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Random thoughts from a passionate bookplate collector.

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    Everyone has a favorite cat bookplate so send me a scan of yours and it will be added to this blog.
    In fact,, if you also want to send me a photo of your own  cat I will include it...

    Here are two links with 22 Bookstore Cats


    Benjamin Walker Bours
     There is a copy of this plate in The University of Delaware collection with a notation that it was designed and engraved by Shreve and Co.

    David and Hermione Chambers *
    Woodcut by Pam. G. Rueter (1980)

    Kitty Downing
    Drawn by Gordon Craig (Blatchly 61)
    A kitten provides a punning subject for this bookplate for the wife of the antiquarian bookseller and publisher William Downing (1844-1910),.He ran the Chaucer Head Bookshop in Birmingham .

    Leo Dries *
    woodcut by Elisabeth J.M. (Elly) van den Hoeven (1950)

    Mark A. Glaser

    Lionel B. Goldschmidt
    Mr. Goldschmidt was an Africana book collector.

    Dorothy Grau
    Mary Duchess of Bedford
    Engraved in 1899 by W. P. Barrett

    Mary Jaffe
    Two universal bookplates hand colored by my wife Mary

    Louis Katz
    Punning bookplate dated 1922 , artist's initials EK

    Louis Lion
    Punning plate by Margot Lion dated 1907 Hamburg

    I'd like to find out  who GM, is and who designed the plate.

    Mystery Bookplate ?
    I'm not sure if this is a bookplate.The latin phrase says
      from the claw (we may judge of) the lion :  from a part we may judge of the whole

    Bob and Epsie Morse
    This bookplate was engraved by Luis Agassiz Fuertes

    Alice Dyar Russell
    The owner was an author and the artist's initials are DS

    Gordon Smith
    Gordon Smith is a bookplate collector .This bookplate was etched and hand colored by Elly De Koster in 1996
    D.H. Souter
    HI Lew
    Here's an Australian cat example.  More details from my book, Australian Personal Bookplates.  Souter used the cat as his motif.
    Andrew Peake

    Isidor Straus
    " Mr.Straus (February 6, 1845 – April 15, 1912) was a German-born American businessman and co-owner of Macy's department store with his brother Nathan. He also served briefly as a member of the United States House of Representatives.. He died with his wife, Ida, in the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Titanic "

    Ernest Alan Van Vleck
    This bookplate was designed by Charles Livingston Bull (May, 1874 - 1932) ..He was an American illustrator.. Bull studied taxidermy in Rochester, New York and is known for his illustration
    of wildlife.

    Elisa Vidal
      This bookplate was engraved by Fernandez Saez

    Greet Verduin *

    etched in 3 colours by Ank Spronk-Veenstra (1983)
    Bradley L. Wallace
    Designed by Frances Revett Wallace

    Jouke Zwiers *
    copper etching by Anneke G. Kuyper (1984)

    * These items were sent by fellow collector Jos Swiers

    6/22/2015 Rebecca Eichliman submitted the following information:
    There were a number of cat-themed universal bookplates Antioch Bookplate produced, including one that started out as a custom design and was adopted as a universal design and was a bestselling design as long as the company lasted (M-750).

    From different eras at Antioch Bookplate

    57 Stenzel was from the 1940s when Antioch Bookplate acquired the Stenzel Company bookplate line

    W-41 from the 1970s, possibly by staff artist Tom Till

    B-157 from the early 1980s, likely by staff artist Joan Corbitt

    6/22/2015   Karen Gardner just submitted the following additional information :

    Hi Lew,
    I hope you're doing well. I've been staying fairly busy. I saw your cat post and wanted to send some for you to add. The cat on top of a stack of books (design B212) is Antioch Bookplate's quintessential cat design. I put somewhat of a watermark on it because I've seen it copied (sometimes with variations) online quite a bit. It was introduced by Antioch in the 1960s, after having been created as a personal design for LaDonna Ruth Brooks. It is one of my most popular designs. 

     The second one, A108, is a homey setting with a cat by the fireplace. It was created in the 1950s by David Sarvis, who was at the time an Antioch College student. He created many designs for the Antioch Bookplate Company. 

    All the best,
    Bookplate Ink


    P.O. Box 558

    Yellow Springs, OH 45387

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    Anne Jope  has taken the time to  respond to my  email inquiries as follows:

    How many bookplates have you produced ?

    "I should start by saying that in total I have only produced 15 bookplates. all done before 1992. They are wood engravings, so are hand engraved in reverse onto boxwood blocks and then each bookplate is individually hand printed on an Albion-type press (an Atlas). These were fun to do for friends or as commissions but I came to the conclusion eventually that the amount of effort and preparation were uneconomic and so chose instead to concentrate on limited edition prints, illustrations and paintings."
    I thought your readers might be interested to see the beautiful Atlas printing press on which wood engravings and linocuts were printed (attached below).

    Can you compose a few sentences about your training?

    BA Hons in Fine Art (Painting) at Central School of Art and Design, Holborn, London, followed by Post Grad Advanced Printmaking, where I studied with Blair Hughes Stanton, a great printmaker, and Ian Mortimer.

    Do you want to include something about the galleries that represent you?
    I exhibit where I can but don't have any that represent me. I'm a member of several societies who have annual shows and sell work, and of course do illustrations to commission.

    Can you send me a Jpeg of a limited edition print,illustration or painting ?

    Attached below is a limited ed. linocut print 'RIVERBANK' (16 overprintings of transparent ink on several pieces of lino, and lots of textures), now sold out.

    'Riverbank', was done about the same time as the bookplates,. 
    The image is much larger; it measures 59 x 40 cms.

    The Checklist

    The two images not scanned were:
    Dora Thornton, which in the end was unsuccessful because even though the image was acceptable, we could not agree on the style of lettering,
    G. Ingli James, a small image of a mountain."

    Alex Allan *

    John S. Allitt

    KC (Katie Clemson)

    JD (J Deary)

    J Deary

    S.E. Deary (Koala)

    DG (David Gluck)

    Andrew Grout

    DI (Douglas Irvine)
    G Ingli James (no scan available - small image of a mountain)

    Simon King

    Franco M Pastore

    BHS (Blair Hughes Stanton)

    Pat Sullivan

    Note From Lew

    Alex Allan 
    *From  blog postings in 2008-  I purchased the Alex Allan bookplate in England after seeing it in The Bookplate Society Journal (vol.v11,1989). It is a wood engraving by Anne Jope and it is one of the earliest if not the first plate depicting a computer. The owner may be the larger than life Alex Allan ,Chairman of The Joint Intelligence Commission Of The United Kingdom and Grateful Dead enthusiast. 

    The Plot ThickensAfter I completed this weeks blog I started doing more research about Alex Allan , the spymaster. Around July 5th of this year(2008) he was found semi - conscious , in a pool of blood at his home.There are several conflicting news stories, pneumonia , poisoning ,a botched assassination attempt and then all news coverage seems to disappear. Very strange indeed.

    Update- October 13th, 2008- I am truly impressed. Alex Allan promptly responded to my Email inquiry as follows:

    "Dear Lewis

    Yes, the bookplate is mine. My wife was an artist, and a friend of Anne Jope's. She commissioned Anne to do the bookplate for my birthday one year.

    I don't use any other bookplate, I'm afraid.

    Best wishes
    Alex Allan "

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     I try to find information about the owners of bookplates because it pleases do so and it also opens other areas for exploration..

    Waldo and Dorothy Heinrichs

    The bookplate was designed by H Nelson Poole in 1928

    "Waldo Huntley Heinrichs (1891-1959) was born in British India of Baptist missionary parents. Upon graduating from Denison University in 1913, he began a career in the international Y.M.C.A., interrupted by service in the First World War. 
    A pursuit (fighter) pilot, he was shot down, severely wounded, and taken prisoner by the Germans in World War I. After the war he earned an MA in history at Columbia University, returned to the Y.M.C.A. in India, and then ran the “*Y” in Jerusalem, Palestine, that was open to all faiths. 
    In the 1920s, Heinrichs supported a new Wilsonian world order that would lead to the reduction of military conflict and world peace. He joined the faculty of Middlebury College in 1934 and in 1936 and 1939 took study tours to Europe. During the 1939 trip he gained entrance to German-occupied Czechoslovakia and talked with people under Nazi domination. He became convinced that Nazi power was a threat to free peoples. In 1941 Heinrichs became involved in effort to convince the United States government to purchase arms and lend them to countries fighting the dictators in Europe. The Committee to Defend America (CDA) was organized to muster public opinion in support of intervention in Europe through the Lend Lease Act. The Vermont chapter of CDA formed in the summer of 1940 with Heinrichs serving as one of the co-secretaries. Vermont’s U.S. representative, Charles Plumley, supported the Lend Lease bill, as did one of its U.S. senators, Warren Austin. Newly elected Senator George D. Aiken, however, was opposed to the bill. The CDA’s efforts focused on changing Aiken’s opinion, but they ultimately failed when he voted against the Lend Lease bill on March 8, 1941. The majority of the U.S. Senate and House, however, supported the bill. Heinrichs moved on beyond the CDA to join the new pro-war, public activist group Fight for Freedom."
    Edward J. Ill

    I was drawn to Dr. Ill's bookplate because his family name  was appropriate to his chosen profession.

