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Random thoughts from a passionate bookplate collector.

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  • 01/29/15--04:54: Bookplate Odds and Ends.
  • One of the bookplate images sent by Tracy Munn

     On at least five occasions grand children or great grandchildren of bookplate designers have spotted a blog posting I've written and  have sent me information about their grandparents.
    I wrote about Katherine Bartholomew back in 2010. Recently Tracy Munn ,, her grand daughter  sent me a photograph of her grand mother along with scans of some bookplates not shown in my original checklist.
     Here is a link to the updated blog posting.

    The auction conducted by the Bookplate Society is progressing nicely

    The start date for the auction will be sent to participants in February. In the meantime you can  begin looking at what is being  offered. 
    Following registration, participants will receive a bidding list showing all the lot numbers, for use in recording and sending in bids.

    I've spoken to a few collectors who are intimidated by its size (over 2500 bookplates to choose from)
    My suggestion is to spend  fifteen minutes a day selecting the items that interest you.

    Here are a few randomly selected items from the auction:

    Lot E244 (page11)

    Lot J026 (page11)
    Lot E260 (page11)


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    This is the first installment of an ongoing listing of bookplates used by English theatrical and cinematic entertainers . It also includes writers, producers and directors.. The brief biographical blurbs were copied from the internet .

     If you wish to add theatrical bookplates to this posting send scans to

    "Harold Chapin (15 February 1886 – 26 September 1915) was an English actor and playwright.
    Chapin was born in BrooklynNew York, in 1886. Although “technically an American citizen, he was an English actor, and English playwright and died as a British soldier”. A true man of the theatre, he worked as an actor (appearing extensively in the West End and in the original productions of What Every Woman Knows by J.M. Barrie and Strife by John Galsworthy), director and stage manager, and was closely associated with Harley Granville Barker.
    His plays were produced throughout the UK and in New York 
    Regarded as one of the greatest potential dramatic talents to be lost in the First World War, his work has often been compared with that of Edwardian playwright St John Hankin. Although largely unperformed today, his best known three act workThe New Morality was performed at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2005.
    Enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army in September 1914, Lance Corporal Chapin was killed in action at the age of 29 at the Battle of Loos in 1915, leaving a wife and five year old son."


    "Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
    Born in Teddington, southwest London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay FeverPrivate Lives,Design for LivingPresent Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works."

    "David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III audiences and managers began to take notice.
    Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated 29 years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid in Poets' Corner.
    As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when Garrick first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. Furthermore, during his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. In addition to audiences, Garrick sought reform in production matters, bringing an overarching consistency to productions that included set design,costumes and even special effects.
    Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."

    "Wyndham Goldie (1897–1957) was a British stage and film actor. Goldie first achieved fame as an actor with the Liverpool Playhouse from 1927 until summer 1934, the last year during which he also directed plays. He was married to the television producer Grace Wyndham Goldie."

    John Pritt Harley (February 1786 – 22 August 1858) was an English actor known for his comic acting and singing.

    "Sir Arthur John GielgudOMCH (/ˈɡlɡʊd/; 14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.
    During the 1930s Gielgud was a stage star in the West End and on Broadway, appearing in new works and classics. He began a parallel career as a director, and set up his own company at the Queen's Theatre, London. He was regarded by many as the finest Hamlet of his era, and was also known for high comedy roles such as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1950s Gielgud feared that his career was threatened when he was convicted and fined for a homosexual offence, but his colleagues and the public supported him loyally. When avant-gardeplays began to supersede traditional West End productions in the later 1950s he found no new suitable stage roles, and for several years he was best known in the theatre for his one-man Shakespeare show, The Ages of Man. From the late 1960s he found new plays that suited him, by authors including Alan BennettDavid Storey and Harold Pinter.
    During the first half of his career Gielgud did not take the cinema seriously. Though he made his first film in 1924, and had successes with The Good Companions (1933) and Julius Caesar (1953), he did not begin a regular film career until his sixties. Between Becket in 1964, for which he received an Oscar nomination, and Elizabeth in 1998 he appeared in more than sixty films. As the acid-tongued Hobson in Arthur (1981) he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
    Although largely indifferent to awards, Gielgud had the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. He was famous from the start of his career for his voice and his mastery of Shakespearean verse. He broadcast more than a hundred radio and television dramas, between 1929 and 1994, and made commercial recordings of many plays, including ten of Shakespeare's. Among his honours, he was knighted in 1953 and the Gielgud Theatre was named after him. From 1977 to 1989, he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art."

    Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905)

    "Sir Henry Irving  born John Henry Brodribb,  was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility (supervision of sets, lighting, direction, casting, as well as playing the leading roles) for season after season at theLyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as representative of English classical theatre. He was the first actor to be awarded a knighthood. Irving is thought to have been the inspiration for the title character in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula."

    The bookplate shown below(with the letters of his name in red) was reproduced on page 238 in English Bookplates by Egerton Castle.
    From time to time I have seen his bookplate with the red letters..Such bookplates were cut out of Mr Castle's book and are bogus.

    Gertrude Lawrence (1902?-1952)

     English actress and singer.A childhood friend of Noel Coward.. She appeared with him in his
    Private Lives (1931) and Tonight at 8:30 (1936 )

    Shown above ia a bookplate used by Gertrude Lawrence and her second husband the American producer Richard Stoddard Aldrich.
    He was born on August 17, 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is is known for his work on As Summers Die (1986), The Moon Is Blue(1953) and The Ed Sullivan Show (1948). 

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    This is the second installment of this ongoing project. If you have any theatrical bookplates which you want included in this posting send your scans to

    Prince Frank Littler (9 September 1903 – 23 January 1985) CBE, born Prince Frank Richeux, was an English theatre proprietor, impresario and television executive.His bookplate was designed by Cecil Thomas and engraved by G.T. Friend

    Leon M. Lion 

    Still from Number Seventeen

    "Leon M. Lion was a British stage and film actor, playwright, theatrical manager and producer.Lion produced and appeared in a number of plays written by John Galsworthy and their correspondence was later published as a book.[Lion toured in J. Jefferson Farjeon's play "Number Seventeen" in the late 1920s and also starred in the 1932 film version directed by Alfred Hitchcock."

    William Macready 

    William Charles Macready (3 March 1793 – 27 April 1873) was an English actor.

    Ivor Novello

    "David Ivor Davies (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951), better known as Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.
    He was born into a musical family and his first successes were as a songwriter. His first big hit was "Keep the Home Fires Burning", which was enormously popular during the First World War. After the war, Novello contributed numbers to several successful musical comedies and was eventually commissioned to write the scores of complete shows. His 1917 show, Theodore & Co, was a wartime hit. He wrote his musicals in the style of operetta and often composed his music to the librettos of Christopher Hassall.
    In the 1920s, he turned to acting, first in British films and then on stage, with considerable success in both. He starred in two silent films directed by Alfred HitchcockThe Lodger and Downhill, both in 1927. On stage, he played the title character in the first London production of Liliom (1926). Novello briefly went to Hollywood, but he soon returned to Britain where he had more successes, especially on stage, appearing in his own lavish West End productions of musicals. The best known of these were Glamorous Night (1935) and The Dancing Years (1939). From the 1930s, he often performed with Zena Dare, writing parts for her in his works. He continued to write for film, but he had his biggest late successes with stage musicals: Perchance to Dream (1945), King's Rhapsody (1949) and Gay's the Word (1951)."
    "In 1935, still in her teens, she appeared as Baroness Frankenstein in Bride of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and Colin Clive. She played opposite Henry Hullthat same year in Werewolf of London, the first Hollywood werewolf film, predating The Wolf Man by six years. The latter half of the 1940s saw Hobson in perhaps her two most memorable roles: as the adult Estella in David Lean's 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations, and as the refined and virtuous Edith D'Ascoyne in the 1949 black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets.
    In 1952 she divorced her first husband, the film producer Sir Anthony Havelock-Allan (1904–2003), and married John Profumo (1915–2006), an MP, in 1954, giving up acting shortly afterwards. Hobson's last starring role was in the original London production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical play The King and Iwhich opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 8 October 1953. She played Mrs. Anna Leonowens opposite Herbert Lom's King. The show ran for 926 performances"

    Sir Terrence Mervyn Rattigan (1911-77)

    Sir Terrence Rattigan was one England's most popular and Successful contemporary playwrights. He was knighted in 1971.His most famous plays were perhaps  French without Tears,The Winslow Boy, The Deep Blue Sea and Separate Tables.

