Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Golden Gems of Life...

Good morning friends!

Do you ever see something in an antique store that you wish you could afford, but know you can't? Something that your heart tells you to splurge on, but then your mind steps in and says: "Better be careful"? Such was the case recently when I saw a wonderful old book in a shop. It was originally being sold for more than $100, and then reduced to $80-something. Still too expensive. So, on the sly, I wrote down the title of the book and saved it for future reference. Well, not-so-future reference. Like, as soon as I got home. The book is "The Golden Gems of Life", by S.C. Ferguson and E.A. Allen, and published in 1883 by Central Publishing House, Cincinnati. According to the preface of the book, "the design of this work is to rouse to honorable effort those who are wasting their time and energies through indifference to life's prizes". It discusses subjects such as home, fathers and mothers, infancy, brothers and sisters, friends, temperance, envy, slander, politeness, and so on, and includes beautiful illustrations to go with many of the sections. Though it was written long ago, and I haven't by any means read the whole book, perhaps some of this book has some relevance to today's society. I also thought that copies of some of its pages might be fodder for future art projects.

I did a Google search on it and was disappointed to see them selling for $300 and upward. Hmmm...maybe I should have sprung for the $80. No...still too expensive. A little more playing with Internet searches, and what do you know, one sprang up on Amazon being sold by a dealer of used books. These books would all be used. Of course. They were published in the 1880's. Five dollars. FIVE DOLLARS! Plus $3 or so in shipping. No way. Even an older edition than the one I saw in the antique store. And marked as being in reasonably good shape. And it was! Even a little too good to be able to crack the binding enough to be able to take good photos of it. But here goes anyway!

Beautiful spine and cover...

Opening pages...





Married life...

And, surprisingly, there was no illustration
for "married life",
so here is one from my own collection
for you...

What golden gem of life guides you today?



  1. Hi Sue, It's wonderful that you were able to find that lovely book for such a great price. It was meant to be for you. Enjoy!

  2. oh you clever, crafty, savvy shopper you!!! What a steal!!!! When you want something badly enough -- you will find a way! Very inspiring Sue!

  3. What a beautiful book! I love a great deal, too. Good work. :-)

    1. Don't great deals make your heart sing?! The thrill of the hunt and all that!

  4. I have this same beautiful book but is dated 1880. I got it at a local church sale for $.25.......plus the special part is inside the front cover is written in beautiful penmanship "Mrs. Lidia Griffing, 1889". I have searched to find information on this book and luckily stumbled upon your blog! It is a book that holds many truths!

    1. Wow! Even a better deal than mine, and older, too! The fact that it had an inscription inside makes it all that more endearing. Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you'll come back soon.


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