Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Vintage Books ... Part 2

Continuing on with the vintage theme, today I stumbled across these beauties!

Most of you don't know that I am a sucker for shoes (well, can you name me a women who isn't) ... and books! I mean any kind and lots of them! I've had this passion since I was a little girl ... for both, that is! My mum can tell you stories of the numerous books she sent back from where every I had ordered them from (without her knowledge) .... and the number of shoes I used to take and hide ...

So getting back to todays find, I was walking along our High Street ... and from the corner of my eye, these little (well, they're actually quite big ... and heavy) beauties, were beckoning with me to come closer. You see, they were in the front window of our local Oxfam shop.
My eldest daughter did a volunteer stint in Oxfam (for her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award) and would always tell me that there were some genuine finds in there ... but I had never gone in before, until today ...

These very old ... falling apart ... very heavy books, had caught my eye.

The spine has literally fallen apart ...

Great Cathedrals of the World by Fred. H. Allen, first published in 1886, seemed quite an interesting title, so I asked the little old volunteer if I could take a look at them ... and continued to apologise for ruining her display window.
One Hundred and Thirty Full-Page Plates, executed in photogravure; with explanatory and descriptive text!

I fell in love ...

As the store was ridiculously busy, I didn't ask her if she knew where they came from, but I knew I had to have them.

The black and white images of the most famous cathedrals of the world are breathtaking.

The pages are very old, water stained and the two volumes look like they've been living in some ones attic for a long time ... who finally decided to get rid of them!

They are now resting on my side board in the dining room ...

Next to my two youngest daughters sculptures ...

I was sure that when my husband got home tonight, he would think I had lost the plot, buying these crumbling volumes ... but to my surprise ... he actually loved them too!

Even though I love them in the state that I have bought them in, I can't help but think ... should I get them restored?

What do you think?

Can anyone suggest where or who might be able to help me? I'm sure if I do some research, I can probably track someone down, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear from you.

So after suffering from laryngitis for the past two days
... these beauties just made my day!



  1. Oh how wonderful that you rescued them. They look fabulous. I was just looking a show about the re-building of St Paul's Cathedral, it really was so interesting.

    Hope you find a restorer,


  2. Bonjour Marina,
    Oh I share the same passion for old vintage books. The binding and photos are so special. If you like them old and tattered keep them that way, but if they are literatlly falling apart and leaving little bits of paper and leather all over then you may want to consider having them rebound.
    I'm sure London has somewhere to take them, I found a place here in Paris a couple of years ago in the 7th that does a beautiful job.

  3. Dear Marina,
    What a fabulous find and, I bet you didn't have to pay too much for them.
    I personally like them as they are but, I'm sure if you look in the Yellow Pages you will find a book restorer. The only trouble is, it might cost more than the books are worth but, an expert will advise you on that. They look wonderful in your home. XXXX

  4. Marina what GORGEOUS treasures!! Those images are divine!!! Fabulous find my dear :) They look gorgeous on your sideboard. Enjoy them! I am also happy to hear you are feeling bettr after your laryngitis:( Take care! ~ Tina xx

  5. DEar Marina
    What a find!! I just love old books.. well any books and these have the added bonus of having wonderful black & white photoplates...I'd be happy with them in the state that they are now.... perhaps you could tie the most raggedy one with string or ribbon to keep it intact..

    Have a great week.. hope you are feeling better.. xx Julie

  6. Oh how I adore vintage books...I can just smell them..so so lovely{maybe a wee bit crazy..but I do love their musty smell..like an old book shop} xoxo

  7. They are really beautiful - what a find.. agree though you can find some amazing things in Oxfam shops; - I volunteered there a while back - it was such fun and you had first 'dibs' too on what came in! Think you should leave them as they are I think... so loved and battered up...

  8. I love old books too and these look amazing! They look absolutely beautiful where you have placed them in your dining room.

  9. these are gorgeous! old, weathered books are so romantic and great decor pieces :)

  10. Have a nice day and don't miss my giveaway tomorrow!

  11. trully amazing!
    beautiful illustrations as well~

  12. They look wonderful! If they turn out to be valuable (I'm sure Antique dealers have catalogues you can look up) I would definitely look at some restoration work.


Thank you for your lovely comments!


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