Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

Random thoughts from a passionate bookplate collector.

older | 1 | (Page 2) | 3 | 4 | .... | 15 | newer

    0 0

    Fellow collector/dealer Gabe Konrad has just published a new catalog  about bookplates and I am pleased to share the information with you .He has some outstanding items for sale.

    Note From Lew Jaffe- The PDF takes a while to download. Be patient .
     It's worth the wait.

    Hi Lew -
    I wondered if you could do me a favor. My new catalogue is out and it focuses on bookplate literature and bookplates. I sent you a hard copy two days ago and here is the pdf link:

    Could you include it with your Sunday posting? It won't be posted on the ABAA/ILAB/IOBA/Exlibris listserves until Tuesday, so your readers can get a jump on it (along with my mailing list).
    Thanks and let me know, Gabe

    Bay Leaf Used & Rare Books, ABAA
    Gábor & Melanie Konrád
    49 E. Lake, PO Box 105
    Sand Lake, MI 49343-0105
    Phone: (616) 636-8500
    Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm.
    Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA)
    International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
    Independent Online Booksellers' Association (IOBA)

    Visit our bookseller label website:

    0 0

    Earlier in the week I purchased a small English collection and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the bookplate owners .

    The bookplate for Ivor  Novello (1893-1951) was designed by Philip Armstrong Tilden  . It is illustrated on page 123 in  British Bookplates A  Pictorial  History Brian North Lee,
     Mr. Novello was a composer , actor and producer.He wrote Keep The Home Fires Burning.

    Here is a link to a beautiful rendition of Keep The Home Fires Burning.

    "Prince Frank Littler CBE (1901-1973) was an influential British theatre impresario. (Note that "Prince" was merely his name and not an honorific title.) He was also one of the major investors and a company director of Associated TeleVision, the second ITV network contractor to begin broadcasting in 1955."

    Does anyone out there know who designed his bookplate ?

    Within minutes after posting the Littler  bookplate, super collector Anthony Pincott  who is faster than a speeding bullet sent me the following information:

    Not signed or dated, the Prince Littler pictorial was designed by Cecil Thomas OBE FRBS of Kensington and engraved by George Taylor Friend OBE (1881-1669). The two were good friends and cooperated on a great number of GTF’s very considerable output of copper-engraved bookplates. Philip Beddingham’s checklist of GTF’s exlibris work (the second edition, published 1972) remains the definitive printed guide.

    Clement Attlee  (1883-1967)

    "Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955." There is also an earlier version of his bookplate dated 1906

    Randolph Churchill

    "Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer-ChurchillMBE (28 May 1911 – 6 June 1968) was the son of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. He was a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Preston from 1940 to 1945."

    While I am on the subject of Churchill bookplates let me mention that sooner or later someone may offer you Winston Churchill's bookplate.
    .Winston Churchill never had and never used a bookplate in his library.
    What you see below is a fanciful imaginary bookplate which was pasted on the cover of the 1939
    Year Book of The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers

    Owen Rutter

    "Edward Owen Rutter (1889–1944) was an English historian, novelist and travel writer.
    After serving with the North Borneo Civil Service from 1910 to 1915, Rutter returned to Britain during World War I and was commissioned. Rutter served with the 7th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment in France and on the Salonika Front. He edited theBalkan News which included, under the pseudonym "Klip-Klip", his parody of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha in serial form. Entitled Song of Tiadatha it has been described as "one of the masterpieces of Great War verse". Later published as a book, Tiadatha ("Tired Arthur") was the story of a naive, privileged young man who matures through his war experiences, particularly on the Macedonian front fighting against the Bulgarians, and including the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917. This volume was followed byTravels of Tiadatha (1922).
    Accompanied by his wife, who also took many of the photographs for his books, Rutter travelled around the globe, making extended stops in BorneoHong KongTaiwan (then known as Formosa), JapanCanada and the United States among other places.
    His many books included The Scales of Karma (1940), Pirate Wind (1930), Triumphant Pilgrimage: An English Muslim's Journey from Sarawak to Mecca (1937), Pagans of North Borneo (1929), and Through Formosa: An Account of Japan's Island Colony (1923). He was also the author of works on Captain William Bligh and the Mutiny on the Bounty. His novel Lucky Star was filmed as Once in a New Moon in 1935. Triumphant Pilgrimage was an account of "David Chale", a pseudonym for Gerard MacBryan.
    From 1933, he was a partner in the Golden Cockerel Press. During World War II Major Rutter worked for the Ministry of Information writing a number of booklets covering the British war effort."

     I wonder who designed Mr. Rutter's bookplate?
     Perhaps it was one of the illustrators working with the
    Golden Cockerel Press

    Fellow collector Anthony Pincott has suggested that the Rutter plate may have been designed by
    Robert Gibbings.

    Fellow collector/dealer Richard Cady also thought the Rutter bookplate was by Gibbings
    "Last bookplate probably a woodcut of Robert Gibbings. "

    Note From lew Jaffe
    If you have enjoyed this posting you ought to consider joining The Bookplate Society
    Give yourself a Christmas present..You deserve it.

    See you Next Sunday

    0 0
  • 12/14/12--15:41: Thank You Jerry Morris
  •   On November 29th Jerry Morris  wrote about a treasure trove of bookplate letters
     on his blog

    My Sentimental Journey

     With his permission I have reproduced his blog posting for your enjoyment.