     There is a word for someone whose name is well suited to his or her profession.

    The word is aptronym

    Here are some other examples:

    Bruno Fromage - MD of dairy company Danone UK

    Rem Koolhaas - Dutch architect

    William Wordsworth – poet

    Larry Speakes - White House spokesman

    Dominique Dropsy - goalkeeper

    Here is a link to some biographical information about Dr. Ill

    AEP Mystery Leather Bookplates
     I have enlarged these two heart shaped  leather bookplates so they can be seen more clearly.
    The are quite small, about 1/2 inch square. They were in a group where many of the owners were physicians. Do  any of you know anything them ?

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Dr. Archibald Clinton Harte (1865-1946) developed a vision for a permanent YMCA building in Jerusalem and worked tirelessly planning every detail, and for many years raised funds for it. After seven years of construction, the new Jerusalem International YMCA was dedicated in 1933 with the words “Here is a spot whose atmosphere is peace, where political and religious jealousies can be forgotten and international unity be fostered and developed.” Dr. Harte retired to his home, which became known as the “Harte Villa,” on the shores of Galilee in 1931, which he used as a center of hospitality to people of all communities and nations, especially many men and women of the Allied Armed Forces. He bequeathed the “Harte Villa” to the Jerusalem International YMCA to continue and be used as a place of gathering of all people, and to complete his vision of an international Christian center for conference and study on Galilee. Dr. Harte died on Palm Sunday morning of 1946, and was buried in the garden of the “Harte Villa” which is now enclosed as a part of the Harte Chapel on the grounds of today’s Peniel by Galilee.

    YMCA Jerusalem
    The cornerstone for the Jerusalem YMCA was laid in 1928 by Lord Plumer, the British High Commissioner for Palestine, on a plot of land in the West Nikephoria section of Jerusalem, purchased from the Greek Orthodox Church Patriarchate. When the building opened on April 18, 1933, the event was attended by YMCA leaders from around the world. Every detail of the building, with its elegant arches, domes and tower, was described in the world press, which hailed it as a wellspring of cultural, athletic, social and intellectual life. Until 1991, the YMCA stadium was the only soccer stadium in Jerusalem. The building, still standing today, was designed by noted American architect Arthur Loomis Harmon of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon.

    Temple Ansche Chesed
    This bookplate was designed by M Klein 
    "Ansche Chesed was founded in 1829 when a group of German, Dutch and Polish Jews seceded from Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, which itself had splintered off from another New York synagogue, Shearith Israel. Such secessions were not uncommon in pre-Civil War Manhattan, and the precise reasons for the break are no longer known. By the mid-19th century, Ansche Chesed’s membership was dominated by Jews of German origin.
    The congregation has occupied at least five buildings at various sites around Manhattan, initially in rented quarters on Grand Street. Its first purpose-built home, on Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side, now houses the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Ansche Chesed later decamped to East 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue, and in 1908 headed further north to then fashionable Harlem where it built a pillared, neo-classical temple at 114th Street and Seventh Avenue (now Adam Clayton Boulevard).
    In 1927, Ansche Chesed laid the cornerstone for a new building on West End Avenue and 100th Street. The majestic, buff brick synagogue was dedicated in 1928 and the congregation has remained there since. Designed by architect Edward I. Shire in a synthesis of Romanesque and Byzantine styles, the barrel-vaulted sanctuary seats 1,600 people, with a subterranean social hall and gymnasium and an adjacent five-story community house with a chapel seating 110.
    The stock market crash just one year after the completion of the West End Avenue premises hit Ansche Chesed hard. Nonetheless, it managed to revive after the Depression. By the 1960s and 70s, large numbers of middle and upper class Jews had left the Upper West Side, and Ansche Chesed’s membership dwindled. Ensuing financial distress became so dire that the United Synagogue of America assumed control over the building in 1975.
    But by the late 1970s, younger members of small minyans, including the West Side Minyan, an offshoot of the chavurah movement, brought new life and vigor to the congregation. Another davening community, Minyan Ma’at, was established in the early 1980s and became an integral part of Ansche Chesed. In 1997, Minyan Rimonim began holding bimonthly Shabbat services at the synagogue.
    Under Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Ansche Chesed’s minyanim have continued holding separate services on most Shabbats, but congregational unity has grown significantly along with increasing interaction and synergy among the prayer groups. The congregation is governed by a board of trustees representing all the minyanim, and operates joint social action initiatives, family and adult education programs, and a Hebrew School."

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    Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library

    Errol G. Hill’s   Bookplate
    Created for Rauner Special Collections, Dartmouth College Library
    2011, sheet: 2 ½ x 4 inches

    Errol G. Hill (1921-2003) 


    The bookplate was made for Dartmouth College Professor Errol G. Hill’s library.  Hill’s personal papers and library were acquired in 2003 by the Dartmouth College Library.  The collection comprises primarily books and papers on Trinidad Carnival and Caribbean, African, African American and European theatre.  Professor Hill, born in Trinidad & Tobago, was the first tenured professor of African descent at Dartmouth College.

    The image on the bookplate is of “Negue Jadin,” a historical Trinidad Carnival character from the time of Emancipation.  The figure is a full-length image of a man of African descent in a costume of tight-fitting green satin or velvet knee-length breeches, bright yellow shirt with heart shaped panel of contrasting color adorned with rhinestones and mirrors over the chest.  A scarf is tied around his waist.  The man is brandishing a stick with his hands on either end.  The costume is completed by “alpargatos” (rope sandals) and a cap or paper crown decorated with spangles worn over the head pad.  The outfit would be trimmed with little metal bells that would tinkle as the stick fighter moved.

    The image was derived from a watercolor drawn by Trinidad artist Carlisle Chang (1921-2001), who also designed the Trinidad national flag.  Carlisle Chang was a friend of Professor Hill’s and served as costume and set designer for a number of Hill’s theatre productions.  Chang’s signature can be seen below the right foot of the character.

    A blue border surrounds the figure and the words “Ex-Libris Errol G. Hill 1921-2003” is printed above the image.  The text at the bottom of the bookplate reads “John D. Willard Professor of Drama and Oratory,” Professor Hill’s title, and “Dartmouth College Library.”

    Grace Hope Hill, Hill's widow, selected the image and Dean Bornstein designed the plate for Dartmouth College. The image was scanned and printed by four-color offset lithography on acid-free Mohawk Superfine paper.


    Carnival Subject Guide, Trinidad and Tobago, National Library and Information System Authority

    Description of “Negue Jadin” from:  Errol Hill, The Trinidad Carnival (London, England: New Beacon Books Ltd), 1997, 28.

    Errol Hill Obituary, Dartmouth College

    Guide to the Papers of Errol G. Hill

    Note From Lew- I want to thank Claudia Hill, Professor Hill's daughter for sending me this information compiled and written by her mother Grace Hope Hill

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    Submitted By Rebecca Eschliman

    A bookplate has always been a choice of a most personal nature, none more so than a custom bookplate. During the first half of its existence, the Antioch Bookplate Company (later Antioch Publishing Company) worked with hundreds of customers to create custom bookplates, and often the correspondence involving the bookplate creation process emphasized the personal rather than the commercial aspects of the transaction.

    Regrettably, whole file cabinets full of custom bookplate correspondence were thrown out over the years in fits of industrial housekeeping zeal, but a  few examples managed to be preserved. The following letters regarding the custom bookplate for Mark V. Barrow (illustration courtesy Yellow Springs Historical Society) were transcribed from onion-skin carbon copies..

    March 15, 1967

    Mark V. Barrow, M.D.
    The J. Hillis Miller Health Center
    Box 705
    Gainesville, Florida  32601

    Dear Dr. Barrow:

    Thank you for your letter of March 7th with further reference to the proposed special bookplate. Your calculations are exactly correct and 600 three color bookplates would price at $137.00 complete.

    In view of all the money I have spent with physicians and apothecaries over the last eight years, (two major heart attacks, empyema and prostrate trouble) it is hard for me to believe that there is a physician anywhere who is short of funds, but I am basically a credulous fellow, and I'll take your word for it.

