"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle
Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!
Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells
Fac-similes of Old Book Binding in the collection of James Gibson Craig
Edinburgh, privately printed, 1882.
Number 2 of only 25 copies, 27 chromolithographed plates heightened with gold or silver, many double-page or folding, original morocco-backed boards, t.e.g., rubbed, particularly at edges of boards, folio,
B-A Note: A book from the library of James T. Gibson Craig Esquire, which contains facsimiles of beautiful book bindings also in the Craig Library. Sort of a self-referential book.
James Gibson Craig was a baron in the UK in the late 19th century. From wikipedia: “The Gibson-Craig, later Gibson-Craig-Carmichael Baronetcy, of Riccarton in the County of Midlothian, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 30 September 1831 for James Gibson-Craig. Born James Gibson, he assumed the additional surname of Craig in 1818. ”
He had an extensive library including many volumes bound by celebrated binders of the time. From the NYT obituary: “Mr. Gibson-Craig traveled in Italy for some years after leaving college, and it was during his residency in that country that he acquired the taste for rare books, old pictures, china, bronzes, and miniatures, for which he was so eminently distinguished, and he there laid the foundation of the splendid collection he has left of these objects, which is certainly one of the finest in Great Britain.”
It appears as though he also participated in Sir Walter Scott’s “The Bannatyne Club”, which was founded to print rare books of Scottish interest. He is listed as co-author on a book of the same title, but I have been unable (in my quick research) to locate any synopsis or extracts from that book.
Craig’s library was sold at auction by Sotheby’s in 1887 and 1888. The catalog of the auction itself is also a rare collectible item