Thursday, January 04, 2007

More of the little book hidden in the walls of our 1911 Portland house

The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze me. Within an hour of posting about the little book found in our kitchen's walls during demolition, Geoff popped in with this comment:
From the single picture of the inside pages, this looks like an interesting book. One page is written in old fashioned German script -- the printed text is in Fraktur, and although I don't know the name of the writing hand, it's an older, 19th century hand that can appear unreadable to those unfamiliar with it. It contains the name of the owner (which I can't quite make out), dates 3 June 1917. The facing page is mostly in Latin -- it's an Imprimatur, or a statement that Bishop Sebastian Gebhard of Milwaukie has confirmed this work contains nothing that contradicts Catholic dogma.

In short, it's a Catholic religious work, written in German, but published in the United States, probably in Minnesota. There were many German-language books published in the US up until World War I.
Wow. Thank you Geoff! Here are some more photos...I especially like the metal clasp and the gilt edging to the book....
The metal clasp on the little book
engraving
the first chapterengravings are sweetgold or metallic edged
I'm so excited about the other items that have also shown up, in particular, all of the items that came out of this envelope...
but the really amazing items are in this envelope...
To be continued

11 comments:

soozieq said...

This is just so amazingly cool! As I kid I used to dream about finding hidden things in our house. Of course I never found a darn thing. Oh well.

But this is so interesting!

purpletwinkie said...

Very Cool!

brett said...

buy and old house and do some demo. it's fun and exciting, albeit a little dirty.

Syd said...

So cool!!

I just showed this post to my partner. She said "OMG, I would tear the whole house up...". And she would.

SassyFemme said...

Oh, wow!

Fran just mentioned kicking in the walls!

witchtrivets said...

oh, what fun. My dad was a contractor for awhile and I helped demo some houses with him. I still have some of the cool stuff we found. But the little german book is so cool. I am totally jealous. All I have found in our demo is asbestos and lead paint.

patti_cake said...

I'd prolly find a body or something gross ....
This is so VERY cool Lelo. I love the gilt edging and clasp also. It's in the details... :)

Anonymous said...

Don't leave us hanging!!!! I'm dying to know what was in that envelope. A million bucks in cash?

The book is wonderful, BTW. I love how tiny it is!

Anonymous said...

Wow! this is all sooooo cool! I love old things...I wander about the Old Northside of Indianapolis in awe of everything. Even the neighborhood I live in with Mr. Wonderful has a bit of history - Dave Letterman grew up here ;)

okay, it's not a German Bible, but it's sumthin' ;)

I'm totally staying tuned :)

Anonymous said...

this is fascinating. another instance of blogging coming in handy :) WOW

Anonymous said...

So cool! I'm so jealous! I can't wait to hear what else you uncover. The only things we find in or around our 12 1/2 year old home are nails, bits of insulation and other crap the builder was too lazy to clear away. Age won't increase its appeal.