early Travel Photography (elderly Leo Tolstoy at lower right!)

Soviet-era illustrations by Alexander Rodchenko from Rodchenko: Design.

Fur hat images: 12 • 3 – Vintage Russian fox fur hat, available at Eden4

1 • 2 & 4 – Soviet-era Russian medals and pins available at Eden3

Zhostovo-style painting is a huge component of Russian folk art.  This distinct style is recognized in a collection of barrettes we’ve got at the shop right now, too!

12 • 3 – Russian Zhostovo style barrettes, available at Eden4

Much Imperial and antique Russian jewelry bears strong resemblance to that of neighboring Asian and Middle Eastern regions.  Some of our Turkish jewelry certainly fits into this category – we think these pieces (on right, for sale at Eden) look a lot like the antique Russian versions (at left.)

1 • 2 & 3 – available at Eden4

We hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into our latest inspiration!  If you are interested in purchasing any of our inventory shown above, please call (503) 222-2285 during business hours (10-6 M-Sat, and 10-5 Sundays PST) or email info@edenportland.com

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For a little pre-Valentine’s Day shopping inspiration, owner Cindy and a few of our staff each compiled selections of Eden merchandise that we imagine would make dazzling, singular gifts to a beloved.  Two Eden jewelry designers, Jess of Jesseca Anne Jewelry and Brehan Todd of Brehan Todd Designs threw in their picks.  Next, we requested a little more input from multi-talented blogger, stylist and yogi Allison Jones of Allison Jones Design, who obliged us and rounded out the list to an even six.  Here they are:

-Cindy-

 

Eden’s owner Cindy chose this vintage toy soldier marionette ($150,) who could be gifted as a lovely symbolic gesture for hard-earned love and affection.  Jesseca Anne’s bangle bracelets ($45) feature delicate chain tassels which provide a feminine touch to a classic and versatile style.  Maison Bouche is an Oakland based chocolatier and these cat’s tongue chocolates ($14.50) are a sweet and sentimental gift for the cat lady (or cat man) in your life.  Brehan Todd’s Volcano cuff ($112) represents a bold new direction for the Portland designer, who used glass, crystal, coral and bullet-shells on a vintage metal bracelet in this piece.

-Julie-

 

Julie always curates beautiful vintage and vintage-inspired outfits, so it’s no surprise that her Valentine’s selections are also heavy on the vintage side!  Jan Michaels lariat necklace ($85) features a beautiful brass rope chain, smooth tumbled onyx beads and little chain tassels – Michaels draws inspiration for her jewelry from Art Deco and Art Nouveau designs.  Tocca’s Cleopatra perfume ($68 for 50ml) is a full, deep fragrance with notes of grapefruit, greens, cassis, white jasmine, peach nectar, tuberose, patchouli, amber and musk.  A beautiful silk robe from the 1920s ($275) displays a floral arrangement embroidered at front and back panel, with long tassels which swing as you walk.  A colorful vintage tray ($68) shows an elegant lady out on her veranda on a bright day and could serve a number of purposes around the house (vanity table, serving cocktails, etc.)

-Molly-

Butterflies, slightly out of season in February, seem all the more poignant and interesting for Valentine’s Day.  I also love the idea of a Valentine (such as this framed pair, $165) that could double as art to hang on a wall.  This vintage glass vanity set ($85) is so darling with it’s tiny pink flowers and heavy glass stoppers (bonus points if it’s gifted full of a favorite candy!)  The butterfly trend isn’t over yet – check out these wonderful, heavy metal bookends ($85.)  Colored glasses make beautiful gifts, and the lily of the valley print screened on these ($8 each) makes a sweet present (these flowers symbolize sweetness and the return of happiness.)

-Jess-

 

This brass mirror ($95) would add charm and elegance to a dresser or vanity-top.  A vintage Indian quilt ($165) is a thoughtful gift in which to curl up with your sweetie, and the romantic color palette of this quilt, in shades of charcoal and coral, make it a Valentine in itself.  Serge Lutens Ambre sultan ($120 for 50ml) perfume is an irresistible, woodsy, spicy amber scent.  Voluspa’s Mandarino Cannela candle ($16.50) provides a spicy, citrusy fragrance  that when lit, transforms a space to be instantly cozy and inviting.

