Trillium Antiquarian Books

Some common memento is better,

Something he prized and is known by; 

His old clothes-- a few books perhaps.

William Carlos Williams, Tract

Welcome to the home of Trillium Antiquarian Books where you can search or browse our collection of antiquarian books on Country Life and Natural History -- scarce books, from A to Z, on angling, apiculture, bees, birds, botany, Darwin, farming, fish, flora, fruit growing, gardens, geography, grapes, herbals, horticulture, landscapes, mammals, orchards, ornithology, seeds, vegetables, wildflowers, zoology... and likely several other matters which do not come readily to mind.  Search and browse, too, our antiquarian Canadiana and Literature collections. In our Canadiana collection you will find the early works of Moodie, Traill, Davies, Bouchette, and others from Upper and Lower Canada. Our antiquarian Literature collection makes room among its novels, sermons, and poetry for some rare works by Mark Twain and Stephen Crane.


We will never have thousands and thousands of books for sale, lining the front stairs, boxed and piled in the basement, but we do spend a great deal of time looking, live and on line; our collection of books on architecture and design, number-wise, is modest enough, but lined up together you will find classics on church architecture and designs for book covers-- perfect, if you are determined to build a replica of Ely's cathedral or are looking for a way to apply Tiffany style to mass marketed literary uplift. Sometimes all that's left of an old book is the pictures. You will find antiquarian prints and maps, together with entire illustrated books, in Trillium's collection of Images from antiquarian sources.


If you spend any time hunting up books, you are bound to come upon an occasional book so odd or idiosyncratic as to be irresistible. Proof of the proposition is to be found in the Trillium collection of intriguing Curiosities. Since their comings and goings are unpredictable, it's usually worth stopping in for a short browse.


Trillium Antiquarian Books has been selling scarce, out-of-print books on the Internet since 1998 and, earlier, by traditional mail order. Look for us at book fairs in Ontario and the American northeast and mid-west, where we have exhibited during the past dozen years. 


Trillium Antiquarian Books is owned by William Van Nest, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Trillium Grandiflorum, from which we take our name, is the provincial flower of Ontario and appears in snowy white drifts among the hardwoods each Spring. One of several trilliums resident in the back garden furnished the images on this page.

Newly Arrived

As soon as they have had their pictures taken, these new arrivals will be taking their place in our general catalogue whence several will migrate to a suitable specialized list to be at home with their fellows. Notable among them is the first book published in English on the art and technique of bookbinding; a long run (twenty-eight years) of the Automobile Quarterly, 'an unbroken chain of quarterly reports..., a virtual archive of the known universe of the car'; the Economic Cottage Builder ' for Men of Small Means'; and four eighteenth century titles by John Laurence (1668- 1732), in one volume, on the art of gardening-- one for clergymen, one for gentlemen, one for ladies, and one for anyone at all wanting their own fruit garden.

*2225L  Bostock, Lieut. J. The Machine Gunners’ Handbook Including the Vickers, Maxim, Lewis, and Colt Automatic Machine Guns. London: W. H. Smith & Son, n.d. but c. 1916. Tenth edition (pp. 327, adverts). 16mo (16 cm) in pictorial brown canvas cloth, front pocket holds graticule card, range and trajectory cards; thirty-four plates, one folding, etc. A bit of wear only to cover, previous owner’s name and WW I outfit. Clean, bright, and sound. Quite scarce. Very Good.  $250


*2094L  The Automobile Quarterly. The Connoisseur’s Magazine of Motoring, Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow. L. Scott Bailey, Pub. (1962- 1986); CBS etc. (1987- 2012). Volume 1, Nos. 1- 4 (1962). Hardcover, long folio (28 cm), in pictorial cloth binding, gilt title and decoration. Each number of this publication illustrated its expertly written articles with art work and photography of a high order. In the New York Times obituary notice for Mr. Bailey, Paul Vitello says, in part, ‘In the 24 years he ran Automobile Quarterly before retiring in 1986, Mr. Bailey published an unbroken chain of gold-embossed [sometimes silver gilt] quarterly reports that constituted a virtual archive of the known universe of the car: long biographical essays about racecar drivers, designers and forgotten inventors of breakthrough automotive technologies; historical dissertations on classics like the Duesenberg; offbeat yarns like the definitive story of the gyroscopically balanced two-wheel motorcar designed in 1914 by Count Peter Schilovsky of Russia.…’ (15 July 2012).