    If you click on any image  it may come into sharper focus.

    Mostly Letters About Bookplates

    "Books are not the only things I collect. I collect autograph letters, and displayed some of them in my September 2011 blog post. What I did not display in that blog post were most of the letters I acquired in an eBay auction in September 2002:

    The title of the eBay auction, "1920s Book Plate Collecting Letters Lot," is a misnomer. Of the nineteen letters in the lot, only three letters are from the 1920s. Twelve of the letters, however, are about bookplates, and hence my title, "Mostly Letters About Bookplates." I posted partial images of these letters on my website shortly after acquiring them. But today I will provide full scans of each letter and give you the "pleasure" of trying to read them. I will also tell you a little bit about the correspondents.

    Nine of the twelve letters about bookplates are addressed to Miss Lydia M. Poirier (1873-1936), Librarian, Duluth Public Library, a bookplate collector who corresponded with both bookplate collectors and bookplate designers. The Poirier name might be familiar to you: Miss Poirier's father, Camille Poirier, was the creator of the Poirier Packsack. And Lew Jaffe posted the bookplate of one of Miss Poirier's brothers, Philip Azarie Poirier, in his blog post, Cowboys on Bookplates.

    Miss Lydia M. Poirier posted a notice in Zella Allen Dixson's book,Concerning Book-Plates: a Handbook for Collectors, that she was willing to trade bookplates with other collectors.

    This is one of Lydia M. Poirier's bookplates, but probably not the one she traded with the bookplate collectors in the early 1900s:

    Miss Poirier was the Librarian at Duluth Public Library from 1899 to 1910, and sometimes had a rocky working relationship with the Library Board. For a brief period, the Board barred her from attending Board meetings. Miss Poirier resigned her position in February 1910 to run a school for girls in California. I believe she had the Berkeley bookplate engraved while she was in California. More on Miss Poirier later.

    Bookplate collectors came from all walks of life in the early 1900s. Wilbur Macey Stone (1862-1941) was a mechanical engineer from New Jersey. He wrote a number of books about bookplates, children's books, and various other book-related topics. Miss Poirier sent Wilber Macey Stone some bookplates and purchased some of his books about bookplates, including one of the 350 copies of Some Children's Book-plates. Wilbur Macey Stone may have sent Miss Poirier this bookplate:

    The image of this bookplate is courtesy of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Stewart Means (1852-1940) was the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in New Haven, Ct., and wrote a number of religious books. He sent Miss Poirier this bookplate:

    [Bookplate of Stewart Means]

    I originally identified this letter writer as Lawthrie L. Bliss. Her real name is Caroline Seagrave Bliss (1867-1943). She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.She too was listed in Dixson's book about bookplates. And here is her bookplate by E.D. French, which she offered to trade with Miss Poirier:

    From: GRA 115, William Augustus Brewer bookplate collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

    Albertine Randall Wheelan (1863-1954) was a "jack of all trades" and a master of almost every one of them. She was a bookplate designer, an ilustrator, an artist, and even a costume designer on Broadway. She may have sent Mis Poirier this bookplate:

    I originally identified this letter writer as Adalbert Balasser. His real name is Adalbert Balassa (1881-1963), and he worked in the banking industry in Chicago, eventually becoming President of a Savings and Loan Association.

    The image of this bookplate is courtesy of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    J Everist Cathell (?-1913), Rector of St. Paul's Parish in Des Moines, reportedly knew Abraham Lincoln, and went on the lecture circuit in the early 1900s, speaking about Lincoln and the Civil War. There is extensive feedback on Cathell's success as a lecturer in the Redpath Chautauqua Collection in Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries.

    From reading his letter, I gather that Rev. Cathell may not have been a bookplate collector himself; whatever Miss Poirier sent him, he forwarded to Carl L. Bernhardt for his collection. Here is the bookplate Carl L. Bernhardt designed for J. Everist Cathell:

    From: GRA 115, William Augustus Brewer bookplate collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

    Emma Carleton (1852-1907) was a journalist and a poet. Her father was a bookseller, and his bookstore is displayed in her bookplate, which was included in Indiana Bookplates by Esther Griffin White.

    I missed the boat on this one. For years I thought this note was from W. Price, the Editor of The Book-Lover to Anna L. Carleton. But just the other night, I happened to glance at this note while I had Emma Carleton's letter displayed on my computer screen. By golly! The handwriting was a match! Anna L. Carleton was actually Emma Carleton, and she was the author of this note. In the note, she mentions an article on bookseller plates that she wrote for The Book-Lover. Her article appeared in the Dec 1903 issue (Vol IV, No. 6).

    C Valentine Kirby (1875-1947) wrote a book or two and a few articles about bookplates including this one. His circular is more than just an advertisement for his bookplate designs. Open it up and it is writing paper for corresponding with bookplate collectors.

    Below is an image of the University Club bookplate he mentions in his letter.

    Helen W. Foster acquired her A.B. from Vassar in 1901, her A.M. from Columbia in 1908, and then studied at universities in Munich and Berlin from 1908 to 1910. Afterwards, she worked in the Free Library of Newark, and the Hotel Clinton in East Orange, New Jersey.