    His bookplate has addresses presumably of his homes or places connected with his life.He also used a simple label in a border with calligraphic flourishes on either side of his name.

    Ref: London Bookplates by Brian North Lee P.145 item #294

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    My input for this project is just about complete. As I get additional items they will be added to the blog postings.I hope that other collectors will find the time to  to send scans of bookplates which can be added to to this repository.Over a period of time it will grow and become a very useful resource .

    Send your scans to

    Michael Redgrave

    Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave CBE (20 March 1908 – 21 March 1985) was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.His bookplate was designed by Keith Vaughn

    Ellen Terry

    Ellen Terry  (1847-1928)

    "Dame Ellen TerryGBE  was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain.
    Born into a family of actors, Terry began performing as a child, acting in Shakespeare plays in London and toured throughout the British provinces as a teen. At 16 she married the 46-year-old artist George Frederic Watts, but they separated within a year. She soon returned to the stage but began a relationship with the architect Edward William Godwin and left performing for six years. She resumed acting in 1874 and was immediately acclaimed for her portrayal of roles in Shakespeare and other classics.
    In 1878 she joined Henry Irving's company as his leading lady, and for more than the next two decades she was considered the leading Shakespearean and comic actress in Britain. Two of her most famous roles were Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She and Irving also toured with great success in America Canada and Britain."


    I recently started reading A Strange Eventful History by Michael Holroyd .The book is about the dramatic lives of  Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their remarkable families.It has stimulated my interest in victorian theatrical celebrities.Within the book are s eight line sketch drawings of bookplates by Gordon Craig.

    Gordon Craig designed his mother's  bookplates.    On one of them she hand wrote  travel instructions.

    Clement Scott

    "Clement William Scott (6 October 1841 – 25 June 1904) was an influential English theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph and other journals, and a playwright, lyricist, translator and travel writer, in the final decades of the 19th century. His style of criticism, acerbic, flowery and (perhaps most importantly) carried out on the first night of productions, set the standard for theatre reviewers through to today."


    Henry Urwick (1859–1931), as Shylock(from 'The Merchant of Venice')

    by Walter Chamberlain Urwick

    © the artist's estate
    photo credit: Royal Shakespeare Company Collection

    The artist's initials on this bookplate are  G.H.H.

    1. Edward Smith Willard
    2. Bookplate engraved by  Thomas George Johnson (1844-1904)
      "Edward Smith Willard (1853–1915) also known professionally as E. S. Willard, was an English actor. He was born at Brighton and made his debut upon the stage at Weymouth in The Lady of Lyons in 1869. He then toured with E. A. Sothern and later joined various stock companies. Coming to London in 1875, he played Antonio in The Merchant of Venice with Charles Rice in 1876.[2] After a varied experience in Shakespearean and other plays, in 1881 he was engaged by Wilson Barrett at the Princess Theatre, where he played in The Lights of LondonThe Silver King, and other well-known pieces. In 1886 he made a hit asJim the Penman at the Haymarket.
      One of his greatest successes was his production of The Middleman by H. A. Jones, at the Shaftesbury in 1889, he himself creating the part of Cyrus Blenkarn. He came to the United States in 1890, and made his first appearance at Palmer's Theatre (later, Wallack's Theatre) in New York, November 10, 1890, when he again acted in the powerful play of "The Middleman," by Henry Arthur Jones, and the greeting that hailed him was that of earnest respect.
      When Willard played the part of Judah Llewellyn for the first time in America, December 29, 1890, at Palmer's Theatre, he gained a verdict of emphatic admiration. Willard had long been known and esteemed, in New York, by the dramatic profession and by those persons who habitually observed the changing aspects of the Stage on both sides of the ocean, but to the American public his name had been comparatively strange. He sailed to England, then returned again to the United States in 1896, remaining till 1903, when he made 13 American tours.

