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, 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.

Featured Books- A Sampling of Titles Offered by Trillium Antiquarian Books at the Thirty-Fifth Ottawa Book Fair

Pushkin, Alexander. Ruslan and Ludmila.  Moscow: GIHL, 1960. Illustrated by Tatjana Mawrina. First edition thus, in Russian (pp. 150 ). A presentation copy for Rockwell and Sally Kent, signed and with a complimentary note from Lavrenty Yaroshenko, ‘Dear friends Mr. Rockwell Kent and Mrs. Sally Kent from actor [and] soloist Kirov Opera, [signed] Lavrentiy Yaroshenko (Farlaf and Ruslan). Leningrad, Yuny 13, 1962.’ From the library and with the bookplate of American artist Rockwell Kent, a theatre ticket to the performance enclosed.


Burckhardt, John Lewis.  Travels in Nubia. London: John Murray, 1819. First edition (xcii, 543 pp., adverts). Published by the Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa with list of committee and association members. Large quarto ( 27 cm), frontis, with two maps, one folding;  in half Morocco over marbled paper, five raised bands, gilt title and decoration to spine (specially bound by David Comstock, Hand Bookbinding). 


Baines, Edward (Ed.) and S. Austin, S. Harwood, and G & C Pyne (Illus.). Lancashire Illustrated in a Series of Views. Views of Lancashire. Towns, Public Buildings, Streets, Docks, Churches, Antiquities, Abbeys, Castles,Seats of the Nobility. London: Fisher, 1831 (pp. 102).  Quarto (28 cm) in half morocco over marbled paper, four raised bands, gilt titles and decorations; 102 fine engraved views (12 cm x 16 cm) by Robert Tallis (?) with tissue guards, two per plate, accompanied by historical commentary on the chapel, waterfront, tower, or country house.


Whittaker, Frederick. A Complete Life of General George A. Custer, Major General of Volunteers, Brevet Major General U.S. Army, and Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh U.S. Cavalry. New York: Sheldon, 1876. First edition (pp. x, 648, index). Quarto (24  cm) in original publisher’s decorative brown cloth binding, gilt titles and decorations to front and rear covers. Tal Hunter’s bibliography High Spot #1 of the Custer commentaries. The first and for 25 years the most influential biography of GAC which, together with his wife’s publicity campaigns, was the source of the myth of GAC, the gallant warrior. with which countless school children and movie goers were innoculated. 


Reed, John.  A Day in Bohemia or Life Among the Artists. Being a Jeu D'Esprit Containing Much That is Original and Diverting, in Which the Reader Will Find the Cognomens and Qualities of Many Persons Destined One Day to Adorn the Annals of Nations, in Letters, Music, Painting, the Plastic Arts, and even Business; together with their Foibles, Weaknesses, and Shortcomings and some Account of the Life Led by Geniuses in Manhattan’s Quartier Latin.  Privately published by the author in an edition of 500 copies, 1913 (48 pp.). Folio (24 cm) in paper-covered slipcase with title on label, publisher’s brown cloth . Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s copy, signed by her in full on the ffep.  Flynn (1890- 1964) was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and a campaigner for women’s rights. Later in life, just before the outbreak of WWII, she joined the Communist party and served briefly as chairwoman of the National Committee. 


Andrews, H. C. The Heathery; or a Monograph of the Genus Erica, containing Coloured Engravings, with Latin and English Descriptions and Dissections, etc., of all the Known Species of that Extensive and Distinguished Tribe of Plants. Volume III. London: for the Author by Richard Taylor and Co., 1806. First edition (unpaginated). Small folio (24 cm) in modern three-quarter leather over fine cloth, gilt titles and decorations, marbled edges; fifty fine full-page hand-coloured engravings on rag paper of varieties of heather (Nos. 101- 150 from the six-volume work), in this instance those native to the Cape of Good Hope (and likely elsewhere in South Africa), each plate with Latin and English descriptions en face. An exceptionally fine, bright copy.