    Helen W. Foster married Frederick J. Gould. I should mention that her husband is not the English author by the same name. Likewise, it is unlikely that the Elsa Löwenthal who engraved her bookplate is the Elsa Löwenthal who married Albert Einstein. Miss Foster's Elsa was from Frankfurt, while Einstein's Elsa was from Berlin. But didn't Miss Foster study in Berlin? An interesting coincidence of names for sure!

    Miss Foster's March 1910 letter is the last letter I have that was sent to Miss Lydia Poirier. Shortly after receiving the letter, Miss Poirier moved to California to become the headmistress of the Chandler School of Girls in Los Altos, California. By September 1912, Miss Lydia Poirier was assisting at the Library of the University of California at Berkeley. And by the next year, she was on the way home to Duluth.

    A notice in the Jul 29, 1913 Duluth Herald:

    In Dec 1915, she made a new home, so to speak.

    Edward M. Goddard (1869-1936) was the librarian of the Vermont State Library, and most likely met Miss Poirier at one of the many American Library Association conventions they attended. He resigned his position in 1910 to work for an insurance firm in New Jersey where his uncle worked. I found nothing more of interest about the Goddards after their wedding until their deaths in 1936. Lydia and Edward Goddard died three months apart in 1936. Newspaper articles reporting his death called him "the best insurance man in the East."

    The next two letters concern the bookplate that William Edgar Fisher (1872-1956) designed in 1920 for William F. Gable (1856-1921), store merchant and owner of Gables Department Store in Altoona. But first a little bit about each of them:

    From Concerning Book-Plates by Zella Allen Dixson:

    From Book-Plates of To-Day  edited by Wilbur Macey Stone

    From A Magnificent Farce by A, Edward Newton:

    Gable's Department Store:

    1st Letter:

    2nd letter:

    Here is the bookplate William Edgar Fisher designed for William F. Gable:

    The letter below is the last of the bookplate-related letters:

    In the beginning of this letter, L. Averill Cole (1880-1971) admonishes George Wolfe Plank (1883-1965) for his delay in submitting bookplates for a bookplate exhibit in San Francisco. L Averill Cole was no stranger to exhibitions, exhibiting not bookplates, but fine bindings. As for Mr. Plank, Marianne Moore provides an impressive biographical essay on him in her blog.

    A previous owner wrote the word "bookplate" near the top of the letter, probably because it was addressed to the bookplate collector, William F. Gable. But this letter does not mention bookplates. Its sender, L Averill Cole, writes about fine bindings, and thanks Gable for a vase he sent her.

    This next letter is the only letter from this lot to appear in my September 2011 post:

    In this letter, John Hyde Preston (1906-1980) the novelist responds to the prolific writer, Louis Untermeyer (1885-1977), thanking him for his comments about Preston's new book, The Liberals: A Novel, first published in 1938. Remember George Wolfe Plank? He illustrated a number of books and articles for Louis Untermeyer, including this one:

    William F. Gable wasn't the only merchant who was represented in these letters. A. T. Stewart (1803-1876), the Father of the Department Store," wrote a letter inviting a Mr. Newcomb and a Mr. Lister to dinner. Alexander Turney Stewart was featured in Elbert Hubbard'sLittle Journeys to the Homes of Great Business Men.

    A.T. Stewart had an enviable collection of paintings sculptures and other works of art. If you're only into books, Stewart's library begins at lot number 1014.

    The Mr. Newcomb who received Mr. Stewart's letter is most likelyHoratio Victor Newcomb (1844-1911). I have yet to identify the Mr. Lister who was also invited to dinner.

    If you can read this next letter, you are very good!

    Here is my "translation" of Mr. Bandinel's letter:

    Bandinel's letter is undated, but he died in 1849, and his only son was a curate in Marshwood, Dorset, from 1847 to 1856. Marshwood is near Blandford so I believe this letter was written sometime between 1847 and 1849. Who was it written to? I don't have a clue!

    Frances Starr (1886-1973) was one of Alan Dale's "Most Interesting People on the Stage." She appeared on Broadway, and in the movies and on TV. Remember the bookplate designer, Albertine Randall Wheelan? She was the costume designer for Rose of the Rancho, a play in which Frances Starr had one of the leading roles.

    I have yet to positively identify the Mr. Nelson who Frances Starr wrote to. It could be the director/performer, Duane Nelson.

    Frances Starr did not appear in any of Duane Nelson's plays. Nor did she appear in any of Lula Vollmer's plays. And there were no characters named Lydia and Mary in any of their plays that made it to Broadway. Now for a longshot: Lydia and Mary were characters inPride and Prejudice. Did Lula Vollmer write a playscript based on Jane Austine's novel? A stage production was written in 1935, but not by Lula Vollmer.

    From a Wikipedia article on Ogden Mills (1884-1937):

    There is an interesting review of Ogden Mill's book, The Seventeen Million in the September 1937 issue of Forum and Century. After reading the review, I couldn't help thinking of the forty-seven percent who voted for Governor Romney in the last election.

    This last letter may have been sent to the autograph collector who was the original owner of this lot of letters. If so, I thank him for providing hours of entertainment for me, and hopefully, for you. "

    0 0


    Frederick Starr collected and wrote about bookplates  .

    He sent these two postcards  to the American ephemera collector Bella C. Landauer

    Thomas Ewing French designed many  Ohio State University bookplates engraved by A.N. Macdonald.

