Trillium Antiquarian Books
Our CollectionsTrillium's Catalogue of Antiquarian Books comprises several collections-- Country Life, Natural History, Canadiana, Literature, Images, and Curiosities. The Trillium Antiquarian Catalogue always will be of modest size, but I hope it always will be worthy of your interest.
Antiquarian Books on Country LifeOne way or another, these antiquarian books address the need 'to be versed in country things'. You will find, for example, English farming books from the 18th century, books for anglers, whether by fly or worm, dating almost back to Walton, gardening and horticulture books, studies of apiculture and classic landscape design. Almost any part of the world will do, so long as there are flowers or fish or bees. Because I am someone who has tried his hand at farming, you may find a special antiquarian book on barns or cattle raising or you may find early seed catalogues or herbals with cures and potions which sometimes worked.
Antiquarian Natural HistoryAlmost any part of the world will do, too, when it comes to early studies of Natural History. My earliest interest is ornithology, birds and bird books, and so, while you are unlikely to find an elephant folio Audubon in the collection, Alexander Wilson's bird books likely will be on offer or Bewick's or Morris's. Look for early geographies and look for botanical studies of native North American and European plants published on either side of the eighteenth- nineteenth century divide. I do not shrink from some Latin here. Much of our early scientific, as distinct from mythic, zoology (botany, too) originated with the observations of travelers and explorers (that, after all, is where Darwin came in), and therefore you will find journals and memoirs of those who journeyed in the name of science or merely out of curiosity to the Arctic, the Yucatan, or the outskirts of Philadelphia.
Our Canadiana collection cuts across all the other categories and some others to boot. It certainly includes interesting editions of the work of early settlers in this part of English Canada-- the Strickland sisters, Susannah Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill, and later arrivals such as Robertson Davies; but you will find as well works on the Canadian arctic and the commentaries of British visitors or wandering Americans, together perhaps with the only Golden Cockerel publication of a Canadian title.
Our Literature Collection casts a wide net and catches sermons, novels, essays, poems, letters, and satiric sketches. You may find a 17th century translation of The Consolation of Philosophy or a copy of The Catcher in the Rye in just the right dust wrapper. As someone who started out as a middle American and not an Upper Canadian, I am always on the lookout for an early Mark Twain or something unusual by the other kid from Newark, Stephen Crane.
Antique Images, Illustrated Books, Maps
If you examine under magnification a Bewick wood-engraving (even a tail-piece at a chapter end), you will begin to understand something about the relation of image and text.
Sometimes the images collected here still reside with their texts, as in the illustrated books you will find here, but sometimes they have been separated (courtesy of the book-breaker or simple entropy) and are offered in this collection as separate maps, lithographs, wood-engravings, or wood-cuts of interest in their own right.
A Collection of Curiosities
I find an illustrated technical monograph on cockroaches or a treatise on water dowsing by a German count hard to resist and therefore have decided not to. Look for intriguing oddities such as these in this collection-- a commercial fisher would call them the by-catch and pitch them into the sea from whence they came, but these are too good to throw back.
Bookbinding and Display
Trillium Antiquarian Books offers by arrangement bookbinding and repair to a high standard as well as bespoke slipcases, clamshells, drop-spine boxes, etc., to enhance the presentation of special volumes or collections. Inquiries by telephone, e-mail, or conventional post are always welcome. Initial consultation gratis.
Trillium Antiquarian Books is owned by William Van Nest. Member, Independent Online Booksellers' Association (IOBA). Book fair exhibitor at Ottawa, Toronto, Maine, Vermont and Michigan variously since 1999. Professor (ret.), Interdisciplinary Studies, Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. A.B., Kenyon College; graduate studies, Rutgers University. Publications include Connections: Effective Reading and Writing, Prentice-Hall; writer, online courses in report writing and business communication.
(Image courtesy Penobscot Books, Searsport, Maine)