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    

Vintage Princes Ingrid Pattern Sterling Silver Bookmark By Frank M. Whiting 9251933-4 Chicago World's Fair. Letter Opener /bookmark Collection. No Reserve!Mitchell's Distinctive Evergreen Grass Seed Celluloid Bookmark Victorian TradeVintage Tiffany & Co. Makers Sterling Silver Maple Leaf BookmarkMerry Christmas From Heaven Pewter Ornament With Bookmark "nib"Solid Silver Hunting Bookmark, Fox's Head - FabulousVintage Webster Sterling Bookmark, St. Christopher, Never Used, On Original CardSailor Moon Lot Vintage Japan Cardboard Store Display Stickers Bookmarks Wow!Solid Silver Cheshire Cat Bookmark, FabulousAntique 19th Century Beaded Bookmark With Crown! Victorian Or Earlier. Slight AfMagi: The Labyrinth Of Magic Aladdin Alibaba Morgiana Sinbad Bookmark Set/g462-0Solid Silver Cat Bookmark, Great Detail With Bow TieMonthly Comic Zero Sum Amatsuki Tales Of Zestiria Clear Bookmark Set Manga/g463-Vintage Reading Owl Repousse Sterling Silver 925 Bookmark Clip - 1.8" X 0.56"Silver & Mother Of Pearl Trowel Bookmark Hm London Import 1989Vintage Solid Silver Paper & Pen Bookmark - Stamped - Made In ItalyPuella Magi Madoka Magica Madoka Kyubey Homura Mami Sayaka Clear Bookmark/g463-1Puella Magi Madoka Magica Madoka Kyubey Homura Mami Sayaka Clear Bookmark/g463-1Collectible Old Tibet Silver Carving 12 Zodiac Papiergewicht Bookmark20pcs Antique Tibetan Silver Flowers Printed Alloy Loop Bookmark On Sale DVintage Gorham Sterling Silver Flying Bird Dove Corner Bookmark No Mono3 Antique Vintage Victorian Era Metal Bookmarks Book MarksEarly C1900 Canadian Dingman's Soap Advertising Premium Bookmark Trade CardHisui Tei Tsubasu Izumi Bookmark Set Illustrator Doujin Japan/g463-054Natsume's Book Of Friends Takashi Nyanko-sensei Clear Plate & Bookmark Set/g466-Purple Vintage Handmade Elegant Women Resin Butterfly Bookmark Hairpin Stick HotCirca 1900 Mennen's Toilet Powder Diecut Bookmark Victorian Trade CardVintage San Francisco 1939 Worlds Fair Exposition Postcard & Attached BookmarkVintage Bookmarks Anita Goodesign Embroidery Design Cd Cd OnlyVintage, Pre-owned S. Kirk & Son Sterling Silver Floral Bookmark W/ B.a. MonoGear Tooth Gauge, Root Neal & Co., Bookmark AdvertisingMagi: The Labyrinth Of Magic Aladdin Ja'far Alibaba Sinbad Bookmark&file/g462-14To Be What I Am One Week Friends Yuki Hase Kaori Fujimiya Clear Bookmark/g463-051pc Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Gift Jg925 Solid Silver Bookmark Face South American Style Starts Below Spot Vintage Pierced And Engraved Silver Plate On Copper Bookmark 128mm LongSolid Silver Cat Bookmark, Larger Type & FabulousCollectable Vintage Italian Sterling Silver Mario Buccellati BookmarkLucky Brand Vintage Feel Gold Tone Double Sides Love Bookmark5pcs Vintage Silver Bookmarks Crafts Findings Stationery Book Marks Gifts 80*13m1pcs Gift Vintage Feather Bookmark Charm Pendant Stationery Label Book Holder-xlVintage Antique Boy Scouts And Cub Scouts Bsa Letter Opener / Bookmark Lot Of 3Beautiful Vintage Sterling Silver 925 Shree Bhatter Bookmark In BoxLhasa Apso - Signs, Ornament, Statues, Key Chains, Bookmark, Pen, Deck Of CardsVintage Mask Bookmark Opera Cloisonne Gold Enamel Brass Lot 12 Chinese5pcs Vintage Bronze Bookmarks Findings Stationery Book Marks Gifts 80*15.5mm5pcs Vintage Metal Bookmarks Lot Crafts Findings Book Marks Stationery 114*26mm15045*5pcs Antique Silver Vintage Mermaid Bookmarks Charm AlloyMagical Girl Puella Magi Madoka Magica Bookmarks Pendant Keychain Cosplaycostume10pcs My Little Pony Pvc Pencil Clips Bookmarks School Stationery Kid Party Gift1x Vintage Wooden Hollow Bookmark Office School Students Supplies Gift Random CaGold-plated Music Instruments Vintage Bookmark Book Accessories Le