One of the things I have always enjoyed the most about our trips to Brimfield is the hunt for old books. In terms of what treasures we find, some years are better than others, and I would say that this year was pretty good in that regard. So Kelly took pictures and I will do my best to describe some of our finds.
Our collection of 19th century religious books keeps getting larger. I am fascinated with period popular culture, and religion was a huge part of that. One of the more unique finds this year was this book which, strangely, was bound with the cover upside down.
We have a bit of a connection to Philadelphia publishers, since Kelly is descended from several area Quaker families, notably the Kites. Benjamin Kite and his son Thomas published books, tracts and almanacs in their shop for decades. So we always look closely at anything published in Philadelphia in that era.
Another interesting book with a religious theme was this one, unnoticed in a pile of cardboard boxes full of other books, all listed for a dollar each.
So this little gem, up my alley in regards to religion and history and up Kelly’s in regards to church music, was copyrighted in 1859 and published in 1865 in New York. Definitely worth a dollar to us.
Almost unnoticed in a large dealer’s booth that was made up mostly of antique furniture was a book that, from a distance, looked like a mid-19th century volume.
I picked it up and I was not disappointed.
Washington Irving‘s biography of George Washington, one of the most classic historical works of the 19th century. This edition was originally published in five volumes, with Volume One appearing in 1855 and this one, the final volume, appearing in 1859, the same year Irving died. There is still a version of this book in print even today. So this is only the fifth volume, but it is in fantastic shape.
Of course Kelly and I love reading about nature and science, and so this next find was pretty fantastic. This was one of those massive works carried out during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration. Too bad we didn’t have anything like that going on recently to try to give people work and create something lasting at the same time. FDR deserves a lot of credit for creating the circumstances in which something like this could be created.
There were a few other finds, such as some more music books and a couple more science-related books, but I don’t want to get too pedantic here.
Next post: some of our cool super-cheap antique finds that I will use as “props” in some of my food photos down the road. Shockingly cheap pewter for the win.