Saturday, January 11, 2014

Old Books, part 1

I've got enough cool old books that I thought I'd break them up into three show-and-tell posts, today and the next two Saturdays.

The area that's probably my favorite, and that I've set my mind to actually collecting, is Vintage Gardening, Landscape and Natural History books.

This first beauty, from 1909, was written by John McLaren.  If you're not familiar with McLaren, he was a Scottish horticulturalist who designed, developed, and for 53 years was superintendent of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  I bought this book in a local used book shop.

Being a California native, this book has special interest for me, besides which I lived in San Francisco for five years.
This book, The Book of Garden Magic, is from 1940.  I especially love the illustrations in this one.  I also bought this one in a local used book shop.










This one, All About House Plants, is from 1948.  A gift from blogging and mail art pal Pamela Gerard of Cappuccino and Art Journal, to help me get my collection started.


This Field Guide to Western Birds is a first edition from 1941.  Includes annotations by the original owner of birds he or she had seen.  Got this at a local thrift shop.


These two were found at a rummage sale, both had been library books at one of the elementary schools in Fortuna.

Exploring Tidal Life, was published in 1966 in Berkeley.  The pages are simple reductions of a typed manuscript with tiny hand drawings.

Plants and Their Children is from 1940, has beautiful color plates and a gorgeous title page.
This Field Guide to Western Wildflowers is from 1915.  Beautiful illustrations and color plates.  I found this at a rummage sale.

Next week I'll show you my small collection of old children's books.

10 comments:

Leslie said...

Don't you love old books? I like looking thru them and almost even more, I like the look of their worn spines in a bookcase. The color plate in the last one is gorgeous.

Jeannie said...

You have a beautiful collection. I have the bird book and the wildflower book. I love the illustrations in old books. The detail is fabulous. Looking forward to seeing more of your collection. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

Meg Fowler said...

Every time I read your blog I'm convinced we were separated at birth, although I'm years older than you. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I wish you lived closer! I've been collecting old books for at least 40 years. That's when my mother gave me one from 1922, "The Wild Heart." That's what she called me. I'm looking at a bookcase right now with 2 shelves of vintage bird books, one and 1/2 shelves of various old natural history books and 1 1/2 shelves of botany books. On my mantle is the complete set of "John Burroughs Nature Writings" and a complete "The Nature Library" by various authors. Treasures all!!! I guess you could call me a hoarder of books! You have some great finds here. I'm envious! I don't have any of these except the bird field guid. Can't wait to see what you show the next two Saturdays!

Irene said...

I appreciate the beauty of old books, but very often can't handle the dust and mildew that comes with them and can't enter a bookstore that deals in them. I have to say that I like the book from the 60's. The title is in the neatest font. xox

Diane Franklin said...

These are lovely books. Are you planning to cut them up and use them for collage? I just can't bring myself to do that to old books myself, yet some of the pages would be wonderful as part of a piece of art.

Susan Christensen said...

Beautiful collection, Connie - when i am in Seattle I will be on the lookout for additions to send you! -sus

Maggi said...

Beautiful selection Connie. The books in out charity shops tend to be newish hardbacks or paperbacks. I wonder if they bin the really old ones, thinking that no one will buy them.

Charlton Stitcher said...

I missed this post earlier, having been busy with grandchildren. What a delight it is to find these lovely books on my return.

jackie said...

What a lovely collection, beautiful covers and illustrations.I am following your line experiments with interest.

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Connie--I adore old books too. This is a beautiful collection. I like how the gardening books have green book cloth covers. And, aren't the drawings inside beautiful? You know I will be keeping an eye out for you (and for me too). I have quite a collection of old books too.......