    Jean Jacques Pfister (1878-1949) sent this card to Bella C. Landauer when he lived in New York City. On the reverse side he has written " Mrs. Pfister has closed her gallery on Lex.Ave. (The Hielt-Gallery) and we have taken a studio apt. in the Noflo *Arts Club.We hope you will come down to see us sometime."

    * Hard to make out his handwriting. His best known work is We At Daybreak recording the transatlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh.

    The card below was designed by Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978)

    I am always interested in purchasing or trading bookplates by Ruzicka

    The card below is a wood engraving for Bella C. Landauer by Timothy Cole .

    These two were done by J. Winfred Spenceley (1865-1908)

    Here are two cards engraved by Stanley E. Scantlin. The smaller one below was made for Hallam Webber. It is in the style of a 9th century illuminated manuscript. The card required five separate stamping impressions.



    Will Simmons (1884-1949) designed the card below.

    Allen Lewis (1873-1957) did this plate.

    I Plan to post more Christmas and New Years Cards on Christmas Eve

    0 0

    Yesterday I included two cards by J. W. Spenceley. Here are a few by his brother Frederick (1872-1947) .

    You may have Frederick Spenceley bookplates in your collection and don't realize it.

    Bookplates signed Spenceley , with no first name were done by Frederick.

    Mae Marsh was an American silent film actress.

    Edward Stephen Harkness was an American philanthropist

    For those of you familiar with New York's upper west side it's hard to believe this was what west 83rd Street looked like.

    Iorg Gambini created thousands of these ephemeral items along with a multitude of bookplates.

                  Olive Percival was among other things a bookplate collector and a designer who lived in California.

    Bernhardt Wall is best known for his etchings and post cards but he also designed a number of bookplates.

    Olivia Erdmann lived in New York City . She designed charming bookplates for herself  and family members.

    George Sekine made the following notation on the back of this card: " (Junishi) is the twelve signs of the oriental zodiac. The sign of this new year is a snake.The snake sign of this year is the same as my birth's year sign. These men are called as Toshi- otoko (year's man) in Japan "

    The Card shown below was designed by Ernest Huber in 1935. I debated whether or not to include it and decided the image was more powerful and thought provoking than any others in my collection so here it is.

    0 0

    Cecil B. DeMille's Christmas  Card

     During the filming of The Ten Commandments critics were predicting the expensive film would be a turkey and that became the inspiration for the sphinx. The card was designed by Bruce Dussell

         Cecil B. DeMilles Bookplate


          Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Christmas card

    Admiral Byrd's Bookplate

    The plate was originally engraved by E. D. French  for Admiral Byrd's father or grand father.
    Admiral  Byrd had photoengraved copies made by the firm of Demsey and Carroll

                  George Read Nutter's Christmas card  

                      Mr. Nutter was an attorney in Boston

             James D. Havens designed and signed this card

    The inside of the card has a printed Christmas greeting from Dick, Marjorie and Judy Hart

    A card engraved by Roy Cooney and sent to Brian North Lee with Christmas greetings.

        I wish you one and all a joyous Christmas and a happy new year

      See you again on Sunday.    



    0 0
  • 12/28/12--08:34: New Years Cards
  • Here are a few New Years Cards from my collection.

    Clifford P. Frimbach was a bookplate collector and and engraver.

    He did this card around 1935. It is a steel engraving hand colored with transparent water colors

    Greville Rickard was an architect

    Ismael Smith was among other things a bookplate designer.

    Mayumi Tachibana is to the best of my knowledge a bookplate collector and designer.The card below was for the year of the serpent.

    Fellow bookplate collector and designer Huang Wuchang sent me this card for the year of the dragon

    Thank you Rebecca Eschliman for sending the following:

    Antioch Bookplate Archives–Unusual New Year’s Greetings

    previous post featured some unusual bookplates by an artist better known for his political cartoons (many of which are startlingly reminiscent of those commenting on today’s issues!), Art Young. More details of Young’s life and work may be found here and here.
    Among the little correspondence from the 1930s that remained in the Antioch Bookplate Company files were some New Year’s Greetings from Art Young to his friend (a friendship developed from their shared interest in socialist causes) and Antioch Bookplate Company founder Ernest Morgan.
    Photo postcard of Art Young
    Art Young in the late 1930s
    New Year's greeting from Art Young, 1936
    1936 New Year's Greeting
    Art Young New Year's Greeting, 1938
    New Year's greeting 1938
    This entry was posted in Antioch Bookplate ArchivesArtifactsPeople and tagged ,. Bookmark the permalink.

    I will be back on Sunday with a year end wrap up and a preview of what I plan to write about in 2013.

    0 0
  • 12/30/12--06:58: End of Year Wrap-Up
  • 2013 will be the start of my seventh year as a blogger. I am pleasantly surprised at my continued output.

    Here are a few of the things planned for next year.

    An expanded article on Arnold A. Robert with many previously unpublished illustrations.

    A contest about   The most humorous bookplate in your collection. 

    I previously had a bizarre bookplate contest back in 2007

    More Collector Profiles.

    For this to happen I need your help. All you need to do to participate is to send me a paragraph or two about yourself and your collection.If English is not your primary language I will assist you with the editing.
    Take the first step and contact me.

