Rare and Collectible Books


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Krassota - Ernst HaecklNot long ago, we featured my 30 favorite pieces of contemporary fiction - based entirely on the cover art, instead of the content. The feature did well, and encouraged us to look at beautiful books from a different angle - how had book design and jacket design changed, and what did beautiful books look like a century ago? We again selected 30 books, this time from approximately 100 years ago, which best enticed the eye. Decorated cloth over boards, gilt, embossing and debossing, watermark illustrations behind text on pages and more - these were the kind of books you pray to find at a yard sale and display proudly on your shelf, cover facing out.

It became one of our most popular features. Of the 30 books selected, all sold in the first 48 hours. We replaced them when the same cover/edition was available (though many were the only copy), and replenished the page. Still people wrote to us asking questions, commenting on how lovely the books were, and ordering.

Since so many AbeBooks customers loved the feature and asked for more, and we love any excuse to root through the stacks (okay, listings) in search of beautiful treasures, we've found 30 more. As before, some are the only copy available, and they range in price, but many are very affordable, and all are works of art. Enjoy!


Please note: prices are approximate to within a small margin, as currencies fluctuate. Copies on display may sell quickly.

The Story of Man: A History of the Human Race by J.W. Buel
The Story of Man: A History of the Human Race
J.W. Buel
1889

$1800.00

Only copy available
Maurine by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Maurine
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
1901



$32.72

1901 copies
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Tibet & Nepal by A.H. Savage Landor
Tibet & Nepal
Arnold Henry Savage Landor
1905


$206.00

1905 copies
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Les Exiles de la Terre by Andre Laurie
Les Exiles de la Terre
Andre Laurie
1887


$850.00

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The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck
The Life of the Bee
Maurice Maeterlinck
1911



$271.20

1911 copies
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They by Rudyard Kipling
They
Rudyard Kipling
1906


$35.00

1906 copies
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Happy England by Marcus B. Huish
Happy England
Marcus B. Huish
1904


$257.78

1904 copies
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Souvenir of the Isle of Wight - T. Nelson & Sons
Souvenir of the Isle of Wight
T. Nelson & Sons
1897

$206.00

Only copy available
Spanish legendary Tales by Mrs. SGC Middlemore
Spanish Legendary Tales
SGC Middlemore
1885


$241.80

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The Golden Dwarf by R. Norman Silver
The Golden Dwarf
R. Norman Silver
1902



$301.64

Only copy available
The Rose Door by Estelle Baker
The Rose Door
Estelle Baker
1911



$250.00

1911 copies
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In case you missed them the first time around:

30 Novels Worth Buying For the Cover Alone
30 Old Books Worth Buying For the Cover Alone