      In 1906, he retired from the stage, but returned on special occasions, as in 1911 for the gala performance at His Majesty's Theatre, London, to play the part of Brutus in the forum scene from julius Caesar.
      In 1875 Willard married Emily Waters, the daughter of a government civil servant attached to theWoolwich Arsenal station in London. Emily Waters was originally an actress but later turned to writing children’s stories and plays under the pseudonym Rachel Penn.
      Edward Smith Willard was the uncle of Shakespearen actor Edmund Willard and the great-uncle of children's author Barbara Willard. Willard died in London on 9 November 1915."

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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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    The Raunchy Rabbit Bookplate contest is up and running. 

    Think of an appropriate  caption for this bookplate and send it to

    Only one entry per person will be considered.

    The contest ends at  Midnight on Saturday November 22nd, 2014

    The winner will receive an inscribed artist signed copy of Killer Bunnies by Charles Bordin.

    Some Old Rabbit Bookplate Friends

    If you have a rabbit bookplate in your own collection send a scan and it will be added  to this blog posting.

    "This rabbit from my collection looks, sadly, to be the victim rather than hero of his tale"
    Sent by Jane Peach
    Sent By from Kyle Payne
    "A photograph showing Albert Turner Reid drawing in his studio. Reid was a successful businessman, a staunch supporter of the American farmer, a composer, a painter of murals and a teacher of art. The art school which he started with George Stone in Topeka was the beginning of Washburn University's Art Department. Although a talented artist and successful newspaper publisher, Albert T. Reid is probably best remembered for his political cartoons. Reid sold his first cartoon to the Topeka Mail & Breeze in 1896. For the next 30 years, his cartoons appeared regularly in Kansas City, Chicago, and New York newspapers and several national magazines. They remain today a major contribution to the history of American politics. A large collection of his work is in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society"

    I have not yet found any articles about the bookplates designed by Albert Turner Reid. A number of them seem to be for friends and family members. He signed his bookplates in several different ways..Here is what I have in my own collection.If you have other examples of his bookplates please send scans and they will be added to this blog posting.

    Mystery Bookplate 

    This seems to be art work for a bookplate
    Do any of you have information about the owner or artist ?

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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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  • 04/17/15--11:41: Gordon Collett Checklist
  • Chronological list of  Bookplates

    By Gordon Collett

     A picture of Gordon Collett at work on a trompe l’œil bookcase mural.
    I have been interested in pen and ink work since a child., In fact I sold drawings whilst at school, but the pull to science was stronger leading me to study marine zoology, which I did: graduating in 1986,from  UCNW Bangor.. However, at college, I decided to be a commercial artist instead. I intended to combine both passions and establish myself as a zoological illustrator. As illustration dropped out of use in the 1990's I turned to new things which have lead to what is currently my main commercial concern, , mural work, particularly trompe l’œil. I have worked across Britain and Europe for both private individuals and commercial clients.
     I continued with pen and ink for my own pleasure and have sort of "fallen in" to bookplate designing as a valid way of using this medium. After seeing plates in some of my second hand books, I got tempted to draw one for myself (early 1990's),

    Most of my plates are in some way biographical, for example in my own from 1997. It shows that I started as a marine biologist and am an artist, a shell collector and a fencer.The hind's head is my family crest and the faun was a character I used in a lot of my very early illustrations.