    Because work performed on a private bookplate design is of absolutely no value to anyone except the person who commissions it, we have to be pretty strict about enforcing our rule of cash with order on custom work for private persons. The only concession which we can make in this area is to permit you to make payment for the three different phases of the work as it proceeds. These phases break down as follows: art $61.00; plates $22:00; prints $54.00. If you will send us your check for $61.00 we will complete the art. When you have approved this, send us your check for $22 and we will make the plates and submit brownprints. When these are approved, an additional $54.00 will bring on the prints. If you want to wait a few months between stages, this will create no special problem so far as we are concerned. We have orders of this general type drag on, as the customer saved up his money or made up his mind or got back from a trip to the South Pole for as long as three years. We might drop you a note now and then to see if you are still alive, but you could certainly feel free to take your own time. I wish it were practical for us to be even more accommodating, but a special bookplate in process is not something which it makes sense to repossess the way a retailer might repossess an automobile or an organ. We have had several customers die during the course of protracted negotiations, and I can't remember a single instance in which his heirs carried the project through to completion.

    David W. Sallume, Vice-President

    P.S. My father was an ophthalmologist, and left an estate only barely more than sufficient to discharge his debts. It would not have done even this if the Masonic Lodge had not buried him.

    March 17, 1967

    Antioch Bookplate Company
    Yellow Springs, Ohio

    Dear Mr. Sallume:

    Your delightful letter of March 15 has been received and digested and I must say I am now convinced you have spent a considerable portion of your life “Mark Twaining” the Mississippi River. Is this not so?

    I was sorry to hear of your misfortune with doctors and I can honestly say that as a whole that are a rotten lot—until you desperately need them; then they're tolerable.

    Actually I have no business spending money on an Antioch Bookplate since I am only a Research Fellow and receive a paltry but livable salary each month to support my wife and four children, but I think that bookplate is so good, if you'll pardon my vanity, that I will go ahead and have it made.

    Your reasons for not extending credit are sound indeed and it may well take me a long while to complete the business arrangements. As soon as I have accounted for $61.00 I will forward you a check and we may be on with the art work. Lord, I hope I do not die before I see the finished product. What a startled surprise my wife would have receiving plates and art work about which she had no previous knowledge. She would probably inform you to cease capitalizing on a poor dead man's estate (less than your father's, I'm sure). Of course she has no knowledge of my clandestine arrangements. She would think I have surely taken a turn for the worse.

    So you may look forward to receiving the first phase payment in a short while.

    To your good Health,

    Mark V. Barrow, MD

    March 23, 1967

    Mark V. Barrow, M.D.
    The J. Hillis Miller Medical Center
    Box 705
    Gainesville, Florida  32601

    Dear Dr. Barrow:

    Thank you for your gracious and charming letter of March 17th. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that I had a “down” on physicians. Actually, “some of my best friends are doctors.” Living as I do in the extraordinary community of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where, with a population of less than 5,000, we have something over 20 psychiatrists and psychologists, not to mention 14 M.D.s in general and clinical practice, I have had the opportunity to meet a good many of them. In addition, they are amongst our most interesting clients for private bookplate designs, and I'll scratch through my sample files and see what I can turn up, just for the devil of it.

    I will be leaving in about a week for a three week vacation and, while we have other people in our organization who could carry the project forward, this particular one is full of technological pitfalls, and I have a suspicion that it would be held for me in any case.


    Notes From Lew

    Rebecca Eschliman of The Yellow Springs Historical Society is a regular contributor to this blog .
    On The Yellow Springs Historical Society website  I found some very useful information about 
    many Antioch Bookplates and their artists.

    F-306 (later M-18), sold in the early 1930s
    Here is the link:

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  • 07/18/15--11:00: Submissions from Readers
  • It always pleases me when   readers take the time to write about bookplates they have unearthed...
    I encourage you to send  information about any bookplates you find..

    If English is not your primary language I can assist you with editing.

    The first submission is from Nathaniel Shiffman a Judaica book dealer in New York.

    Although I am not a ex libris collector, I do have in my book collection a very interesting association copy of a two  volume set of the The Conciliator by Manasseh ben Israel printed in London in 1842.
    There is a fascinating exlibris on the end page of each volume.

    A little research on the internet revealed  that  Tavistock House was the home of  Charles Dickens.

    The bookplate is signed by E.Davis. Once again, further research reveals this to be a Jewish woman named Eliza Davis whom with her banker husband James bought the Tavistock House from Dickens  in 1860.
    Eliza Davis single-handedly changed Dickens negative attitude about Jews to a positive one.

    Follow this link for more info:

    The second submission is from Dave McCord , a bookseller in Georgia


    I found a bookplate for Richard Taliaferro under a  bookplate from The Library of the Theological Seminary of Virginia.The creation of Tagliaferro bookplate involved George Wythe , a signer of The Declaration of Independence  and Thomas Jefferson.a future president.

    "When Richard Taliaferro died o f "gout i n the head" i n 1779 he bequeathed his land and
    mansion a t Powhatan t o his son Richard, Jr.  To h i s daughter Elizabeth, who had married
    George Wythe, a signer o f the Declaration o f Independence, he gave the house he had
    b u i l t on Palace Street i n Williamsburg, a structure now commonly known as the Wythe House.
    So great was George Wythe's affection for his wife's family that he asked h i s former
    pupil Thomas Jefferson, then envoy t o France, t o seek out the Taliaferro family coat o f
    arms and prepare a copper bookplate f o r h i s brother-in-law,  Richard Taliaferro, Jr.
    During the years o f Taliaferro ownership, Powhatan was a prosperous working plantation.
    Advertisements i n the Virqinia Gazette and early tax records indicate that f i n e horses
    and c a t t l e and agricultural crops were raised a t Powhatan Plantation.

    From Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 13 August 1786

    To George Wythe

    Paris Aug. 13. 1786.
    Dear Sir
    Your favors of Jan. 10. and Feb. 10. came to hand on the 20th. and 23d of May. I availed myself of the first opportunity which occurred, by a gentleman going to England, of sending to Mr. Joddrel a copy of the Notes on our country, with a line informing him that it was you who had emboldened me to take that liberty. Madison, no doubt, informed you of the reason why I had sent only a single copy to Virginia. Being assured by him that they will not do the harm I had apprehended, but on the contrary may do some good, I propose to send thither the copies remaining on hand, which are fewer than I had intended, but of the numerous corrections they need, there are one or two so essential that I must have them made, by printing a few new leaves and substituting them for the old. This will be done while they are engraving a map which I have constructed of the country from Albemarle sound to Lake Erie, and which will be inserted in the book. A bad French translation which is getting out here, will probably oblige me to publish the original more freely, which it neither deserved nor was ever intended. Your wishes, which are laws to me, will justify my destining a copy for you. Otherwise I should as soon have thought of sending you a horn-book; for there is no truth there that is not familiar to you, and it’s errors I should hardly have proposed to treat you with.
    Immediately on the receipt of your letter, I wrote to a correspondent at Florence to enquire after the family of Tagliaferro as you desired. I received his answer two days ago, a copy of which I now inclose. The original shall be sent by some other occasion. I will have the copper plate immediately engraved. This may be ready within a few days, but the probability is that I shall be long getting an opportunity of sending it to you, as these rarely occur. You do not mention the size of the plate but, presuming it is intended for labels for the inside of books, I shall have it made of a proper size for that. I shall omit the word αριςος,1 according to the license you allow me, because I think the beauty of a motto is to condense much matter in as few words as possible. The word omitted will be supplied by every reader.
    The European papers have announced that the assembly of Virginia were occupied on the revisal of their Code of laws. This, with some other similar intelligence, has contributed much to convince the people of Europe, that what the English papers are constantly publishing of our anarchy, is false; as they are sensible that such a work is that of a people only who are in perfect tranquillity. Our act for freedom of religion is extremely applauded. The Ambassadors and ministers of the several nations of Europe resident at this court have asked of me copies of it to send to their sovereigns, and it is inserted at full length in several books now in the press; among others, in the new Encyclopedie. I think it will produce considerable good even in these countries where ignorance, superstition, poverty and oppression of body and mind in every form, are so firmly settled on the mass of the people, that their redemption from them can never be hoped. If the almighty had begotten a thousand sons, instead of one, they would not have sufficed for this task. If all the sovereigns of Europe were to set themselves to work to emancipate the minds of their subjects from their present ignorance and prejudices, and that as zealously as they now endeavor the contrary, a thousand years would not place them on that high ground on which our common people are now setting out. Ours could not have been so fairly put into the hands of their own common sense, had they not been separated from their parent stock and been kept from contamination, either from them, or the other people of the old world, by the intervention of so wide an ocean. To know the worth of this, one must see the want of it here. I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness. If any body thinks that kings, nobles, or priests are good conservators of the public happiness,2 send them here. It is the best school in the universe to cure them of that folly. They will see here with their own eyes that these descriptions of men are an abandoned confederacy against the happiness of the mass of people. The omnipotence of their effect cannot be better proved than in this country particularly, where notwithstanding the finest soil upon earth, the finest climate under heaven, and a people of the most benevolent, the most gay, and amiable character of which the human form is susceptible, where such a people I say, surrounded by so many blessings from nature, are yet loaded with misery by kings, nobles and priests, and by them alone. Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils, and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.—The people of England, I think, are less oppressed than here. But it needs but half an eye to see, when among them, that the foundation is laid in their dispositions, for the establishment of a despotism. Nobility, wealth, and pomp are the objects of their adoration. They are by no means the free-minded people we suppose them in America. Their learned men too are few in number, and are less learned and infinitely less emancipated from prejudice than those of this country. An event too seems to be prospering, in the order of things, which will probably decide the fate of that country. It is no longer doubtful that the harbour of Cherbourg will be completed, that it will be a most excellent one, and capacious enough to hold the whole navy of France. Nothing has ever been wanting to enable this country to invade that, but a naval force conveniently stationed to protect the transports. This change of situation, must oblige the English to keep up a great standing army, and there is no king, who, with a sufficient force, is not always ready to make himself absolute.—My paper warns me it is time to recommend myself to the friendly recollection of Mrs. Wythe, of Colo. Taliaferro and his family and particularly of Mr. R. T. and to assure you of the affectionate esteem with which I am Dear Sir your friend & servt.,
    Th: Jefferson
    PrC (DLC). Enclosure: Tr of Giovanni Fabbroni to TJ, 20 July 1786.
    Mr. R. T.: Richard Taliaferro. i will have the copper plate immediately engraved: On 25 Oct. 1786 Short wrote to William Nelson: “This will be delivered to you by Major Martin of Williamsburg. He has been in Paris a few days and leaves it immediately to return to America by the way of London. Mr. Jefferson sends by him also the Arms of the Family of Tagliaferro as received from Italy” (DLC: Short Papers; see also TJ to Short, 7 Apr. 1787TJ to Wythe, 16 Sep. 1787).The original copperplate of the Taliaferro arms is owned by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and is in the Wythe House, Williamsburg.
    1Thus in MS; TJ followed Wythe’s use of the word literally, both as to the erroneous spelling and as to the form of the first sigma; see Wythe to TJ, 10 Jan.and 10 Feb. 1786.
    2The preceding seven words were interlined in substitution for: “could give any aid towards their preservation,” deleted.

