Selling pictures from books

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Selling pictures from books

Postby Jules007 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:24 pm

Hi, I wonder if someone can help.
I have some old books, and some not so old. They have some great pictures inside and I plan to dismantle the books, frame some of the best pictures and then sell the framed pictures.
I've bought the books so I presume that I can then sell the pages individually.
Can anybody let me know if this is ok legally?
I'm not reproducing the pictures, by the way, just selling the pages with the pictures on it.
Thanks in advance
Jules
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Keith Hewitt » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:33 pm

I don't know, but it does remind me of a nice print I bought many years ago in Amsterdam.
Lovely picture of skaters on a frozen canal.
My framer removed the mount and backing to show me it was a picture apparently taken from a glossy magazine :head:
The back was covered in text! :Slap:

I still like the picture, and admire the Dutch.
They are good traders, if a tad devious.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby prospero » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:58 am

First establish if the book has value. If it does and you break it up you could be throwing away ££££s. :roll:

Otherwise they could be a good source of pictures to frame. As far as legality goes it's a knotty area. Many books contain dire
warnings as to what cannot do to them, including removing pages to resell the illustrations. That being said I doubt you would
get any comeback unless you copied the pictures.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Not your average framer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:37 am

I used to run a secondhand bookshop, which also sold antique prints and vintage adverts. The biggest sellers where the vintage adverts and they had to be certain types of adverts, not just anything you can lay your hands on. The adverts needed to be a decent size as well.

The nostalgia thing was good in those days, people bought old car adverts mainly one that reminded them of older cars that they once owned, Guinness adverts (not later than the mid 1960's) and older Coca Cola adverts (again not later than the mid 1960's).

Old Coca Cola adverts came from the back covers of National Geographic magazines which had a Coca Cola advert every other issue, but even then only particular adverts sold. Guinness adverts came from the 1950's and 1960's illustrated London news, the Shpere, the Graphic, the field, the Tattler and stuff like that.

Illustrations from books are more difficult, you do need to know which ones are considered collectible, Forget modern books, it all about older books, some older childrens books are still sought after as prints, but you are looking for early and collected illustrators, some engraved prints will sell, but again they need to be the sought after ones.

I still have a large quanity of old prints and victorian wood cut engravings, which I never got rid of, but the era of old print shop is long gone. BTW, there are copyright issues taking prints out of books as many of these prints were produced as works of art as well and the publishers permission was not given to sell the book illustrations as prints.

Most prints from books are quite small and that's not always what people want these days. You see a lot of this sort of thing on Ebay these days and the price that people expect to pay for this sort of thing is almost nothing. Some old secondhand bookshops can still get away with this sort of thing, but you see this stuff in charity shops for peanuts and even then they won't sell.

Older Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear still sell once in a while for young childrens bedrooms, but you are not talking about particularly worthwhile prices, usually it a way of adding some extra valve to a ready made frame. You still see stuff like this in the odd junk shop, but that's about it. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be and this stuff now sells mostly on car boot sales for next to nothing.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby David McCormack » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:37 pm

Keith Hewitt wrote:My framer removed the mount and backing to show me it was a picture apparently taken from a glossy magazine :head:
The back was covered in text!


Hi Jules,

If you do frame pictures on thin paper with text on the back, do you know about the trick of using a black or dark under-mount rather than a white one? See attached photos and video :D

White.jpg
White.jpg (496.98 KiB) Viewed 295 times

Black.jpg
Black.jpg (537.28 KiB) Viewed 295 times

"You know, there's a right and wrong way to do everything!"
Oliver Hardy.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Jules007 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks for the replies.

It seems that there is no clear definitive answer to this but I think that it should be ok. After all I'm not reproducing anything, just selling on what I have already bought.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby prospero » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:29 am

Have a look in the book to see if there are any T&Cs.

Here one from a David Shepherd book:

This book is sold subject to the conditions that it and the prints
contained therein shall not, by way of trade, be lent, resold, hired out or
otherwise be disposed of without the Publisher's consent otherwise than as an
entire volume in the binding in which the book was published; and shall not be
resold otherwise than subject to the same conditions.


