It came from the buy area: Not just unusual — unique!

Buyers at our stores across the country get the occasional opportunity to handle—nestled among the diet books and serial romances—oddities and treasures, sometimes rare and collectible items.  We love to see a nice first edition.  A beloved author’s signature makes that first edition even more special.  But we sometimes come across unique items—maybe not as valuable as the signed first edition, but very special and personal.

We recently had a chance to look at some wonderful one-of-a-kind items while they were being priced at our Flagship Store in Dallas, and we thought we’d share some photos.

One was a diary presented by noted barrister and Christian Socialist Edward Vansittart Neale to his sister in Taplow, England, in the 1820s.            


Entries were made by a number of people through the mid-1830s, and include not only personal notes and poems, but also drawings, watercolors, and pressed flowers. 

Another journal, dated 1816 on its cover, was kept by a Mademoiselle Saynisch in Germany.


It includes regular journal entries, as well as an “Inhaltsverzeichniss” (a table of contents) and some intriguing lists.


 There were also several bound volumes of handwritten sheet music, lyrics in German. 

A volume dated 1532, Epistole et evangelii che si leggono tutto l’anno, contained some handwritten notes entered by a reader.  How close to the date of publication?  We can’t be sure. 

A collection of Civil war-era letters was being processed.  It’s fascinating to read these personal notes, even though most of them contain little of special meaning to anyone other than the sender and the receiver.   


One included a photo, possibly of its writer.

In a letter from the 1920s, a Civil war veteran notes the two times he saw President Lincoln. 

It’s a real treat to examine these fragile documents that long ago meant something to someone—enough to hang onto them.  And in an age in which cursive writing is becoming obsolete, these examples of it have a special beauty.

— Steve, aka The Buy Guy