Let’s talk authenticity, shall we as this gathering predates the Civil War era and these items are nice survivors. You will receive a Velum covered book dated 1846, leather covered French Prayer book dated 1809 and lastly a gorgeous “1850 to 1860” sleeve ruffle from a women’s dress used as a gestured binder to keep the books together. These items in itself are not only hard to find in good condition but also commend a hefty price tag. However I was able to purchase each piece for a good price therefore I am passing the savings along to you.
This “vellum” covered book was fashioned from calf skin and this term originates from the French word “veau” referring to parchment made from this animal. The word parchment encompasses a general term for an animal skin which has been prepared for writing or printing. Parchment has been used for centuries, and usually consists of calf, goat, or sheep skin.
The spine has plenty of stylized detail sporting meandering open scrolls that terminate in a half moon configuration. The number “2” is written twice within the vertical spine. The title marker is no longer present but a bittersweet orange color now emerges in its place as shown in images 6 & 7.
This book is entitled, “ Collection of British Authors, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker” dated “1846” and published by “Tauchnitz Publishes”, a family owned business located in Germany. See image 11. This was the same publishing company used for the Charles Dickins novels. This wonderful book is in very good condition for its age as all of the pages are accounted for. The front cover does not completely touch the pages but there are no tears to be found or musty odors present either.
A leather covered prayer bible dated 1809 boasts an interesting marbled interior and is written in French. Interesting enough, there are several inserts that the owner collected housed inside that gives us an indication as to what was important. These inserts are well preserved as shown in images 21 ~ 25. A clipping sporting a French Chateau drawing dated “1889” invites one in for a visit and the accommodations must have been grand! A short manuscript done in fountain pen with exemplary handwriting is numbered and may be related to quoting psalms from the bible’s passages as shown in images 23 & 24. Image 23 also reflects tiny hole punched initials as shown on the very left which is very interesting. The other insert written in French is entitled, “Blade Knocking at the door Sacred Heart” and just above at the very top is the word “Confraternity” translated in English. This book is thick and the spine boasts nice details of designs held within circular scrolls also incorporating a mimicked Greek Key horizontal relief edge. The honest wear is delicious and exciting! All of the pages are accounted for and are in great condition for a book that is quite old. The front cover does not completely touch the pages. Whispers of gold are still present on the side of the pages as shown in image 18.
The dress ruffle is a fine example of early calico’s rendering madders, brown’s and ecru’ s set against a tan ground. The tiny hears with a red center are delightful and the contrasting fabric located in the middle has a significant impact on the design element. There is a small period correct button on the front. However a companion button hole is nonexistent. This piece was stitched entirely by hand and is in excellent condition without any holes, tears or odors to report.
If you have a candle-stand or small table that beckons an early look, this gathering would be a perfect fit for this space! All you need is a piece of early lighting nearby and maybe a pair of old spectacles to complete the scene. Enjoy!
Vellum book measures 6 ¼” tall, 4 ½” across (right to left) and is 1” thick. Leather book measures 5 ¼” tall, measures 3 ½” across and is 1 ¾” thick. Dress ruffle measures 14” tall and measures 2 1/2” across (right to left).