*2123L  Kennedy, Sir William Robert.  Sport in the Navy and Naval Yarns. Westminster: Archibald Constable, 1902. First edition (pp. 317, adverts) INSCRIBED by Kennedy to his brother ‘G. G. Kennedy/ with love from/ his brother Bill/ Oct 1902’. Small octavo (19 cm) in blue publisher’s cloth, gilt titles and decorations (compass rose, ropes), bevelled edges; twenty-one ‘ripping’ yarns and reminiscences of life in the Royal Navy told by Admiral Sir William Robert Kennedy, K. C. B., (1838- 1916), arising out of the experiences of his long career as a naval officer (1851- 1901) which culminated in appointments as Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Station and finally as C-in -C of the Nore (the North Sea fleet).  The sketches include, for example, ‘Reindeer Stalking in Norway’, ‘Trout Fishing in Swedish Lakes and Rivers’, ‘Duck Shooting Near Karachi’, and  ‘A Trip to Bagdad’. As these titles suggest, Kennedy’s service following the Crimean War, during which he served as a junior officer, was with a largely peacetime navy, one which might be called upon from time to time to quiet disturbances in various corners of the Empire but otherwise left ample time for reindeer hunting. Kennedy was a busy writer, too. Predating this book were his Sporting Adventures in the Pacific (1876); Sport, Travel, and Adventure in Newfoundland and the West Indies (1885); Sporting Sketches in South America (1892); and Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor (1900). In many respects, then, a sporting navy. This is a Kennedy family copy which, as the inscription on the front flyleaf implies, was originally the property of Gilbert George Kennedy (1844- 1909), one of Kennedy’s two younger brothers, a barrister and magistrate, who in his earlier years was something of a gentleman sport (He played for the first Scottish XI against England in the 1860’s). The book was evidently passed on to his youngest son, John de Navarre Kennedy, O. B. E., QC, who was a Toronto lawyer and later a distinguished county judge in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, where our copy was discovered. Hinges with minor repairs, rubbed here and there around the edges; gilt bright and clean. A Very Good, sound copy of a surprisingly scarce Victorian classic.  


*2125L  Dwyer, Charles P. The Economic Cottage Builder: Cottages for Men of Small Means. Buffalo: Wanzer, Mc Kim & Co., 1855. First edition (pp. 127). Small folio (23 cm) in blue publisher’s cloth, gilt titles, decorations in gilt and blind; twenty-three lithograph plates showing elevations of ‘cottages’ designed after the neo-Gothic, with hints of the neo-classical, fashion; the elevations are accompanied by floor-plans, three to a page. Dwyer’s principal theme in this pattern book is that the humble cottage can become a pleasing and comfortable home (He might have said ‘hermitage’) by choosing local materials and employing simple construction methods: ‘It does not require actual mechanics to follow out these little hints. Any man with a saw, a hammer, and a chisel, with some nails, can effect wonders in this way.’ To that end, Dwyer explains the construction techniques for each of the twenty-three patterns. In his dedication, Dwyer strikes a populist note, “To the toiling millions, whose means are small, yet whose desires are great to possess a home, where industry and contentment shall be household gods, and independence be allied with happiness….’ Dwyer book was preceded by those of Andrew Downing who had earlier published several works on homestead and landscape design, also featuring the popular neo- Gothic fashion (tall, narrow churchy windows, fretted barge board, sharply angled dormers).  Calvert Vaux, best known for his work on New York’s Central Park and with whom Downing was briefly associated, was just beginning his career designing stylish houses for the settled countryside. Only occasional light foxing, tips worn through; otherwise clean, bright, and sound. Very Good. A scarce book and especially attractive. 


*2126L  Addison, Joseph et al. The Evidences of the Christian Religion, By the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; to which is added, Several Discourses against Atheism and Infidelity, and the Defence of the Christian Revelation, occasionally published by Him and Others: And now  collected into one Body, and digested under their proper Heads. London: J. and R. Tonson, 1742. Third edition (pp. xxvi, 330). Duodecimo (16cm) in full calf, gilt decoration. With ms notes in a contemporary hand on the ffep and previous owner’s name (‘Thom's ? Clutterbuck’) on the title page. An anonymously edited anthology gathered together and issued as a salvo in the struggle between religious belief and rapidly expanding scientific discovery: the lengthy, unsigned Preface calls to witness Boyle, Locke, and Newton; section V, for example, is entitled ‘Advantages of Revelation above Natural Reason’. While the opposition is not identified by name, references to ‘skepticks’ and various other unbelievers suggest the targets of this missile.  (Though Thomas Clutterbuck, MP, is recorded as having died in the year of the publication of this edition, it is still a happy possibility this may have been his copy. It was said of him (See History of Parliament) that in his role as Parliamentarian he was sensible, beloved and had a good character, but was lazy, indolent and mute, and of no use in Parliament but counting one in a division. He is not reported as speaking again till 1740, when he spoke several times for the Government on naval matters…also moving an address approving a supply for the support of the Queen of Hungary.…) A very good copy.  