    1             Kirsten Joanne  Hails         “Throne of Books”                                100         10  x 10cms


    2             Emily Jane Brunton            “Smoke Rings”                                     100         10 x 15cms


    3             Helen Cannon                     “Multimedia Library”                            100         10 x 10cms


    4            Gordon Collett                   “Life Pursuits”                                      500         7 x 10cms


     5            Prof. Colin Thain               “Biographical Heraldry”                         250         7 x 10cms


    6             Harry Urban Holocaust Memorial Library

                                                                                “Symbolic Memorial”                  digital file        7 x 10cms


                   7             Lucinda Elizabeth Auden   “Family Tree”                                      250         7 x 10cms

    8             Eleanora Venus Charles-Collett

      “Sleeping Beauty”                                250         7 x 10cms

                                                                100         10 x 15cms


                   9             Prof. Karl Lutchmayer       “20th century Piano”                               250         7 x 10cms

                   10           Sir John Donne                   “Coat of Arms”                                     250         7 x 10cms


                   11           Angharad Ellen Kate          “Foundation Stones”                              250         10 x 10cms


                   12           Rev. Heather Noel-Smith

                                                                               “Folly Arch”                                         250         7 x 10cms

    250         10 x 14cms

                   13           David Griffiths                   “Druid Token”                                      1250       7 x 7cms

    14           Kerry K. Barker                  “A Bathtime Read”                               250         7 x 10cms

    15           Monty Charles-Collett        “Dinosaur”                                           250         7 x 10cms

    100         10 x 14cms

    16           Alan Butt Philip                 “Harpsichord”                                       250         7 x 10cms

    100         10 x 14cms

    17           Jessica Priestley                   “New Zealander, Histories”                    250         7 x 10cms

    100         10 x 14cms

    18           John Swarbrick                    “Psalm 121, 'I will lift up

     mine eyes unto the hills'”                        250         7 x 12cms

    19           Andrew Peake                     “Peeking kangaroo armorial'”                 500         8.5 x 12cms


    20           Lucy Claire                          “Caius blades”                                      250        7 x 10cms

    21           William L. Coleman            “Listening to Sibelius”                            500        7 x 10cms

    22           Ovidiu Sandor                      “Maps of life”                                       250         7 x 10cms

    23            B'Nai Jeshurun Synagogue

                   “Misiphre”                                    digital file       14 x 21cms

    24            The Library of University College, Oxford

                                                                 “Welcome In”                             digital file         7 .5 x 11cms


    25           ExL PGBM                          “Family Colours”                                 250        9 x 9cms

                                                                                                                  250        7 x 7cms

     26          Søren Iversen                        “Places He Has Lived”                          250        7 x 10cms

     27          Per Harkjær                          “After His Father”                                250        7 x 10cms

     28          Pucci Dell'Anno                   “Phonograph”                                        250       10 x 10cms


     29          Jack Carlson                         “Labrador Crest”                                   250       10 x 10cms

     30           S. D. Ozokur                      “Reading by the Bosporus”                     250         7 x 10cms

    31           ExL GAC                            “Grisaille Arms”                       digital file          7 x 7cms

    32           Yusuf Ìhsan Özokur            “Galleon Explorer”                                             250        10 x 10 cms

    33           John Herbert Carlson          “Meteorology and Finance”                      250        10 x 10 cms

    34           Susanne Carlson                 “Labrador Retrievers”                            250        10 x 10 cms

    35           Ari Bergmann                    “Truth Shall Rise from the Earth”          250        7x 10 cms

    36           Isabel Woodman                “Phoenix and DNA Orobus”                250         9 x 10.5 cms


    37            P. O’Mórdha                      “Irish Colours”     [letterpressed]          250         7 x 10 cms

    This plate was produced with a space for future dedications. 
    It has been Letterpress printed, giving it a wonderful embossed surface, The gold is a metallic ink (but not a shiny foil).

    38           Tony Bulmer                        “Maverick”  [trompe l’oeil]         digital file       12 x 16cms


    39            B.G. M. Parry                                    “Three Trees”                                        250         7 x 10 cms

    40           James Gutman                     “Wanderer Above the Fog”  [trompe l’oeil] 

     200        7 x 10cms                                50         10 x 14cms

    41           LMC                                    “HMS Indefatigable amongst the  Isles”    250        7 x 10 cms


    42            Albert Hodsoll Heath        “Armorial”                                            500       10 x 10cms

    43            Justin Rammell Esq.           “Utah”  [letterpressed]                 digital file        7 x 10cms

    44            Sir Don Bradman’s. Childhood Home Museum     “Water tank”                               tbc

    Note From Lew- Here is Gordon Collett's contact information:


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  • 04/30/15--04:16: Andrew Kay Womrath
  • I just finished reading a delightful book, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble by Zac Bissonnette.
    Along the way I made note of the following on page 89 :" My downfall was the Checklists"one early collector told me " Once you have a checklist, you don't look at what you have .You look at what you don't have"

    From my own experience I know this to be true.With each checklist I work on I get obsessed with getting the items I don't have. They are sometimes. not even to my liking .

