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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

old book

Among the many things I inherited from my parents are a number of old books. My dad had books floor to ceiling in many rooms of our house.

This one, published in 1938 in England is a collection of 100 paintings on color plates.


I had never heard of this painter before, Gianbattista Moroni. The painting, above, is titled 'Portrait of a Tailor,' which is in The National Gallery in London.



Apparently my mom gave this book to my dad in 1939, before they were married (in 1941). (My brother Nelson kindly corrected the year of their marriage, which I posted wrongly as 1939 before.) My father was a Baptist minister.

He was also an artist in his own right, drawing this pen & ink of a hart, which he turned into the personalized book plate that is inside the cover of this book. This drawing was also etched into the headstone at my parents' grave (photo at bottom). His surname was Hart, and a 'hart' is another name for a deer. He loved the verse from the Psalms:

Psalm 42:1 (King James Version)
"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."

Click on the image above to see the detail better.

20 comments:

Bob Johnson said...

Very cool Ruth about the old books, but especially about the etching on the head stone, I love old books, I blogged about one my Mother in Law gave me "Astronomy for Amateurs" by Camille Flammarion in 1903, too cool, when we still believed in life on Mars and , and Moon people. :)

LeenaM said...

Lovely post and you have got also your art talent perhaps just from your father :) and gave it to your children, even more precious than those beautiful things.
My oldest inherited thing is a candle stick from 1747.
Have a happy Thursday, Ruth!

Heather said...

I wonder if you could have those book plates reproduced so that you could put some in your own books? Very cool.

Ruth said...

Bob, there's nothing like opening a book, and esp. an old one. Or going into a used book store, or a library. I doubt we'll ever go totally digital, because too many are like us. Astronomy for Amateurs! What a riot! Moon people, really? Let me know when you find some, please.

Ruth said...

Leena, thank you for thinking I have art talent. :) My children definitely inherited it, not only from my dad, but also from my mom (music) and my grandma Olive, a professional artist in her day.

That's an old candle stick! What is it made of? Pewter? Brass?

~ ~ ~

Heather, Don asked me last night, when I made this post, if I knew where the block is of this hart. I think it's at our cottage somewhere in a box. Yes, it would be cool to use it. I think one of my sisters might have, when she changed her name back to Hart after a divorce.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I'm really taken with your post.. intimate, sweet... so toughing..
your life is so connected and the thought that you cherish it is even lovelier.

Your family past and present is so very artistic...and the heirlooms... how wonderful to have that ... it must feel like a cozy blanket to wrap yourself in...

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Gwen.

I've always enjoyed these old things around me, even when growing up with them in our home. I seem to go through cycles of special appreciation, and one such is now. In fact, I might just keep posting some of these old treasures.

I'm glad you like them too. Yes, warm blanket is apt, that's how they feel.

Sharon said...

Ruth,
I hope you do continue to post them. I did really enjoyed seeing this book. Your dad seems like he was truly blessed with a gift, what a beautiful drawing! I love that it lies above him for eternity.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sharon. I'll show you some of my Grandma's work next, I think.

Astrid said...

Books, reading, writing, words.
How do we get to know 'the other world' just by opening books and read and look at the nice drawings/paintings.
This post is very touching, the love for books I have, came from my dad, my mom and her dad, he was a book-binder by profession, you showed a very dear book of you, with lots of memories, by now I know that all of you are very artistic, each in his/her way, I think that is the inheritance we have.
And it has become a real treasure to be able to use the gifts we got out of that inheritance, like the photography.
The etching of your dad is really great, so full of detail, love it.

Ruth said...

A bookbinder, Astrid. There is something about that craft that fascinates me. A couple years ago at the Long Hall library at Trinity College Dublin, I saw a display of uniquely bound books. I stared and stared and studied those covers with beautiful designs.

Ginnie said...

This is our heritage, as Astrid has so eloquently said, Ruth. We are so lucky. Just think of Mom and Dad and G'ma Bennett...and Uncle Jimmy.... No wonder we are so...intense! :)

Ruth said...

Ha, Boots, speak for yourself!! :D Juuuust kidding. Yep, we're intense, and it's ok. I'm grateful, too.

Mrs. M. said...

I like this post a lot. As you won't be surprised, I love discovering these insights into G'ma and G'pa--a window into them pre-children. I've thought about them over the past few weeks probably a little more than normal, all things considered. Maybe this summer we could look at this book together. It looks amazing!

Thanks,

Ruth said...

Mrs. M., you are so good at paying close attention to our family history. And I don't mean just the history, but all the elements that go into the character of our family.

This summer - as in 4th of July?? :D Farm Day?? :D

Sandy said...

What a treasure, that hart is wonderful. My paternal grandfather did pen and ink (I've always loved that medium).

As always your photos exude warmth and ...can't think of the other word, not really sentimentality but an era gone by...

sandy

Sandy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ruth said...

Sandy, maybe "nostalgia"? Pen and ink seems to have gone with the 20th century, sadly. My grandma was an illustrator for World Book encylopedia, and all the illustrations were pen and ink. There were only a few photographs, that was back in the '20s. Do you have anything you grandfather drew? It would be cool if you'd show us. :)

lesleyanne said...

yes i do love that sketch, and the banner on their gravestone.

i seriously miss the worship music at URC, that song in particular was one of my favorites. can't remember if Pat Quinn actually wrote it.

'as the deer panteth for the water so my heart longeth after thee.
you alone are my heart's desire and i long to worship thee.
you alone are my strength, my shield.
to you alone may my spirit yield.
you alone are my heart's desire and i long to worship thee.'

Ruth said...

Les, I don't think he wrote it, but I could be wrong. It is a very beautiful song. I always liked the songs that were simply Scripture. I'm pretty sure we used to sing that in CA before URC.