Cavallini and Company is a stationery and gifts company that uses vintage imagery from the 19th and 20th centuries in its products, including botanical drawings, travel posters—and maps. There are map calendars, file folders, pencil cases, notebooks, magnets and wrapping papers, among many other items. You’ll often find them in stationery and map stores.
This month I decided to participate (at least a little) in A Month of Letters, and for that I needed to restock my stationery supply. Since I’m known to have a thing about maps, I figured I’d try out two of Cavallini’s products: their vintage map postcards and their vintage map stickers. Both come in metal tins that feel retro in and of themselves.
The postcards come eighteen to a tin, two each of nine designs. Four are maps of the world (two Mercators, a Van der Grinten and a Herschel—which seems to be a variant of the Lambert conformal conic). The remaining maps are of Italy, Great Britain and Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal, and Europe. Most of the maps date from the interwar period (i.e., between the First and Second World Wars), though one of the world maps is pre-World War I and the map of Italy uses post-World War II boundaries.
The postcards are printed on heavy card stock, which seems durable enough, but a couple of them had some slight foxing around the edges. The finish is non-glossy, which means ink will at least stick to the card: I had very little smudging when I wrote on them with a fountain pen this afternoon.
The stickers are of similar design and origin. They’re self-adhesive. One tin contains twenty-four sheets, three of each kind, with anywhere from two to twenty stickers per sheet. City and country insets are a recurring theme, as though each sticker is meant to highlight a specific location. Which suggests their intended use.
Both products have a thoroughly retro affect, but then again so does sending correspondence by post. It’s a good fit.