*2127L  [Parry, Henry].  The Whole Art of Bookbinding, Containing Valuable Recipes for Sprinkling, Makbling [sic], Colouring. &c.  Oswestry: N. Minshall for the author, 1811. First edition (pp. xi,  60). Duodecimo (17 cm) in original gray paper covered boards; chipping with some loss to spine, text uncut. Unopened and in its original state, as issued— awaiting for its first formal binding.  Scarce.


 Oak Knoll notes the 1811 English printing was the first book in English devoted entirely to bookbinding. "It is very much a working bookbinder's notebook put in order for publication and owes little to the encyclopaedias." A description of this important book appears in “Highlights from the Bernard C. Middleton Collection of Books on Bookbinding” (Rochester 2000): 


The first English bookbinding manual, published more than a century after the earliest Continental ones. This slim, unillustrated book covers forwarding somewhat cursorily, but the sections on the sprinkling of book-edges, the sprinkling and marbling of leather covers, and the preparation of the colours are more than detailed. Gold tooling and stationery binding are also dealt with. In these days of complete openness among craftspeople, those of the younger generation may wonder why the book was published anonymously. The reason was that secretiveness was very prevalent at the time and, indeed, persisted in some quarters well within living memory. This apparent meanness of spirit can be understood in the light of very harsh industrial and social conditions and the complete lack of benefits paid by the State. Marblers, in particular, often erected partitions or kept the inquisitive out of their room in order not to be observed at work, so an author who divulged details of the 'art and mystery' of the craft would expect hostility from fellow practitioners.…The question of authorship has exercised the minds of a number of historians. I have insufficient space fully to summarize the arguments. Suffice it to say that three candidates have been named: W. Price, an Oswestry binder, whose earliest date in directories is 1828; Nathaniel Minshall, the printer of the manual, and admitted as a solicitor in 1819; and Henry Parry, author of The Art of Bookbinding published in 1817. Of the three, Parry seems the most likely; the Oswestry volume was registered at Stationers' Hall in the name of Henry Parry, so it would be a remarkable coincidence if he were not the author."   $3500



*2128L  Laurence, John and Charles Evelyn. The Clergy-Man’s Recreation: Shewing the Pleasure and Profit of the Art of Gardening. London: Bernard Lintott, 1717. The fifth edition (pp. 84).  TOGETHER WITH:  John Laurence. The Gentleman’s Recreation: or the Second Part of Gardening Improved. Containing several New Experiments and Curious Observations relating to Fruit-Trees: Particularly, a New Method of building Walls with Horizontal Shelters. London: Bernard Lintott, 1717. Second edition (pp. 115). TOGETHER WITH:  Charles Evelyn. The Lady’s Recreation: or, The Third and Last Part of the Art of Gardening Improv’d. Containing, I. The Flower- Garden…, II. The most commodious Methods of erecting Conservatories, Green- Houses, and Orangeries…, III. The Nature of Plantations in Avenues, Walks, Wildernesses, &c., IV. Mr. John Evelyn’s Kalendarium Hortense…with Many Useful Additions. London: J. Roberts, 1717. First (?) edition (pp. 200).  TOGETHER WITH:  John Laurence. The Fruit- Garden Kalendar:  or, a Summary of the Art of Managing the Fruit- Garden. To which is Added, An Appendix of the Usefulness of the Barometer; with some short Directions how to make a right Judgment of the Weather. London: Bernard Lintot [sic}, 1718. First (?) edition (pp. 149). Octavo (20 cm) in full leather, Cambridge binding, gilt title to spine, five raised bands; with the bookplate of James Erskine of Alva, Bt.; with four (of five) copperplate engravings, head and tail pieces, in-text line drawings; various prefaces, dedications, including advertisement for the survey services of John’s brother Edward Laurence whose Duty and Office of a Land Steward is our book No. 780. Repairs to external hinges and head of spine, plates. (See Fussell, Old English Farming Books, p. 100 et seq.). Scarce, especially with all four titles in one volume. 