    An article about bookplates with microscopes

    If you want to get a hardbound copy of all the blog postings for 2012 go to 

    They do an excellent job and are reasonably priced.

    Don't forget next weekend is the Papermania show

    If you plan to attend and have bookplates for sale or trade send me an email.

    Happy New Year

    0 0

    Breaking News, Hot off the Press.

    Major collections available for sale to private collectors do not hit the marketplace very often. It is remarkable that individual bookplates from two different collections are currently being sold by two dealers at the same time.

    The Caplin Collection:

    Stephen Caplin  lived in Brooklyn New York . He started his collection in the early 20th century and continued through the mid 1930's. During his lifetime he corresponded with the major bookplate dealers , collectors and designers.His letters are a treasure trove for bookplate historians.

    His collection focuses on the following major areas;

    18th and early 19th century American exlibris

    .includes the rarest of the rare, George Washington, Paul Revere, etc.
    well over 1,000 early American bookplates in all price ranges

    Golden Age American Engravers

    Includes E.D. French, S.L. Smith,, J.W. Spenceley, etc.

    There are other significant smaller accumulations including 


    18th century English.

    For further information about the Caplin collection contact

     Mr Thomas Boss
    Tel +617 308 5063


    The Baron Collection

    After retiring in the 1970's Howard  Baron began a new career as a bookseller specializing in antiquarian books, maps and ephemera .His shop in Rye , New York is called High Ridge Books.
    Howard Baron passed away about thirteen years ago . His son Fred has continued the business
      Whenever I visited  his booth at book shows he mentioned his collection which was not for sale.

    Fred Baron has begun to sell individual items from his father's  collection.
    The collection is stored in five albums.
    There is something for everyone in the collection including :

    18th century American 

     18th Century English

     European Ex Libris 

     One album of Yale Bookplates

    The items in the collection are reasonably priced and are not organized very well so a personal visit would be

    For further information about the Baron collection contact :

    Mr. Fred Baron

    P.O. Box 286

    Rye, NY 10580

    (914) 967-3332

    Fax: (914) 833-5159


    The most interesting item I purchased at Papermania   was not a bookplate.
    I  hope to write about it next week.after doing some research. A scan was sent to fellow collector Richard Schimmelpfeng . He speculated that the coarse , dirty paper was made from whatever rags were available after the war of 1812 and that it might have been a notice or broadside posted around the city.

    I will be back on Sunday. See you soon.

    0 0

    I have not had a contest for quite some time so I am delighted to announce that the humorous bookplate contest has begun and will continue until February 13th.

    Please submit one bookplate from your own collection. I am not expecting many entries because humorous bookplates are atypical.  That works in your favor if you have a humorous bookplate to submit..

    Send a scan of your  entry to

    At the end of the contest the judges ( Mary & Lew Jaffe) will select the winner. .

    The winner will receive an inscribed  hardbound copy of all blog postings for 2012

    Here are a few humorous bookplates from my own collection:

    The owner Mr. Pacheco is a magician

    I will be back again on Tuesday with another blog posting.

    0 0

    The Humorous Bookplate contest got off to a good start and will continue until February 13th.

    Please submit one bookplate from your own collection. I am not expecting many entries because humorous bookplates are atypical.  That works in your favor if you have a humorous bookplate to submit..

    Send a scan of your  entry to

    At the end of the contest the judges ( Mary & Lew Jaffe) will select the winner. .

    The winner will receive an inscribed  hardbound copy of all blog postings for 2012

    First Entry for the contest 
    Sent by Vladimir Vereschagin

    1/14/2013-Entry #2 Submitted by Nina Allen

    "What fun! Here is my submission to your humorous bookplate contest.
    I'm doing this early so that I don't forget about it. I have no idea
    who created this bookplate because I can't make out the signature.
    However, it looks to be dated 1920 in the plate at the bottom"

    Comment from Richard Schimmelpfeng
    "Lew: the monogram is that of Willi Kadletz, b. 1895. One source says Austrian, another says German - take your Pick. I like it."

    Entry #3 Submitted by John Blatchly 1/14/2013
    James Cormick is an Iran scholar at Cambridge.

    Entry # 4 Submitted by Muriel Frega


    Building A collection

    I was recently contacted by a new enthusiast who was interested in starting a bookplate collection which focuses on the bookplates used by notable book collectors. I suggested that he begin the project by obtaining a copy of Dictionary of American Book Collectors by Donald C. Dickinson. Mr. Dickinson presents biographical information on 359 significant American book collectors who died before December 31, 1984,
    Using the Dickinson book as a foundation I suggested and obtained the following bookplates for him:

    Edward Hale Bierstadt
    Cortlandt Field Bishop
    Beverly Chew
    E.D. Church
    James William Ellsworth
    Samuel W. Lambert
    Paul Lemperly
    J.P. Morgan
    George Barr McCutcheon
    Wilbur Macey Stone
    Harry Bache Smith

    A few of the collectors shown above had multiple bookplates .
     Many of the plates were engraved by E.D. French.
    Some of the most notable collectors used leather bookplates . They are without a doubt elegant but they eventually damage the pages they touch .

     I look forward to assisting  the client and will update this posting as more bookplates are obtained..