    Let's face it , The grim reaper is going to get us all sooner or later..

    Several bookplate collectors have begun to dispose of of their collections at auction houses.The Robert Weinberg Judaica Collection recently sold at auction and to the best of my knowledge the James Goode collection will be sold at Heritage Auctions some time in  early November.
    I will update you as additional  information is received...

    The disposal of collections is a subject worthy of discussion.and I encourage you to contact me about
    your thoughts. and plans.. .

     The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about  advertising matchbook collectors and the difficulties they encounter in disposal of their collections.

    . Much of what is said could readily apply to our peculiar hobby.

    I know of  at least four bookplate collections which were salvaged from dumpsters

    Here is a link to the article :

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    Yesterday, I obtained a copy of Three Generations of Book Collectors The Evan Turner Gift at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
    It was the cover illustration that intrigued me.

    In the book I also found an illustration for another bookplate.

    Here is the story behind the bookplates.
    During world War I some members of the Bierstadt family decided to change their family to Turner.
    *“Books in the Turner collection from Oscar Bierstadt, Albert Turner and Evan Turner reflect all three generations of Turner collecting. as well as some of the books that Albert Turner’s wife Percie Hopkins Trowbridge brought to the collection.”
    *Ref.p. 49
    This is a proof from my collection of the original Edward Hale Bierstadt  bookplate  (Brainerd # 16)

     Here is another variant of the Bierstadt bookplate..For the moment I do not know who George Fottrell  is.(was).
    E.D. French

    When E.D. French , the engraver of the Bierstadt bookplate died his body of work was catalogued by Mary Brainerd French.(Edwin Davis French A Memorial) .
    It is the definitive E.D. French reference book.
     It lists the 299 bookplates he engraved..Some of his partially completed bookplates were finished
    by other engravers ( A.J. Brown (A.J.B) , James Webb , and A.N. Macdonald (A.N.M.)
    Fellow collector Hallam Webber has compiled a supplemental list of the bookplates completed by other engravers.

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    Fellow collector/dealer Gabe Konrad has just released a 23  page well illustrated catalog of bookplates, bookseller labels and books about both subjects. It is an excellent reference for both beginning and advanced collectors.

    Here is a link


    Fellow Collector/dealer Jacques Laget has just released his catalog of 110 new bookplates

    I'll be back on Sunday March 15th with my regular blog posting

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    I have accumulated a good many links this week ,many of which were sent by blog readers .

    Fellow collector Jacques Laget is having  bookplate sales at two different web sites.
     Many but not all of the items are European.
    They include a  number of plates by Robert Saldo .

    From August 2 to August 15, 20% discount on all bookplates listed :
    Lee Sanders sent this link about Old London Bookshops

    Remembering East End Jewish Bookshops

    Jacob Nirenstein outside Shapiro, Vallentine in Wentworth St (c.1900)

    Fellow Collector Anthony Pincott sent me this information:

     David Kovats, who deals in a range of ephemera, not just exlibris, ask us to publicise his website project – Collectorism at
     This is a platform he is building for collectors, a forum for meeting and exchange among enthusiasts. Collectorism will open in September and he tells us he already has hundreds of collectors signed up.  He decided to offer most of his stock (thousands of bookplates) on the site so there ought to be much to browse!  

    Papermania is one of my favorite shows.

    Here’s a link to a new bookplate group in Brazil.

    We’ll be posting frequently.
    Hope you like it.

    All the best.
    Carlos Horcades

     All these links should keep you busy so I won't overwhelm you with any more.

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  • 08/08/15--02:55: Bookplate Odds and Ends

  • Okay, I admit to never having read To Kill A Mockingbird ; however,I just purchased a copy and will read it this weekend..In response to a bookplate request sent about ten years ago Harper Lee took the time to send me this note (I've cropped my address at the top)

    From Jacques Laget's list ( mentioned in the last posting) I selected several bookplates.
    This one was chosen because it is very weird..Now I understand the image is one hundred and five years old and it is remotely possible the image was not considered weird back then but  I ask you, would you send your kid to a physician who used this bookplate ?

    "Eugene Olivier, born on 17 September 1881 in Paris and died on 5 May 1964 in Paris,.He was a  fencer , physician and collector . He was a. Member of the French fencing  team  in the 1908 Olympic games . He also won the bronze medal in the individual competition.
    He was a founding member and first president of the Paris University Club (PUC).
    Doctor of Science , and Associate Professor of Anatomy , elected free member of the Academy of Surgery in 1953.
     Among his many interests  are Heraldry and philately ,
    He was the President of the Philatelic Academy from 1957 to 1964, He collected  stamps , bookplates and emblazoned bindings, He co-authored an amateur's Manual French armorial bindings of 30 volumes."

    Lucas dr Leyden sent this link about a bookplate exhibit.

    The exhibition, "The heraldry of books. Ex Libris collection of the National Library. "Is based on the largest collection of bookplates in Latin America. It housed in the Treasure Room of the  National Library Mariano Moreno(Arg), it is made ​​up of about 26,000 pieces that come from the donation of Mary Magdalene Otamendi of Olaciregui, founder of the Argentina Association of Exlibristas.

    Till Death Do Us Part

    From The Richard Sica Bookplate Collection

    Several collector friends have agreed to send me their thoughts about  disposal and dispersal of  bookplate collections. I would like to hear from many more.
    By pooling ideas we can all benefit. There is no formal structure and if English is not your prime language I will assist you with the editing.
    All the articles and comments will be published in mid -September.
    Please don't procrastinate, the clock is ticking.
    Send your thoughts to
    Fellow Collector Larry Conklin responded to my request very quickly and I owe him a debt of gratitude for his thoughtful comments.
    Here is what he had to say.

    Dear Lew,

    First of all, the bookselling/book collecting public needs to be made aware of exactly what a bookplate is. I have encountered professional (?) booksellers who think that a bookplate is any plate published in a book. How about that?

    I will work on that long-discussed exhibition of my New England plates that I told you about; others should try to do likewise, locally, including you. Your blog, of course, is great.

    I will try to get my article An Introduction to Bookplates. With Examples from the Earth Science Library of Herbert P. Obodda. Mineralogical Record volume 26, (1995), pages 143-158. put on my website. I have been told it is not half-bad.

    Finally (and for the time being) we owners of collections of bookplates should try to put inheritance restrictions on them to our heirs and require that they do not sell them for a period of at least 20 years after we are gone.

    I will try to think of more possibilities.

    Best regards,


    Note from Lew;
    I added blue type to the last paragraph in Larry's email.It is an innovative suggestion.Would it work for most people ? Perhaps not, but it  might if your heirs understand that some collections will greatly appreciate in value over time  especially  if they make a real effort to learn about them .
    Over at Rare Book Monthly, The publisher  Bruce Mckinney who  among other things is a collector of Hudson Valley Books and Ephemera is actually preparing an impressive marketing plan for the eventual sale of his collection.