Stewart, Frances.  Our Forest Home,  Being Extracts from the Correspondence of the Late Frances Stewart. Compiled and edited by her daughter E. S. Dunlop. Montreal: Gazette, 1902. Second edition, expanded (pp. 300, appendices). Octavo (23cm), green publisher’s cloth, gilt titles to cover and spine.  The Stewarts were among the first European families to settle in the Peterborough- Lakefield region in the first half of the nineteenth century and to make a go of it; their neighbours included the Traills, Moodies, and Stricklands. Stewart’s letters are a window  into the everyday struggles and successes of these early times in what is now the Kawartha Lakes region of  Ontario.


[Grose, Francis].  A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. London: S. Hooper, 1785.  First edition (unpaginated). Tall octavo (21 cm) in three-quarter leather over marbled paper, gilt title and decoration to spine, five raised bands. The scarce first edition preserves many colourful but virtually extinct expressions ('fart catcher, a valet or footman from his walking behind his master or mistress'), some still useful in modern circumstance ('fidgets' and bamboozle'), occasional expression perhaps worth reviving ('hobby horsical, a man who is a great keeper or rider of hobby horses'), and quite a few of the Falstaffian sort.  A few spots; otherwise clean and sound. 


McFee, John. The Pine Barrens. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968. Second edition (pp. 155), signed and inscribed by McPhee. Octavo (21 cm) in pictorial dust wrapper (a small closed tear and chip) over blue cloth. VG/ F.


Synge, J. M. [and Jack B. Yeats, Illus.]. The Aran Islands. Dublin: Maunsel, 1907. First edition, with twelve b&w illustrations by Jack B [utler]. Yeats (pp. 189 [(1), adverts.]). Large octavo (23 cm) in publisher’s blue cloth. A Fine copy.

Appearing Soon

Lucius Apuleius. The Story of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche from the Golden Ass of Apuleius. Suite of 27 engravings by the Master of Die and Augustino Veneziano. Rome: Salamanca, c.1560.

William Hogarth.The Works of William Hogarth. The original plates restored by James Heath Esq., R.A. London: Baldwin & Craddock, 1837.

J. G. Stedman. A Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the Wild Coast of South America.... London: J. Johnson and J. Edwards, 1796.

John Milton [and John Martin, Illus.]. Paradise Lost. London: Washburne, 1853.

Walter Pater. Marius the Epicurean. His Sensations and Ideas. Portland, Maine: Thomas Mosher, 1890.


         (Courtesy, Sara Glatz)






Remarks & Notices

Trillium Antiquarian Books


The Thirty-Fifth Annual Ottawa Book Fair

The thirty-fifth annual Ottawa Book Fair will be held Sunday, 18th October, at Tudor Hall, Bowesville Road, Ottawa, from 10.30 AM to 5.00 PM. For more information, directions to Tudor Hall, and the like please visit www.ottawabookfair.comA sampling of titles we will be bringing to the Fair will appear early in October as Featured Books on our Home Page (just over there to your left).


Titles Offered at Antiquarian Auctions (
8 October- 15 October


The titles listed here will be available only at Antiquarian Auctions during the week-long auction beginning 8 October. Each is offered with a modest reserve.  Complete descriptions are to be found at, Sale No. 46.


Antiquarian Auctions, whose sellers are members of professional bookselling associations, is a highly reputable auction site specializing in books, prints, and maps.


[Anon]. Don Juan; or, the Battle of Tolosa: a Poem, in Three Cantos. London: James Harper, 1816. First edition (pp. 88).


 John Langhorne. The Poetical Works of John Langhorne, D. D., Rector of Blagdon, Somersetshire, and Prebendary of Wells: To which are prefixed, Memoirs of the Author, by His Son, The Rev. J. T. Langhorne, LL. B., Vicar of Harmondsworth and Drayton, Middlesex. London: J. Mawman, 1804. First edition, in two volumes (pp. iv, 191; 214).  


