Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Picturesque World

Picturesque World book Picturesque Europe book

Selep Imaging ornate Calligraphy letter M

y "Treasure of the Year" from 2009 was purchased at an Antique show.  It was a 2 volume set of books from 1878 titled "Picturesque World".  These books were basically travel picture books, from a time before photography was available.  The pictures in the books are engravings of many famous locations, and each volume has over 400 wood engravings, and about 25 steel engravings.  (Steel engravings are extra special - they have a tissue sheet separating the engraving from the other pages in the book.)

Picturesque World book Picturesque Europe book

I have fallen in love with the crispness and beauty of these engravings.  Each engraving is a work of art, with beautiful composition, from a time when the modes of transportation were walking, animals, and animal powered vehicles.  There was no electricity, and therefore no electric lines, and the "picturesque" and quaintly dressed people in the pictures (in theory) reflect the actual way it was.  Since there are over 800 pictures in the two volumes, some of these landmark locations are no longer in existence, or their current appearance is different then the volumes pictured.

Oh, there is so much to love about these books!  The ornamental letters that start some chapters.  The intricately tooled leather covers.  The feel a book that is over 120 years old. Since I got the 2 volume set, I purchased a 3 volume set "Picturesque Europe" on-line, an I have added a couple more old books with engravings to my "collection".

Check out the leather tooling on the cover.

I could go on about these books, but not today.
Selep Imaging book ornament

So, how is this post thrifty?  Well, with 4 children ages 10-16, I won't be traveling internationally soon, so I go on-line and look up the places in the books with google images, and it's my thrifty way to travel.  : )

Click on the images to see them larger.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

Heart Window
Angel Window
Madonna Window
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Eggs of Stone

See more great finds and treasure! Visit 
Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday (I was entry 25 of 50.)
Diane for 2nd Time Around, (I was entry 27 of 28)
Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures (Entry 105 of 105.)
Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday (Entry 8 of 67)
Debbie for Garage Salen Party (I was entry 11 of 31.)
Visit Romantic Home for Show and Tell (I was entry 22 of 144+) 
Claudia at Fridays Finding Beauty. (I was entry 3 of 10+)
A Few of My Favorite Things for Favorite Things Friday. (I was entry 11 of 113+)
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays (I was entry 81)



I love your books, they are truly beautiful and such treasures. Happy Travels...

concretenprimroses said...

what wonderful books, truly treasures.

P. said...

Those are amazing books, and what incredible engravings!

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

such awesome books you have! trully treasures! happy VTT

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

such awesome books you have! trully treasures! happy VTT

Ulla said...

Beautiful books. You are lucky to have them.

Liz said...

What a great find! I love them!! Thanks for sharing!


LV said...

You have some very interesting books. They all look to be in good condition as well.

Anonymous said...

Great finds! You have a treasure there, many artists would love copies of the prints in the book.

Brambleberry Cottage said...

I love books of all kinds, but vintage are my favorites. What treasures you have there! The graphics are wonderful.

I'm visiting from the Coloradolady. Please stop by my cottage for a visit and take a peek at the three linky parties I'm starting up the first week of June.

Have a great Memorial weekend!

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Postcardy said...

I love your books. It must be fun reading them and looking at the pictures.

AshTreeCottage said...

Beautiful books. What a treasure!!

Susan and Bentley

Sarah said...

Oh wow, those are gorgeous! I'll be keeping my eye out for those :)


Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

WONDERFUL TREASURES!! So much more went into the making of book of this sort than today! Real artistry!


Michelle said...

What fascinating antique books! To me, it's like a two for one. First, the books are interesting simply due to their age. But secondly there is the content--non-fiction depicting life at the time with not only a written historical account, but pictures. Very special.

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Oh my gosh, that's gold, what a treasure! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful book.

Off to see when the next book fair is coming here! :)

Happy VTT,

Tara Beaulieu said...

What beautiful books- it is amazing to me the detail people used to put into things- the craftsmanship is remarkable! Thanks for sharing!

Miri said...

Terrific books! Just the covers with the beautiful Art Nouveau lettering are gorgeous and then the engravings are fabulous!

Thanks for sharing these beauties!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

What a great find! Thanks for linking to 2nd Time Around!

Atticmag said...

Your books look like treasures inside and outside -- those classical engravings aren't appreciated very much these days by many. I adore them too. Enjoy! Jane F

KarenHarveyCox said...

These books are beautiful. I collect old books too, and I love the gorgeous artwork inside. The integrity of these old bookplates is remarkable. What a great find.

Sherry said...

These are lovely!! I have a special place in my heart for old leather bound books and engravings. Your are just gorgeous.

The Blackwood Cottage said...

Awsome find!!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I love your post and thanks for joining us at Friday Finding Beauty!

I love books such as yours... they are so telling of why and how we got our perspective of the world outside our door steps.

Thanks so much for sharing.


Debbie said...

Very rare to find awesome books like these...they are a true treasure!~ Love the detail on them. Thanks for linking up to my party...I would love if you added my link as well:) Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and I hope to see you again.

Maggie B said...

Hi just over visiting by way of Claudia's blog. Your books are wonderful, I wonder what you're children make of life in the "olden days"?

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

your old books are gorgeous and the perfect way to travel this summer (with no jet lag or costly suitcases) :)

Linda said...

Beautiful books and definitely the cheapest way to travel!

kim said...

Those old books are fabulous. I have been collecting some old ones mainly for looks in my sitting room. I love the way the old leather books look compared to today's plain jacketed books.

Victoria said...

Oh my, what amazing books those are! They're beautiful!

eileeninmd said...

Amazing collection of books. They are beautiful!

Jenny said...

What amazing books. It is always so astonishing to hold something that old in your hands, knowing that others have gasped over the intricacy of the illustrations, too!

Visiting you from Debbie's and I'm glad I did.

Wonderful find!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Thanks for coming to my PARTY...hope you had a good time:) Your book collection is soooo neat!


Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Really good post!

MelanieMargaret said...

Just found your blog from a google search for an "ornate letter M" :) Now you have a new follower!