Silver bookmarks are a very opulent item for the avid reader to enjoy. While silver is a relatively new material, bookmarks have been around since the 13th century.
History of Bookmarks
During the medieval time monks made use of bookmarks they called incunabula. These bookmarks were made of leather or vellum in a many different shapes. Some were simple a small strip of material and other could actually clip on a page.
In the 18th and 19th centuries bookmarks consisted of a narrow piece of silk or ribbon that was actually attached to the book. This type of bookmark was especially common with hard cover books. In 1850s bookmarks of different materials were developed including bronze, pewter, mother of pearl and sterling silver. The Victorian style sterling bookmark was usually made in a floral design or with scrollwork sculpted around the edges. However some were made in the shapes of swords and functioned as a paper cutter when pages were still joined together in a book.
There are two basic designs for clip silver bookmarks. The first is a standard vertical clip with a figurine on top. Some of the more popular designs are the dragonfly silver bookmark and the fairy silver bookmark. There are also popular whimsical designs such as the clock and mouse silver bookmark.
The second type of bookmark has the clip in a distinct shape. The nickel-plated heart shaped bookmark is a very popular design for the female reader while the rectangular shaped bookmark and banner style bookmark are preferred by male readers. In addition many of these shaped silver bookmarks can be engraved with the reader’s name or initials.
Believe it or not there are actually bookmarks that have more than one function. We have all read books where two pages were not separated correctly. This is when the multifunctional silver bookmarks come in handy. These bookmarks are shaped like swords, knives, trowels or letter openers and all function to separate conjoined pages from each other. And these bookmarks can also be used to open the mail if desired.
The sterling silver bookmark also comes in 2 other designs. The first design is a paperclip with a figure on the front such as a fleur de lis. As the paperclip is effectively hidden it almost looks like the silver figure is magically clinging to the page. The second style resembles a shepherd crook. The elongated portion rests on the page being saved and the hook hangs over one or several of the pages in front of the saved page. Sometimes the hook will have a design on such as a heart or circle.
When purchasing a bookmark as a gift be sure to take note of all the different styles and designs. It is important to choose a bookmark that suits the personality of the recipient. For sophisticated readers choose a Victorian design and for someone who is a cat lover, the cat and mouse design might be more appropriate.