    Thinking about Selling

    I have suggested to collectors for years that they plan to dispose in their lifetimes.  Collections in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera fields now fall into the traditional form of known, well documented material or, as is the case increasingly, into a more sprawling, complex form that is built at least in part on ephemera, letters and other previously unknown material that have no pricing history.  My first two collections fell clearly into the traditional form, my current collection into the latter.

    Over the past month I’ve been trying to understand how my current collection should be organized.  I’ve been doing this for years but never moved beyond basic categories such as books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera, paintings and objects but these categories have proven to be inadequate because they are too broad.

    If an auction house or dealer is looking at the material their most basic parameters will probably be quality, value and audience.  In looking at how a complex collection of often-inexpensive material will be lotted it seems likely this material will be grouped to reach whatever the target lot value is.

    The organization of this collection can be seen in three different lights, divided by type, subject and/or place.  The printed catalogues will be based on a single format, the online catalogues flexible enough to permit the contents to be reframed by any of these criteria.  Because this collection includes about 5,000 items the online reframe-able version will probably more useful.

    For this collection of the history of the Hudson Valley [in the State of New York] I’ll start by listing the categories that seem apparent.
      Currier & Ives Prints
      Kingston Theatre Broadsides [1850-60]
    Bound Newspapers
      An extensive run of early Poughkeepsie Journals [1804-1818]
      A history of Poughkeepsie fires
      Early photographic postcards of fires, train wrecks and boat sinkings
      Shipbuilding in Newburgh
      Maps & Atlases
    Objects including furniture
    By subject
    A collection of the watercolors of Frederick Copley [160 in color, 60 drawings]
    The imprints of Joel Munsell, Albany printer [500+]
    The imprints of Paraclete Potter, Poughkeepsie [30+]
    The Hudson River
    By place
    Ulster County
      Highland, Lloyd, Milton and Marlborough
      New Paltz
    Dutchess County
    Orange County
      West Point
    Columbia County
    Greene County
    Albany [the New York State capital]
    The Hudson River

    I’m thinking I will do most of the cataloguing with the assistance of experts.  I cannot imagine that any auction house will accept this tedious undertaking.  The paintings are of course valuable as is the furniture and some of the manuscript material.  Such items will fit into the auction house cataloging model.  But some of the most fascinating material is ephemera and will require a determined effort to illuminate.  This seems like something I, or any collector in similar circumstances, might undertake.
    Such are some of the challenges that collectors of ephemera and the debris of history may face.  I see it as an appealing challenge.
    In any event, I have time.   I’m planning to publish catalogues of the collection in the coming years and then send the material into the rooms as unreserved sales when I’m 75.  This gives me 7 years to pull this altogether.

    Toronto library to roll out book-lending machine 

    Contra Costa County, USA: The San Francisco Bay area rolled out Library-a-Go-Go, automated book dispensing machines, at three transit stations in 2008. Each is outfitted with a touch screen that allows users to select books to borrow from roughly 300 bestsellers, non-fiction reads and children’s books. Unfortunately, the machines were closed for at least a year because of the difficulty associated with getting replacement parts from a supplier in Italy.
    Ottawa: When the library system installed its two kiosks in 2010, they were touted to be the first of their kind in Canada. The vending-machine style kiosks — one for children and another for adults — allow readers to borrow books, pick them up from adjacent lockers or return them. The kiosks are restocked about three times a week and hold almost 500 items combined.
    Vaughan: Rather than dispense books, Vaughan’s Pleasant Ridge library has a machine that offers iPads and laptops to users. The kiosks are available only when the library is open.
    Fullerton, Calif.:
    Originally located in an isolated spot at an Orange County train station, Fullerton Public Library’s book kiosk was moved to just outside the branch to catch more foot traffic. It has a drop box for returns and a selection of about 500 books. The system is also programmed so that users owing more than $5 on their library cards are unable to check out books from the kiosk."

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     Rebecca Eschliman has has written two  articles about the Antioch bookplate company.The first article is about David Sallume and can be seen by following this link

    David Sallume , Antioch Bookplate Co.

    Creation of a Custom Bookplate (Institutional)
    By Rebecca Eschliman

    One of the common methods of creating a custom bookplate, particularly for an institution, was to take an existing design and alter it. What follows is the David Sallume's corrspondence with Alton G. Sadler regarding a custom bookplate for the Chapel Hill Public Library. (More on David Sallume can be found at

    July 23, 1967 (Sadler)

    My wife and I are interested in having some bookplates engraved for the Willard J. Graham Collection which is to become a part of the Chapel Hill Public Library when it opens, we think in September.

    If you will, please quote us a price of engraving two sizes of bookplates about 4-1/4" x 3" and 3-1/2" x 2'1/4" fo the following:

                                        WILLARD J. GRAHAM COLLECTION

                                        (Picture of the Sower)

                                        Chapel Hill Public Library

    We would want 750 copies of each on white paper, abnd would like to know colors of ink you would  suggest, with thinks fo two colors of engraving for each plate. Both plates will be the same colors and content, but the sizes would be different, approximately the sizes suggested above.

    One of my clients, The Book Exchange in Durham, N. C. handles your products.

    July 27, 1967 (Sallume)

    Thank you for your letter of July 25th looking toward preparation of a special bookplate design.

    I am not sure just what you mean by "picture of the sower." Do you refer to one of the two discontinued bookplate designs of which I am enclosing samples or do you have something else entirely in mind? If you can clarify this point for us we can speak with a good deal more assurance about costs, and also about recommendations for color.
    Original Design was by Lynd Ward

    I am enclosing a copy of our brochure on the preparation of private bookplate designs, and this will provide just about all the information we can furnish on the basis of our present knowledge of your requirements.

    August 6, 1967 (Sadler)

    Thank you very much for your letter of July 28 and the enclosures.

    I like the sample on yellow paper or background of the sower very much. It is the man and the seed falling from his hand that is important to me, to have engraved for the bookplate, I do not want the background or EX LIBRIS on this plate.

    This week I talked with the local librarian, who advised me to have only one engraved bookplate made, since the size suggested would be all right  for all sizes of books. I am enclosing a Xerox copy of the size and wording for an engraved bookplate for the Willard J. Graham Collection. The sower, I think should be centered. Please advise me of the cost to have 1,000 or 1,500 bookplates engraved, the quality of paper, and the colors suggested, and the length of time for delivery.

    Also advise me of the cost of having "Mary Newby Doherty Memorial" printed on your bookplate which reads "Books are keys to wisdom's treasure, etc." for about 300 or 500 copies. In addition, please quote me a price on having this same bookplate printed ion a different background, possibly light blue.

    August 10, 1967 (Sallume)

    Thank you for your letter of August 6th with further reference to the Willard J. Graham memorial bookplate. Before we get down to cases about this project I want to say just a word about the term "engraving" which recurs frequently in your letters. If what you mean by this is the old fashioned steel engraving or intaglio work then I should call to your attention that besides being extremely costly and slow to come by, the process is not well suited for reproducing the particular piece of art in question, since it is incapable of rending a black solid more than about 1/16 of an inch wide.

    The most practical way to reproduce the art we are dealing with is about one half of the original size is by the photo-offset process. All of the samples which I am enclosing were done by this prodcess except for the Laurie bookplate which is a genuine steel engraving, stamped from a die made perhaps 50 years ago. You will note that the photo-offset process is, like the intaglio process, capable of reproducing extremely fine detail.

    Working by photo-offset we could prepare bookplates in one color, printed to your specifications at $26.00 for the first 100 and $2.00 for each additional 100 ordered at the same time. For work in two colors the price would be $34.00 for the first 100 and $4.00 for each additional 100.

    For work in one color I would suggest a brown something like the ink used on the sample marked W-3 but lighter in color since the heavier solids on the art we will be using would make this particular brown look almost black. Notice the lettering across the face of the book. If you want to use two colors, the green used on the Luther Norris sample would combine very satisfactorily with the brown.

    We could imprint bookplate #67X-21 (Books are keys) with the wording Mary Newby Doherty Memorial at $5.00 for the first 100 and $2.50 for each additional 100 ordered at the same time. This bookplate could be specially manufactured using two shades of blue ink instead of two shades of brown at $29.00 for the first 100 and $4.50 for each additional 100 ordered at the same time. We could furnish it in two shades of blue ink on blue paper, which we would have to order specially, at$34.00 for the first 100 and $4.50 for the additional 100.

    To help you visualize the Graham bookplate I am enclosing a rough proof of the dark brown portion only of bookplate X-54; to help you visualize the letterng possibilities I enclose a copy of our type specimen sheet.

