"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
On Ladies’ Faces Cosmetics
Translated by Aleksander Wojciech Mikolajczak, illustrated by Jerzy Kozimor
“Books not always had the form of loose sheets of paper stitched together along one edge and reading was not always connected with turning pages. Papyrus, a writing material being used in ancient days for over 3500 years, fragile but easily foldable medium, enforced a book form as a long ribbon of glued sheets of paper with a wooden rod called “umbilicus” facilitating reading. So, we have published the Ovid’s poem as it would have been done by an editor in Ovid’s time. The book shape, type and arrangement of illustrations and script are the same as in an ancient scroll. Apart from that, the first 30 copies of the book were printed on the original Egyptian papyrus, whilst the rest on - hand-made paper; 90 first copies out of 360 have hand-coloured illustrations. The book was printed at Adam Szupryczynski’s printing house in Koszalin under supervision of Jerzy Polchlopek.”
AMULETIC SCROLL OF THE ALCHEMIST JOHANNES MICHAEL, in German and Latin, decorated manuscript on vellum [Germany, late 16th or early 17th century]
A scroll (5 membranes), 2710mm. by 95mm., with coloured roundels on the obverse containing complex alchemical talismans, each above a line or so of text in cursive black ink in German or Latin explaining their use, on the reverse a number of prayers and prayer-like texts listing names of Evangelists and alchemical terms, and naming the owner of the scroll in lighter brown ink as Johannes Michael, these texts separated by elaborate crosses and roundels.
This scroll is an alchemist’s practical reference tool from the greatest years of the study of this philosophical and pseudo-chemical art. It lists some 34 designs for alchemical talismans (presumably to be painted on walls, doors or the body), littered with the traditional symbols for mercury, copper, gold and at the head of one of the larger talismans, the elusive philosopher’s stone locked within the Seal of Solomon. The simple talismans at the beginning of the scroll offer protection against neid und haß (anger and hate), den bösen geiß (the evil spirits) and Zauberij (witchcraft). Those at the end incorportate a number of simple units as well as symbols taken from an angelic alphabet (evidently influenced by the so-called Alphabet of the Magi invented by the celebrated astronomer and alchemist Paracelsus, 1493-1541), and offer more specific protection against failure in war and imprisonment.