Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Vintage Books Newly Catalogued

The suitcases are unpacked, the washing and ironing done and cataloguing has resumed! I’ve found lots of interesting and pretty vintage books over the last few weeks so it’s time for another quick preview. If you would like more information about any of the featured books, please email me by clicking on the link in the right-hand column.

As readers of this blog know I enjoy finding inscriptions in books, especially when they tell a story or lead to discoveries about people or places. 'The Water Babies' and 'On the Wings of the Wind' (pictured left) were given as prizes by the (then) Reverend John Hartford Jaques Rector of St. Nicholas Church and Sunday School. On the Wings of the Wind was presented to Sydney on February 11th, 1934 and The Water Babies to Doreen on February 24th, 1935. 

I was puzzled as to how two books given to different people ended up in the same auction lot, but then I realised Sydney and Doreen had the same surname. From that I assume they are brother and sister, and presumably the books remained within the family until the time of their parent's death. 

I’ve been unable to find out anything about the family but there is a wealth of information about Studland and its church. Studland is a village on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Although a coastal village, the houses are mostly sited a few hundred metres inland. At the start of the twentieth-century  Sir Frederick Treves described the village as "a medley of country lanes, lost among trees, with a few thatch-roofed cottages dotted about in a wild garden of brambles, ferns, and gorse." He noted that Studland had "no pretence to a quay", but rather "turns its face from the sea to bury it among its myrtles and fuchsia bushes." He lamented the arrival of tourists and the construction of villas in the village however, commenting that "The red-brick  epidemic ... has seized upon it mercilessly."  

St. Nicholas Church, Studland, Dorset. 

For anyone interested in churches St. Nicholas, is a grade one listed building with a wealth of history easily available online. Much is written about its stone carvings depicting images of carnal sin! The carvings are supposed to warn against lust, luxury and licentiousness, and it’s assumed they were put there to teach biblical concepts to the masses. If you are interested in finding out more pay a visit to The Sheela Na Gig Project




Now you understand why the listing of books takes me such a long time. I’m never content to ‘just' list, I want to know the people and places the books originate from. It must be something to do with my nosy nature! 

Alice B Woodward illustration from The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
On the wings of the wind and The Water Babies are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell published by A & C Black in 1933; the pretty dust jacket design is by J. H. Hartley. The vintage soldiers were found in a bargain box at the Hungerford Arcade. Not being able to resist a bargain (or a man in a kilt) I treated myself to two and a spare!

The Walt Disney Peter Pan & Wendy (now sold, thank you for your interest) published in 1953 by Brockhampton Press is beautifully illustrated in full colour. Pingwings a flying bird (now sold, thank you for your interest) written by Oliver Postage and illustrated by Babette Cole is a first edition published in 1978 and signed by the illustrator. Little Trulsa's Tea-Party 1st UK edition translated from the Swedish by Anna Berg. First published in Sweden as Lilla Trulsas kalas. Hardback book and dust jacket published in 1966. The Otterbury incident (now sold, thank you for your interest) written by C. Day Lewis with illustrations by Edward Ardizzone published by Puffin Books. Next in line are three Little Grey Rabbit books - Little Grey Rabbit's Washing Day, Little Grey Rabbit's Valentine and Little Grey Rabbit Makes Lace. I always buy these little books whenever I see them as they are incredibly popular and sell very quickly. 

Walt Disney's Peter Pan and Wendy is now sold, thank you for your interest.
Peter Pan the boy who never grew up

Never Never Land

Wendy and the lost boys

The hand-crafted dog in the following picture was a gift from a dear friend. Thank you Nicole, I love him! Nicole is an illustrator and author; see an earlier post about one of her books here  

From left to right; Tiny Tots Annual 1955 stories and pictures for little people, including Father Christmas lucky escape by Phyllis Pearce, Algernon the pink sugar pig by Christine Smith and ballet school babes in the wood by Joan Morris. Picture strips, including happy holiday games and the comical kittens drawn by L. Church. The Secret Seven Adventure by Enid Blyton 3rd impression, 1952 with nice dust jacket. Mice & Mendelson written by Joan Aiken with illustrations by Babette Cole. Far to the North of England lived an old Orkney pony whose name was Mr. Mendelson. He belonged to the Lord of Midnight Park, who had kindly given him a piano because Mr. Mendelson liked to think about tunes. Everyone knows ponies can't play the piano, but Mr. Mendelson's close friends, Bertha and Gertrude the field mice, played beautifully and each evening they dashed to and fro over the black-and-white  keys, producing the loveliest mazurkas and minuets. Life would have been perfect it hadn't been for Dan Sligo the gipsy! This copy signed by the illustrator.  The pretty fairy illustration is from The treasure hunt and other stories by Olive Duhy with illustration by Rene Cloke. A nice copy of Dimsie goes to school by Dorita Fairlie Bruce published by Humphrey Milford in 1936. The Jack and Jill Book, 1955 colour and two-tone picture strip stories, including Harold Hare, Rip, Pip and Tip the puppy pets, Dinky and Binky the playful kittens, Jerry, Don and Snooker, Bibby and Bobby, fun in Toyland, and Freddie Frog.  The Secret Seven Adventure, Mice and Mendelson, Dimsie goes to school and The Jack and Jill book from 1955 are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Thanks for calling in I hope you enjoyed this round-up of recent stock. Now I really must get on with listing some more pretty things!

