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. We are a long-standing member of the Independent On-line Booksellers' Association (IOBA) and subscribe to the Association's code of Ethics.


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.





William Van Nest (right) addressing remarks to a dinner companion, Hacienda San Lucas, Copan, Honduras (2012)


Canadiana Catalogue

To download our Canadiana Catalogue as a pdf, just click on...


Catharine Parr StricklandSusanna StricklandAgnes StricklandAgnes Moodie FitzGibbon Chamberlin


Now appearing in our Canadiana Catalogue are titles by the Strickland sisters (Catharine Parr, and Susanna) and George Douglas, books signed and inscribed by Sir Sandford Fleming, a family copy of Canadian Wild Flowers, and the letters of settler Frances Stewart. From a maple bush in Quebec's Cantons de l' Est, comes a cookbook by Martin Picard of Rabelasian recipes and good-natured ribaldry. Together with local histories 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.


Gardening & Horticulture Catalogue
To download our Gardening & Horticulture catalogue as a pdf, just click on...



Our Gardening Horticulture Catalogue features fine gardening books from the nineteenth century, together with a small collection of hand-coloured botanical plates by Elizabeth Blackwell, an eighteenth century herbal full of recipes for curing one or another illness, advice on establishing an orchard, and descriptions of every manner of fruit, vegetable, and flower. Even though its too late to place an order for their seeds and started plants, we still offer vintage seed catalogues with their offers of heritage varieties, some of which remain with us to this day.  (David Austin roses are from the front garden.)















Remarks & Notices

Trillium Antiquarian Books


En Route
Sir Francis Biondi (and Henry of Monmouth, trans.). An History of the Civil Wars of England 1641... (London)


Catherine Cooper Hopley. Drawing ‘The Ruins of Kenilworth, Warwickshire’ (1852)

Three new titles have just now been catalogued...


Dorothy and David Magee. Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press 1940- 1956 (With a Check-List, 1916-1940). San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1957. First edition, 225 copies ‘printed at the Press and completed the last day of April, MCMLVII [by] Edwin & Robert Grabhorn, Jane & Mary Grabhorn, Sherwood Grover’ (pp. xxix, 119, colophon).  $500


Brebeuf, Jean de. The Travels and Sufferings of Father Jean de Brebeuf among the Hurons of Canada as Described by Himself.  London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1938. Translated from the French and Latin by Theodore Besterman with wood engravings on title pages by Eric Gill. First edition thus (197 pp.), Number 254 of the Golden Cockerel edition limited to 300 copies, printed in Bembo type on Arnold’s mould-made paper. This Golden Cockerel edition is a handsome, yet restrained production,  printed by Christopher Sandford and Owen Ritter in ‘large, decorous Bembo type’ on textured, mould-made paper.  $950


George M. Douglas.  Lands Forlorn. G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Knickerbocker Press): New York, 1914. First edition (xv, 285, append.). Colour frontis of the author from a painting by Grier and 182 b&w photo illustrations mostly in text, two maps at rear. Large octavo (23 cm), in dark blue cloth, gilt lettering to titles, t.e.g. From the collection and with the signature of Douglas’ cousin, Lewis W. Douglas (1894- 1974), Democrat politician under Roosevelt, ambassador to Great Britain, and business executive (‘L. W. Douglas/ New York 1924’) and, later, from that of Francis Campbell Bell, once Manitoba’s minister of mines, who has copied out Douglas’ obituary notice and placed it in an envelope at the rear. Also included, initialed by L. W. Douglas, an offprint of the article ‘The Copper Bearing Traps of the Coppermine River’ (Ottawa 1913) by [Dr.] James Douglas, L. W.’s grandfather, (1837- 1918), mining engineer and president of the mining company Phelps Dodge, which consists largely of August Sandburg’s report of the geological findings of the expedition.   $600


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"Der Zeit Ihre Kunst, Der Kunst Ihre Freiheit"

Joseph Maria Olbrich. Architektur.  Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, [1904]. First edition, one hundred and fifty plates in two portfolio volumes.     $2500


Great Lakes Maritime History

Patrick Folkes. Shipwrecks of the Saugeen (1828- 1938), a History of Maritime Disasters of Bruce County [Ontario]. Privately published, 1970. First edition (pp. 85).   $150

Goblins, chiefly Welsh...
Wirt Sikes and T. H. Thomas (Illus.). British Goblins: Welsh-Folklore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions. London: Sampson Low, et al., 1880. First edition (pp. 412, adverts), from ‘Glantawe’- the seat of Sir John Jones Jenkins of Swansea.  $400

Fine houses, also chiefly Welsh...

Sir Richard Colt Hoar.  A Collection of Forty-Eight Views of Noblemen’s and Gentlemen’s Seats, Towns, Castles, Churches, Monasteries, and Romantic Places in North and South Wales… London: John and Josiah Boydell, [1806]. First edition.  $750

Moosehead Journey, Kirk's copy

Lucius L. Hubbard. The Woods and Lakes of Maine. A Trip from Moosehead Lake to New Brunswick in a Birch-Bark Canoe to which are added some Indian Place-Names and their Meanings. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1884. Second edition (pp. 223, appendix), association copy.  Kirk A. W. Wipper’s copy (a founder of the Canadian Canoe Museum whose personal collection of small watercraft formed the nucleus of the Museum’s holdings), with his bookplate. Scarce with map. $300








Remarks & Notices Archives

Pictures of Friends


Mark Jokinen, Jokinen Books 

Paul Dyment, Scholars Books 

John Burbidge, Bookbinding

Nancy Grayson, Cunningham Books