Featured Books

J. St. George Joyce. Manual of Sinn Fein in the Form of Question and Answer.  Philadelphia: Banba, 1919.  First edition (32 pp.). Duodecimo (15 cm) in original card, titles, etc., on front cover. Published at the end of WWI when negotiations for an international settlement had just begun, this small catechism links the fortunes of the United States with those of an Irish republic and is an appeal for the support of the many transplanted Irish resident in the States. A few spots to the covers, small tear rear top corner with no loss, staples a bit rusted but no staining. Joyce was a Philadelphian who wrote on the Irish in Philadelphia and not apparently a relation of the other one. Found in a box of summertime reading in a cottage on Stoney Lake, Ontario, where it had rested for nearly a hundred years. Four libraries worldwide hold a copy (NYPL, Villanova, Notre Dame, Stanford). Clean, sound, and bright.   $400

Rex Stout. Where There’s a Will. A Nero Wolfe Mystery. New York, Toronto: Farrar & Rinehart, 1940.  First edition (pp. 272, avert.), eighth Nero Wolfe mystery. Octavo (19.5 cm) in publisher’s red cloth, titles and decoration in black, dark blue top edge stain; plate with six b&w photos as called for. Absent any dust wrapper. Top and bottom of spine rubbed, epps. with light binder’s glue stains, apparently usual. A near Fine copy.  $475

Joan M. Vastokas, and Romas K. Vastokas. Sacred Art of the Algonkians: A Study of the Peterborough Petroglyphs. Peterborough: Mansard Press, 1973. First edition (pp. xiv, 164, Notes, Bibliography). Large fold-out map of the petroglyphs in map pocket at rear, thirty photo plates and 56 figures in b&w. Small folio (24 cm) in pictorial green dust wrapper, tan cloth with gilt titles to spine. An account by the principal anthropological investigators of the discovery, preservation, and interpretation of the large petroglyph site found north of Stoney Lake, just at the edge of the Shield in Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada. There are, of course, other sites around the country. One, on the north shore of  Lake Superior, is approached by edging out over the water along a narrow stone ledge, but the Peterborough site is much more accessible (and endangered). Here is an account of the care taken to preserve the site and understand its message.  A few minor creases to dust wrapper, previous owner’s signature; otherwise a fine, clean copy of a scarce book. $150

Horace Waller [and David Livingstone]. The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa from 1865 to His Death. Continued by a Narrative of His Last Moments and Sufferings, Obtained from His Faithful servants Chuma and Susi. London: John Murray, 1874. First edition, in two volumes (pp. xvi, 360, adverts; viii, 346, adverts). Octavo (23 cm) in original purple cloth (faded), gilt titles and pictorial decorations; complete with two frontispieces, 19 plates and twenty-four illustrations; two clean, bright maps-- large folding map in rear pocket Vol. 1 (‘A Map of a Portion of Central Africa’), smaller folding map bound in at end Vol. 2 (‘Forest Plateau of Africa’). Previous owner’s signature (‘Livingstone’, but not apparently a direct descendant). Spines somewhat sun-faded but gilt titles and decorations still bright, one hinge starting, head and tail of spines abraded, two 3 cm splits. Large map with a short split at several folds, two age toned panels. Some light, infrequent foxing as shown. Binding is square and tight. About very good.   $600

J. M. W. Turner. An Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour Round the Southern Coast of England. Illustrated with Eighty-Four Plates, from Drawings by J. M. W. Turner, R.A., W. Collins, R.A., William Westall, R.A., S. Prout, P. Dewint, and Others. Engraved by George Cooke, E. Goodall, R. Wallis, Edward Finden, W. Miller, J. C. Allen, and W. B. Cooke. London: M. A. Nattali, 1849. First edition (pp. viii, 202). Large quarto (29 cm) in full morocco, fine gilt decorations and titles to cover and spine, bevelled boards, all edges gilt; complete with 84 engravings of fraught and wind-blown seascapes and workaday seaside scenes-- forty-nine plates on stiff card (including frontispiece), each with a tissue guard,  together with thirty-five engravings in text as head and tail pieces, etc. Based on Turner’s two-volume work, published in 1826, with the addition of a number of engravings and a completely revised text (So, if not the first edition, then a thoroughly revised and expanded one). The high-style brown morocco has an inset title panel in maroon and is a showpiece of mid-century gilt decoration with dentil- work, garlands, and sunbursts; the rear cover, in maroon morocco, features a sunburst in a similarly framed panel, or lozenge, in blind. The real panel has a small damaged area about 2 cm square and two still smaller spots (See image); tips and spine ends are lightly abraded. The firm, square binding opens at p. 46 and p. 148; rear hinge starting but holding. Save only the rear of the frontispiece, which is blotched, the fine engraved plates and text are virtually free of foxing or other discolouration. A fine, bright copy of an uncommon, high-style, seaside travelogue.  $800 

