Welcome to my web site of antique bookmarks. I've been collecting bookmarks since
1995 and have amassed over 1000 pieces since then. This site, truly a labor of love,
contains an interactive catalog of my entire collection.
The intent of this site is to be a reference for everything having to do with silver and non-paper bookmarks.
There are other very fine sites out there (see my links page),
but they are mainly concerned with paper bookmarks.
Bookmarks come in all
shapes and sizes. Many are shaped like knives or swords
because at the turn of the century, many pages in books were not completely
separated, so they were also used as paper cutters. Other pieces are figural,
composed of animals and busts of famous people. There are some made of thin
celluloid with advertising on them for a wide variety of products.
My collection is primarily silver, but it includes bookmarks of gold, brass, bronze,
copper, celluloid, pewter, silk, plastic, enamel, mother of pearl, leather and
The oldest bookmark in this collection, seen on the right, is circa 1865,
a beautiful Gorham piece with a dog or fox head
as the top blade. The hallmark on the piece determines the date.
My first piece, seen on the left, is an S. Kirk and Sons
bookmark with a bouquet of roses on the top. This is one of the most popular silver bookmarks.
How I got started collecting
It's a funny story, really. It was 1995 and I was thinking about something to collect.
Every Sunday there is a different antique flea market going on in the Los Angeles area
and I began going to them. I was intrigued by the Russian lacquer boxes and started
buying them. The problem with them is that they are very expensive and it's hard
to know which ones will retain their value. I needed something else.
In the fall of that year, I went to a 25th wedding anniversary of my cousin. It was
in Phoenix and most of the family came from the four corners of the US to meet there.
I was talking to my other cousin, Iris and told her that I was going to the antique
flea markets around LA. She said that she collected silver bookmarks and that if I
ever come across one I should buy it for her. I told here that I would.
The next Sunday at the Rose Bowl antique flea market, the largest one in the LA area,
I found two silver bookmarks. I thought that this was something that I might like to
collect and so I kept them for myself. Also I thought it might be fun as a little competition
between the two of us.
About six months later, my cousin Iris and I met again in Las Vegas, where her parents lived.
I decided to bring my collection with me to show her. I had amassed about 40 pieces by that
time. When she saw my collection, her jaw dropped to her knees. "How did you
get so many!" she said. "What do you mean" I replied. "Don't you have a large collection
yourself? You said that you collect them." "I have two! More than one is a collection"
she said with a smile.
Now when we see each other, we go antiquing together. I usually give her first
crack at any we find.
Send your questions and/or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a message here.