Friday, August 24, 2012

A Book I Have: Rosenblätter

I am not a rare-book person. I'd rather be able to read it than have to keep it under glass and admire it from a distance. But that doesn't mean I don't admire something beautiful when I run across it.

This book is Rosenblätter: Lieder und Sprüche des Volksängers und Improvisators Assim-Agha Gül hanendé. Or, in English, Rose Petals: Songs and Speaches by folk singer and improvisor Assim-Agha Gül hanendé. The poetry was originally written in Turkish, so far as I can tell from the German introduction, and was translated by Bernhardine Schulze-Smidt.

Try as I might, I can find little information online about this book - it seems to be somewhat rare, at least in the U.S. - but I'd love to know more. The above picture, on the lower left, mentions publication in Bremen, in 1893. There's even a small piece of paper cut and glued on the very first page: Büchbinderei Hebel & Denck, Leipzig. Very old school. (And it's a small thing, but I think it's pretty awesome that the translator mentions a trip to Constantinople in her introduction.)

I'm especially curious about all of these color illustrations. Every single page has them, and they're not all the same, either.

Even if I never learn anything else about this volume, I'm going to adore it forever.


  1. Cool! How did you come across this book?

    1. I found it while I was working at Half Price. I only paid $4 for it, but I feel like it must be worth more - color illustrations in the late 1800s!


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