Inspiring Gifts for History Lovers

A Guide for Gift Giving this Holiday Season from The Raab Collection


In search of a special gift for someone who loves and collects history? We’ve curated a selection of inspiring ideas – from dazzling pieces of medieval art to signed copies of important books to historical documents signed by presidents, innovators, and heroes.

Medieval Illumination

Many people put medieval books and art in the category of things they didn’t know they could own, or that would be prohibitively expensive to buy. However, that is not always the case. Museum-quality manuscripts and artwork from the medieval era are not only within the realm of possibility for many collectors, one item can act as the centerpiece of an eclectic collection or become the cornerstone of a new endeavor. Whether that is a sheet of medieval music from 12th-century Italy, an 11th-century manuscript bearing the words of Pope Gregory, or one of the many other pieces in our Medieval & Renaissance department, the pieces are often impressive, both visually and historically.  

Book of Hours
An Early, Petite Devotional Manuscript Book of Hours Painted in Bruges at the Beginning of the 15th century
Leaf from Bohun Bible
Illuminated Manuscript Leaf from the Bohun Bible, 14th Century England

Historical Heroes

Everyone, and perhaps especially those who study history, has personal heroes: world leaders, scientists, authors, and others who have helped shape history. These historical figures can range from George Washington to Winston Churchill to Albert Einstein. Giving someone a present associated with one of their heroes can be very meaningful. If the intended recipient of this holiday gift ‘likes Ike,’ for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s original 1958 Christmas and New Year’s message to veterans of the U.S. armed forces might be perfect.

John F Kennedy signed appointment 1961
John F. Kennedy, Appointment Signed as President, Upon His Arrival at the Oval Office, January 21, 1961
Hemingway inscribed book
A Copy of “A Farewell to Arms,” Signed by Ernest Hemingway for a Young Woman Friend, 1955

Framed Art

While some of the documents and pieces of art that we sell are offered already framed, The Raab Collection also offers custom archival framing for the simple reason that, for some collectors, the ability to engage with their treasures every day–to see them hanging on the wall–is a significant part of why they collect. After all, surrounding ourselves with exceptional objects can remind us of what inspires, encourages, and delights us. Framing makes this kind of display possible and has the added benefit of protecting rarities from light, dust, and other elements harmful to paper.

Medieval Illustration of a Hunter and his Dog
A 12th-Century Illustration of a French Hunter, His Dog, and Their Catch: A Hare
Giclee Print of Abraham Lincoln
Beautiful, Oversized Giclee Print of Abraham Lincoln

Unique Historical Ephemera

It only takes one object–an inscribed book, a signed baseball card, an unusual stamp–to spark the imagination of a budding collector or historian. For our founder, Steven Raab, it was a set of autographs procured during a live performance of the Three Stooges in 1958 that laid the groundwork for a lifetime of collecting and scholarship. For those who love history, imparting their passion to the next generation is important. What better way to do that than by gifting a piece of history that is unique–and a little fun.  

Comic Strip Signed by Charles Schulz
Comic Strip Signed by Charles Schulz on January 18, 1992, Featuring Snoopy’s Brother, Spike, in the Desert
Air Mail Cover Amelia Earhart
Air Mail Cover Commemorating Amelia Earhart’s Record Coast-to-Coast Flight in 1933, Boldly Signed by Earhart

Click here or below to browse the full 2023 Raab Holiday Gift Guide. Happy holidays! 

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