Antique Smalls have always held a fascination for me. Perhaps because of my diminutive height, I am most comfortable collecting children's chairs, tiny Chinese slippers, and little books. The books I collect, are not technically considered "miniature" - (which must measure no more than 3 in. high). Mine are in the 4 X 3 inch range, but still could fit in the palm of a hand or a pocket.
Frontispiece from "The Pocket Letter Writer", 1850
Among the small antique books in my collection are fabric-covered volumes in bright tartan plaid or flowery French chintz. But this being the period leading up to Valentine's day, I find myself drawn to tiny volumes of sentiments from the 19th century bound in festive red and gold.
"The Choice Gift", 1850
The covers of these books are adorned with blind and gilt stamped decorations of sweet putti, urns of flowers, and maidens with floral baskets and garlands.
"The Ladies Casket", 1847
A "casket" was a term for a Victorian lady's jewelry box. This book lists a gemstone, together with its sentiment and a poetical description, for each day in the week, and each month in the year.
"The Flower Vase", 1853
Frontispiece from "The Flower Vase", 1853The above book contains a favorite theme of the period - origins and symbols of The Language of Flowers.
"Wild Flowers", 1846
To the Misses Hanson, Edgarton, Carter, Colman and all the anonymous women writers of these small and beautiful keepsakes, this post is affectionately dedicated.