    Two Mystery Bookplates

    Can anyone out there assist me in identifying the owners who used or the artists who designed these bookplates ? The  artist's cipher on the mystical plate on the right looks  ZIA or ZIM

    See you again next Sunday.

    0 0

    I have asked several bookplate artists to send me scans and general information about the bookplates they designed in 2012..The first to respond was Daniel Mitsui.

    In 2012, I received six commissions for bookplate designs. The original drawings for these were done with black technical pens on white Bristol board. The drawings were scanned at a high resolution, and transferred via a photo chemical process to copper plates for letterpress printing. 

            I used millelfleur decorative patterns in many of my drawings last year. This is an ornamental fill composed of tiny plants and animals, inspired by 15th century tapestries. Frogs, rabbits, snails, rats, a snake and a genet can be seen in the border of this bookplate. It is formatted like a page in an illuminated manuscript, with wide borders on one side and on the bottom. The bas-de-page shows the famous story of St. Francis meeting the Wolf of Gubbio.                 

    Exlibris Corey B. French: The central subject in this bookplate is St. Jerome in his study, after the painting by Jan van Eyck. The saint wears a cardinal's garb, and is seated at his desk, which is covered in writing tools, a bookstand, an hourglass and various bottles and jars. More books and scrolls, an astrolabe and a paternoster can be seen in the background. St. Jerome's tame lion is sitting next to the desk. 

    My patron requested that I include images of the Virgin & Child, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas of Canterbury and St. Thomas More. I placed these in the corners, and framed the central image in a pointed quatrefoil fitting snugly between them. The small triangular spaces filling out the square have fanciful creatures in them; clockwise, these are a unicorn, a heraldic dolphin, a pig, a monopod, a blemya, a mermaid, a barometz and a green man. 

    The Latin quote at the bottom is from St. Augustine: "Too late have I loved thee, O beauty ever ancient and ever new!"

    Exlibris Barbara Teresa Shaw: The man who commissioned this commissioned the very first bookplate I ever  designed. Over the past several years, he has had me create bookplates for the various members of his family as well as for his godchildren; each of them have featured the recipent's patron saint. Past designs have shown St. Lucy, St. Francis, St. Columba, St. Dorothy and St. Agnes. This one depicts St. Barbara, a 4th century martyr who was imprisoned in a tower and later beheaded. The bookplate shows her with her familiar attributes: she wears a martyr's crown, and holds a sword and a chalice with a host elevated above it. Her tower is drawn in the background

    Exlibris Afsheen Majid: My patron commissioned this bookpalte for his baby daughter. Because the name Afsheen means "shine like a star", I drew a nocturnal lanscape lit by starlight. The Hand of Fatima symbol refers to the midle name Zahra, one of the titles of Mohammed's daughter Fatima. I was asked to include several things that the girl especially likes: trees, ducks and animals with tails.

    The artwork was inspired by 16th century Perisan illuminated manuscripts, as well as by European millefleur tapestries. 

    Exlibris Kevin G. Rooney: In this one, the central image shows the Saced Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The coats of arms in the corners represent the Rooney family, the Priestly Fraterity of St. Peter, the Crowley family, and the Carmelite Order. 

    Exlibris James A. Vogel III: I liked the composition that I invented for the Corey B. French bookplate so much that I used it again for my next two commissions. This one has a central image of St. James the Greater, one of the 12 Apostles. It was based on an anonymous 15th century panel painting.

    The bones of St. James were discovered in the 9th century by a miraculous starlight near the northwest coast of Spain. The shrine built to house these relics became one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Europe. Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela collected scallop shells from the nearby coast as souvenirs. The pilgrim hat and cloak that the Saint wears in this depiction; the staff and shell that he carries; and the stars, ocean waves and path in the background all refer to this tradition. 

    The square images in the corners depict the Virgin & Child in the style of a Russian icon; the coat of arms and motto of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre; a portrait of the French-English poet, essayist and economist Hilaire Belloc; and the coat of arms of the Order of Preachers with a torch-bearing dog, a symbol of St. Dominic. 

    Exlibris Andrew Lohrum: This bookplate
    depicts an incident from the life of St. Francis of Assisi, in which one of his novices asked to possess his own psalter:

    Blessed Francis told him: After you have a psalter, you will desire and want to have a breviary; after you have a breviary, you will sit in a fancy chair, like a great prelate telling your brother: Bring me the breviary! And speaking in this way with great intensity of spirit, he took some ashes in his hand, put them on his head rubbing them around his head as though he were washing it, saying, I, a breviary! I, a breviary!

    I thought that this was a particularly clever choice of subject, as it shows a man being rebuked for his pride about the prospect of owning a book.

    Note from Lew Jaffe- If you wish to contact Daniel Mitsui his email address is 

    Danmitsui (at)

    See you next Sunday- 

    The clock is ticking. If you want to enter the Humorous bookplate contest stop procrastinating.

    Only a few weeks left until the contest ends on February 13th

    Please submit one bookplate from your own collection. I am not expecting many entries because humorous bookplates are atypical.  That works in your favor if you have something to submit..

    Send a scan of your  entry to

    At the end of the contest the judges ( Mary & Lew Jaffe) will select the winner. .

    The winner will receive an inscribed  hardbound copy of all blog postings for 2012

    0 0
  • 02/02/13--04:31: February 3rd Events
  • On Sunday February 3rd millions of Americans will be watching The Super Bowl.
    I prefer watching Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl.

