Not Till Death, Debt, Divorce do we part

Not Till Death, Debt, Divorce Do We Part

In the world of collecting there are what’s known as the three D’s any one of which rings a death knell for a collection and on occasion the collector.

Divorce, Debt and Death

Divorce: In the event of divorce unless otherwise stipulated in a prenuptial agreement the collection would be divided equally between the two parties. This may be accomplished through an appraisal, which determines the dollar value of the entire collection.  The collection may then be split equally in order that each party receives its fair share. It is more likely that upon appraisal the collection would be sold and the proceeds from the sale then split equally between the divorcing couple. No doubt, this would be accomplished with no rancor or animosity and with the assistance of fine legal advice. Yeah, right. Contine reading


A Case of Mistaken Identity

In the early days of his collecting, Duncan  with great excitement and pleasure announced that he had purchased a Heriot. Well,  I was over the moon! Finally something in which we had a mutual interest. I love Herriott! I have read every word written by or about him and had seen every episode of “All Creatures Great and Small”. The very idea of collecting and owning valuable works by Dr. James Herriott was more than I could ever have hoped for. Contine reading

This ancient map hangs in the Gillinghan, Dorset Museum and shows the hamlet of Bengervill, which  is now the Benjafield farm

Eclectic Collecting

 Eclectic Collecting

Genealogists are collectors. While most people think that genealogists collect family trees and pedigree charts, I can attest that they collect a wide range of materials as well as the above. Collections can include books, maps, certificates of vital statistics, and much more. As an avid genealogist/self-appointed family historian ages, my collection of books includes not just genealogical how-to-guides, but very specific collections of any books on a specific locale or county in the U.K., from which most of my own ancestry derives (Welsh, Scottish, English, admittedly a sprinkling of Irish.) Contine reading


Giulio Ferrario, intellectual, publisher, printer and librarian

   GUILIO FERRARIO – intellectual, publisher, printer and librarian

From the moment  Adam and Eve donned their fig leaves in the Garden of Eden, what we wear is of the utmost importance. Apparel  over the years has evolved as a result of  historical events, geography and fashion and while not always sensible or attractive, what we wear speaks volumes about who we are, what we do and how we do it.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the Costume as:
“The clothes worn by people from a particular place or during a particular historical period.”

Our manner of dress has the ability tells the world where we are from, our cultural heritage, our religious beliefs, if we are wealthy, middle class or struggling in poverty. Let’s take a look at some very common examples of how our manner of dress tells our story: Contine reading


Anna Murphy Jameson, A True Pioneer

A True Pioneer

On October 2008, 25- & 26th  we occupied a booth at the Ottawa Book Fair. The doors opened and  within a very few minutes a charming young man made his way to our location, briefly looked about and then scooped up a circa 1845 manuscJameson_Letter_John_boughtript letter  of Anna Murphy Jameson written to “My dear Mrs. Macready,” . This was the very first sale for Lord Durham Rare Books at a live book fair. It was this sale that set us on our way to fame and fortune as rare and fine booksellers.  Well, that’s what we had hoped for.  Anna became one of my favorite people that day and not just as a result of the sale of the handwritten letter but because I developed an interest in she and the other “Babes in the Bush” as I so fondly refer to Susanna Moodie, Catherine Parr Traill, and E Pauline Johnson. Contine reading


Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

19th century and earlier newspapers

Back in the good old days when I started collecting, my focus for the most part was on materials pertaining to specific subjects. If I discovered an item that fit the criteria of my subject matter then it would be scooped up and added to the collection. As a result my collections contained a multitude of rare and fine books, photos, manuscripts, prints and newspapers. It had never been my intention to collect newspapers as they were just not on my collection ‘radar’ .  There always seemed to be too many books to look at and choose from that newspapers just didn’t attract my attention. The fact is however, I was collecting newspapers or magazines but did not see them as such but rather elements of my growing collection. Contine reading


Your price is too low!

Your price is too low!

On a rare occasion, a collector will discover an  item of interest and find that it is being offered at a price lower than expected. BONUS! What a deal!

There are a number of reason for an item to be offered at sale at lower than the ‘going rate’. The seller may through their own ignorance, lack of research, unfamiliarity with the product, downsizing, may not realize they are ‘taking a hit’ on the item or they may just wish to get it out of their inventory and are prepared to take the hit. Contine reading


A result of nature, nurture or a combination…

Women have felt victims of inequality with men for centuries often blaming men for lack of income, prestige, and success and yet it is due to the efforts of a number of men that women have realized many freedoms and rights. Frederick Douglas, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Alan Alda, Patrick Stewart, T.C. Norris, Frederick Pethick-Lawrence are a few of the men that have stood up for and with women as equals.

John Stuart Mill also was one of these men but he based his theory on a belief that we are all equal, if we so choose to be. Contine reading


I am a collector and I am proud of it.

I am a collector and I am proud of it.  I rummage through the tiniest of thrift and charity shops hoping to find that one piece that feeds my thrill of the hunt, satisfies that craving to eschew the assembly-line, every-day shops, while I repeat the Latin words, sui generis – occasionally and when most needed – in my mind.

Did I also mention that I frequently stand back and wonder where the line is drawn between collecting and that ghastly term, hoarding? Contine reading


What a Guy

Sir Guy Carleton

First Baron of Dorchester

For a guy that had such an incredible impact of the history of Canada there is not a great deal of information about Sir Guy Carleton, the man. It is due in large part to Sir Guy that we are Canadians celebrating July 1st and not Americans celebrating July 4th.

Guy Carleton was born on Sept. 3, 1724, into a distinguished Irish family at Strabane in Tyrone County, Ireland. To all intents and purposes it would appear his upbringing was much like the average guy. Considering the extent of his knowledge and ability to strategize it is interesting to note that his exposure to formal education was fairly limited. Contine reading