When Is It OK To Remove Illustration Plates From Books?

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 out–then what? Framing them for your viewing pleasure is one thing, but cutting them to pieces for ‘craft’ or ‘altered art’ projects, another.

I have a real bee in my bonnet, bone to pick, pet peeve, downright disgust at people who purchase beautiful old books and then mutilate them for what they consider fun and/or profit. And I’m not talking about all first editions in pristine condition, obviously the book itself would be too expensive to buy just to take apart. The ten plates or so wouldn’t make enough profit to justify that kind of purchase. But what about 2nd or 3rd printings, or in the case of a children’s book company called Volland, the 16th or 20th? Volland created apparelled gorgeous lushly illustrated books with top notch illustrators such as Raggedy Ann’s Johnny Gruelle, and Art Deco style artist, Janet Laura Scott. They were extremely popular and had many printings. They even had some titles reprinted by another publishing company. So, if on bookfinder one finds an intact, but worn copy of say, Tales of Little Dogs for 15 dollars, is it alright to cut out the most desirable illustrations and sell them? What if the binding is battered, there is writing on the endpapers, and some pages are a bit smudged? Now is it OK to remove plates? Ok, what if the covers are badly scuffed, the title page missing, a child colored in many of the black and white illustrations–is this copy OK to be pulled apart? And finally, if the book is missing half the text but all the plates–what then?

First, let me explain why so many seem to be doing this to books lately. For some unknown reason, there is a thing called ‘altered art’ which takes various sources of illustration and pulls them apart to put back together again in odd, weird and inexplicable ways. Ok, fine, whatever one enjoys–but many, if not most of the people who indulge in this practice MUST use ONLY vintage illustrations. Why they believe their work is somehow, ‘less than’ if the source isn’t yanked from an actual Victorian flower book or 30s cookbook, or 50s Golden Book, I cannot answer, because I’ve tried asking, and no one seems to want to give a logical reply. Being ‘authentic altered art’ is probably what flits through an individual’s mind that believes this stuff. What is so important about using only vintage pieces? They’re only being destroyed anyway! And yes, I get it, you destroy to create–something that will never be original because you are using someone else’s ingenuity and talent and just reconfiguring it. Naturally, those who do altered art would disagree with me. 

Another reason people are mutilating otherwise perfectly fine editions–to sell the plates to people who create altered art. Yes, it’s a vicious circle. And to use for jewelry, or any other kind of craft project where the crafter doesn’t believe the piece is ‘real’ unless they’ve bought a Edmund Dulac plate from a reprint Sleeping Beauty and cut out the wanted bits, leaving whatever else was there on the floor.

Then, of course, there’s the people who simply want to sell the plates for as much money as they can get. They almost lie, on ebay, as to what it is people are purchasing. They love to use words like ‘original lithograph’ for a plate out of a Thomas Maybank fairy book. Or ‘print’ is bandied about quite often. Technically, they aren’t lying–yes the printing process may have used lithograph and it is ‘original’ for the book it came in, but hardly original, original. It isn’t the  watercolor or pen and ink, or oil painting before used in the printing process–now that’s the original. I’ve seen plates from all the Golden Age children’s illustrators in one ebay shop–they are matted, and sold this way–for 50. 6o, 80 bucks, a piece! Yes, quite an incentive to mutilate an otherwise perfectly fine book if you can pawn them off on people for loads of cash.

So, where is the line drawn–and, should there be a line to begin with? Why do I feel so strongly that there must be?

Because the plates were meant to be with the text, and vice versa. That is the entire piece of art. A book, the entire thing, is the creation. To pull pieces of it off, you’re left with a hollow book. Yes, it can still be read, but the original intention to augment and express the story via beautiful art is destroyed.  This is one reason, and I believe the strongest, but another is sooner or later we will run out of copies of these precious books to destroy, or, even read. How many copies of a Fern Bisel Peat doll book were printed? How many are still out there? How many will still be intact for generations to come, if we keep mutilating them? I’m aware that many people seem to believe we have unending supplies of these books, that to tear one apart for the treasures within is not a big deal. There’s always another copy out there somewhere. Maybe some books, this is true. But for so many others, the copies are dwindling. . My skin crawls thinking about some unthinking individual pulling plates from one of Kay Nielsen’s masterpieces–so few copies remain.

