If you asked me what was one of my favorite things on this earth, my answer would probably include Books. I'm one of those people that will never ever own a e-reader of any kind. I adore the smell of books, the feel of the pages beneath my fingers and the fact that it's not another electronic device that I spend time on. Books are pretty sacred to me but there are those times when I will actually cut up a book in favor of the art within. Atlases usually go under the knife around here. I use the vintage maps as shelf liners, file cabinet display inserts, framed art, price tags and more. It's a rare day when I meet an Atlas that I don't have to have.
A couple weeks ago I came across an antique Anatomy book from 1916. It was in German and worth around $100. It was filled though with over a hundred incredibly drawn book plates.
While I feel some pangs of guilt for cutting up this beautiful book, I find the illustrations almost too stunning to stay hidden. The top two framed book plates sold this last week for $25 each. I frame them in vintage frames. The backing paper is water color paper.
My son said this looks like an alien and my father said it looks "creepy". Anatomy images are either loved or not loved. I find them intriguing mostly from an art point of view. The Central Nervous System plate I used acid free scrap book paper for backing and vintage photograph corners so that the book plate could be removed without damage.
I'll be honest, I don't really enjoy framing. I tend to use a bit of colorful language when things go wrong. Like the large piece of dust I find under the glass after everything is all sealed up. Or when it's finished but I notice it's crooked enough to where it bothers me. Older frames are definitely more fussy but I think that if you are going to frame vintage and antique ephemera, they simply sparkle in vintage frames. I typically pick the frames up for $1-$3 each. The more I work on framing, hopefully the easier it will become.
If you are local, I have three of these for sale at the Antique Society at the moment.
Do you look for certain books for framing book plates? What's your favorite one to find?