Most of us collect something. I think it is primal in us, to accumulate things we value, to organize them, and to exhibit them. Freud thought collecting represented an anal need and related it to toilet training, but I think it is more akin to a squirrel gathering nuts.
I collect Regency research books. You can read more about that here.
I also collect historical prints from the 1800s, mostly architectural prints and fashion prints. One of my treasures, both book and print, is a bound version of the 1815 La Belle Assemblee, a Regency ladies magazine. In Regency times, ladies collected magazines, just like we do, only at the end of the year they had the 12 issues bound into a book.
Each issue of La Belle Assemblee had two fashion prints. Each fashion print was hand tinted; color printing came later than the Regency. Here is one of the fashion prints from my 1815 La Belle Assemblee:
These are really beautiful works of art, incredibly detailed, As you can see:
I have more fashion prints than the ones in my 1815 volume. Most of these I get on ebay, usually late at night when I take to browsing….but there aren’t any Regency ones there now.
Most of the architectural prints I collect are from antique stores and from a very good friend and expert collector, Tony Wallace, who lost his battle with ALS a couple of years ago. Tony’s father was the collector of prints and I was very fortunate that Tony sold some to me, including a whole set of churches, all dated 1828. Prints like these were once in magazines and books. Libraries like the Library of Congress have found the prints stripped from old books in their collections.
Here’s one of the churches:
And, to again show you the incredible detail of these prints, here is a detail from this image:
What do you collect now? What did you collect as a child?
Remember, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress is still in bookstores. And my blog contest is ending next week. Comment today or before Sept 14 for a chance to win a signed copy of Wicked Regency Nights. Don’t forget about my website contest, too. I’ll pick the first winner for that one on Sunday, Sept 12.
Oh! Another announcement! On eHarlequin the Harlequin Historical authors started a blog. My turn is the third Wednesday of the month. See my first blog there this Wednesday, Sept 15.