    Andrew Kay Womrath (1869-1939) lived and worked in America and England and France.. This makes the preparation of a check list more complicated..

    Biographical Information Andrew Kay Womrath 

    From Wickipedia
    "Andrew Kay Womrath (1869–1939) was an American artist who became well known in France, although he was not widely recognized in the United States.
    Andrew Kay Womrath was born in Philadelphia in 1869. He moved to London to study, and then went to Paris, working in both cities for several years. He studied under Urushibara Mokuchu, who bought many of his works. He often worked in advertising. Womrath's work includes drawings, woodblocks and watercolors. His only known poster is an advertisement for a January 1897 exhibition of the Salon des Cent in Paris. It depicts a woman (Gertrude A. Kay ?) leafing through prints beside a somewhat Bohemian-looking man who is admiring a vase.] In April 1896 a number of his drawings and book plates were exhibited in the Champs de Mars Salon. A reviewer in 1902 placed Andrew Kay Womrath in what he called the "Pictorial" group. Some of his colored woodcuts are now held in the British Museum."

    .If you have any bookplates designed by A.K.Womrath which are omitted from this list or for which I do not have an image Please send me a scan so that the checklist can be updated.

    Checklist Of Bookplates by Andrew Kay Womrath
    (An ongoing Work in Progress)

    Therese Beyer

    Mary Louise Blodget

    Edith Brown

    Howard Carroll

    Marie Clausen

    Charles Lumas Dana (engraved by E.D. French)

    The image below is from the Brewer Collection, University of Delaware.

    Miss Dickinson

    E.F.Draper Advertising Co.

    Albert Fisk

    Katherine Green

    Hon. Claude Hay


    Marion Lawrence

    Claire MacDonald     (from the Brewer Collection, University of Delaware, )

    George Gidley Robinson*

    Dr. Leonard N. Robinson
    Laura Van-Nest Talmage

    Martha Thompson

    Violet Tweedale

    Hon.Arthur Walsh

    Lady Clementine Walsh

    Eva Cecela Wemyss


    Arthur Romaine Womrath

    A.K. Womrath

    Fred Yuengling

    Fellow Collector Anthony Pincott referred me to this issue of The Bookplate Journal which as it turns out is also a good reference for future checklists..Thank you Anthony.

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  • 05/10/15--08:39: Reefer Madness

  • For those of you who were young in the 1960's can you  fully comprehend that 1965 was fifty years ago ? I have trouble with such reality..I was not a bookplate collector back then but I did collect rolling papers. The collection was passed on to my son Steven.
    Out of curiosity I searched Google for rolling paper collections and came up with a few links:

    This one  covers many types of cigarette rolling papers from around the world.'

     I have never seen a cannabis related bookplate although I assume they exist.
    If you have one in your collection send it to me and it will be added to this blog posting.

     This is the closest plate I have to offer at this time. The plate is from France circa 1890 so I hope the owner  does not mind me imaging he might have been smoking a joint..

    When it comes to mind altering drugs like LSD and Magic Mushrooms I do have a few bookplates to share with you .
     Aldous Huxley's own bookplate was designed and executed by Bruno Bramante
     Photo of R.Gordon Wasson (1898-1986)

    5/11/2015  I just remembered this bookplate used by a long term opium user.

    One Final Thought

    I can't believe I actually voted for this guy(twice) although I still would like to get his bookplate.

    WILLIAMS, Fred V. The Hop-Heads of San Francisco.
    San Francisco: Walter N. Brunt, 1920.

    5/11/2015  Interesting Blog   from BookTryst about an LSD counterculture library

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    Let The Buyer Beware

    Shown below is President Herbert Hoover's bookplate.
    " The artist Henry B. Quinan made the original drawing for Mr. Hoover's bookplate and incorporated into the design the wonderful title page image from Ein N�tzlich Berg-b�chlein. Quinan retained the antiquarian feel of the early-sixteenth-century mining scene by adding architectural elements in the frame with gnome-like miners at work. Hoover's initials can be seen in the monogram HCH at the bottom of the design."
    You can more detailed information  at this link:

    This bookplate is currently on Ebay. It is described as follows :

    President Herbert Hoover Bookplate and Cut Signature
    I sent the seller this information :

