Sunday, April 18, 2010

Flea Market Finds -The Ugly Duckling

I haven't had alot of luck this week, my op-shopping mojo was out of kilter. Something was wrong in the force.

I got a few tablecloths,  fabric, buttons, and childrens books (same old same old), which I will use as materials for craft stuff, but the best thing by far was this brilliant childrens picture book of the "Ugly Duckling and other stories".

It has beaootiful illustrations which are still vibrant, especially the reds. Published by Blackie & Sons, Glasgow and illustrated by Helen Stratton. Gorgeous art nouveau details. Inscribed "To Harold with best wishes from Harry, October 22nd, 1909." That makes it easily 100 years old!

It measures 26x34cm so they are really large pages.
It isn't in the best condition on the outside, and the text pages have absorbed the oils from the ink on the illustrations, but the nine illustrations are charming and pristine. Look at the wonderful detail on the little girls dresses.

I think that Mr Andersen experienced a bit of unrequited love. The last story of "The top and the ball" treats the woman very badly and the author is obviously bitter and very cruel. It is the story of a spinning top who loves a leather ball. However she is engaged to a swallow. She disappears one day, and the top thinks she has married the swallow. However, she has bounced into the gutter and remains there for five years. He finds her again by chance. Obviously she is a 'fallen woman'. The last sentence is a classic.

I have been looking on the net, and can't find alot of info about it. If the book isn't worth much, I am thinking of framing the illustrations. I know that sounds awful, but I think more pleasure can be gained from it if it is displayed on the wall, than packed away and not touched because it is falling to bits.

Pop over to Sophies place at Her Library Adventures for more finds. xxNick


  1. Wow! Actually an antique! See what you can find about it and then make the decision as to the framing. I actually think that would be fabulous, but you don't want to destroy something that could be very rare and valuable!

  2. that's gotta be worth a bit, being that old. you don't see books that old very often and even though they were popular stories people didn't have things in excess back then. my mum always says how they just read the same books over and over. so to find a copy in such good condition is fantastic. beautiful illustrations.

  3. Those illustrations are amazing!
    Fab find there!!

  4. Beautiful illustrations. Its always hard to know what to do with those things. I don't think i'd be brave enough to pull it apart. Good find!

  5. i agree with selina about checking first, but those illustrations would look absolutely wonderful framed, great find!

  6. What an amazing find! Old books are just heaven aren't they? :)

  7. You must have been so excited to find that inscription. Harold and Harry, such lovely old fashioned names. Whatever you decide to do with it, I think its great that its found a home where it will be appreciated.

  8. What a find. Gorgeous illustrations. Be brave ...

  9. what a beautiful book, i know its almost 100years old, but think of the life span of those images if they were framed and adored on your walls.
    Stunning find darlin
    xx Courtney

  10. Hi there,
    what a fabulous book !
    I am not sure if it would be overly valuable but I cringe at the thought of it being cut up !
    Thanks for dropping by my blog BTW,
    Oh, and I love the tree pattern on the pinafre in the pic.

  11. Oh beautiful book! I just love those gorgeous illustrations. What a delightful find.
    Sophie x



Related Posts with Thumbnails