So back to the original suppositions. When is it OK to use the plates for things other than enjoying within a book? My rather strict belief is only if the book is literally falling apart, or so many pages of text and or artwork is missing, that the book cannot be considered the complete piece anymore. Then, and only then, may a plate be slit or pulled or cut from the binding and framed, snipped, ‘altered’ or turned into a refrigerator magnet.

And big surprise, the ‘crafters’ at etsy and ebay would hardly agree. Some look at a title and if the slightest defect is visible it’s justifiable to remove whatever they want from the book. Or if the binding is rough, or some pages split, maybe a stray pencil mark or two, it can be ‘upcycled’ without a twinge of conscience. 

Once a person replied to my query as to why they thought it Ok to destroy a book for the plates and this individual replied that not all books deserve saving, that most aren’t worth anything, and that if the plates are removed, at least some use is gotten out of it. What a crock! 

Practically every book has someone somewhere who would be interested in it, and even if for some bizarre reason no one is, its value is its very being, its historical context. 

I’ve seen the boards of books used for miniature settings, with the entire centers cut out–whole lines of old encyclopedias. Is this any different from removing plates? I don’t know. Outdated info is useless, but the historical context is not–being able to assess what the ‘facts’ were at a particular time is history. On the other hand, so few people have any interest in old titles such as these, that turning a group of books into a fascinating tableau, seems somehow less offensive. The entire piece is being used, not just the pictures. But the other way of looking at is, the entire book is destroyed, only the boards are left.

You see how confusing it can and does get? The question of when it’s OK to remove illustration plates from a book is a little litmus test of morals. If someone is mutilating an otherwise intact title for their own mercenary or ‘artistic’ reasons, without a backward glance, they fail my test miserably. If, however, they think long and hard and decide they would only remove plates if the book was well beyond saving, then their morals are of high standard. The grey in between is when some pages are a bit torn, but the plates are fine; or some of the black and white illustrations were colored by a kid long ago; or  the endpapers are missing. What makes a book no longer a viable piece for someone to read and enjoy? Sure, it’s subjective. What I believe is the graveyard for books will not jive with someone else’s view. But when it’s a matter of vultures looking for carcasses,  helping the process along a little so they can feast upon the remains, I am strongly in favor of a standard being created within the bookselling and buying community, which outlines when mutilating a book is a horrible biblio sin.

In my dreamworld. There’s nothing  that can be said, or done to stop individuals from this practice, and believe me, if you confront some with a question or two about the morality or the reasons behind it, be prepared for hostility and denial that they are doing a thing wrong. after all, it is their property, they paid for it, they’ve the right to do what they wish with it.

I don’t buy that argument either. As I said, my viewpoint is the entire book is a work of art, the story including the illustrations are not ‘owned’ by one person, but is ‘borrowed’ in a way, until the next generation is able to read and enjoy. To me, it’s like colorizing black and white films. Sure, Ted Turner paid for all the classics, but does he have the right to alter art in this fashion? And no, turning down the color on the tv is not the same thing, Shadows and perceptions the camera made specifically for black and white are destroyed with colorization, therefore turning color off, does nothing to restore the original piece.

And I believe that illustrated books are like classic films. Tear out pieces, and you’ve altered art, alright, You’ve altered a piece of art, forever.


In the spirit of full disclosure, although I’m not sure why, I have had a business selling vintage illustration jewelry for the last 10 or so years. Do I use original plates from books? No. Have I ever? No. Do I think the work is any less legit? NO. I use scans of my books and other found illustrations and print them out–a very simple process–an altered art fanatic can cut out the printouts to their heart’s content this way, and nary a book will be harmed in the process. ‘Nuf said.



16 thoughts on “When Is It OK To Remove Illustration Plates From Books?”

  1. Hello,
    I stumbled across your article while doing some research on book selling.

    I just had to comment. I collect children’s books, since my son was born (he’s 2) I have amassed a large collection.

    I have an older mother goose book that is in rather poor condition. It is an ex-school library book, with the end pages missing. The cover is curved. It smells terrible, I have had it in a zip lock back with used dryer sheets for months. I do not keep it near any other books for fear that the horrible mold will spread. The binding is loose, and feels like there are 2 threads holding on.

    I wanted to part with the book as it is just not the type of book I would normally keep in my collection. But alas… no one seems to care about The Lion and the unicorn and all the other obscure nursery rhymes that are becoming long forgotten in lieu of the Miley Cyrus and the Olson twins crap that they are ramming down kids throats….

