Photo: Ian Berke

Mindell Dubansky of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is assiduous in bringing us examples of what she (and for all I know others) refers to as “blooks” — things that look like books but are not.* I have linked to her site About Blooks several times. She has a small post with big pictures by Ian Berke who collects books carved from stone. Mr Berke has a more thorough-going piece at the Maine Antique Digest site. Some of these books are quite striking.

Mr Berke surmises, not unreasonably, that these books would have been carved by skilled stonemasons in their spare time as a memorial to someone special. As a child I used to spend hours hanging around a stonemason’s yard in Galashiels. The whole process was fascinating, from cutting blocks of stone by a back-and-forth hanging plank which used carborundum to wear away the stone, to polishing, and carving inscriptions. Even by then hand work was getting expensive, so most of the commissions were relatively straight-forward. However lapidary the prose though, I never came across a carved book.

The Classical Bookworm shows a couple of examples, one of an open book looking like it has been dropped on the ground. And here’s a whimsical garden wall by terra firma landscape architecture.banner6






* Wikipedia’s entry on “blooks” is all about books based on material first published in a blog. I’m not sure that usage has caught on either, though Lulu did run a “Blooker Prize” in 2006/7. I’m not sure it continues. The Oxford English Dictionary has yet to take note of either meaning of “blook”.images