    "Can you recheck your research regarding this bookplate?
    President Hoover's middle initial was C not H
    The bookplate shown looks very amateurish and is not shown in any of the
    reference books in my library.
    Thank's for your help."
    Lew Jaffe "

    This is the response I received:

    Dear bookplatemaven,

    'Given the provenance I would say that it was President Hoover's bookplate regardless of the "C". This collection included over 400 signed letters and other ephemera belonging to Hoover's life long friend and secretary. Whoever made the bookplate probably made a mistake. Or. maybe Hoover or Lewis ran across the bookplate and kept it as a novelty. (I'm going with the mistake by the maker)"

    Here is a bogus bookplate designed to amuse.  

     I would like to have it in my collection...

    Daniel Mitsui's latest bookplate is shown below.

    For information about Daniel Mitsui follow this link:

    Some Mystery bookplates

    I encourage anyone with a mystery bookplate to contact me.

    Here are some theatrical mystery bookplates 
    I would appreciate any information about the owners or the artists.

    The Walter McMichael plate is probably Canadian
    The Margaret Thomas Allen plate was designed by Edith Emerson
    Here is a link from Pinterest about bookstores around the world

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    The emergence of modern Zionism in the late 19th century, ushered changes in to the Jewish world which were immediately reflected in bookplate themes. Until the first half of the Eighteenth Century, self-imposed strictures in individual possession of holy books began to loosen. Up until that time, Jews regarded books as holy articles and thus refrained from marking them as anyone’s personal possession. This was in deference to the prohibition from the Torah stating, “Thou shalt not add thereto not shalt thou take away from it.”

        As such, stylistically, the Jewish bookplate of the 18th and 19th centuries differed little from those of non-Jews. Plates were executed in the styles of the period and place, (England, Germany and Holland in particular) without any hint  of Judaic themes or motifs. What made them “Judaic” was simply due to the Jewish personage/family name attached to the plate. 
    By Ephraim Moses Lilien for Reuben Brainin

     The Hebrew term,  “MiSifrei”,(“Ex-Libris”) first appeared on a bookplate designed by Ephraim Moses Lilien, in a plate executed for Reuben Brainin.  It can be safely argued that Lilien was the foremost innovator for graphic design in pre-state Israeli bookplates.  He came from Central Europe at around the turn of the century, to help establish Jerusalem’s renowned Bezalel School of Art.  Stylistically reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, his works made emphatic use of Judaic and Zionist imagery.  Theodor Herzl appears regularly in his designs, sometimes as a Maccabean -era warrior in armor or as Moses, in shepherd robes, leading his flock to the Land of Israel or even as the Jewish Messiah. 

    One of Lilien’s most noted works was the plate done for Martin Buber. The plate is adorned with the walls of Jerusalem in the shape of a Shield of David, viewed from above. The inscription boldly states, “Das Ist Mein Land”. 
    By Ephraim Moses Lilien
     Perhaps Lilien's most iconic work is that of  a bearded Rabbi studying from a holy book  (in a plate for L. Winz) which has been copied and imitated in literally hundreds of different bookplates across the Jewish world. This rabbinical visage drawn by him appears in countless synagogue libraries to this very day. (See accompanying examples)   

           One may say that the pre-state era, starting around the turn of the century, up through the First World War were the golden age of “Palestinian”-Jewish bookplates.   Innovative use of Hebrew lettering  as ornamental elements is seen as never before  at this time. 

           In a ground-breaking retrospective on Israeli bookplates,   entitled “Exhibition of Jewish Bookplates”   ( National Union of Printing Workers in Israel, Jerusalem, 1956) , this period saw “A reversion to ancient tradition by using the Hebrew letters as ornamental elements, thereby influencing the style of the Bezalel artists” .Along with  decorative use of Hebrew lettering, themes of the "Alteneuland” predominated as well. Shepherds, dreamy star-gazers in Biblical landscapes, and ancient Judaic symbols characterize this period. 

