Tuesday, 3 May 2011

look at books

Because we needed a fitting subject for our chrome and marble bookends to frame and we needed to balance our library with something in addition to the Bible (Der Heilige Schrift, the holy book) that H found from 1911, beautifully bound and with a running family chronicle through the 1990s of births and deaths and marriages, I stumbled across these two volumes, art nouveau, and the compendium of doctoring—Bilz’ (EN/DE) das neue Naturheilverfahren, new natural healing techniques.

I had not know anything about this edition before had but considering those lonely bookends and the conversation that I had with my mother recently about the copy of the Nurnberger Chronicle found in the desert in Utah and how we don’t rummage through book bins too often, I felt I should get these to peruse. Like Dr. Pepper, the practicioner Friedrich Eduard Bilz' tonics went on to become the Sinalco (soft drinks, sine alcohole or without alcohol) brand array of fizzy beverages.  One finds wonderful artistry and deep knowledge in old books and these were no exception: hundreds of coloured plated (I thought the books were separating from their spines in places but I found that these were separate posters, illustrated pullouts, possibly some material—like childbirth, censored perhaps from sensitive eyes, with unbroken seals. Carefully, we peaked inside and there are expansive reference guides in anatomy, where the layers can be peeled back, from skin to bone, like a pop-up book. Books such as these have definitely more worth than just decorative value and it is incredible what knowledge is vested within a single volume, repositories before mass-communication and hyperlinks, and when expertise was turned inward instead of outward. We will certainly be stocking our library with such hidden treasures.