I never thought I would be doing this….writing a blog about rare books, the printers that published them and the decorative Initial Letters found in them. These Initial Letters are pieces of art designed by the best craftsmen of the time.  They were meant to decorate the pages of rare books printed back in the 15th and 16th Centuries. I have been a collector for a number of years and use my training in art to restore them back to their original condition. I then print them using archival inks and papers and lastly they are carefully framed. Please know that no damage is ever done to the rare books I own and pages are never removed. Occasionally, I will find a stray page at a bookstore or antiquarian book fair and buy it.  A fair amount of my time is spent researching the history of each letter so the story can be told of the printer, date and place of origin. As a calligrapher, I am passionate about the letter form and want to share with you a rediscovery of these decorative Initial Letters, their histories and significance in the rare book world. Lastly, I am pleased to offer them to you as a unique gift to give on any occasion. Great gift giving is an art. It can sometimes be a daunting task to find just the right thing for that special someone. When I started restoring and framing these letters as gifts, my friends and family loved them. They are so unusual and unexpected and made personal by giving the recipients the Initial Letter of either their first or last name. When you add the history behind the letter the gift becomes extra special and meaningful. So my gift to you are these beautiful Initial Letters and their stories, many of which I will be writing about in future blogs.   Happy Gifting, Ann