Forgotten histories & decorative designs

Yesterday I purchased a selection of (okay far too many) books with the intention of turning some into clocks.  I’d used the Folio Society Shakespeare before to make a clock like this..

Measure For Measure Book Clock

..so it seemed a good idea to bid on a large lot of books to make some more.  I’ve spent the day sorting out what I can create things from. Most of the books are on the way to the charity shop or will be on the bookshelves at Hopkinson (prices from 50p) soon so I can get back some of my shockingly overpriced investment (since I got bid up).  Back to those folio Shakespeare’s…

Folio Shakespeare

There are 37 Shakespeare books which I suspect is complete and I’m one of the few people who enjoyed Shakespeare at school (Macbeth hooked me) so they keep asking me if they can stay on my shelves.  My sensible business head points out the fact I need to make clocks.  My literature/theatre loving head says give them a home and preserve them!  They do have very pretty covers before you even look at the wondrous variety of illustrators in the different volumes (including Dali).

Shakespeare Folio Society detail

Some of the books were crumbling as often seems to happen with the leather spines.  As one opened when I lifted it what at first appeared to be a piece of silver paper slipped in between pages came into view.

Waverly novels photo silvered

The print from the book pages was transferred to parts of the paper and when tipped a certain way in the light I was sure I could make out the profile of a face (looking towards my fingers in this shot).  In the next volume I found what appears to be the same photographic image which had not deteriorated and a number of other photos, many also fading in intriguing ways.

Inside Waverly novels, flower photo Pressed leaves inside Waverly Novels Portrait photo inside Waverly novels Inside Waverly novels torn photos Inside Waverly novels face overlaid with print

Also in the box were some beautifully decorated covers, sadly detaching themselves from the books.

Everyman cover design Green leather, gilt decoration Decorated cover design Swirled leather Leather relief patterned book cover

Also in there was a bible published in 1806.  Amazing to think this was created over two centuries ago.  I wonder whose family it is from?  I know my mum talks of our family bible left when her grandmother died and my grandparents had had to travel several counties to clear the house by bus so could carry very few possessions away with them only practical things the family needed.  I wonder if that still survives somewhere today.

Bible marbled endpaper Family names in bible Family register in Bible 1806 Bible Bible illustration

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Beautiful Books

So many lovely dustjackets on these books.

Blogging has been rather scarce due to day job commitments and being busy out at craft fairs and making items on any spare days.  This morning I was happy to get down to the local car boot sale to try and find some penguin books having sold my remaining stall stock of keyrings and magnets.

So many fabulous books.  I know my own shelves will be groaning as I found so many volumes to treasure myself alongside those I will use to make items for The Forgotten Library.  Here are a few snapshots of some of the wonderful editions I came home with.

These are bound for my own book shelves. So happy to find another Bronte novel in this series (so far I only had Wuthering Heights in this edition) and the Classic Myth and Legend book to go with the Celtic volume I bought in a book shop on holiday in September. As an Arthurian legend lover that Tennyson book has been a joy to read this afternoon.
Lots of beautifully designed book covers marking these volumes ready to become book clocks.
I love looking at peoples collections of cuttings to see what they chose to keep and what was important to them. I haven’t had time to look through all of these yet but an article from Kelmscott, somewhere I was lucky to visit this year, caught my eye and I love the fashion styles which look to be around the 40s.
Fabulous Frank Lloyd Wright book and a 1930s book on design. More fantastic finds I shall be adding to my own book shelves to enjoy on one of those dreamed of days off.
After finding some calligraphy pens in the summer I was overjoyed to find all these books and can’t wait to find some time in the new year to have a go at the art of penmanship.
Many books often have a bookmark or marker as a sign of where the reader left them. I know my own shelves have many unfinished volumes.
This may look very weary and the cover is coming loose but I was so excited to find this 1860 edition.
I love the way the bookseller labels are inside these Victorian volumes and the owners always wrote their names inside in such beautiful script.