Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Miniature Books

Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 I'm working on plotting out my Gilded Age novel and doing lots of research.

I've decided to give my main character the hobby of collecting miniature books, which have been around for thousands of years. The earliest one on record is a tiny one inch square clay tablet written in Sumerian script from 2000 BC.

To qualify as a miniature, a book must be no larger than 3 inches wide or tall. I have a few in my own personal collection, acquired after years of antiquing and flea marketing.

Medieval Book of Hours
Some of the miniature books were bound in leather and mother of pearl, with gold lettering and beautiful illustrations. Some had enameled covers and gold clasps, set with gems. They can be slipped into a pocket (which my character will do) and carried about easily.

Popular subjects were Bibles and religious books, children's stories, histories, and famous speeches such as Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation.

Snap these up if you come across them at a flea market or a tag sale. They are precious.

1 comment:

  1. That's fascinating. What a cool hobby to give her. I did not realize they have been around so long. I have a couple of them in a shadowbox.


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