Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Grave Affair-

The Book Elves love Halloween, and always spend a great deal of time preparing a huge Halloween party. Everyone is still talking about last year’s “5000 Pumpkin Bonfire Roast”, but under the terms of the restraining order taken out by the Fire Dept. they won’t be repeating that again anytime soon. This year they decided to stage a haunted house with a twist- real ghosts. They had this “Yuri Geller Ghost Summoner” kit they bought on late-night QVC, and I’ll be darned if the silly thing didn’t actually work! The upside was that the ghosts were a great hit at the party and scared the bejeezus out of all the kids, so the Book Elves have lots of candy left over to eat themselves. The downside was that ghosts turned out to be, well, let’s just say “unpredictable”. Call me crazy, but I wasn’t aware that ghosts did things like fill your car with lime jello. We’re also still looking for the bathtub, which was last seen galloping down the street, singing “Feelings”...

But before they found themselves stripped naked, painted orange and stranded on the porch roof, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-

“A GRAVE AFFAIR- Old & Interesting Books on gravestones, cemeteries, epitaphs, mourning customs, funerals & funeral customs” is now ready, and posted on the web.

Highlights include-

-an 18th century manuscript collection of epitaphs.

-a nice copy of one of the greatest English epitaph books, the 1631 “Ancient Funerall Monuments”, written by John Weever, “connoisseur of graveyards, tobacco-enthusiast, sycophant, satirist, dwarf, [and] penner of dirty ditties”

-a pair of interesting 1930s “Modern” style German gravestone trade catalogs.

-an 1851 manual to good taste in cemeteries by a man who hated cherubs.

-an 1820 American manuscript funeral sermon for the minister’s wife.

-a fantastic French Victorian design book of memorial and other hairwork.

-The ceremonies at the 1883 dedication of the Robert E. Lee mausoleum at Washington and Lee University.

And much more!

Printed copies are also available.
Please let us know if you would like one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Catalog- Books on Furniture

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Book Elves have become country auction addicts (though they prefer the word “enthusiasts”). Their addiction (sorry- “hobby”) has inexorably led them to another pursuit- collecting antique furniture. They began with rocking chairs, which was fine until they bought so many of them that there was no longer any room to rock on the front porch. One or even two dining rooms tables is fine, but six? And then came the project to see how many highboys you could stuff into an 11-room house (the answer, by the way, is 62 and a half. Don’t ask about the “half”, it’s a sore subject around here).

But before they glanced in their rear-view mirror, while doing 70 in the high-speed lane of the Massachusetts Turnpike, to see an antique 18th century highboy fly off the roof rack and instantly become a collection of antique 18th-century kindling when the semi ran over it, they finished our latest catalog-

CATALOG 306: BOOKS ON FURNITURE & CABINETMAKERS features 240 books and catalogs on antique furniture, cabinetmakers, tools, and related subjects.

Highlights include-

-A fascinating 1835 treatise on designing and drawing cabinet furniture.

-An uncommon 1916 book on polychromatic decorative turning.

-An interesting 1870s trade catalog of Gothic-Revival furniture.

-An early, 1841 edition of a classic American cabinetmaker’s manual.

-A beautiful collection of 1820s hand-colored plates of French Empire furniture designs.

-A striking 1867 book of colored design for marquetry cabinetwork.

-and a wide variety of classic and uncommon books and catalogs on American, English, European and Oriental furniture!

The catalog may be viewed on our website, or we have free printed copies available. If you would like one, please ask.