Update July 2016: March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I do still blog here at March of Time Books and always appreciate your visit. 

26 comments:

  1. Love your pictures and just had a look at the pictures on your trip too. I loved the Flea Market ones too. You did well to find so many lovely books.

    This just reminded me to ask you a question on books I read as a child - they weren't mine, but were my Mum's younger sister, with whom I spent a goodish part of the school holidays, although they lived in another town.

    One was a story (maybe in a book containing others) of a boy who woke up and found himself in a land where all he could see was a bed cover (patchwork quilt). There were round holes all over it and you could come and to through those. Yes I know it's a fantastic silly tale, but that's what I remember.

    The other is the Soot Fairies. I think there are a few stories of that ilk around, but they seem not to have the adventures up the chimney that I remember. Two children sitting by the fireside with their Nanny and a white cat, a piece of soot falls onto the white cat , you know, and it turns out to be a fairy.

    I'd love to know if you might remember the patchwork world!!!

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    1. I’m wondering if the Soot Fairies could be from A new book of the fairies by B.Harraden. Do the following excerpts ring any bells?
      from chapter 4) – Beryl looked round and saw, to her astonishment, that what she had mistaken for a mass of soot was really a dense crowd of little black persons, who began distributing themselves in all directions, flying on to the white kitten, and making him look like a Hottentot, flying on to the beautiful clothes she was making for Arabella Stuart (her doll) and literally covering her own white apron. She tried to appear as pleasant as she could under the circumstances, and said – “please tell me who you are?” “Why, we’re the soot-fairies,” they answered.

      (from chapter 5). All you have to do is to trust in them. If you had trusted in the soot-fairies yesterday, you would have had a real merry time up the chimney. “I would like to come with you very much,” said Beryl eagerly, “and I am quite ready now. May the doll and the kitten come with me?” “By all means,” said the fire-fairy. “Are you ready, dear?” Beryl never knew how it was managed, but when she recovered her senses she found herself in the grate, surrounded by thousands of little red fire-fairies, who wee giving her a most kindly welcome.

      I know this is not quite what you remember, because in this story it’s a little girl with a doll and a white kitten, but the rest does sound similar.

      As for the patchwork quilt, I don’t recognise it, but I do want to read it – it sounds lovely! If anything should come to mind I will let you know and if any readers of this blog recognise either of the books please leave a comment here for Campfire.

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  2. Hello dear Barbara!

    I was on holiday for a week out in my native state of California and had no access to blogs. I missed everyone!

    Looking at your finds always makes me hungry to plunge into my own collection of vintage books; my husband and I collected many a colorful volume that we have proudly displayed in our bookcases.

    Black Beauty is one of my favorites!! Wishing you a lovely summer day. Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, I’ve been on holiday too, and I also missed everyone. It seems my blogging friends have become as important as my ‘real’ friends.
      I love to see a collection of books displayed on a bookcase, there is nothing better.
      It is another beautiful summer day in Somerset. I hope the same can be said for where you are.
      With love, Barbara x

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  3. Ha! I'm drawn to men in kilts too, no shame. ;-)
    I love the inscriptions in books too! They always make it so personal.
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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    1. Hi Jamie, I thought the kilt thing was just me! I've found some really lovely inscriptions over the years, and it's a joy to be able to share them now I have the blog. Thanks for calling in. Barbara

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  4. What a great collection of books, and so beautifully presented :)
    I love that fairy illustration in the last photo, it's very sweet.

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    1. Hi Hilde, I love that illustration too. I don't think Rene Cloke gets enough credit for the wonderful artwork she produced.

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  5. ...what a treasure trove filled post! ~ just soooooooooooooooooOove love the countryside description in thine fourth paragraph! ~ 'tis weeeeeeh bit epic! ~ thank yoU! ~ for this beautiful share! ~ blessed be! dear kindred spirit!...(O:

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    1. Hello my dear, you are the first person to mention those lovely words. I had a feeling you would like them. Thanks for calling in.

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  6. Barbara, I'm delighted to see you've included Joan Aiken's book in this lot. Every time I feel the hunger for 'Englishness' I'd read her or P.G. Wodehouse. (I have one of her 'Dido' books in a stack on my shelf that I can't wait to get to.) Such a good lot of books here. Take your time listing them, Barbara. You're not the average bookseller, you sell stories and histories of these copies as well. How rare and classy is that!

