Saturday, July 14, 2012

Going Antiquing at the Booksale

Here in New England, May through October is the traditional season for library booksales.  Many of our regional libraries hold massive sales with hundreds of thousands of volumes, featuring books old and new, on every subject under the sun.  Quite often, they also feature special rare and antique book rooms with treasures that have been priced by local antiquarian book dealers.  Today, we made a bunch of pretty nifty discoveries and came home many pounds heavier for all the books in Ashley's trunk!

By far my most favorite find was an 1853 bound volume of Godey's Lady's Book, which includes all of the original color plates.  If there's sufficient interest, let me know and I can try to start scanning or photographing the issues (or at the very least the plates) and posting them here on the blog. Here's a quick sample:

Godey's 1853

Godey's 1853

Godey's 1853

Godey's 1853

Another pretty exciting discovery were two early Harper and Brothers printings of Charlotte Bronte's The Professor and VilletteThe Professor is dated 1864 on the title page; Villette is undated, but I'm assuming it must be from about the same time because of the consistent type, layout, and binding.  As you can see, "Currer Bell" is still listed as the author on the title pages of both.

1864 Harper editions of Villette and The Professor

My other thrill was finding two 1953 London newspapers - one The Sunday Times and one the Daily News - covering the coronation of Elizabeth II.  The Daily News paper is a special commemorative issue with loads of neat pictures.

1953 London papers from the Coronation of Elizabeth II

Ashley's highlight of the day was bringing home a 1900 edition of The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, which collects quotations from Thomas Jefferson on over 9000 topics and arranges them alphabetically to form a catalogue of the president's thoughts.

Jeffersonian Cyclopedia

All in all, a pretty successful booksale day!


lahbluebonnet said...

Oh wow!!!! I went to one of those books sales a few weeks ago and the oldest I could find was a 1949 copy of Colonial Williamsburg: Its Buildings and Gardens complete with photos of buildings, grounds and inventories,diagrams of floor plans and garden plots, detailed text, etc.

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Gorgeous! Congrats on these amazing finds (especially the Bronte books!)...hunting for books is pretty as much fun as sewing ;)


vintagevisions27 said...

Great finds! Yes, please scan and share!

Rebecca said...

Laurie, isn't finding old CW books fun? Ashley's been amassing a collection for a couple of years and it's fascinating to see how it has evolved and changed over the years. The old costumes are pretty amusing, too...:-)

Sabine I couldn't agree more - maybe the ONLY thing more exciting to me than fabric hunting is book hunting!

Emily, I'll try to start scanning the color plates and fashion articles as soon as work starts to slow down a bit. There are some really pretty ones and the colors are remarkably bright for their age.