Thursday, July 30, 2009

Charles E. Lauriat's Bookstore

As I was doing to work on a future blog about Kate Douglas Wiggin, I found a sticker on the bottom of one of the front end papers of a book. It says Chas. E. Lauriat Co. I knew that Lauriat was one of the founding/ named partners of the 19th century Boston publishing house of Estes and Lauriat. But did he also sell books? Here is the scoop.

In 1898 Charles Lauriat (1842-1920) decided to became a bookseller only and leave the publishing to his former partner Dana Estes. So their partnership was dissolved. Dana Estes continued to publish books as Dana Estes and Company. Lauriat bought out the stock of Estes and Lauriat and on June 1, 1898 started his retail establishment at 301 Washington Street, Opposite "Old South". He sold the Estes books as well as the books of other publishers He moved to larger quarters in 1906 just down the way at 385 Washington Street. He remained as president of this company until his death.

Here is the 385 Washington location.

Unfortunately even with a magnifying glass the
resolution is not good enough to make out any
significant details.

This is the bookstore at 301 Washington.

How would you like to be able to browse in this store today??


  1. I found a copy of sonnets from the portuguese which was bound by the same Charles Lauriat. Co.This is done in morrocco with gilt lettering.The poems were published by Harpers and brothers.

  2. I just found a 1925 copy of the "Original Letters from India" with the EM Forster Introductory and Terminal Notes. Has the nice Lauriat plate at the bottom of the inside front board. Good to find your blog and learn more about that organization!

  3. I have a set of The Essays of Elia and The Last Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb, published by J M Dent & Sons in 1926, bound by Baytun of Bath, England. I think it was commissioned by Charles E Lauriat because there is a stamp stating "Charles E Lauriat Co Boston" on the FFEP of each book. Great to learn about the history of a famous bookseller in USA and a master bookbinder in the UK.

  4. I worked for Lauriat's Books for seve years, until it closed in 1999. At the time I believe it was the oldest continuous book store company in the country. It was a great place to work!

  5. I found a copy of Charles Lamb's Essays of Elia at a Goodwill. The title page says Estes and Lauriat and below their names it says publishers.

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  8. Looking at a 1793 set of finely bound Aesop Fables with both Bayntun(Bath) and D.E.Lauriat of Boston binders labels. Related to Charles E Lauriat perhaps?

  9. Greetings,
    Charles Lauriat and his book business, with a little background, is discussed in Erik Larson's new book "Dead Wake". Lauriat was a passenger on the Lusitania in 1915.
    FYI Supposedly they would put rare items in the window on one side of the front doorway and the 'bestsellers' in the window on the other side of the front doorway.

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