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    

Beautiful Condition English Antique 1910 Solid Sterling Silver Trowel BookmarkStunning Antique Solid Silver Memento Mori Half Skull Bookmark Birmingham 1904Antique Silver Bookmark With Leopards Head Birm 1910 Adie & Lovekin$1 Start Rare! Never Used Starbucks 2010 Onward W/matching Bookmark Gift CardLisa Frank Vtg Stationary Valentines Bookmark Halloween Paperwork1860-70 Silk Woven Bookmark (stevengraph) By Caldicott / Owen 'i Am The Light ..1893 Silk Woven Bookmark World Columbian Fair Expo Mrs Potter Palmer John Best Vintage Sterling Silver Art Nouveau Bookmark - Excellent ConditionAntique Sterling Silver Trowel Bookmark Denver Colorado Souvenir 1880'sBookmark Of Silver Of Narcissus. Japanese Antique. Teruyama's Work. Vintage Cinema Advertising Bookmark Charlie Chaplin City Lights Book Mark Film1pc Cute Kawai Totoro Cosplay Bookmark Leaf Shape Plastic Kids Stationery GiftSts-61 Hst Flown In Space Endeavour Payload Bay Liner Bookmark, Hubble NasaC. 1910 Vintage Austn Bookmark [vicrail Inst] Richards Shoes Footwear Melbourne1893 Silk Woven Bookmark World Columbian Exposition Pope Leo Xiii By John Best Vintage Beautiful Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Bookmark Monogram Scallop ShellUtopian Chocolates Die Cut Celluloid Owl Bookmark Advertising C1900 Boston 3.5"Antique British Bookmark War Savings Certificates National Committee Ww1 19171931 - Cracker Jack "cocker Spaniel" Dog Bookmark - PrizeAntique Estate Sterling Silver Filigree Flower 4" Bar Ware Or Bookmark!!! G4759Gold-plated Music Instruments Vintage Bookmark Book Accessories Yn5Gar 26th National Encampment G.a.r. Washington Dc Sept. 24-25 1892 Silk Bookmark1893 Souvenir Silk Woven Bookmark World Columbian Exposition Cleveland PhoenixBookmark - Koch Bros. Clothiers And Haberdashers, Allentown, PaVintage The 10 Commandments Charm Purse Clip Gold Tone BookmarkBookmark Vintage India Tyres Advertising Old Motoring 1951 Calendar Very Old N. Y. Woolworth Building Bookmark SouvenirBookmark Century Of ProgressTwo Vintage 80's Ctp Bookmark Awards - For Stickers Chocolate Cake & Bubble GumChinese Old Wooden Painted Dragon & Phoneix Box & Divination Bookmarks 1pc Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Gift Rew3x Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Gift Perfect X1pc Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Random Vo9Silk Woven Bookmark 'banner Of Free Enterprise' 1893 World Columbian Exposition Antique Solid Silver Bookmark.hallmarked 1913/14.perfect.Beautiful English Antique 1922 Solid Sterling Silver Novelty Trowel BookmarkVintage Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Bookmark Male Symbol JohnTiffany & Co Sterling Silver '1837' Bookmark Book MarkVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Corner Keeper Bookmark - #71 - CutoutSterling Silver Bookmark Episcopalian Cross Hayward Vintage~vtg~native~navajo~"fred~harvey~era"~sterling~silver~opal~ornate~design~bookmarkThree (3) Vintage Cloisonné Champleve Flower Gold Tone Bookmarks N102Antique Sterling Silver Victorian Floral Etched BookmarkSmiley Face Brass Bookmark Smile HappyBookmark Sterling Silver Sheffield 2007 (i)Vintage Sterling Silver 925 Sword Shaped Bookmark - Stamped - Made In ItalyBeauty And The Beast (2017) Movie Promo Card Pvc Transparent Bookmark B02Bookmark Victorian Embroidered Bristol Board Ribbon Sampler Jesus Died For MeBookmark Victorian Embroidered Bristol Board Ribbon Sampler Thy Will Be DoneAntique Bookmark Hebburn Tyne & Wear Hudson Chemist Henderson Photographer 1900sBookmark - H. Leh & Co., Cloak And Suit House, Allentown, PaCollectible Old Tibet Silver Carving 12 Zodiac Papiergewicht BookmarkNorthern State Teachers College Aberdeen South Dakota Paper Clip BookmarkHallmark Marjolein Bastin Bunny Rabbit Bookmark - B12Old Vintage Folding Bookmark Roses 1946 Calendar InsideVintage Little Gold Toned And Enamel Long Beak Bird BookmarkVintage Wrigley Chewing Gum Advertising Bookmark Doublemint Juicy FruitWendell August Hand Forged Aclj Aluminum Bookmark Liberty And JusticeVintage Solid Silver Scale Of Justice / Libra Bookmark - Stamped - Made In ItalyMoomin Magnet Bookmark Little My Karto