 -Brehan-

For the Valentine who loves editorial artwork and the printed word, La Vie Pariesienne ($39.95) provides a memorable glimpse at life in Paris during the early 20th century.  This vintage lamp ($78) featuring an Art Nouveau lady against a little moon is small enough to fit into most any decor scheme and would make an original and unforgettable present.  La Maison de la Vanille’s Absolu de Vanille ($100 for 100ml) is an incredible scent that blends woodsy and spicy notes against a vanilla palette.  Maison Bouche chocolates (featured above in Cindy’s picks) also makes chocolate bars ($6.50,) including a limited collection for Valentine’s Day.  With a number of incredible flavors (ranging from Creme Brulee to Violette to Rose with Mint) and sweet illustrated wrapping paper.

-Allison-

 

Allison Jones impeccable personal style is showcased in these selections.  Mon Bijou’s Cort bracelet ($98) is sleek and modern, so you might not imagine that this design is actually based on an antique Turkish one!  If you’re planning a Valentine’s excursion, this snakeskin print train case ($68) would be much appreciated (and useful.)  Maripol: Little Red Riding Hood ($60) is a wonderful resource for style and fashion-history buffs.  Voluspa’s Warm Perique Tabac candle ($28) has garnered a lot of nostalgic reactions from people reminded by the scent of growing up in the south, or those who say the scent (with notes of leather, wood and tabac) is strongly reminiscent of a man in their lives.

Allison Jones keeps a terrific blog, which you can see here – it’s a great resource for dressing, decor and color design.  Jewelry designers Jess and Brehan also keep blogs that track their inspirations, see Jess’s here and Brehan’s here.

Interested in something you see but no link to buy? Call the shop at (503) 222-2285 or email info[at!] edenportland.com with inquiries.

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The distinct style of color plate botanical and ornithological illustrations harkens back to the mid-1800′s – an era marked by strong interest in naturalism and the grassroots of conservancy.  Much literary and artistic expression from this time leaned heavily towards Transcendentalism, a movement which sought simplicity, emphasized the importance of self-reliance and finding holiness in nature.  Not surprisingly, much of the illustration from this period features intricate, vivid portraits of plants and animals documented for scientific purposes and the curiosity of many who were themselves unable to visit the habitats of these species.
The Vilmorin-Andrieux Company of late 18th and early 19th century France began as a collaboration between Philippe Victoire de Vilmorin – a grain and plant merchant – and his father-in-law, Pierre Andrieux, Botanist to the King.
In their commercial catalogs, the Vilmorin company went above and beyond catalog artwork typical of the time.  They followed this success (and built on their growing reputation) with a series of journal publications featuring botanical and horticultural information and illustrations.
At its peak, the Vilmorin company produced Album Vilmorin Les Plantes potageres (The Vegetable Garden) which required the assistance of 15 commissioned artists, including the well-known Elisa Champin.
Interestingly, many of the illustrations within exemplify “old breeds” of fruits and vegetables no longer grown today.

Edward Lear penned a collection of Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae (original title) or Parrots, one of the finest groups of natural drawings from the era.  Parrots was penned entirely using live specimens (a rarity in the early days of ornithological illustration, when exotic birds, particularly live ones, were incredibly rare and highly prized.)

Hand-colored lithography had recently been developed and this medium served Lear to an advantage, adding a vivacity to his expressive, life-like parrot illustrations.  Lear went on to work as drawing professor to the young Queen Victoria, but despite his artistic achievements, history remembers him better as an author of nonsense verse, an accomplishment made later in life.

(Even in his verse, however, Lear still found himself frequently preoccupied with birds.  An example: “There was a Young Lady whose bonnet, / Came untied when the birds sate upon it;  / But she said, ‘I don’t care! / All the birds in the air / Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!’”)

During the middle and late 19th Century, John Gould was one of Britain’s best known ornithological illustrators.

Through a career which spanned five decades, Gould produced many important collections of illustrations depicting species of birds from every corner of the globe.

The most spectacular of these is Gould’s Family of Toucans.


After viewing the toucan collection of an ornithologist friend, Gould became fascinated by the birds and embarked on a two year long study, the result of which is Monograph of the Ramphastidae or Family of Toucans, a collection of 51 hand-colored lithographs, reproduced for a modern audience.

Eden and sister shop Flutter are happy to offer an array of prints from reproductions of these three Victorian-era collections: Album Vilmorin The Vegetable Garden, Edward Lear The Parrots, and John Gould The Family of Toucans.  Each ready-to-frame print is available individually in stores for $12, or as part of a complete set for $110.

These make excellent gifts (a perfect companion would be our Birds Book and America’s Other Audubon) and brighten any space in which they are displayed.  Perfect for an aficionado of antiquities, a collector of curiosities or anyone seeking to enhance their decor.

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