     Here is a preview film clip.

    On Sunday February 3rd there will be a book show in Philadelphia.

    Location: The Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, 201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
    Hours: 10am-4pm.
    Admission: Adults: $6, Youths 12-21: $3, Under 12: free w/Adult, plenty of parking both on-site and across street.
    On Sunday February 3rd  I will be back with my regular posting.

    See you then.

    0 0

    Muriel Frega sent me this information about the bookplates she recently designed.

    If you wish to contact Muriel Frega here is her email address.

    MurielFrega (at)

    Last year ( and the year before) I worked very little in making bookplates. I dedicated most of my time to finishing some comic projects. Anyway, bookplate production didn't completely stop .

    Opus 118 was made for Andrew Peake. When I was coloring that work, I realized that I´ve made very few bookplates for women. When I decided to finish the ones previously started I realized that many of them were gifts for friends.

    Opus 111,  was made for Juana´s birthday. Luckily we have birthdays every year so the bookplate could accomplish it´s role as a gift on 2012, ( I promised it for 2010) Guess what´s Juana´s favorite food and drink...

    Opus 115, Lourdes Pertierra looking for the right man. When doing this one I planned to make it with rubber stamps, or mix techniques and add a printing detail. But so far, special papers that work well with both inks are still in the testing process

    Opus 116, Martha, whose words, written and spoken sometimes are hard as a bomb. It´s different when you get to know her.

    Opus 117, Nat Alias, a nickname for Natalia. Again depicting the relationship between women and men.

    And Opus 119, Marisa, a friend who cooks great! She really loves doing that and puts all her love in making food. I worked without textures in this one.

    I usually order the opus numbers as the final sketch is done or when the work is halfway through. It´s messy sometimes because sometimes I finish first the last works and some remain unfinished for months... maybe years. That happened in this series of bookplates: Andrew´s bookplate was finished in three months time, and Juana´s took 2 years ( looks simpler but reaching a synthesis sometimes is not that easy)

    Notes From Lew- 

    If you want to contact Muriel Frega here is her Email address

    MurielFrega (at)


    The Clock is ticking. 

     If you want to enter the Humorous Bookplate Contest, stop procrastinating.

    The contest ends February 13th

    At the end of the contest the judges ( Mary & Lew Jaffe) will select the winner. .

    The winner will receive an inscribed  hardbound copy of all blog postings for 2012.

    Please submit one bookplate from your own collection. I am not expecting many entries because humorous bookplates are atypical.  That works in your favor if you have something to submit..

    Send a scan of your  entry to

    See you next Sunday.

    0 0


    I have hardly been involved at all in making bookplates until recently, though I’ve long been fascinated by them.  Since my own work has always gravitated towards small graphic forms, exlibris do seem a natural extension of this. 
    Most of the bookplates I’ve done to date have been as gifts for family and friends.

    Ex Libris Rebecca Watson

    For my daughter - obsessed with reading practically from birth!

    Ex Libris Josephine and Raymond Morgan

    A bookplate created for old and dear friends. Somewhere in the night sky are the constellations of their respective star signs.

    'Ex Libris Solstizio D’Estate
    A bookplate entered for a competition in Italy – one of the first I entered. There is an annual calendar of competitions worldwide for all types of small graphic forms, many open to artists anywhere.'

    Ex Libris Pascal Belin

    This one a commission, for my daughter’s PhD supervisor on completion of her doctorate. Professor Belin’s area of research is the perception of sound in the brain.

    Ex Libris Gabriella Stewart

    A gift for a friend’s daughter. A pair, celebrating her twin enthusiasms for basketball and climbing.

    Note From Lew.

    Here is a link to John's website where you can see the full range of his portfolio.


    The Humorous Bookplate Contest Ends February 13th

    Entry #9

    Please find attached my entry for the competition. Much like your correspondent Evan Sullivan, not sure if this comes across as directly humorous, though the intent was to amuse. Also strictly speaking not from my collection, but was designed by me for a friend. An avid reader and tea fiend, she also has a ‘thing’ about pigs (which I can understand – there’s more to pigs than meets the eye).

    Kind regards
    John    Watson          


    From Richard Schimmelpfeng

     Roughly: Translated -You steal my book, see what happens to you. 
     Artist is Heinrich Nernst


    0 0
  • 02/17/13--09:38: And The Winner Is
  • I want to thank everyone who participated in the humorous bookplate contest. There were many fine entries and the selection was not easy.
    The winner is Muriel Frega.

    This was the third contest I've had in seven years..The first in 2007 was a bizarre bookplate contest .The winner was Nina Allen and this was her entry.
    The second contest in 2009 was about a bookplate tattoo .
     Contestants were asked to insert a caption for the blank line shown below.

    The winner was Keith Sheid and his entry was  The College of Arms.
    I would like to have another contest  in about six months but I could use some help.If you have any suggestiosn for a bookplate contest please send me an email

    This is a brief posting so I will be back again on Tuesday or Wednesday .
    See you soon.