    August 28, 1967 (Sadler)

     Enclosed is my personal check in the amount of ninety-dollars to cover the cost of having 1,500 bookplates made in accordance with your letter of August 10, 1967. Also enclosed is a copy of the proposed bookplate to be printed in garnet and black, on gum paper.  I think that you should use your cut of the sower and take out the mountains and Ex Libris, leaving only the man, or a hairline as a background. The sower and the Chapel Hill Public Library are to be in garnet, with the Willard J. Graham and verse in black.

    Please have these 1500 bookplates mailed directly to:

                            Mrs. William Geer, Librarian
                            Chapel Hill Public Library
                            W. Franklin Street
                            Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514

    We are leaving for a three and a half week vacation on Sept. 7., and we would like for Mrs. Geer to have these 1,500 bookplates before the end of September, if possible, as the new library building should be dedicated sometime about October 1.
    completed bookplate
    In the Summer 2013 issue of The German Quarterly Dr.Nick Block wrote an article entitled
    "Ex Libris and Exchange: Immigrant Interventions in the German-Jewish Renaissance."
    Dr.Nick Block

    You can read the article by following this link:

    Appendix B 

    "Most Popular Bookplate Image" at Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Bookplate Collection was of particular interest.

    Here are the images  Dr. Block sent to me.

    Emanuel Elzas
    Meir Lipman
    Neshamah Ehrlich
    Leyzer Ran
    Lewis Browne
    Rabbi Joseph Gitin

    From my own collection I have added these images :

    The Leo Winz bookplate by E.M. Lilien  (above left) was the one from which all the others were copied


    “ I mentioned a new book by Martin Hopkinson , ExLibris The Art Of The Bookplate.

    My copy has arrived and it is most informative. The A E Carthew bookplate  was purchased several months ago and no one recognized it .It is illustrated and described on page 99.. Here is what I learned : The plate was designed by Joseph Hecht for Alice Grace Elizabeth Carthew .The inscription in an old Celtic language is Let us be wise without guile and the bird standing on a rock is an Auk."

    I just received two copies of the Carthew bookplate from Jacques Laget.Both were pencil signed by the etcher A.Williams. 

    Does anyone out there know who this might be ?

    I now have one extra unsigned copy of the smaller plate for possible exchange.

    Here is a link to a bookplate article from 1915.

    Some of the artists mentioned are  not too well known  and for that reason  they are of interest to me.

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    Monday  February 23rd is the deadline for submitting your first round of bids for the Bookplate Society web auction.  A day or two after this we shall be seeing the bidding status available online against each lot, and registered participants will be able to increase or add bids. The end date has not yet been announced, but is expected to be sometime around the middle of March.  it’s not too late to register and take part.

    Some Theatrical Bookplates

    Billie Dove

    Dove was born Bertha Bohny in 1903 to Charles and Bertha (née Kagl) Bohny,Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired as a teenager by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She legally changed her name to Lillian Bohny in the early 1920s. and migrated to Hollywood, where she began appearing in silent films. She soon became one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s, appearing in Douglas Fairbanks' smash hit Technicolor film The Black Pirate (1926), as Rodeo West in The Painted Angel (1929), and was dubbed The American Beauty (1927), the title of one of her films.
    She married the director of her seventh film, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The two divorced in 1929. Dove had a huge legion of male fans, one of her most persistent being Howard Hughes. She had a three-year romance with Hughes and was engaged to marry him, but she ended the relationship without ever giving cause. Hughes cast her as a comedian in his film Cock of the Air (1932). She also appeared in his movie The Age for Love (1931)

    Ricardo Cortez

    Bookplate designed by Bank Gordon

      In 1922 When Jacob Kranz arrived in Hollywood , the Valentino mania was in full swing. Never shy about changing a name and a background, the studio transformed Jacob Krantz  into Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez from Spain. Such was life in Hollywood.

    Starting with small parts, the tall, dark Cortez was being groomed by Paramount to be the successor to Rudolph Valentino. But Cortez would never be viewed (or consider himself) as the equal to the late Valentino. A popular star, he was saddled in a number of run-of-the-mill romantic movies which would depend more on his looks than on the script. Pictures like Argentine Love (1924) and The Cat's Pajamas (1926) did little to extend his range as an actor. He did show that he had some range with his role in Pony Express (1924), but roles like that were few and far between.

    With the advent of sound, Cortez made the transition and he would play Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1931) (aka Dangerous Female). Never a great actor, Cortez was cast as the smirking womanizer in a number of films and would soon slide down into 'B' movies. He played a newspaper columnist Is My Face Red? (1932), a home wrecker in A Lost Lady (1934), a killer in Man Hunt (1936) and even Perry Mason in The Case of the Black Cat (1936).

    After 1936, Cortez hit a lean patch for acting and tried his hand at directing. His career as a director ended after a half dozen movies and his screen career soon followed. 
    He retired from the screen and returned to Wall Street, where he had worked as a runner decades before. This time, he returned as a member of one of Wall Street's top brokerage firms and lived a comfortable life.

     Some Interesting Links

    Paula Jarvis at  The Book Club of Detroit writes about bookplates

    -Ohio Bookplates

    Hand Colored Proof  for Ohio Alcove in the American Library at Manila designed by Mrs. Mary E. Rath-Merrill and engraved by W.F. Hopson

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    A Major Addition To My Bookplate Collection

    By Larry Nix

    Bookplate collecting is a serious endeavor which is normally undertaken by serious collectors. I don’t consider myself a serious collector of bookplates so it is surprising that I have made 18 previous posts to my blog about bookplates(this one makes 19).

     I have also ended up with a fairly significant collection of bookplates for institutional libraries (as opposed to personal libraries). I added a major addition to that collection last year when I purchased an album of over 300 bookplates from a dealer at a stamp show.  The dealer who knew about my interest in library history had previously offered to sell the album to me, but the price was more than I was willing to pay. He finally got tired of lugging the album around and made me an offer that I could  not refuse. The album includes only part of someone’s former collection. The bookplates are for libraries starting with A and going through libraries starting with M.  The bookplates are tipped or pasted into the album and I still need to safely remove them. Most of the bookplates are unused and were probably acquired by exchange with libraries or other collectors. The image of the page from the album for the Bangor (ME) Public Library shown above is indicative of that approach. A few of the bookplates in the album were removed from books. A bookplate from the library of the Bureau of Statistics and Labor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, also shown above, is an example of those bookplates. The Massachusetts  bookplate was added to the library on April 2, 1906.  I have no clue who compiled this collection of bookplates, but it is a fair assumption that it was a librarian. I previously obtained a collection of library bookplates that was assembled by Essae Martha Culver who was executive secretary of the Louisiana Library Commission and later Louisiana State Librarian.  Some examples from the Culver collection are located   HERE   . It is always nice to make a connection with a previous or current collector of librariana.

    Note from Lew- I want to thank Larry Nix for sharing information from his blog
    Library History Buff
    Does anyone out there recognize this bookplate ? 
    Who was it made for?
    Alden Jewell's bookplate is listed in
    Theatrical Bookplates by A.Winthrop Pope
    It is dated 1908 and the artist's initials appear to be MP
    Do you know any thing about the owner or the artist ?
    If you have any mystery bookplates send your scans to

    New Bookstore in Bucharest

    See you again next week

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    Timothy Jones, Esqr. By John Titford

    How many collectors may have been confused by such a plate? It could so easily be mistaken for an eighteenth-century item, but it was engraved by E.D.French in 1893.  Brainerd* has this to say: `297. Timothy Jones, Esq. A copy, with much variation, of the Samuel Vaughan Esqr plate, engraved as a study of the Chippendalestyle.' He lists three variations, of which that illustrated here is #297b: `Name partly erased, still traceable'.
    *Ref. Edwin Davis French A Memorial by Mary Brainerd French -Page 75

     In The Welsh book-plates in the collection of Sir Evan Davies Jones, Bart., M.P. of Pentower, Fishguard (London, 1920), p.129, Herbert M Vaughan lists a plate for Samuel Vaughan: `Chippendale armorial. Impaling Bond. Father of Benjamin and William Vaughan (vide infra); married Sarah Hollowell of Boston, U.S.A. The coat impaled is undoubtedly Bond, not Hollowell. (Reproduced as an American plate in Allen, p.53).' The reference here is to American book-plates: a guide to their study with examples by Charles Dexter Allen (New York and London, 1894), which has an illustration (p.53) of a plate for `Samuel Vaughan Esqr.' (`a very fine example of good Chippendaleism'); the arms (impaled) are different from those on the Timothy Jones plate, as is the crest, but the design is clearly that which EDF has copied in 1893 (though a year before Allen's book was published).

    Note from Lew- The following article currently appearing in The Theatre Historiography Blog has some collecting tips that have served me well.

