Thursday, April 13, 2006

Reasons to Collect-

There is an interesting passage in the preface to Julia Torrey's 1917 book Old Sheffield Plate. Writing at the height of World War I, Torrey feels the need to explain her decision to publish a book on a subject as 'frivolous' as antique collecting-

"While it claims no direct bearing upon the serious problems of existence in these strenuous times, this book is offered without apology; for concerning war directly and indirectly there is literature without end, and it has been virtuously assumed by many of us that the finer and quieter things of life must be too much neglected. The spirit of destruction is rampant, and is eating its way into our lives whether we will it or no. Our best energies are spent in the creation of huge and elaborate mechanisms for the sole purpose of destroying and of being destroyed. In view of this very fact is it not the more appropriate, in moments of necessary relaxation, to draw attention to some of the minor but truly excellent works of art that are well worth saving from the general wreckage? May not some fragments that have remained to us from the days when many an artisan was also an artist, help to revive in us the spirit of the workman who wrought well that his work might not only serve a useful purpose, but that it might also please and endure?"

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Our new Books on Silver catalog is now available, please let us know if you would like a copy.

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We have a few interesting books ending on Ebay over the weekend, including a scarce Civil War memoir, the 1936 prospectus for the magnificent Arent Tobacco Collection catalog, a very nice Derrydale Press book, and an 1873 account of the Great Fire of Boston. Click the link to our Ebay auctions in the links column for more information.

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