There’s nothing like the excitement and anticipation when a long sought book arrives in the mail. I had two gems stuffed in the mailbox within days, and a third as a bonus. When the books are vintage children’s illustrated ones, the thrill of cutting loose the tape (usually with anything that seems remotely sharp, like pens, keys, nail files, because the scissors are too far away for my impatient fingers), ripping the tough cardboard, unwrapping the newspaper or other protectant and finally touching the front boards, is exquisite. Since I’ve ended jewelry making and turned to selling digital downloads, I’m allowing myself purchases of illustrated books that normally would have been passed by, because the artwork within wouldn’t register small enough for a pin. Nothing extravagant, my budget ranges from 10 to 28 bucks-tops. Usually on the lower end, because it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of dough on a book if you cannot reclaim it through sales. Naturally, I convince myself the only reason I want these particular items is for the business, not for the sheer pleasure of owning them.
My favorite book cover artwork was rendered during what is loosely called the Art Deco period. That term is being used extravagantly these days, to incorporate years far beyond the 1930s which I always thought of as the cut off. Stylistically, Art Deco has been stretched like a rubber band–eventually it will snap, and nothing and everything in illustration will be labeled ‘Deco.’ I’m guilty of identifying much of my particular likes within vintage illustration as ‘Deco’–I can’t describe the style, but I know it when I see it–sort of like, I don’t know great art, but I know what I like, ha. The book cover art I especially am drawn to has bold lines and colors, a Clarice Cliff look, but on paper, not ceramics. I thought I’d share some of my favorite book covers, illustrations, and paper ephemera from this period.
If it were up to me, probably never. No, that’s not true, I’ve taken some Anne Anderson Mother Goose illustrations and framed them. The book was missing half of the other plates, and already damaged. So, if the book is damaged, is it OK to remove plates? And how damaged is damaged enough? And once … Read more