 H. C. Deakin. Portraits of the Dead; to which is added, Miscellaneous Poems. London: Smith, Elder, 1831. Second edition (pp. vi, 320). 


 Edwin Atherstone. The Last Days of Herculaneum; and Abrates and Panthea: Poems by Edwin Atherstone.  London: Baldwin, Craddock, and Joy, 1821. First edition (pp. xvi, 137).  


[John Boyd Greenshields]. Home. A Poem. Edinburgh: Mundell, Doig, & Stevenson; London: Vernon, Hood, et al., 1808. Second edition (pp. xxvii, 33- 175).    


 Egerton Brydges. The Lake of Geneva, a Poem, Moral and Descriptive, in Seven Books, with Notes Historical and Biographical. London: Bossage & Co. and Geneva: A. Cherbuliez, 1832. First edition, two volumes in one (pp. xxxvi, 227; v, 119). .  


 [J. Kenyon]. Rhymed Plea for Tolerance. In Two Dialogues with a Prefatory Dialogue. London: Moxom, 1823. First edition (pp. xi, 149). . 


van Hamelsveld, Ysbrand [Hamelsveld, Ysbrand van].  Bijbel-Geschiedenis. Amsterdam: Johannes Allart, 1797. In two volumes, bound as one, first edition (pp. xii, 548; 549- 947). 


Pierce, Thomas. A Collection of Sermons upon Several Occasions. Oxford: Ric. Royston and Ric. Davis, 1671. Various editions (pp. viii, 431).  


Seneca. L. Annaei Senecae Philosophi Opera Omnia. Accessit a Virus Doctis ad Senecam Annotatorum Delectus. Leipzig: Thomas Fritsch, 1702.   


Ciceronis, M. T. [Cicero]. In M. Antonium Philippicae Orationes XIV. Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1738.   


Collins, Arthur. The Peerage of England; Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of All the Peers of that Kingdom Their Paternal Coats of Arms, Crests, Supporters and Mottoes, Curiously engraved on 200 Copper-Plates. London: H. Woodfall et al., 1768. Fourth edition, in seven volumes (pp. 427, index; 487, index; 493, index; 411, index; 499, index; 633, index; 655).   


Hyde, Henry [Viscount Cornbury and Fifth Baron Hyde of Hindon]. The Mistakes; or, The Happy Resentment. London: S. Richardson, 1758. First edition (pp. 85).    


Fenelon, Francis Salignac de la Motte [Francois Fenelon]. The Adventures of Telemachus, the Son of Ulysses, King of Ithaca, &c. in Greece, and one of the Princes who conducted the Siege of Troy. Translated by William Henry Melmoth.  London: Alexander Hogg at the King’s Arms, No. 16, Pater-noster-Row, 1784. First edition (pp. 327, index, List of Subscribers).       


Pearson, John. [John, Lord Bishop of Chester]. An Exposition of the Creed. London: Printed by J. M. for J. Williams, and are to be sold by Tho. Sawbridge at the Three Flower-de-Luces in Little Britain, 1692. Sixth edition, revised and now more enlarged (pp. [viii], 398).      


[Overall, Bishop John]. Bishop Overall’s Convocation- Book, MDCVI. Concerning the Government of God’s Catholick Church, and the Kingdoms of the Whole World. London: Printed for Walter Kettilby, at the Bishop’s Head in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1690. First edition (pp. [vi], 338).  


Jerrold, Walter and Charles Robinson (Illus.). The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes. London: Blackie and Son, 1903.  First edition (pp. 320), with a personal note to ‘Chas. Ed. Potter Jr.’ and small ink sketch, signed by Robinson on the ffep (‘With all affection right over the sea/ from/ Charles Robinson/ England/ Xmas. 1907’) .  






Remarks & Notices Archives

Pictures of Friends

Mark Jokinen, Jokinen Books 

Paul Dyment, Scholars Books 

John Burbidge, Bookbinding

Nancy Grayson, Cunningham Books