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20th Century Hand-Illuminated Book

Today’s gorgeous and unusual find is this hand-illuminated book. Not much appears to be known about it, but it’s just stunning (An illuminated manuscript is any manuscript whose text is accompanied by decoration. It originally referred only to silver or gilt adornments, but came to be acceptable terminology for any manuscript with drawings, paintings or […]

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A Late 19th-Century Tulip Catalog

A great part about working in the AbeBooks marketing department is the high number of unique, strange, wonderful books and ephemera I get to see and learn about, that I would almost certainly not come across if I didn’t work here. Today’s find is a late 19th-century tulip catalog. It’s very simple, sure, but totally […]

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Louis Wain and His Cats

Louis Wain was a British artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, best known for his whimsical and chaotic drawings of cats. If you’ve come across any of Wain’s art, you know it’s memorable. The cats and kittens are depicted with large, wide eyes, often with crazy, spiky fur, and with psychedelic patterns […]

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Happy Birthday to Jules Verne, Father of Steampunk

Happy birthday to Jules Verne, born 185 years ago today, on February 8th, 1828. Verne was a French science fiction author, most famous for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. His imagination ran just as deep, and throughout his career he contributed immeasurably to the genre of science fiction. He is often called the father […]

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Pride and Prejudice Turns 200

Two hundred years ago today, on January 28th, 1813, Pride and Prejudice was published. The author, Jane Austen, was 38 when it was published, and 41 when she died, but had written the bulk of it in her early twenties. It was her second published work (first was Sense and Sensibility). Two centuries later, Pride […]

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Free Book Appraisal Day at Second Story Books in Maryland

Second Story Books in Rockville, Maryland is offering an excellent gift to those who wish it – Saturday, January 26th is Free Appraisal Day. From 11:00 am until 4:00 pm, senior member of the American Society of Appraisers Allan Stypeck (who also bought Second Story Books in 1973) will offer free appraisals. Eligible items include […]

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The Antikamnia Chemical Company’s Skeleton Calendars

These are fantastic and I would like to own one. The images come from Antikamnia Skeleton Calendars, put out by the Antikamnia Chemical Company, St. Louis, MO. Antikamnia’s analgesic compound, which was never patented, was marketed as a ‘proudly ethical drug’ and used to treat headaches, fever, stomach aches, nervousness, insomnia and ‘the blues’. It […]

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Top 10 AbeBooks sales from November 2012

Our most  expensive sales during November 2012 featured a book of paintings by Belgian artist  and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté, who was so famous for his watercolors of  roses, lilies and other flowers that he was dubbed the “The Raphael of  Flowers.”  A copy of his most famous publication Les Roses sold  for $28,000. The British  […]

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Explore Neusser Antiquariat Bookstore in Neuss, Germany

Christi, a member of our North American team recently travelled to our German office and visited this wonderful bookshop in Nuess, near Dusseldorf. The bookshop is called Neusser Antiquariat. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, and spcialize in rare and collectible volumes, especially illustrated and art books. As well as capturing some lovely […]

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Kelliegram Bindings

A treat for the fine booklover, or anyone who enjoys the excellent artistry of bookbinding: The Kelliegram Binding. Kelliegram bindings often involved intricate leather work, such as leather inlays or onlays to create an image, a scene, or a mosaic effect. It was common for the Kelliegram binders to choose an engraving from the body […]

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