    A Bookplate Collector Shares his Passion–and Strategies
    by  on MARCH 3RD, 2015
    Ed. Note: Lewis Jaffe runs the website, which features images from his and others’ collections of bookplates used by important figures in the theatre profession as well as in cinema and television.
    Bookplates:  why I collect them
    I am retired now and devote a good deal of time in pursuit of and learning about new bookplates for mycollection. A client once asked me why people collect? It wasn’t meant to be a trick question but at the time I was at a loss to explain.
    Upon reflection the answer which suits me best is that collecting is therapeutic. Sometimes I feel like an archaeologist digging up old artifacts or a detective trying to locate a person. Interestingly enough several entertainers were also notable rare  book collectors. Among them were James Cagney, Jean Hersholt, and George Jessel.
    David Garrick
    Here are some time-tested ways to obtain bookplates
    EBay: When I started this adventure about 45 years ago there was no Ebay, so I built a collection without it. Today Ebay is certainly an excellent way to find bookplates from around the world. It takes time and discipline because there is so much clutter and misrepresentation, but it is still worth the effort.
    Bookplate Societies: When I first got interested in bookplates I joined both The American ( and English ( bookplate societies. That gave me an opportunity to meet with and obtain bookplates from other collectors. It still makes good sense to join these organization and exchange bookplates with other collectors.
    Antiquarian and used booksellers will go out of their way to help you if you make your interest known to them. It gets harder each year as the number of open shops decreases, and the number of pre-1940’s books on the shelves are decreasing. Nevertheless, it is often productive. Start looking in either the poetry or drama sections as owners of such books seem to have used bookplates more frequently and there is often less turnover of inventory. Ask the bookseller if he keeps a box of detached boards. I have found some excellent 18th century plates in such boxes.
    John Gielgud
    Michael Redgrave
    Bookbinders: In most large communities there is at least one hand bookbinder. Check the Yellow Pages, Google, or ask a book dealer. More often than not they, being pack rats, hold onto old bookplates, and in some instances are more than willing to sell you a cigar box full.
    Book and Paper Shows: I have always enjoyed going to shows. After a while, dealers will save things for you. It pays to stop at every booth and ask.
    Noel Coward
    Angel of Death letters: I am almost (not quite) embarrassed to admit to the fact that I used to look up the ages of bookplate collectors and wrote to all those over eighty to inquire if they knew of any collections for sale. The point is that it was very productive and I’ve purchased several major collections that way.
    For the record, I am 77, so do not bother me until 2018!
    Letters to Famous People: I've occasionally gotten some remarkable bookplates by writing to celebrities, but I have not had much luck in recent years. Most celebrity mail is filtered by clerks and more often than not you get a signed photo or an auto penned label.
    Wylly Folk St. John
    Wylly Folk St. John
    For those of you wishing to obtain additional information about this topic,  I can be reached at

    Upcoming Book Show

    I will be attending The 40th annual Washington Antiquarian Book Fair on Saturday March 7th and hope to see some of you .

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    Fellow collector/dealer Gabe Konrad has just released a 23  page well illustrated catalog of bookplates, bookseller labels and books about both subjects. It is an excellent reference for both beginning and advanced collectors.

    Here is a link


    Fellow Collector/dealer Jacques Laget has just released his catalog of 110 new bookplates

    I'll be back on Sunday March 15th with my regular blog posting

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    I have a group of bookplates relating to transportation . Within that group  are a number of car and truck items.

    This is one that arrived yesterday.

    Ref.Page 19

    Tales of Studebaker: The Early Years

     By Jan Young
    1908 Studebaker Limousine

    For those of you unfamiliar with the Studebaker here is a link to photos of their bullet-nose models.

    Here are a few more bookplate relating to cars and trucks

    Fellow Collector James Keenan paid tribute to  his Volkswagens Harry and Harry Two with bookplates designed by Priscilla Alpaugh Cotter .
    Priscilla Alpaugh Cotter lives and works in Massachusetts. Born in 1959 she studied painting and illustration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and did her graduate studies at Syracuse University. She has been designing bookplates for many years.
    Henry Ford II was the grandson of the founder.
    He oversaw the company from 1945 to 1980

    Mr. Chrysler's bookplate was designed by E.B. Bird

    "Walter Chrysler Jr., while a 14-year-old boarding school student, bought his first painting, a small watercolor of a nude. A dorm master, believing no proper young man should have a nude in his room, confiscated and destroyed the painting. The kicker? The destroyed painting was a Renoir! "

    1. Alfred P. Sloan

    2. Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr. was an American business executive in the automotive industry. He was a long-time president, chairman, and CEO of General Motors Corporation. 
    3. BornMay 23, 1875, New Haven, CT
    4. His bookplate was engraved by The Heraldic Company 132 Nassau St , New York City

    Two Etched Bookplates by Michael W. Jones

    1. Charles Rolls
    2. The Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls was an English motoring and aviation pioneer. Together with Henry Royce he co-founded the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm. Wikipedia
    3. DiedJuly 12, 1910, Bournemouth, United Kingdom

    "Louis Renault (French pronunciation: ​[ʁəno]; February 12, 1877 – October 24, 1944) was a French industrialist, one of the founders of Renault and a pioneer of the automobile industry.
    Renault built one of France's largest automobile manufacturing concerns, which bears his name to this day. During World War I his factories contributed massively to the war effort notably so by the creation and manufacture of the first effective tank: the Renault FT tank. Accused of collaborating with the Germans during World War II, he died while awaiting trial in liberated France toward the end of 1944 under uncertain circumstances. His company was seized and nationalized by the provisional government of France although he died before he could be tried. His factories were the only ones permanently expropriated by the French government.
    In 1956, Time Magazine described Renault as "rich, powerful and famous, cantankerous, brilliant, often brutal, the little Napoleon of an automaking empire — vulgar, loud, domineering, impatient, he was a terror to associates, a friend to practically none," adding that to the French working man, Renault became known as "the ogre of Billancourt."

    Stay Tuned For Part Two 

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  • 03/20/15--02:52: Bookplates About Cars-Part 2

  • Think Small

    by James P. Keenan
    It was the late 1950s and the Madison Avenue advertising agency of Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) initiated the most remarkable “Think Small” ad campaign for Volkswagen. Imagine the 50s and 60s in a period of cars that were as big as cruise ships and DDB took on this huge challenge of marketing the German People’s Car.  Selling a car directly linked to the Nazis to a country that was still bitter about WWII. A vehicle, that was small, slow, & ugly.  Yet this became the Car of the 20th Century with over 21.5 million sold worldwide.  Sensible, economical means of transportation and I have owned 3 of them. 
    Over the years I have acquired nearly 200 books on the VW.  I visited the museum and plant in Wolfsburg, Germany too.  Today, this vehicle remains my primary “ride” and I named my 2nd and 3rd Beetles after my mechanic, Harry Bodenstaff.  Harry was from the Island of Java and was one of the only Boston mechanics who was capable of servicing an air-cooled vehicle.

    Priscilla Alpaugh Cotter created this bookplate using the scratchboard technique.  I took her art and manually cut the ruby (the overlay) for the 2nd color and printed two editions of the job. First printing in 1996 and again in 1999.  Both were printed on a Heidelberg press using 70# White Mohawk Superfine archival quality paper.  For more information about Priscilla, she is featured in our current issue of The Chronicle magazine.  The Society is always interested in helping you with your ideas and artist commissions.
    The American  Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers has been advancing the interest in bookplate art since 1922.

    You can read the full expanded “Think Small” essay that presents my various Beetle bookplates in Volume 14, Number 3 of The Chronicle magazine.  IF you want a FREE copy of this bookplate to add to your collection, please write to me:

     James P Keenan, ,
    Suite C1 #84404 
     5802 Bullock Loop, Laredo, TX 78041  

     or send an email to: Take this opportunity to register on our 500+ page bookplate website at:

    In 2005 I received the Stirling Moss  bookplate in an exchange with fellow collector Bryan Welch. At the time Bryan sent me this information :"The following is the explanation that Sir Stirling kindly left on my answering machine one day: "Sir Stirling explains that the idea for his bookplate came from a motor racing bookseller Alan Ansorge. The design is composed of the number 7, his mother's lucky number and his own, written in the continental way (as he himself writes it).There are three wheels juggling along which gives the impression of speed-only three because he so often lost one!In the centre appears the initials"SM"

    Four Automobile Bookplates from the Antioch Bookplate Company

     Submitted by 
    Rebecca Eschliman     

    # F-606 shown below was a universal bookplate depicting a 1909 Maxwell (in the catalogs about 1957-58), It was designed by Shirley Glaser , then an artist for the Yale Museum.
     The other three plates were custom designs.

