The theme for Sepia Saturday this week is photos found in old books. Well, I can't quite match that theme but I do have an object found in an old book.
My father-in-law has a book with the front and back covers made of wood with the title Jerusalem inscribed on the front. The frontis page provides the details - it is a book of flowers of the Holy Land - and there is a handwritten note that the covers are made of olive wood.
The surprising thing is that the flowers are real. They are pressed plants that still, 100 years later, retain their colour. There are about fourteen pages in all.
|Flowers from Bethlehem
|Flowers from Mount Zion
There are two cards inside the book. The first one tells us the provenance of the book. It was brought from Jerusalem by William Pook and presented to Mr John Gordon M.L.A. (Member of the Legislative Assembly) in August 1914. John Gordon (1858-1937) was a storekeeper and grazier at Nagambie and Euroa in north-eastern Victoria. He was a local councillor for twenty years (1896-1926) also a member of Victoria's Legislative Assembly from 1911-1927, including a term as Minister of Agriculture and Water Supply.
John Gordon was a brother of my husband's direct ancestor, Christina Gordon, who married Daniel McKernan. In 1941 another note was added to the card. It's signed 'CG'. This is Catherine (Kate) Gordon. She was a sister of Christina and John. She never married, and lived with her brother John who also never married. She supported him in his very busy public life. A year before she died Kate gave the flower book to her sister Christina's son-in-law, William Phelan, with the added stipulation that it be then given to William's daughter, Ina Phelan and then her brother Gibson Phelan.
I'm not sure that Ina and Gibson ever received the book because it is now in the care of Neil who is the son of William Phelan's other son, Roy. Ina never married and Gibson married but never had children.
|Card inside the book of pressed flowers.
|Invitation card, found inside the book of pressed flowers.
On Trove I searched the newspaper articles of the day and found quite a few. The Argus, Melbourne's main paper, wrote about the royal visit in great detail (the poor royals must have been exhausted but they still found the energy to dance at the ball that night) but the Sydney Morning Herald provided me with a summary that I could fit comfortably in this blog.
|Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Apr 1927