Category Archives: Treasure Hunting

The Kitchen Magician ‘Food Glamorizer’

The local country op-shops seem to be stuffed with kitschy kitchenalia, and considering I now have many open kitchen shelves that are screaming to be filled with knick-knackery I am in trouble.Then again strange things happen when you move out to the country. I now put flowers in the bathroom. I spent two weeks on an obsessive hunt for a vase – for my bathroom.

One of my more amusing finds, the Kitchen Magician ‘Food Glamorizer’. I am seriously doubtful it would stand up to carving a pumpkin however, and this doesn’t look like it was ever used. But I was very happy to find it in the box complete with the instructions, everything from stringing celery to radish roses.

Books(s) of the Week – Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand

We found these little treasures on a book hunting trip today. Actually, Craig found them, the scoundrel. I was clutching a rather large haul of children’s books and feeling pleased with myself when Craig appeared with these two tiny books.

They were well hidden. These books measure a pocket-sized 10×16 cm, and have beautiful gilt-embossed covers, decorated by one of my favourite illustrators Edward Ardizzone. I have never seen the original format before, only later paperbacks and re-issues so I was very excited to have finally found one (or two)

Our Bookshelf: Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

This one is not technically from my bookshelf, although it has a lot of sentimental value to me. This one if from Craig’s shelf, considerably smaller than mine as he generally only keeps books that I buy him. One book he had purchased and kept, however, was this Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe illustrated by Harry Clarke, from the early 1930’s.

When we opened the book shop in Parkdale, we put some glass cabinets at the front to serve as a counter and house some of our rare books. Craig added his copy of Tales of Mystery and Imagination to the collection, and then printed cards for each book in the cabinet.

Book of the Week: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl 1967

James and the Giant Peach was always my favourite Roald Dahl book when I was a kid. Yes, I liked it more than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Twits, and even a little more than Fantastic Mr. Fox. I must have read it at least 25 years ago for the first time. I read it over and over, a battered old Puffin copy that has long since disappeared, and been replaced, and read over and over again. And why James? It was the Peach. And Quentin Blake’s wonderful illustrations.

Book of the Week – Lasseter’s Last Ride 1931, First Edition by Ion L. Idriess

This week’s best book I am going to have to hand to Craig. Every bookseller loves to find an Ion Idriess, as much as the collectors. Fittingly discovered on a hellishly long exploration of the countryside, (thankfully in a car and not on camels) Craig was trying to show me this while I was absorbed in a pile of dusty old kid’s books and kept impatiently waving him away.

On ‘Recycling’ Vintage Books and What It’s Worth

‘Cassandra by Chance’ by Betty Neels original cover from 1973,  opposite a 1990’s reprint of the same book.

While you’ll often find art-work reproduced from vintage pulp-fiction, the early Mills and Boon and Harlequin artwork tends to get overlooked. Some of those old covers feature the coolest artwork, and I am sorry they don’t reproduce it when they reprint collector’s editions of books. Once in a (very long) while I come across large collections of M&B from the 60’s and 70’s, and if I am lucky I might find some of the 1950’s hardcovers (I have featured a picture of one in a previous blog on Betty Neels) which are really a lot of fun to go through.