    The Royal Automobile Club 
    Founded in 1897 with the aim of encouraging the development of motoring in Britain, today the Royal Automobile Club is one of London’s finest private members' clubs, combining over 100 years of luxury and tradition with exceptional facilities and outstanding service. Members enjoy unlimited access to two superb clubhouses; the Pall Mall clubhouse, in the very heart of London, contains a unique range of accommodation, dining and sporting facilities, including what is arguably the finest swimming pool in London. The Woodcote Park clubhouse is set in 350 acres of Surrey parkland, complete with two 18 hole golf courses, together with a variety of other sports facilities, dining and accommodation
    The Bookplate shown above was engraved by C.J. Barton-Innes

    Note from Lew:
    Here are a few more automobile bookplates. .
    If you have any in your collection send a jpeg scan for inclusion in this posting.

    Mr. John K.S. Tweed's plate is a wood engraving by Andy English.

    The car is based on the 1934 Aston Martin Lagonda M45 Tourer
    Ref :The Bookplate Society Newsletter 
    Vol.37 #1 (winter 2014-15) Page 2

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  • 03/27/15--10:48: Bookplate Owners

  • I enjoy finding biographical information about bookplate owners almost as much as acquiring them.

     Here are a few examples:

    The New York lyricist Paul Francis Webster (1907-1984) collaborated with many of the great composers and conductors including Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, André Previn and Henry Mancini. In a career spanning more than forty years he wrote over 500 songs, received a total of sixteen Academy Award nominations and won three Oscars.

    Here is a partial list of songs for which he wrote the lyrics:

    Songs by Paul Francis Webster that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song

     He had an equally long career as a book collector. His first collection of English and American literature was sold by Parke-Bernet on 28 April 1947; his second at Sotheby's New York on 24 April 1985.

    Dr. Jacob Klatzkin, editor of the German-language Encyclopedia Judaica,  was at work on the tenth volume of the reference work when he was forced to flee German when the Nazis came to power. He translated Spinoza’s “Ethics” and was the author of numerous scholarly works, written in several languages. Born in Lithuania, Klatzkin was the scion of a rabbinical family. He came to the United States in 1941 and became a citizen in 1946. He lectured at the College of Jewish Studies in Chicago.

    The Right Reverend Hugh Montefiore

    "The Right Reverend Hugh Montefiore, was Bishop of Birmingham from 1978 to 1987 and one of the most energetic, impatient, colourful and unpredictable Church leaders of modern times.
    Born into a famous Jewish family, he underwent a sudden conversion to Christianity while a schoolboy at Rugby, and later brought to his ministry in the Church of England an extraordinary combination of intellect, moral passion and concern for individuals, especially the underprivileged.
    His appointment to the bishopric of Birmingham was strongly opposed by a number of Conservative MPs in the city, and also by the Birmingham Evening Mail; but he proved to be a highly effective Church leader in a metropolis beset by racial and industrial problems, and Birmingham rather enjoyed having a larger than life bishop. He stood 6ft 3ins tall and was an imposing, albeit often untidy, figure.
    Earlier, while Vicar of Great St Mary's, the university church in Cambridge, Montefiore provoked a national controversy by declaring in a lecture to the Modern Churchmen's Union that Jesus may have been homosexual. He found himself trapped between conventional churchgoers, who were outraged by what seemed to them sheer blasphemy, and his colleagues in the field of New Testament studies, who believed that his argument would not bear the weight of contemporary scholarship.
    More seriously, this incident - which owed more to a certain naivety in Montefiore's character than to a desire to be deliberately provocative - threatened his future career in the Church of England. The displeasure of the Queen became known to No 10 Downing Street, and it was understood that he would not be appointed to a bishopric. On the other hand, it was plain that he could not stand the strain of running Great St Mary's indefinitely, and in 1969 he became exhausted and depressed, requiring a three-month break for recovery."

    Vivian de Sola Pinto 

    Do any of you know who designed this plate?

    1. "Vivian de Sola Pinto (1895-1969) was a British poet, literary critic and historian. He was a leading scholarly authority on D. H. Lawrence, and appeared for the defence in the 1960 Lady Chatterley's Lover trial. Pinto was born and grew up in Hampstead." 
    1. The graph paper mounting was used by the late Brian North  Lee to display his collection
    1. Harley Granville-Barker

    Harley Granville-Barker was an English actor-manager, director, producer, critic and playwright.
        BornNovember 25, 1877, Kensington, London, United Kingdom  
        DiedAugust 31, 1946, Paris, France
    1. Bookplate designed by Max Beerbohm

    2. A  Mystery Bookplate

    1. Do any of you know anything about the owner or the artist  ? 
    2. The bookplate was done in 1912 The artist's name is hard to read. It looks like Miigelnian
    3. Send your inquiries and responses to

    If you have a mystery bookplate send a scan and I'll try to assist you.

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  • 04/12/15--13:02: Back From New York City
  • Yesterday, I went to three different book shows in New York City.
     Here are a few of the items I purchased .

    Ref. P.356 The annual Biography and Obituary for the Year .... Vol.1-2

    The William Beloe plate (F2171) appealed to me because I was curious about the image, which I assumed was a musical instrument..I now believe it is a Kithara 

    Kithara -
    The cithara or kithara (Greek: κιθάρα, kithāra, Latin: cithara) was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre or lyra family. In modern Greek the word kithara has come to mean "guitar" (a word whose origins are found in kithara). The kithara was a professional version of the two-stringed lyre.

    4/13/2015 Fellow collector Anthony Pincott referred me to this paragraph in the William Beloe Oxford DNB entry :
     In 1803 came the high point of Beloe's career, ‘the great object of [his] ambition’ (Beloe, Anecdotes, appointment as under-librarian at the British Museum after presenting ‘an Instrument, signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, & the Speaker of the House of Commons’ (BM, central archives, minutes of committees, C2236, 5 Aug 1803). Here he began his Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books, published in six volumes between 1806 and 1812. His position was short-lived, however; in 1806 it emerged that James Deighton, a printseller, had stolen from the museum £1500 worth of engravings by Rembrandt and others. Beloe was held to have been negligent and the museum's trustees dismissed him. He remained permanently bitter about being deprived of his ideal job, blaming his difficulties, with characteristic self-flattery, on his ‘too easy disposition to believe every man honest who appeared so’ (Beloe, Sexagenarian, 2.130) and considering that he had ‘not the smallest occasion for self-reproach’ (Beloe, Anecdotes, 6.viii).

    4/13/2015  Fellow Collector John Blatchly has an excellent article about William Beloe  on pp 136-137 in his book  Some Suffolk and Norfolk Bookplates .

    The James Power plate was the highlight of the day. It is Allen # 694 and does not come up for sale very often.
    This might be a calling card or possibly a trade card.
    It is 3 inches wide by 2 inches high with embossed paper or leather mounted on cardstock.  In The Dundee Directory I was able to determine that Mr. Joseph Thomson was listed from 1900 through 1915. 
    The manufacturer of this item was Wm. Potter and Sons in London.
    Does anyone out there have additional information about this firm ?

    4/13/2015 I have learned more about the firm of Wm. Potter & Sons. They were located at 160-163 Aldersgate and specialized in gold stamping .They focused on theatres, museums and book publishers supplying among other things, advertising novelties,plate glass show cases and show cards.

    This plate was purchased earlier in the week .

    See you again next Sunday

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    Fellow collector Bill Glaseman sent me scans of two silent film star bookplates.

    Here is a link to the Hollywood Notables site which I try to update periodically.;postID=1275466050913659286;onPublishedMen

    . If you have any Hollywood bookplates not posted on the site please send me scans and they will be added .

    Bebe Daniels

    Lilian Gish

    Fellow Collector Jim Hier sent this information:

    "Lew -

    Hope this email finds you well. The other day I was in downtown Portland and saw an interesting window display (clothing store Marios) that I thought you might find interesting. Notice anything familiar?

    Jim Hier"
    Not only do I see my own bookplate but I see at least one other that I've posted.
    My assumption is that the images were copied from the internet and blown up so they could be seen more clearly.

    Collector/Dealer Richard Thorner  found a rare early American bookplate Engraved by Joseph Callender.I will add biographical information about the owner George Searle when it is verified. 

    Mr. Searle may have been a heraldic artist from Newburyport Mass.

    James Keenan Sent this information:

    FREE e-Directory download is available for a limited time on as we prepare for the new expanded edition.
    BOOKPLATES: THE ART OF THIS CENTURY~~An introduction to contemporary marks of book ownership! 

    ENJOY this FREE illustrated artist directory download at  
    In this FREE 530-page, illustrated edition:

    • There are 130 artists, representing 31 countries. Over 300 bookplate images.
    • Quotations from collectors and artists regarding the future of bookplates.
    • Foreword by Cliff Parfit, a highly regarded expert in this field (UK)
    • Introduction by James P. Keenan, Director, ASBC and D (USA)
    • Front Cover art by Nurgül Arıkan (Turkey)

    Note from Lew

    I am sorting through a collection which I recently purchased.
    This is one of  my favorites . The scan does not pick up the color gold very well .I call it an angling punning plate. The artist's initials are HEB . Does anyone know who that might be?

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