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René Lalique 'Hirondelle' a Car Mascot, design 1928 frosted and polished glass, together with original chrome plated 'Breves Galleries' mount 15cm high, moulded 'R.Lalique, France' to body, chrome mount stamped 'Breves Galleries Knightsbridge SW13 PAT. APP. 9855/28'

Katsushika Hokuun's hanging scroll "Courtesan Promenading Under Cherry Blossom," circa 1815-1819, shows an oiran performing her twisting steps with her wooden clogs, showing off the lush layers of her kimonos, her child attendants following her. (From the John C. Weber Collection, image © John Bigelow Taylor)

In the near future, when books are looked upon as objects of pure nostalgia, the concept of a bookplate might need a bit of explaining: Befo...