    I in turn thought… gosh… the plates are just so wonderful… It is a shame that they go unseen in this moldy book…. I thought yea sure I could frame them up and sell them on eBay… This was over a year ago…. I just some how can not fathom tearing apart this book….

    So I like you am at that place where the book is still readable but it is not in the “pristine” condition that a collector wants… I change the dryer sheets every couple of months… I flip through and read the silly little diddies… and then put different dryer sheets in the book and set it back on the shelf…

    A book is much like a living thing to me…. it might look rough and not so dandy but to just destroy it and toss it out… I just couldn’t ….

    • Heather! Happy you stumbled! I totally sympathize with the need to keep a falling apart book together, even if only in a bag and on wash day, lol.

      My husband picked up a flaked, brown paged Santa Claus book someone was throwing out and brought it home, sort of apologizing for the condition, thinking I wouldn’t want it. I did. I scanned what I could, and then a friend on flickr said she loved and wished she had it, so i sent it to her–because it was so distressed, rather than I keep it here without really looking at it, I wanted someone who obviously would love it, in ziplocks or no.
      Sure, I could have cut up the pages and done any sort of thing with them, but why? I just scanned them, can print them out, why not leave it alone. Now my flickr friend can show it to her daughter, who many do the same with her daughter.
      You have piqued my interest–a mother gooose, eh? Who, may I ask, is the illustrator? I love Mother Goose–I have an entire collection of images on flickr devoted to her rhymes.
      And, what titles have you amassed in those two years, the fellow collector inquires, lol?

  2. I was interviewed by e-mail on this topic a couple of years ago for the magazine FINE BOOKS AND EDITIONS. The other person interviewed was the president of the altered books art association (I forget its name), someone I know here in northern Michigan. We were in opposite camps!

    If I have a book with wretched, unsalvageable binding and pages falling out, I have a couple times removed plates, but more often I simply take Heather’s path, preserving a book that is not good enough to sell but too precious to discard or destroy. It’s funny. People expect a bookseller to have “really good stuff” squirreled away, never suspecting that what she’s taken home to keep are the books in the worst condition.

    • LOL–I find that funny and so true, some of my ‘best’ books are literally in pieces. And one of the things I love personally, is restoring them in photoshop, back to what perhaps they may have looked like originally, or in some cases where my skills are lacking, creating the best looking thing I can.
      But this is all VIRTUAL. Never with the real thing. The real thing should have battle scars, if that’s how it is, or if pristine, should remain that way. I agree with the 50 per cent gone rule–it seems a good one to follow!
      And, how did you manage not to try to virtually strangle the ‘altered art’ person? LOL.

  3. I think it is always better to keep a fine book in it’s original form as much as possible. Even when it’s no longer a “book” but just a stack of related pages, like my ancient, tattered, no longer even string-bound copy of The Baby’s Bouquet by Walter Crane that’s missing 8 or more pages, or if it’s an out-of-date medical dictionary printed in the 19th cent. I say always better, but when it really isn’t a book any more, then yeah, do something else with it but I really wish people wouldn’t. Someone sees an art piece made with a book and doesn’t realize the book was already nearly gone so they go ahead and do the same, only they choose a salvagable book and ruin it. I’m a collage artist myself and would NEVER even CONSIDER using the printed plates from a book for anything other than admiration within the book, books are nearly sacred to me and artists cannot justify their ripping a book apart for their art. There’s this wonderful thing called a copy machine; use it. What comes out of the book is not original, it’s a reproduction so make another reproduction and save the book for future generation.
    I checked out a library book last month, a wonderful $65.00 book about illustration in America, and more than 20 pages of artists’ examples had been removed, stolen by some idiot to sell or make art with or whatever stupidity. I almost wept.

    Bottom line, I think a person may remove the illustrations when the book is 50% gone already and at that point I wish they would frame the remaining illustrations and hang them on their walls rather than alter them or sell them.

    • Ah, Nancy, you are one of the best digital collagists ever, and I know you would never hurt a book. I keep thinking of the animal thing that’s on the end of every movie now–no animals were harmed in the making of this movie–no books were harmed in the making of this digital collage, or vintage illustration jewelry!

      I love your–“copy machine, use it”–quote. And you managed to say in one sentence that I babbled about for paragraphs–“what comes out of the book is not original!!!”

  4. Don’t break an old and battered book and let one person enjoy for snooty self satisfaction it or break and let many people really enjoy it. Break it!