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    1. Hello Claudine, have you read of mice & Mendelson? I've been reading a few pages and have fallen in love! It's beautifully written. You must tell me how you get on with the Dido books - are they part of the Wolves chronicles?
      I'm afraid taking my time is not an option. I have to keep stopping to read a page or two or admire an illustration and in the end only a few books ever get listed. Thank you for your lovely comment. Barbara x

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  7. You have found some wonderful editions. I love that you do such extensive research into the background of the books and their owners. Black Beauty was one of my all time favourites growing up. I have a couple of nice copies.

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    1. Hello Darlene,
      I found Black Beauty hard to take when I was a little girl! I spent so long crying over it that I only really managed to read and appreciate it once I was grown up.
      The research is one of the best parts. The problem is making a living as a bookselling is becoming harder and harder. I'm far too busy reading!
      I'm on my way over for a visit with you now. Barbara.

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  8. Barbara- Welcome back! Look at the treasures you have found. I love that you take such time and care to discover a book's history. Not just where and when it was written but you follow its travels based on the inscription. My grandmother always made sure to write messages to me in the books she gave me. Now that she has been gone for fifteen years it is so special when I open an old favorite and see the inscription. :)

    Best of luck finding homes for the wonderful books you picked up. Thanks for sharing them with us! Such a treat to see them.

    Love the dog that Nicole crafted for you!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. There are still so many treasures waiting to be found, I just wish I had more time to go and look for them. It’s great to be on holiday and spend all day wondering around markets and book shops. How lovely that you still have your books and can read your grandmother’s messages. I kept a few birthday cards from my mum and dad, and it always amazes me to see the messages in them – it’s like they are still alive.
      Nicole is a very talented lady and I’m very lucky to have her as a friend.

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  9. Lovely post! Your job is so interesting! I love finding inscriptions too, and always feel eager to learn more about the story, the relationship with the one who gave the book...
    Wonderful dust jackets and those vintage soldiers perfectly match with the books.
    Besos!

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    1. Thank you Silvina, Lots of collectors don’t like books with names and/or inscriptions in them, but I love them! It’s part and parcel of the books history and should be celebrated. Thanks so much for calling in and leave such a sweet comment.

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  10. ~ Hello, lovely Barbara....YOU do have a wonderfully exciting job! My idea of heaven is visiting wonderful old book shops and browsing all day long! ~ LOVE the smell of books, kindles just don't do it for me at all! Barbara the little soldiers on duty in this lovely post bring memories to me.....Of my brother painting them with little pots of special oil paint , when small and then the many battles on the carpet too! Such nostalgia! LOVING the treasure you have found, mostly the beautiful pictures in the 'Water Babies'book, so very special! Happy sunny days to you...With hugs Maria x

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    1. Dear Maria, thank you so much for sharing your lovely memories. I can imagine your brother with his pots of paint and a very serious look on his face. I don’t remember my brother having battles with toy soldiers, but I do remember the tunnel and roads built in the sand pit! My brother is older than me, so I got to play with his toy cars while he was at school, and I loved those tunnels! Happy Sunny days to you too xxxx

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  11. Sheesh, you HAVE been busy. I think that's the Peter Pan I remember reading first. Of course, I grew up close to Disneyland and they used all that artwork in a Peter Pan ride.

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    1. Hi Eve, yep I like to keep busy! Fancy growing up close to Disneyland – visiting is a once in a lifetime trip for us. We took our son when he was a little boy, but I don’t think we will be visiting again any time soon – which is a shame, because we would love to.

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  12. This is what makes collecting these sorts of books so wonderful isn't it - all the magic and life that have gone into them. I also just loved your description of the church and surrounding countryside - I'm just like you in that respect as well - only wish I had the time to follow through on the connections between books and the settings associated with them or that have inspired them.
    I was so please to see you found my last post after you got back (I'm still in the land of borrowed internet access!) - I always love the comments you leave!

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  13. Hello Sharon, absolutely! Lots of collectors want pristine copies, but I like a little history in my books! Terry keeps remind me I should spend less time looking at and researching books and more time selling them, but it does come hard! One day when I’m either very old or very rich I will keep everything I find and will probably end up in one of those TV programmes where someone has to force their way into the house to sort it out!
    I’m always thrilled when I find a new post on your blog because I know I'm going to enjoy it. I hated being without internet access for a couple of weeks, so I don’t know how you are coping.

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  14. I would love to do the research you do. What a charming village. I love Black Beauty. that's a book I could never forget, but I've never seen one with a dust jacket.

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  15. Hello Donna, the research is fun and its nice being able to share it with my blogging friends. Thanks for calling in, Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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