An ABC of Wild Flowers. Miniature Book in Presentation Box.

By Philip Stevenson

Printed: Circa 2005

Publisher: Alan of Bristol

Edition: Limited edition of 100

Dimensions 2 × 3 × 1 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 2 x 3 x 1


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Velum bound minature book with green and pink decoration on the front board. Presented in a newly made protective box. dimensions are for the book.  ( Box size is 7 x 7 x 3cm )

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

A modern replica of the type of miniature book publication popular in the late 18th century England lovingly boxed by the Castle Bindery of Scarborough

An ABC of Wild Flowers, is a hand painted book, produced by Philip Stevenson, and published by the Lilliput Press in a limited edition of less than 100. The Lilliput Press is dedicated to the highest possible standards of craftsmanship and authenticity. Many titles are designed in period styles, and include rare original illustrations. The Lilliput Press pursues perfection in all areas: text and illustration, typesetting, design, printing, hand-painting, materials, binding and finishing. The Lilliput Press’s aim is to produce traditional books of the greatest luxury and quality, but at the tiniest and most demanding miniature scale. Book collectors appreciate the fine bindings and traditional craftsmanship. Dollhouse collectors appreciate the attention to detail and the large range of twelfth-scale authentic period titles.

The Lilliput Press is a Fellow of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and a Member of the Miniature Book Society. Top collectors rate these books as amongst the best in the world.

A microminiature book, being a book of less than 1 inch in all dimensions. The creation of a miniature book requires exceptional skill in all aspects of book production, because elements such as bindings, pages, and type, illustrations, and subject matter all need to be approached with a new set of problems in mind. For instance, the pages of a miniature book do not fall open as do those of larger books, because the pages are not heavy enough. Bindings require exceptionally thin materials, and creating type that is readable and beautiful requires great skill. Many printers have created miniature books to test their own technical limits or to show off their skill. Many books have claimed the sought-after title of “smallest book in the world,” which is now held by experiments in nanoprinting.

A miniature book is a very small book. Standards for what may be termed a miniature rather than just a small book have changed through time. Today, most collectors consider a book to be miniature only if it is 3 inches or smaller in height, width, and thickness, particularly in the United States. Many collectors consider nineteenth-century and earlier books of 4 inches to fit in the category of miniatures. Book from 3–4 inches in all dimensions are termed macrominiature books. Books less than 1 inch in all dimensions are called microminiature books. Books less than 1/4 inch in all dimensions are known as ultra-microminiature books.


Ambrosius Lobwasser: Die Psalme Davids: Nach fransösischer Melodeij in Teutsch Reimen gebracht. Basel, 1659 (a miniature book bound in tortoiseshell)

Miniature books stretch back far in history; many collections contain cuneiform tablets stretching back thousands of years, and exquisite medieval Books of Hours. Printers began testing the limits of size not long after the technology of printing began, and around 200 miniature books were printed in the sixteenth century. Exquisite specimens from the 17th century abound. In the 19th century, technological innovations in printing enabled the creation of smaller and smaller type. Fine and popular editions alike grew in number throughout the 19th century in what was considered the golden age for miniature books. While some miniature books are objects of high craft, bound in fine Moroccan leather, with gilt decoration and excellent examples of woodcuts, etchings, and watermarks, others are cheap, disposable, sometimes highly functional items not expected to survive. Today, miniature books are produced both as fine works of craft and as commercial products found in chain bookstores.

Miniature books were produced for personal convenience. Miniature books could easily be carried in the pocket of a waistcoat or a woman’s reticule. Victorian women used miniature etiquette books to subtly ascertain information on polite behavior in society. Along with etiquette books, Victorian women that had copies of The Little Flirt learned to attract men by using items already in their possession, such as gloves, handkerchiefs, a fan and parasol. In 1922, miniature books regained popularity when 200 postage stamp sized books were created to be displayed in the miniature library of Queen Mary’s miniature doll house. Princess Marie Louise, a relative of Queen Mary, also requested that living authors contribute to the existing dollhouse library. Following in Queen Mary’s footsteps, many miniature book collectors began collecting miniatures for their dollhouse libraries. A miniature book has even been to the Moon. In 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin had a miniature book in his possession during his flight to the Moon. It was an autobiography of Robert Hutchings Goddard, who invented the first liquid-propellant rocket that make space flight possible.

Some popular types of miniature books from various periods include Bibles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, short stories, verse, famous speeches, political propaganda, travel guides, almanacs, children’s stories, and the miniaturization of well-known books such as The Compleat Angler, The Art of War, and Sherlock Holmes stories. The appeal of miniature books was holding the works of prominent writers, such as William Shakespeare in the person’s hands.

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