    • I’m not quite sure I understand your sentence TB, but my guess is you think books should be broken apart with the idea more people will be able to enjoy it? How does that work? How would ‘many’ people be able to enjoy a book with no plates or plates with no book? The plates would be scattered around, or cut up, so no one would see them, and the book would be less than if the illustrations aren’t there.
      ‘Snooty self satisfaction’ is not an apt description of who treasures a book and wants it to remain a book, with all its parts. And, the fact is, that person is preserving the book for many more to see, whole. The person who mutilates a book is as selfish as they come- for their own profit or their own perceived ‘art’ they mutilate an otherwise perfectly fine book. That’s the height of self satisfaction, in my book, excuse the pun.

  5. Never having been a biblioclast , yet always a professional full time rare book seller for forty years , I can only comment that concerning steadfast rules concerning breaking books for their plates , there are no rules or measure .

    For years we traded with Japanese clients who purchased editions of Chagall , Miro , Picasso illustrated volumes containing original lithographs knowing that though we were not breaking the volumes for these lithographic plates our clients certainly were.

    Ditto plenty of books containing steel engravings from the early to mid 19th century that contained rather archaic prose and their only saving grace in terms of making a slae seemed to be in the plates they contained.

    Again , we sold these volumes to other book sellers and art dealers , not breaking them ourselves , though well aware of the fate of the plate.

    I admit to purchasing ” hosp[ital copies ‘ , or distressed copies of books and using various plates or pages from one volume to fill in or upgrade another copies lacking plates or pages. Of course , selling the finished cobbled together copy with full disclosure of my deeds , and with that caveat in place. Two collectors grade first edition , first state editions of the Wizard Of Oz , I managed to Frankenstein together with clients knowledge and approval.

    So , what does that make me ? Biblioclast? Enemy of the book? Or perhaps just a life long book seller that made peace with the sale of a book to a client a longtime ago , happy with the knowledge that whatever people do with their purchase is their own business , and none of mine .

    Though I will admit that when it came to scarce atlases and other books that had integral value , not artistic leanings , that I would find a home to the non book breaker in favor than that of the one with the sharp exacto knife.

    • Your approach seems reasonable to me, although naturally I wish there were some control as to destroying otherwise totally fine books. You’re certainly not an ‘enemy of the book’ lol, for taking already destroyed copies and repairing others with the salvaged art. An original first edition Wizard of Oz is hard enough to come by, that even a ‘restored’ book is very worthy and valuable.
      I admit to using plates from a already hospitalized book, ha, I love that term. I’m not opposed to salvaging what can be saved from books that are not longer able to be called whole. But your customers who bought these books and cut them up, make my blood boil.
      But making a living is important, lol, and even though you may know what the customers intend to do, you are not yourself breaking them, or advocating breaking them.
      That’s one of the big differences between a real book dealer, and someone out to make a buck. People get a hold of something, figure it could bring them a little cash, and then herald it as something to rip apart for collages, or altered art, or whatever.
      Of course there are no rules out there, and never could be. Fantasies are OK sometimes. Like the fantasy that some day I’ll own a fine in jacket, if such a thing exists, In Powder and Crinoline illustrated by Kay Nielsen, the limited edition with the extra plate!

      • ” But your customers that bought these books and cut them up make my blood boil. ”

        Having no real control over the fate of the multiple copies of VERVE , Jerusalem Windows , Art Journal , Pictures from the Bible , sold over the years leads me to still believe that the parts of a book still equal the sum.

        A later printing of Jerusalem Windows is worth nothing for it’s text and non lithographic plates . Ten dollars at most . I am glad to have sold the original copies that I have had pass through my hands while the market for the Chagall lithographs they contained still had value to the Japanese market. At a glance there are 397 editions of the Jerusalem Windows offered for sale today on abe books alone ranging in price from $ 3.97 for a reading copy to $ 10,000 for the deluxe edition. At least forty of the copies offered have original lithographs still in place. In any event I do not believe that the world book market demand here will outstrip the supply anytime soon.

        So what then is the problem with selling a copy of the Jerusalem Windows to a breaker who will profit from attempting to sell the two Chagall lithographs?

        I see none ? Though I will not cut out these plates myself , I am certain that the next copy of this volume I sell will go to a biblioclast.

        To my knowledge I have never sold one that remained whole , and I have sold no fewer than twenty five copies over the years.

