Thank you for visiting rarebookpics.com. Book art is a wonderful and fascinating field, and many fabulous collections have been formed around the works of the great illustrators who brought to life the classics of literature. This site, however, is primarily concerned not with the contents of the book, but how it was presented to the world on the shelves of the book shop when it was first published. A celebration of the art of the dust jacket.
The Golden Age of dust jacket illustration was arguably the period between the wars, 1918-1939. This was also the Golden Age of our own specialist interest, detective fiction, a genre which lent itself particularly well to the creation of striking and memorable artwork.
Much of this artwork remains sadly unknown to the modern reader. The fashion of the day, unfortunately, was to discard the jacket almost immediately after purchase, its being seen as little more than a wrapper to protect the book before its sale and on the journey home. The few that survived this fate had then to contend with the patriotic paper drives of the wars.
The result of all this is that older dust jackets are small in number. Any from before the Second World War are scarce, and, from before 1930, even more so. Very few, indeed, are seen on books published before 1920, and any that still remain from before 1914 will quite possibly be unique.
Because of this scarcity factor, the book collector faces not just the challenge of the search but also the prospect of having to part with what are sometimes eye-watering sums of money in order to secure the prize from book auctions and book dealers alike. Like any collectables, however, the values of books can vary enormously, moving up or down over time. It should be noted that this web site is intended purely for educational and hobby purposes, and no part of it should be taken as investment advice.
At rarebookpics.com it will be our pleasure to share with fellow enthusiasts a gallery of rare book pictures. For those that subsequently find inspiration, it is possible, with patience and determination, to find similar treasures by studying dealer lists and trawling through the book search sites. And for those who are sufficiently intrigued actually to want the read some of these books, many are available in handsome, newly published editions.
We hope you enjoy the site.