Every day, the humble bookmark becomes more and more of an anachronism, an object associated with the way we were rather than the way we live today. After all, who needs a bookmark when you are reading the latest novel, political kiss-and-tell, or beach lit on a Kindle, Nook, or iPad? But bookmarks do have an advantage over the objects they’re designed for. For starters, they’re small, which means that even if you are in the process of deaccessioning your library, you need not let go of your collection of ivory, silver, or silk bookmarks.

One of the most popular types of bookmarks during the Victorian era were Stevengraphs, which were woven silk bookmarks produced by Thomas Stevens of Coventry, England, beginning in 1862. While it was the Jacquard loom that made the Stevengraphs possible, it was Stevens who saw bookmarks as a business opportunity. Designs for his bookmarks resembled what we think of as greeting cards today, expressing colorful, if saccharin, wishes for everything from a happy birthday to a merry Christmas. Stevens also produced souvenir bookmarks, such as those made for export in 1876 commemorating the U.S. centennial.

Silver was another widely used material. Like silver spoons and flatware, silver bookmarks were hallmarked, bearing icons associated with silver makers such as Tiffany, Gorham, and Towle. Some silver bookmarks were used to sell ads, in the same way that ads were affixed to everyday objects such as ink blotters and watch fobs. Other featured sharp points and resembled a mason’s trowel, which, according to bookmark collector Howie Schecter, helped readers cut pages that were stuck together due to imprecise binding.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Mirage Bookmark

Mirage Bookmark

Actually, it's real - check out this excellent exhibition of vintage bookmarks, including high resolution images a… [read review or visit site]

Silver Bookmarks

Silver Bookmarks

Howie Schecter's incredible collection of over 1000 silver bookmarks dating back to 1865. Also includes some bookma… [read review or visit site]

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Malcolm Roebuck's tribute to the ornate silk picture bookmarks and postcards ('Stevengraphs') produced by Thomas St… [read review or visit site]

Google Book Search

Google Book Search

Want to do one quick search and pull up the mother lode of vintage books? Try Google Book Search, a database filled… [read review or visit site]

Bookscans.com

Bookscans.com

Bruce Black's gallery of paperback book covers from the 1940s and 50s. With help from numerous contributors, he's a… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Sampson Mordan Silver Bookmark, Combination Dictionary & Magnifying Glass, 1894Vibrona Tonic Wine Fletcher Advertising Vintage Celluloid Bookmark Hand FingerRare Stevengraph Style Silk Bookmark H R H Princess Louise E Bollans & CoStevengraph Silk Bookmark Victorian Earl Of Beaconsfield Disraeli T Stevens Antique Jewellery Job Lot And A Small BookmarkStevengraph Silk Bookmark Victorian H R H Alexandra 1863 T Stevens Book MarkAntique Victorian Sterling Silver Bookmark -birmingham 1890Antique Solid Sterling Silver Bookmark Antique 14k Gf Bookmark Chain 30' & 12k Gf Picture Locket Heart Opens EtchedAntique Victorian Sterling Silver Bookmark Woman PortraitAntique 1897 Woven Silk Bookmark Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Book MarkMarvelous Vintage Sterling Silver Cinderella's Coach Carriage Bookmark~lot #3!Pr Vintage Faux Pearl Bookmarks W Lucky Horse Shoe & Four Leaf CloverStevengraph "to My Mother" Gorgeous Flowers Coventry Imprint T.stevens BookmarkWow 1930s Japanese Handmade Block Print Bookmarks-haru San Coffin,buddhist SkullVintage Tiffany & Co. Sterling Present Bookmark David E. FinleyAntique Vintage Embossed Oriental Brass 3.5" Bookmark Stork Cherry Blossom4 And 1/4 Tall Vintage Christmas Bookmark - OrnamentStevengraph Birthday Wishes Gorgeous Flowers Coventry Imprint T.stevens BookmarkTriplet Babies Bookmark Hood's Sarsaparilla Med Quackery Adv Trade Card C1880sMixed Lot Of Unicorn Items - Bookmarks, Pins, EtcCollectible Old Tibet Silver Carving 12 Zodiac Papiergewicht Bookmark4 Victorian Bookmarks Ladies & Gents In Floral Arbors Coated Stock C1880s1pc Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Gift RandompmGold-plated Music Instruments Vintage Bookmark Book Accessories CzAntique Bookmark Woven Silk Stevengraph T Stevens Coventry Happy Birthday RoseVintage 60s American Airlines BookmarkBookmark - Haines Bros. Pianos, Rochester, N.y.Mount Union, Pa Frederick Steger Piano Co. Bookmark Huntington Co. Kittens CuteVintage Taxco Mexico Sterling Silver BookmarkVintage H.p. Co Brass Bookmark John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, Boston, Massachusetts, Leather Bookmark Bookmark Stephen King The Dark Tower Series Dutch Publisher's Promotional 2003Vintage French Bookmark Kores Office Products Emile Dulac Magnifier AdvertisingKamen Rider Den-o Bookmark Set Momotaros Ryutaros Tokusatsu Japan/g517-218Bookmarks Books Thailand Elephant Vintage Metal Handcrafts Souvenir Silver GiftVintage Bookmark Elephant Wood 3d Handicraft Gift Souvenier Wooden Collectible