    0 0
  • 02/24/13--09:11: Three Links Worth Viewing
  • I've been saving a few links that might interest you .This one  from the blog is about   book arts and it fascinated me. Here is their description:

    "This blog has seen it’s fair share of pop-up books, and animation using paper, but this might be the first where everything comes together in a single piece. Revolution is an animated short by photographer Chris Turner, paper engineer Helen Friel and animator Jess Deacon that explores the life cycle of a single drop of water through the pages of an elaborate pop-up book. The book contains nine scenes that were animated using 1,000 photographic stills shot over the course of a year. (via faith is torment)"

    Over at  Princeton University   Stephen Ferguson is doing an excellent job of researching bookplates in their book collections.

    "An in-progress registry of provenance, bindings, annotations, and other evidence for book history from the rare book collections at Princeton

    Over at Shared Shelf Commons institutional collections from around the world have been digitized .
    This is a very useful reference tool.The site is overwhelming and should probably be bookmarked.
    That's what I did several weeks ago   and I have not looked at it since then. Shame on me.

    I figure there are about 200 bookplate collectors in the U.S. .Within  that group perhaps ten people at most are interested  in 18th century American bookplates.With that thought in mind I have digitized about 30 18th century and early 19th century bookplates currently for sale. They range in price from $40.00 to $150.00 .
     If you send me an email I will be glad to send scans and prices.

    0 0

    "Roy has lived most of his life in the West Country, starting an apprenticeship in engraving at the age of sixteen. He eventually left the British Admiralty's Hydrographic Office (the department responsible for producing charts for navigation) four years ago, after a career in engraving and cartographic duties, and as training officer responsible for teaching draftsmanship to naval and HO staff. He now concentrates on producing a wide range of pictorial subjects and botanical studies as limited editions, by the ancient and now relatively rare medium of line engraving. With a growing reputation for engraving based on heraldic designs, commissions for armorial bookplates are awarded in increasing numbers.
    Other work varies considerably, and includes the restoration of historic engravings and etchings, re-strike printing of earlier engravings, giving demonstrations and delivering lectures and participating in the activities and organization of the Hilliard Society, the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen and the Bookplate Society. He was asked by the British Broadcasting Corporation for advice on how James McNeill Whistler would have produced his hydrographic scenes while employed by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, and was then invited to recreate the process for the camera as "Whistler's Hands" - engraving and printing - in a program about Whistler's life in the BBC "Omnibus" series.
    Participation in international bookplate and small graphics exhibitions and art exhibitions has been rewarded by a number of awards and commissions.
    Roy exhibits in Holland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine, where prints of bookplates and limited editions are also held in art galleries, museums, universities, libraries and private collections. He is producing limited editions of pictorial line engravings which are sold through exhibitions and galleries throughout the UK and parts of Europe and the USA."


    In 1995 I visited the late Brian North Lee and he gave me the newest of his many personal bookplates.It was engraved by Roy Cooney.

    At the time I was searching  for someone to design my first bookplate and I contacted Mr. Cooney. The theme I choose was a waterwheel that had been engraved by Henry Dawkins.
    I like all my bookplates but this is still my favorite.

    Here are a few of the Roy Cooney bookplates and engravings from my own collection:

    Roy sent the following note along with the wasp engraving shown below:
    "One of my limited editions for your retention!This Queen Wasp died on my window-sill.I drew the image straight on the copper and then engraved it"

    Follow this link for many more    images and a checklist of Roy Coooney's bookplates.

    See you again nexr week.

    0 0
  • 03/10/13--06:44: Bookplates On Ebay
  • From time to time I list duplicate bookplates on Ebay.

    My selections are eclectric and hopefully you will be pleased with some of them.

    Three of the 25 listed items are shown below.

    To see all of them just follow this link

    Thefrog was designed by K. Kawasaki  for Shoji  Kozuka the president of The Japanese Bookplate Society (circa 1933) It was printed from six blocks.

    Theairplane bookplate was designed by the owner F.A.Willwerth

    The woodcut polo player was done by TF for Caryle Baer , a Washington attorney who for many years directed the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers.

    I 'll be back next Sunday with a regular blog posting..If you look at my Ebay listings and do not see bookplates that fit into your collection please send me an email and let me know what you are looking for..I have many other bookplates for sale or exchange.

    0 0
  • 03/17/13--11:06: Bookish Ephemera
  • My Ebay listings ended successfully and over fifty percent of the sales were from outside the U.S.
    Buyers from China  and Saudi Arabia were particularly active.
    I  have thousands of duplicates from around the world for possible Exchange or Sale so send me your want lists

    Here are a two duplicates for possible exchange.
    The first is from the library of a lawyer interested in fox hunting and music and the second one is by Mark Severin

    Issue # 10 of Counter Print arrived last week and much of it is devoted to bookish ephemera.

    Each of the articles is well illustrated.
    There is a six page  article by Tim Sumner about book bags

    A four page article by Keld Bech about Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum

    A four page  article about ephemera found in books by Michael Popek

    A four page article I wrote about bookplates

    Last but not least a four page article by Greg Kindall about bookseller and book  binder's trade labels

    You can order a copy at

    Here is something I picked up recently for my bookish ephemera collection

    Here are some aluminum advertising book marks from my bookish ephemera collection.
     I assume they were used in the early 20th century.

    More Bookish ephemera

    If you send me scans of bookish ephemera from your own collection I will add them to this blog posting.

    See you again next Sunday

older | 1 | (Page 2) | 3 | 4 | .... | 15 | newer