Erica Burke from Burke & Hare Co. came in recently to do research for her upcoming limited edition pillar candles. We pulled a wide variety of illustrated items for her to take a look at because you never know what somebody will be inspired by! Items included Rhode Island business advertisements, a 19th century periodical called “The Workshop” that includes ornamental design patterns, examples of woodcuts, 18th century architectural manuals, and magic trick catalogues from the Percival Collection.

We’re not sure what images she’ll end up choosing, but she was especially excited about the Barrois Collection of funeral invitations. This collection is part of our Updike Collection on the History of Printing in Special Collections. Barrois was a bookseller in Paris in the 18th century. Each invitation includes an illustrated woodcut with the letter “”V” beginning the opening word “Vous”. Each includes detailed mourning symbolism. This invitation shown is for the funeral of Claude Jombert who died in May 1735. Want to know more about these funeral invitations? Order a copy of “Emblems of Death”, our summer 2011 volume of Occasional Nuggets.