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    

Antique Norwegian Solid Silver Reindeer & Sleigh Decorated Bookmark Circa 1895Antique 1850's Sterling Silver Bookmark Open Work Jr Sj Mappin Brothers EnglandEarly Watchtower Embossed Bookmark With Bible Verse & My Morning Resolve Good Quality Useful Size Owl Design Sterling Silver Bookmark -no Reserve Low S&hAntique John Wanamaker Book Dept * Celluloid Pointing Finger Bookmark Diecut Antique John Wanamaker Celluloid Pointing Finger Bookmark Diecut Whitehead HoagBook Adv John Wanamaker Celluloid Pointing Finger Bookmark Diecut Whitehead HoagVictorian Sterling Silver Bookmark Fruit Design 9.7 GramsHallmarked Silver Bookmark ~ Birmingham 1977Antique John Wanamaker Book Advertising * Celluloid Pointing Finger BookmarkJohnny's Idol Arashi Waku-waku School 2013 Bookmark Set  Formal Goods JapanS. Kirk & Son Sterling Silver Repousse BookmarkVintage Sterling Silver Watch Fob BookmarkLevenger Arte & Cuoio Italia Bending BookmarkMikimoto Bookmark With Pearl International 18-8 Stainless Steel New In BoxWisden 1934 Original Paperback_cricketers Almanack_cricket Bat BookmarkC.19th.stevengraph Silk Bookmark .welch & Lenton" Happy Returns Of The Day"C.19th.stevengraph Silk Bookmark .welch & Lenton "a Friendly Blessing"C.19th.stevengraph Silk Bookmark .welch & Lenton "a Birthday"Bookmark: 15th Inf Bttln 48th Highlanders Of Canada-cowan's Collector Card4pcs The Book Mark Help Me Novelty Bookmark Funny Bookworm Gift Random Color HotStarbucks Onward Card Limited Edition With Matching Bookmark SleeveCompleted Cross Stitch Bookmark - Blue Birds, Birdhouses And Flowers-readC.19th.stevengraph Silk Bookmark .welch & Lenton "forget Me Not"Bookmark - Fox's Frames For Umbrellas Or Sunshades S Fox Ltd Nice Design6x Xstitch Kits Broom Sale/easteregg/abc 123/abc Bookmark/hearts/cleveland-zz87Avengers Age Of Ultron - Chris Hemsworth - Robert Downey Jr - Movie BookmarkDouble Couple Butterfly Resin Beaded Antique Brass Hair Stick Bookmark Pin ClipSilk Embroidery Victorian Memorial Bookmark 1850 Mourning Black John Luckett4191 Cute Hollow Ultra-thin Metal Fairy Tale World Ruler Bookmark Random X1Retro Snake Crystal Vtg Metal Hair Stick Pin Hairpin Accessory BookmarkVtg Lincoln Imp Brass Figures And Bookmark Letter Opener Peerage England DevilVintage Duraluminum Bookmark Souvenir Of Akron Goodyear ZeppelinCoach Leather Bookmark, Embossed, Black. With Tags & Box. Handmade Sterling Navajo / Zuni? Bookmark Turquoise Stone, Kokopelli Arrows BearPresidential - Ronald Reagan Bookmark - White House GiftFifty Shades Of Grey Bookmark - Exquisite Erotic Romance - Last Chance To Buy!!925 Silver Plated "star Of David" Bookmark Judaica GiftCrown Trifari~boxed Snowflake Bookmark~lovely Piece NibOld Bookmark. Really Different. Wooden Lady Will Keep Your Place.Ginga Nagareboshi Gin Silver Fang Bookmark Sticker10pcs Tibetan Silver Dolphin Bookmark 82mm Fc91781983 Darth Vader Bookmark "star Wars Vi: Return Of The Jedi" ~ Random House Vintage Gold Cast Metal Owl Bird Paper Clip Bookmark Book MarkNarcotics Anonymous Serenity Prayer Laminated BookmarkJames Avery Sterling Silver Bookmark Retired Butterfly 2 Inches LongAuthentic Art Deco/art Nouveau Embroidered Book Cover W/bookmark1933 Chicago World's Fair Metal Bookmark On Card Depicts Sky Ride & Ft DearbornVintage Daytona Beach Florida BookmarkNew Harrods Solid Brass Teddy Bear BookmarkRiley Reid Bookmark - What's Next?Riley Reid Bookmark - Road Trip!Riley Reid Bookmark - Play TimeFifty Shades Of Grey Bookmark - Last Chance To Buy!Tom Welling Bookmark - Getting BigFifty Shades Of Grey Bookmark - Chrisian's World Is Coming - Last Chance To BuyDonald Duck Disney Brass BookmarkEmily BrontË Poems, Vintage Hardback Edition 1947, With Souvenir BookmarkMickey Mouse Brass Bookmark DisneyVintage Brass Bookmark Around 1945