Regimental Heritage. A Pictorial Record of the Paintings and Silver of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. London: Europa, for the Regiment, 1984. First edition, a presentation copy from General Sir Richard Vincent, KCB, DSO (pp. 286, index). Long folio (35 cm) in Oxford blue, gilt titles and regimental arms, matching slipcase. More than a hundred colour plates depicting events in the regiment’s service history out of 417 total including many b&w photographic plates. A Fine copy in similar slipcase.  $100

Celia Thaxter and Childe Hassam, Illus.  An Island Garden. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1895. First edition, second printing (pp. 126) with pictures and decorations by Childe Hassam. Tall octavo (23 cm) in white publisher’s cloth (scarce), gilt title and decoration by Thaxter’s friend Sara Wyman Whitman (1842- 1904) whose cover designs, an elegant interpretation of the Art Nouveau, enhanced the work of, among others, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Sarah Orne Jewett.  The tissue- guarded  plates, illustrations and decorations are by the American impressionist Childe Hassam (1859- 1935) whose style seems perfectly suited to the flowered summer retreat on Appledore Island in the Gulf of Maine where Thaxter hosted a famous salon for writers and artists. Here, the frontispiece, title page, various headpieces, and eleven full-page garden portraits exhibit Hassam’s skill depicting light and colour. Celia Thaxter (1835- 1894) was a popular poet of the time (They would have said ‘poetess’). Her work, notable for its intimate familiarity with wild nature combined with conventional subjects and rhyming schemes, appeared frequently in The Atlantic. Her poem ‘The Burgomaster Gull’ is probably the best known.  In Hassam’s treatment it’s as though Thaxter herself somehow has become an element in the landscape. This book, an account of her splendid flower garden on Appledore, is  rightly regarded as “one of the most elaborate pieces of bookmaking of the period” (BAL). Spine and the cover’s front edge sunned, front hinge re-enforced; the binding becoming a bit dry. A bright, attractive copy.  $900










         (Courtesy, Sara Glatz)






Remarks & Notices

Trillium Antiquarian Books

Canadiana Catalogue in Preparation


Catharine Parr StricklandSusanna StricklandAgnes StricklandAgnes Moodie FitzGibbon Chamberlin


Having resided a long, lazy time in a lakeside cottage and now making ready their appearance in our forthcoming Canadiana Catalogue are titles by the Strickland sisters (Agnes, Catharine Parr, and Susanna) and George Douglas, books signed and inscribed by Sir Sandford Fleming, a family copy of Canadian Wild Flowers, and the contemporaneous letters of settler Frances Stewart. From a maple bush in Quebec's Cantons de l' Est, comes a cookbook by Martin Picard of Rabelasian-style recipes and good-natured ribaldry. Together with local histories, county atlases, and Margaret Atwood's surprising depiction of the ornithological origin of the written word, we hope our catalogue will merit more than a passing acquaintance. Here are some samples--

Susanna Moodie. Roughing It in the Bush; or, Forest Life in Canada (Toronto, 1871). Sir Sandford Fleming's copy, dated and with his signature.

C. P. Traill and Agnes Fitzgibbon [later, Chamberlin]. Canadian Wild Flowers (Montreal, 1869). A family copy, replaced plate by Traill's great, great grandniece.

George M. Douglas. Lands Forlorn (New York, 1914). Inscribed by Douglas.

George Grant. Ocean to Ocean (Toronto, 1873). Inscribed to his son and signed by Sandford Fleming.

William L. Grant and Frederick Hamilton.  Principal Grant (Toronto, 1904). With a warm inscription and signed by Sandford Fleming.

C. P. Traill. The Backwoods of Canada... (London, 1836). T. C. Boyd's copy.

Martin Picard. Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack ([Montreal], 2012).

Not every title has been, as Inspector Morse would have said, well kept, and some have required repair of one sort or another, which is ongoing. The issuance of our catalogue will therefore await completion of that remedial work, but we thought you should have something to look forward to. 













Remarks & Notices Archives

Pictures of Friends


Mark Jokinen, Jokinen Books 

Paul Dyment, Scholars Books 

John Burbidge, Bookbinding

Nancy Grayson, Cunningham Books