Don’t judge a book by its cover


When I began buying books for the North Carolina Collection, I was amazed and delighted to see the role that trust plays in the buying and selling of rare and out-of-print books. Sellers trust me to be the person I represent myself to be, and I trust them to describe honestly the books they are selling. Confident in the accurate the description of a book, I then decide if the book is worth the asking price. In the decade plus that I have been doing this job, I have rarely been disappointed in a purchase. Last week, I thought I was about to experience one of those disappointments.

I purchased, from a bookseller I have long done business with, a small 1928 pamphlet, The Archers Handbook. It is a manufacturer’s catalog and guidebook from the Archers Company, a small Pinehurst firm. When I opened the carton from the bookseller, my spirits sank to see a small, slightly battered 4 x 6 inch pamphlet. While the pamphlet clearly deserves a place in the North Carolina Collection because it documents this firm and provides insights into the history of recreation in the state, I thought I had overpaid for it. That gloomy thought troubled me until the end of the day when I sat down and went page-by-page through the volume and became enchanted by the clear drawings and color illustrations in the volume. The clean, crisp images of bows and arrows are a delight, even for someone who left archery behind when she quit the Girl Scouts. My trust was restored. But don’t take my word for the beauty of these illustrations, see some of them for yourself.

0 thoughts on “Don’t judge a book by its cover”

  1. very interesting site, especially since i have one of the Wych-Elm hunting bows, dated 1936. now i can put a name with it.

    you are correct, they are exquisite illustrations.

  2. We have a lot of scouts that come into our shop preparing for the arrow of light ceremony. It’s nice to see this tradition continuing.

  3. I am looking for more info on The Archers Company, I have three bows and some arrows from that firm Thanks

  4. Wow, those illustrations really are amazing. Considering you said that the small 4 x 6 inch pamphlet was slightly battered it is hard to believe that the clarity is what it is.

    The colors are also so crisp and clear, or have you done some editing on the image you posted.

    What is the story with the bow case? Why is it in two pieces? Is that supposed to be where you open the bow case?? Looks like it has been ripped in to two pieces? Why would that be shown that way?

    Anyway, amazing, I never bothered to look through all the old books that my grandfather had left when he died, perhaps I should take a glance. Maybe something in there worth the eye of a collector. If there seems to be I will let you know!


  5. Those pictures blow my mind. It truly is hard to believe that those amazing pictures came from such a small phamplet! Thanks for sharing them!

  6. I have the very book complete with the color plate of Archers Company products—1926. It was in the wooden box containing a carriage bow from the company that I still shoot. The box suffered from being in too many garages for too many years. I made a new one and new, green felt bag for the bow halves to replace the moth eaten original. I have read one Phillip Rounsevelle book and the story of the company’s genesis. I would love to find more information and particularly some information on the Archers Company manufacturing processes and the craftsman, Harold Rohm with whom Rounsevelle started another archery company in Chicago in 1932.

  7. Robert:

    We can’t appraise material for patrons, but I do have a few suggestions of how to go about this. In order to determine the authenticity of your material, and to estimate an approximate value, you may need to contact an appraiser. There are several ways to find appraisers in your area. Local antique shops or used bookstores may be able to recommend qualified appraisers near you. If not, there are several places you can look online. The website for the PBS show Antiques Roadshow has a good guide for finding and hiring appraisers at

    There are also a couple of professional organizations, both of which have websites that enable users to search for appraisers by location:

    American Society of Appraisers

    Appraisers Association of America

    Keep in mind that appraisers will charge for their services. However, if you’re trying to determine the approximate value of your artifact for insurance purposes, you will likely need a formal appraisal.

  8. Need help locating 2 or 3 expert appraisers on antique autographed photos to determine if original or copy. Hopefully here in North Carolina, or neighboring states. But if not, anywhere will do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *