Rare and Collectible Books

Check out more AbeBooks Interviews

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


Only copy available
Maurine by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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


1905 copies
Find all copies
Les Exiles de la Terre by Andre Laurie
Les Exiles de la Terre
Andre Laurie


Find all copies

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


1911 copies
Find all copies
They by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling


1906 copies
Find all copies
Happy England by Marcus B. Huish
Happy England
Marcus B. Huish


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


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


Find all copies

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


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


1911 copies
Find all copies

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