Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Weekend Assignment: The Oldest Thing

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

What is the oldest thing in your house or apartment?

I think that these pieces of cloth certainly qualify because I know their provenance:

The white cloths date to the Civil War era. The other is a baby bonnet that dates to at least the turn of the previous century (ca. 1900).

However, this may be the oldest thing:

It's purported to be a page from an early King James Bible. That's Job 33-34. Now I've held an actual King James Bible in my hands. The museum I worked with a long time ago had a genuine one on display. I know that a lot of Bibles were torn apart and sold for single pages. I also know the first edition of the King James Bible was printed in 1611. Does that make it genuine? I don't know. It certainly looks like it, but I'm no paper expert.

I have it in an acid-free mat and framed with this:


I know this is genuine, and it's not old. The paper on both isn't that yellow, either, BTW.

The above is an illuminated page printed on the press at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz. I bought it there.

While I'm at it I'm going to do a Holmes "back atcha" to Karen. I've posted one picture from this before, and here's the same with the title page:


It's The Private Life of the Queen, by A Member of the Royal Household. Sounds like it might be early tabloid fodder, but it's actually an affectionate look at HRH Victoria's day-to-day life. Her librarian was named Holmes. Hmm. Note the stamp on the title page. I have no clue about the University of Plano, but I'm guessing it was local. The book was published in 1901.

Then there's an early US edition of  The Hound of the Baskervilles, published by Collier. It was Collier's magazine that published the tales in the US. I have some other books by Collier and one US edition from George Newness (publisher of The Strand), but I have no dates. This one is 1903.


And now we go to 1904 and the remains of a Parker Bros. card game called Sherlock Holmes:


A friend found that at a flea market. The box is falling apart, but the cards are still in excellent shape. There are more cards, too.

Extra Credit: Is there anything from your childhood that you've managed to hang on to all these years?

I have a few dolls and some books. Most are put away in boxes.

Tags: Weekend Assignment Pictures

Filed under: Weekend Assignment   Pictures         
11/7/2009 10:10:27 PM

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