Collecting Illustrated Books

Charles Keeping, The Dancer at Burton Fair

A wonderfully fluid illustration by Charles Keeping (1924-1986). From the book ‘The Dancer at Burton Fair’.

Collecting Illustrated Books

People collect books for many reasons. Some seek out the children’s books that were so magical when they were young. Some collectors are just entranced by the beauty and quality of the artwork and illustrations, and collect to enjoy.

Some illustrated books tell a story in a unique way, and not all of these are for children. Writers and artists such as Joe Sacco use their skills in very powerful ways. In his book ‘Safe Area Gorazde‘ Joe Sacco uses cartoon style illustration to describes his experiences in Bosnia in 1994–95. Graphic novels are now a category of books that has evolved with great influence since the 1970s.

Art and craftsmanship combined

Books from private presses, such as the Golden Cockerel Press or Whittington Press, are wonderful examples of the combined skills of writer, artist, typographer, printer and bookbinder.

Even though the private presses, such as the Golden Cockerel Press, were in their heyday in the 1930s and 40s many private presses, such as The Fleece Press, still produce beautiful books today. Their recent series of books on John Buckland Wright are remarkable publications and much sought after by collectors.

The magic of children’s books

Visit a bookshop today and view the new children’s books. You will be amazed at the quality and magic being produced today. Look further and you will discover illustrated books of all kinds to delve into, admire and collect.

Burningham, John. Seasons. Front cover
The Matchlock Gun
The Hiroshima Story, Toshi Maruki
Clochemerle, Gabriel Chevallier