The Beauty of Old Book Covers

Once there were books with bindings which could be considered works of art.  In the days before dust jackets became a marketing scheme, and before paperback books were printed in lurid covers, or mysteries in black (with dripping red blood), or thrillers in metallic silver covers as if we are crows or raccoons attracted by shiny objects, there were books with covers that could be considered works of art.  Victorian? Art Nouveau? Art Deco?  Some people like to collect these.


A Mother’s Song by Mary D. Brine, illustrated throughout by Miss C. A. Northam, 1886, as is $40

Lucile and Her Friends: A Story for Girls by Hattie Tyng Griswold, illustrated throughout by True Williams, 1890, $20

The Silver Buckle: A Tale of the Revolution by M. Nataline Crumpton, illustrated throughout by Cornelia E. Bedford, 1899, $15

Burns’ Poems (Poetical Works of Robert Burns), no date, book failing – $5

Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian Maclaren, no date, inscription 1900, $15

The Crown of Wild Olive: Three Lectures on Work, Traffic, and War by John Ruskin, 1885, $15

Hawthorne’s Mosses from an Old Manse, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1882, $5

Longfellow’s Poems, by Henry W. Longfellow, no date, owner’s inscription: “This little book went to school with me in Texas, old Mexico, New York, then it made a little trip through France, Italy and Spain.  Now where will it go with you.”

Lucile, by Owen Meredith, a few illustrations, no date, needs rebinding, $4

Silver Pitchers: And Independence, by Louisa May Alcott, 1885, $50, rare Alcott

Main Traveled Roads by Hamlin Garland with an introduction by W. D. Howells and decorations by H. T. Carpenter, “being six stories of the Mississippi Valley,”  1894, only 3 copies online, $75

The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott, no date, inscription dated 1902, $15

Shirley: A Tale, by Currer Bell (Charlotte Bronte), no date, $10






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s