August 17, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - Silver Bookmarks

You might have already noticed that I've got a soft spot for bookmarks. It's not as though I'd be collecting them, but I do have a fair share sitting in a mug on my desk. When you think about it, it really doesn't make much sense either to own vast amounts of them. After all most people won't be reading more than a few books at a time, and me, personally, I only read one at a time anyway. Still, they are cute, so whenever I receive one I will keep it and alternately use them for my books.

Some people though are serious collectors, such as Howie Schecter, who put up his huge collection on his website Silver Bookmarks. He started collecting antique bookmarks in 1995 and has in the meantime amassed almost 1.200 pieces (as of August 2011). Contrary to other collectors he specialized in non-paper bookmarks. The collection is primarily silver, but it includes bookmarks of gold, brass, bronze, copper, celluloid, pewter, silk, plastic, enamel, mother of pearl, leather and ivory. The oldest bookmark in this collection is a beautiful Gorham piece with a dog or fox head as the top blade, circa 1865.

When I browsed through the beautiful collection I seriously got nostalgic. Today most people use bookmarks made of paper, which of course isn't a bad thing, but when you see the craftsmanship and detail here, well, I felt this sudden urge to head to the next antiquity market to go hunting for some treasures myself.

After you're done drooling over the lovelies, which are all easily to be found by various categories, don't forget to check out the page with Related Sites featuring links to various websites too, and read more on their history, exhibitions, and much more.


  1. When I was a child, every time I went to the bookstore and bought books I bought a bookmark too. Remember the neat ones with pretty pictures on them and tassles? It was almost as exciting as choosing my books. One bookstore here gives out free bookmarks with every purchase- very convenient.

  2. Of course I remember the bookmarks with tassels ... does that mean we're old? *cough* The only free bookmarks I ever get are those through TBD, but I'd love it if bookshops gave them away as well.