Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Best selling book of all time.

Last week, my son and I went garage saleing for the first time all summer (I know, you'd think someone who is hosting a barn sale in six weeks would have been hitting them every week!). As we walked up the drive, it appeared to be another one of those sales that the "garage sale police" should be notified of. You know the ones. The ad reads "HUGE SALE" or "VINTAGE GOODIES" and you get there and the HUGE SALE is actually some spoiled brat's closet sale full of designer onesies and rhinestone cover baby tees! And the VINTAGE GOODIE equates to Tupperware from the 1960's...and it has food stains on it! Yep, that's when I want to call the garage sale police to issue them a ticket!

So anyway, as I approach the garage, there are only two tables and it appears to be a meager selection of books and some knick knacks. Sigh, another waste of time. Wait, what is this? An old Bible? I pick it up and run my hand over the gold gilded cover with brass edges and clip...the leather is so smooth. I think of the who might have owned it and how many years did they open and close this grand book full of wisdom...and more importantly, why wasn't it kept in the family! I carefully open the latch to find its age. It's marked with Roman Numerals--and I'm not so good with those--so I ask the woman working the sale. She and I decide (and we were right) that the book was published in 1873!  As I flip through the pages I see it's illustrated with fabulous drawings.

She tells me that these Bibles came from a farmhouse in New Hampshire. Did she say "Bibles", as in plural? I look down again and that's when I realize that all the books on the table are Bibles!!! Oh my goodness...a bevy of gorgeous covers, worn leather, some with gold trim, some with handmade book covers. I didn't know which one to pick up next. So I gently choose the Daily Praise & Prayer Book, fabulous worn leather with gold gilded printing on the cover. Each page devoted to a single day's prayer. Here's today's...

 As I open it an ancient book mark falls out...a needlepoint stitched with "Rest in the LORD". Oh my! And when did this little beauty come off the press? 1884.

The third one I pick up has leather so worn that it is almost glossy. The binding is damaged, and only bears a simple HOLY BIBLE on the spine.

As I turn the first page the paper is so thin I can barely feel it in my hands. Gasp! 1823!!!! This Bible is just shy of 200 years old!

 The reverse side of this page is inscribed withthe words: The Property of Maj Irena Grover, Sandown, Nov 16th 1825. A piece of someone's history...I wish I knew who found such joy in this book.

The next is a small, almost pocket size Holy Bible, simple brown cover with black inscription.

The inside cover in inscribed with: James M. Taylor, Rock Lawn Farm, Foxboro, Mass. June 5, 1888 "Enter not into the path of the wicken, and go not in the way of evil men". Your true friend, Chas. N. Morse.

The last one I pick up is the largest and is covered in a homemade version of a bookcover, similar to the ones I made as a child out of a brown paper bag to protect my school books. Only this one is striped leather, and when I open it, the inside is stitched with thread! It is dated 1848--one hundred years before my husband was born! I am amazed. I so badly want to know what the cover looks like, but I don't dare remove the cover that someone long before me thought it needed.

As I stood there wondering who these belonged to, and why have they been separated from the family which once owned them, I kept feeling the smoothness of the leather, and running my fingertips over the ingraved covers. The beauty is striking. The content amazing. The beauty too much to describe. Which one should I buy? How can I not buy all of them? Needless to say I didn't buy all of them, but I did choose these five fabulous, gracious books of God...not only for what's on the outside, but also what's on the inside.


Unknown said...

What a treasure!!!!

Lisa Sommers said...

You and I love all of the same STUFF!!! Every time I see your posts and pictures, I think, "Hey, did I post that in my sleep??" When my life gives me a day or two of free time, I am going to jump in my car and come meet you! Follow this link on my Junk Bonanza profile, you will see we both covet Bibles!

Serendipity Refined said...

Wow! I can't wait to see them in person! Those are beautiful. Take a look on the internet, I'll help you if you'd like, maybe we can find out a little more about the owners. Congrats on an amazing find. xo

Nellie's Kitchen said...

Lisa--yes, someday we'll meet. Did you see that we're hosting another Vintage Market? We'd love to have you as a vendor! Sept. 7 & 8 in Roscoe, my town...find info here: www.thevintagemarket.net Also, maybe you can make it to my sale on October 12 & 13...so we can meet!

Counting Your Blessings said...

Wow, wow, wow. Super cool!! I have a couple old Bibles but none like these. I think though my favorite one is the one that my mom used when I was a kid. It has all her notes in the margins. These are keepers for sure!!

Blessings... Polly