Wee Wharton Book Charms

We sat down with Retail Manager Patricia Pin for an exclusive Q&A about the newest product at The Mount’s gift shop, Pins and Pegs!

Patricia, I know you have been getting ready for the holiday gift season. Tell us about the gift shop’s newest products!

Patricia Pin: I am very excited about our latest offering, a series of miniature books made by an American artist. They’ll feature mostly first edition dust jackets of Edith Wharton’s works, nonfiction to fiction to novellas to short story collections. We have two sizes available: the large, which is 1.25 inches, and small, which is 7/8 of an inch. The smaller size is great for jewelry, if you don’t mind wearing miniature books on your ears and around your neck and around your wrists! I have to say I’m having a lot of fun wearing a sample pair of earrings with a 1930’s cover of Ethan Frome, complete with wee baroque pearls. We have made limited edition Christmas tree ornaments out of the larger books, looped with hemp and either copper, gold, or silver metallic wire. It comes with a little clothespin to attach to your tree in honor of our Pins and Pegs store.

How did you come up with the idea?

PP: A guest came in the fall with a handmade leather bound journal on a chain around her neck, maybe 1 ½ to 2 inches high. It was spectacular, made from a recycled Louis Vuitton bag. I was mesmerized by this idea of wearing a book around your neck. So I went immediately to Etsy, which has all handcrafted things by artisans and artists, and in the process of looking I came across the miniature artist, David Curd.   What caught my eye is that he had mostly nineteenth century dust jackets of some of my favorite authors. I ordered my own miniature copy of Pride and Prejudice to see the quality; they’re actually made out of wood. So, I sent him a dust jacket scan from our collection, and he reproduced it faithfully on this teeny tiny little book, so much so that you can read the writing; you can actually see Edith Wharton’s photograph on the back of this Ethan Frome, for example. Since he did not have any Wharton titles on his site, he has agreed to do these exclusively for us. You can only get your miniature Edith Wharton library from our Pins and Pegs store.

What do you think will make this product so unique to people coming to shop at Pins and Pegs?

PP: Edith Wharton published over forty volumes of work and we have many of the first edition dust jackets here, some of which are rare and very, very hard to find. These are archived and not accessible to the public. What fun to have a pristine dust jacket on a tiny book representative of Edith Wharton’s library that we have here. A teeny wearable piece of history!

What else can visitors expect from The Mount’s shop in the New Year?

PP: I’ve noticed that our biggest sales, notwithstanding the Edith Wharton titles, have been products that are specific to The Mount. We want to give people what they’re looking for, mementos they may take with them to remind them of Wharton’s spectacular place. I’d like to build upon the relationships we have with local artisans and promote their work, and at the same time, continue to promote Edith Wharton’s legacy, as well as build a memorable Mount brand.

Click here to browse the Pins and Pegs online store, but hurry! The Christmas ornaments are limited edition for the 2014 season.