So if I cut the pictures out and sold them I would be transgressing. :shock: Having said that, I shouldn't
think anything dire would happen if I did. :lol: But that's the warning.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Jules007 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:42 am

That's pretty specific about breaking up the book and selling individual pages.

I've had a good look through the book that I have and there is a warning about not reproducing prints etc but nothing else so I think I'm ok to go ahead.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:43 pm

Will you be selling these described as prints, or will you be letting your customers know that these are pages from books? It's not especially likely that this will be challenged under the trading standards regulations, but if it was trading standards officers can publish the fact that they regard this as misrepresentation, which may not be particularly helpful to your reputation.

Another thing to consider is if a customer breaks the glass and while trying to replace it can see what it is, it is possible that the may feel that they have been stitched up and again the word may get around and damage your reputation. There are businesses that mount pictures from books and the ones that are picture framers usually dry mount anything from modern books onto black mountboard to hide the fact that it has been removed from a modern book.

Bookshops have been doing this sort of thing for years and it's general knowledge that these pictures come from books, but it's all about reasonable perceptions. I'm not saying don't do this, but think about what you are likely to be selling and how to present it and create the best result. I used to be the owner of a secondhand bookshop and had a good idea of what customers were looking for. Generally it's only specific items that sell, so you do need to figure out want items are going to be worth the bother.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby featurepiece » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:52 pm

I have nothing to say except that the 'dark mountboard behind the text' thing is one of the best tips I've seen in ages!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :D I shall certainly be demonstrating this magic to any unsuspecting customer I can find. Fantastic :)
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Jules007 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:58 pm

I'm not actually decribing them as anything other than the name of the print so I'm not really misrepresenting them.

I hadn't thought about the possibility of the customer opening them up and realising that it's a picture from a book so dry mounting them onto black board sounds good like a good idea.

I'm not trying to con anyone or get away with anything underhand here but want to make sure that I'm not setting myself up for any legal problems.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby prospero » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:02 pm

Describe them as 'Book Plates'. Sounds more classy. :lol:
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Jules007 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:14 pm

That certainly does sound better than 'pages torn out of a book'.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Steve N » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:08 am

As long as the book has no warning about it , do, but do bond them down so they look good, many years ago (over 25 years) where I once worked, we had the licence to print as limited editions , the designs from Royal Doulton pottery archives, what we did not know was some else was also allowed to use the teacup designs for a book, what happened was a framer was buying 25 copies of the book at a time, taking the pictures out and framing them for a lot less than we were selling the limited editions for, Royal Doulton would do nothing about it , they didn't care
Loss count of the times customers have bought in a mounted picture, only to find its a picture out of a book/magazine or a postcard.
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby prospero » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:24 am

At one time, there were publishers who bound their prints into book form. Good reason: Books are(were) not subject
to VAT and prints are. I haven't seen that done recently so I think the HMRC may have closed that loophole. :lol:
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Re: Selling pictures from books

Postby Not your average framer » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:25 pm

After realising that fisherton framing is based in Salisbury, I did remember that Salisbury is the city that inspired "Melchester" from Thomas Hardy's "Wessex Novels". Wouldn't it be interesting to see if there is a suitable copy of the relevent Wessex novel, with some nice woodcut prints in the book. The Wessex novel which mentions Melchester is called "Jude the obscure".

By the way, aren't some of the rivers and streams around your area well known by the fishing fraternity for trout fishing. Maybe a few suitable fishing woodcut prints might be in order too! I'm not sure if I remembered this right, but does Salisbury have a race course? If so some older horse racing prints might go down well with vistors who just happen to be in your neck of the woods, while the races are on.

Be very careful choosing the right prints for your area, old woodcuts will suggest a certain amount of antiquity and maybe some convincing reproductions from better quality books, might still have that right look and feel. Don't waste time trying to suggest that things are anything special, it does not matter, if people like what they see, the price is right and people know that they can trust you to tell the truth, then a sale could well be on the cards.

Modern day book plates don't look anything like older book plates and it's the older looking book plates than sell, not the newer plates printed on modern looking paper. BTW, I used to be a secondhand book dealer, who used to sell old book plates, so I know what sells. Don't expect this to be a really big part of your business, the era when this stuff made lots of money is long gone, so don't spend too much on stuff like this until you've tested the market in your location.
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