        • You seem proud of the fact that you’ve sold 25 copies over twenty years, that were torn apart.
          I think we see books in different ways. As a seller, profit is necessary, although if also a collector, it’s tough to know that a book you sell will be destroyed. I know that my boss at one store would never touch a book for something within, yet he allowed his scarce first editions to be torn apart for the process of reprinting them exactly as they had been originally. In the end the facsimilies were exact in every way, but the original had to be destroyed for this process.
          Another boss couldn’t have cared less about the books–and threw readable and in a few cases, somewhat collectible books out onto the pavement to be picked up by trash collectors.

          I’m curious–if the Japanese bought these books not just to frame the lithographs but to cut them up and create their own ‘art’, would you feel the same?

          And also, 40 copies of the original lithos does not seem a large amount to me. I’ve no idea how many were printed, but 40 left doesn’t seem reassuring. Naturally, there are more not listed and not for sale. Still, I would think if not in jeopardy, they aren’t sitting pretty, at this point.

          One last question–do you collect books as well as sell?

          • Dear Ms. Plumley, First off , I am not proud of selling multiple copies of the Chagall Jerusalem Windows for the Japanese print market , though I must admit to be satisfied with the modest profit taken and ultimately resigned to the fate of these copies that I was fortunate enough to have pass through my hands. As I mentioned there are over 397 copies of the text and illustrations available currently , and each and every one of them is integral and inclusive of all illustrations and plates.

            The copies I sold of the original first edition of Jerusalem Windows had two plates removed prior to leaving the continent , and these crippled volumes can still be found limping about sans lithographs , yet perfectly readable. The Chagall volumes are more art than content , and thus approached in this fashion more viewable and suitable for the wall of a Japanese dwelling than living in captivity within the books boards.

            There were multiple reprints without the original lithographs , with the two original plates supplied within the text in an authentic color process , and to the untrained eye would provide a difficult means of distinguishing between the original and the reprint plates.

            Your former boss seems to have been a bit more of an operator than I am , and though he allowed books to be ripped up for to be reproduced in facsimile , I guess that ultimately he felt that to be a prudent business practice , and I suppose no reasoning to the contrary would stop that boss. As for the other boss who tossed books into the gutter , I would imagine that that person was a bit deranged , and perhaps had some sort of mental disorder or malaise? In any event I have never knowingly sold a book to have it’s text put up for reprinting , and I am not the type to toss good books in the gutter.

            The Japanese are brighter than cutting up original prints to create their own art. I am hyper aware of the book arts , and various movements associated with altering books , artists books , assemblages , and the like and am left stone cold bored by most of these rather puerile attempts at crafty alteration. Reminds me more of tedious needlework or bad sculpture than actual fine art. Though I suppose in a world where kindles are fast replacing text , and hundreds of thousands of books are worth less than a dollar what real matter or concern is it of mine ?

            My point concerning the Chagall Windows is addressed above , and the 397 copies of text and illustrations should suffice for now , plus you can’t enjoy the two lithographs simultaneously if they are both housed within a shelved book. As art the two prints can grace a wall and be enjoyed daily.

            I collect art , naive art , thrift store art , photographs , manuscripts , recorded music , and have kept a personal collection of books over the years though I would not describe myself as a book collector per say . I made myself a promise some years ago that I would earn a decent living via trading in rare books and other collectible items , and though how much I might enjoy owning and assembling collections of the above that any item in my possession was always available for sale at a price that I would establish for the client.

            This notion of any item being for sale Ms. Plumley is the very salient tenant that one can build a career upon. I have to date only drawn the line on personal items given to me by people of meaning that I have crossed paths with in life , gifts , keepsakes and the like. Otherwise , it is part of my role as a book seller to provide the public and institutions with unique materials that will live on and be cared for beyond my lifetime , and finding a good home for these items is a passion .

            I am no enemy of the book , merely a life long friend who can separate art from reality and understand the beauty of an original lithographic print living it’s life on a wall , not within a books boards

  6. My goodness, Mr. Mark, I don’t think I was suggesting you are an enemy of the book in any of my comments, but I seem to have hit a nerve. It just seemed to me that you kept pointing out how you absolutely know for certain the exact amount of copies sold of a the book where the lithographs were removed and you’re sure the next one you sell will receive the same fate–that almost sounded like boasting. Obviously, I was mistaken. You take a very practical view of bookselling, and I would think that to stay in business, this is sometimes necessary.
    “The Chagall volumes are more art than content , and thus approached in this fashion more viewable and suitable for the wall of a Japanese dwelling than living in captivity within the books boards.”
    There must have been some reason they were captured and contained in a book to begin with, correct? Otherwise, why not just sell lithographs? My contention, and I’ve made no secret that this is a personal view, is that the book and illustrations/lithographs are all part of the entire ‘art.’ The text without the lithos is rather pointless.
    Getting back to my fantasy purchase. I’m pretty sure no one cares a whit about the text from Quiller-Couch In Powder and Crinoline. And I’m pretty sure that mounted, the exquisite plates of Nielsen’s would be a gorgeous thing to gaze upon each and every morning. But one without the other diminishes the entire package. The illustrations were created to *illustrate* the text. To provide a glorious imaginative place from the words on the paper. Mounted, they are pretty, but contextless.

    My first boss was and is a rabid collector of first editions. His destroying a few copies were for the sake of giving the reader a chance to experience the book almost in its original form. I’m not advocating the practice, just relaying the info. My second boss wasn’t interested in collecting etc. He had no respect for the genre that he was selling. His interest was monetary, period, although he feigned a love for the book. The first boss is still in business, the second, not.

    There are always situations when a collector of books is willing to part with some or all of their collection, but to have such a dispassionate view as to leave every volume in that collection open for sale excepting personal gifts is not what I consider typical collecting practice. I know many collectors, and I’ve never encountered that attitude, which to me indicates that no, you really aren’t a collector, more of a curator willing to pass along whatever someone may be willing to pay a good price for. And there’s nothing wrong in that. You’re in the book *business.*

    I’m not. I collect and have a personal connection to my titles. But that doesn’t make me delusional, lol. Just because I think pulling plates out of a book to put on a wall doesn’t mean I can’t ‘distinguish art from reality.’ And more important, my belief that
    keeping a book in the form it was originally published IS “provid(ing) the public and institutions with unique materials that will live on and be cared for beyond my lifetime .”
    Your philosophy seems to be to “provide the public and institutions with unique materials that will live on and be cared for beyond my lifetime”, and by living on and cared for I mean, torn apart and utilized in any manner the buyer wishes. I don’t see that as finding a good home for books, but again, my opinion, and, honestly, I don’t think you needed to address me in such a condescending manner, Mr. Mark. LOL. You can certainly call me Diane the next time you want to make your points. I understand that we disagree, but we don’t need to be disagreeable.

  7. Hello Diane, There are still 397 editions of the Chagall illustrated Windows for sale. Minus the forty odd that contain the two original lithographs and that leaves 357 copies of the text and illustrations available for sale today. And yes , the 357 copies contain the images of the two lithographic plates , though they are not in their original state.

    I have the distinct feeling that these 357 copies will far exceed the demand for this book in the recent future , say a solid decade , and that in all likelihood more copies offered for sale will join their ranks before any dent is made in this rock pile of a tome.

    Thus , I fail to understand the harm in selling the two prints from the copies that contain the original art , seeing that the value of the book is for it’s art , and the only way to sell this book in my history has been to those who make it their business to sell prints on the world art market?

    For those that desire the ” text and the lithos ” , the 357 copies for sale should meet any current market demands.

    I suppose I am more of a curator than collector. Could not have survived the rigors of this trade in any other fashion. A certain joy exists in having client and object connect , and in recent years many of our more substantial sales have been prints , photographs , ephemera , and other non book items .

    One of these items being a book of original photographic prints by a notable 20th century female photographer that I sold to an institution for less than I could have gathered from selling it on the art or auction market. Now this very scarce volume can be enjoyed by the entire world , and has not been cannibalized for it’s parts as opposed to it’s sum.

    I am discreet in these concerns , and unlike the rather ubiquitous Chagall , the volume of photographs sold is scarce enough that I wager that another copy will not be on the market for many years to come , if at all.

    If I have any point to make here it will be that a world of difference exists between the Chagall Windows , rather common text , and a unique book of original photographs that only three institutions have in their special collections.

    That being said , opinions are like handlebars on a bike , we use them to navigate about , and it is easier to ride a bike with handlebars , though not impossible . So i agree to disagree , though I remain rather amazed by your defense of a common book kept whole as the two art prints it contains being the perrogative and right of the client to display on their wall , while they can still enjoy the two prints in a copy of the same ubiquitous book that sits in their lap.

    Best wishes, Mr. Mark

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