Thursday, 24 February 2011

Vintage Books & More

I have always been an avid reader - as a child I read my way through the children's library by the time I was 10 & had to move on to the adult section. As far as I was concerned there was nothing better than reading a good book. I read a lot as I was living in South Africa at the time & there was no TV. I don't mean that we just didn't have a TV in the house - there was no television in the country at all until I was about 15! Can you imagine?? My dad used to say that I would read the cereal box if there was nothing else available!

The photo above is part of my vintage children's book collection & dare I say that most of them were mine? As you can probably guess, my favourites were pony stories so I do have quite a lot of those & still buy them when I come across them.

I was delighted last weekened to find the book below to add to my collection. It is from 1944 & has charming illustrations. You will notice though that the cover is very plain with just a bit of colour - wartime shortages put paid to full colour printing for a while .

The most interesting thing about this book is the dust jacket - if you take it off you will see that there is a different design inside - this was the era of "waste not, want not" & "make do & mend" after all, so surplus dust jackets would be reversed & printed on the other side so as not to waste paper.

The story is about running a riding school during the war & how people are wanting to learn to ride & drive horses again due to fuel rationing, so very much of the time.

I do have a fondness for ephemera - all those paper items that are so transient & should have a short life span, but have survived over the years. I always buy them but then I wonder if anyone is going to buy them from me - are there others out there who want these things? I put them in my shop & hope that there are more out there like me who would like to keep & appreciate these items.

One such lot is the pile of 1960's Riding magazines that I found - the adverts & article are great & it is interesting to see how much more formally people dressed even for everyday riding compared to today.

Another of my weaknesses is vintage calendars - they should only have a lifepan of a year & be discarded, but some people obviously liked them so much that they put them away safely in a drawer for many years until I came along & snapped them up. They are lovely just to hang on the wall or make a sweet gift for someone born in that year.

I particularly like this one called "Me & My Dog" - the dog's face is so sweet - this one is from 19

The printing technique on this one from 1942 makes it look as if it is an oil painting.

The lucky black cat calendar is from

Of course there had to be a horse one didn't there? This one from 1951 is layered to give a 3D effect.

Cards are another thing that I have boxes of as I can't resist - these Easter ones would be great to give a vintage look to your Easter decor this year!

I'm betting that many of you watched South Riding on BBC last Sunday - I really enjoyed it & one of the things I like to see are the props & vintage items they use in period dramas. In the last episode of Lark Rise to Candleford I noticed the ladies taking tea from a tea set which was first made in 1962 - oops!

Anyway, in South Riding they had a selection of vintage Macmillan school posters on the school room walls & they are of the correct period - these were made in sets during the 30's & 40's for use in schools. I have quite a lot of these so some of them are in my shop.

The imagery is so nostalgic & the colours & subjects are wonderful. I wish I could keep them all & have them framed but I'd need to use them as wallpaper to display them all! I have recently lent a couple to Homes & Antiques magazine so they may appear in there next month.

They look wonderful framed - this is one that I have in my bathroom.

I have been listing some new stock in my online shop so if you'd like a peek do pop along & have a browse.


  1. YOU have some great collections.I have always been a huge reader and wish I had kept all my old books too I was able to pick up one I loved as a kid not long back at an opshop will be reading to the grandkids soon.

  2. I can see some of my childhood favourites there on the bookshop. Anything by Primrose Cummings is worth having - if you find a good hardback copy of Silver Snaffles it's worth serious money (unfortunately my copy got lost in a recent house move having been around through my sister-in-laws childhood and mine, sob). I always think the illustrators are as interesting as the authors - Stanley Lloyd is one to lookout for. I'm sure you read the 'Jill' boks by Ruby Ferguson, too.

  3. You have a wonderful collection Jayne.The illustrations are lovely.It's a shame the TV, and technology in general,has replaced books in a lot of children's lives now.When my sister and I were small we set up a little 'library' for all our friends.I don't think my mother was too pleased when she found out that we had stuck 'tickets' inside the covers of the books! :0)

  4. It is a small world Jayne, my hubby is South African and often recounts life without television when he was growing up...I can't imagine it!! I love the old calenders, especially the one that looks like an oil painting. I love old children's books, especially the Famous Five. Have a lovely weekend and see you soon.
    Jo xx

  5. I loved South Riding and can't wait to see the next episode; you did make me chuckle though about having a beady eye for vintage 'continuity' as I'm the same. I was watching the recent series of the 'Land Girls' and noticed that on the front of the farmhouse there was a modern electrical junction box!

  6. love the 'waste not want not' duble printed dust jacket! x

  7. Hi Jayne, do you know I always thought that I detected South African in your accent, but never liked to ask!
    As you know I love the school posters aswell.
    "South Riding", I thought was brilliant and I watched it avidly, M missed it so I will watch it again when he does.
    T x

  8. I love old books too, I had The Fortunes of Jackie when I was younger (and possibly still do, I must check!) but have never seen it anywhere else. I read it over and over.

  9. I'm enjoying buying old ladybird books from the 60's that I read as a girl, wish I still had them now. There's a little something waiting for you over on my blog, pop over when you have a mo, Lucey xx

  10. I love books and ephemera too.I agree that the calendars are lovely, I have a few displayed around the house and more tucked away. I spotted the classroom posters in 'South Riding' last week too, like you I have a seaside one on the bathroom wall.
    Ann x

  11. Jayne, there is soooo much to love in this post that I don't quite know where to start. A wonderful collection of books and posters and I adore those Easter cards. I think I may have some old cards somewhere in my loft, must dig them out!

  12. Love the book & posters. No TV??? oh my goodness!!! x

  13. oohhh you have some amazing collections. I have never seen old calendars before i adore the black cat one beautiful little treasures.Old books really are the best there is something very romantic about them i don't know what it is maybe its the history to them. A lovely post, dee x

  14. Yup, no tv - and we survived quite nicely. Love all the goodies in your post Jayne.

  15. What a great post! I love ephemera too. I love the framed poster you have in your bathroom. Katie x

  16. Such a lovely collection of vintage children's books, Jayne.
    I shall have to take another look through my childhood books when I next visit my dad's house,
    Susan x

  17. Wonderful things.I have my night sky poster I bought from you framed up on the landing I love it