    By  Herman Struck

    By Joseph Budko

    By  Jacob Steinhardt,
    By Ze’ev Raban

          Other outstanding artists of this period include, Herman Struck, Jacob Steinhardt, Joseph Budko , Boris Schatz and Ze’ev Raban. To quote the “Exhibition Catalogue” again, “The plates of Herman Struck are of an exceedingly high standard….though thematically incidental to and do not characterize the owner of the ex-libris”. Those of Joseph Budko on the other hand, constitute ex-libris art par -excellence and keep with the traditions of Jewish graphics. 

    They are outstanding specimens of Jewish 

    With the rise of the State of Israel into the 1950’s and 60’s, use of classic Jewish symbols began to wane in Israeli bookplate motifs. No longer were the menorah, Magen David, Torah scroll and the Abrahamic shepherd prevalent, the Jews had come home. It was less imperative to prove a point, the Jewish State was now a fact, and all that was required to get there was to board a plane or ship. Graphic design reminiscent of the age came into the fore in bookplate design. Maps of Israel frequently become integrated into the design. Often the maps reflected the changing geopolitical situation in the Middle East. 

    With Israel’s maturation, standard plate motif’s come to fore. Profession endeavors are depicted….Doctors employ medical symbols, scientists show microscopes, chess masters show chess paraphernalia and writers show themselves busily typing. 

    By Arthur Szyck, 

    Important Israeli artists of recent times who have produced bookplates include, albeit occasional ones, include Yaacov Agam, Arthur Szyck, Hugo Steiner-Prag, Emil Orlick , Menashe Kadishman , Yirmi Pincus, Moshe Sternschuss, David Davidowicz and Ruth Sarfati. 

    Plate by the late Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman for Chaim Stenger . He was One of Israel's best known and beloved painters and sculptors. A large sculpture by him can be found on the campus of Lehigh University  in Pennsylvania as well as at the plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
     Sheep almost always appear in his designs.

    By  Ruth Sarfati.

    By Moshe Sternschuss

    Through the 1980s and 90’s the waning interest in ex-libris use received a shot in the arm with the arrival of over one million Soviet immigrants. Traditional styles of Russian and Eastern European book-plate design incorporated Hebrew graphology and iconography.
    By Leonid Kuris

     One leading force in this wave is the artist and collector Leonid Kuris who has designed many original plates combining Jewish-Israeli and Eastern European designs. 

    A growing interest in bookplates has also been reflected both the sporadic exhibitions of bookplates and in Judaic auction sales. Since the 1980’s major exhibits have taken place at Tel Aviv University (March, 1994), Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheba ( January, 1995) and at various art galleries and community centers in the years since. 

    Most notably has been the revival of the ex-libris as a collectible item. This renewed interest may be traced to the sale of 1582 Judaic bookplates to a Japanese collector through Sotheby’s in October 1991. The final selling price approached the $20,000 threshold. Since then, numerous collections have reached the auction market with prices averaging between five and twenty dollars per plate. Signed Lilien and Raban plates can sell for over 100 dollars apiece. In late November of 2014, a collection of 648 plates sold for $5700 at the Kedem auction firm in Jerusalem. Book plates do often appear for sale on e-bay, and interesting articles often pop up on the Confessions of a BookPlate Junkie web site, run by Lewis Jaffe from Philadelphia. 

    An attempt was made in 1988 to establish an organization of Judaic ex-libris by collectors, Benjamin Katzir, Yohanan Arnon and Raffi Grunzweig. Sadly, the initiative did not take hold. Today, in light of the growing interest in ex-libris design, use and collecting, a new initiative at forming an organization of collectors is being attempted. 

    Notes From Lew
    Yosef Halper's article  appeared in the 2015 Year Book of The German Exlibris Society (DEG)

    The German Exlibris Society (DEG) is over 100 years old, and thus the world's oldest intact Exlibrisvereinigung. It was founded in 1891 in Berlin under the name "Exlibris-Verein zu Berlin" and after a   wartime break from 1943 to 1949 took up its work under its current name again. The Annual Meeting always takes place around May 1 with participants from all over the world and thus contributes to the distribution of the bookplate idea. Like Germany many European and non-European countries - a total of more than 30 - have Exlibris Societies, most of which are members of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d`Amateurs d'Ex-Libris (FISAE). The Congresses of FISAE take place every two years in a different country in the world.
      Meetings were held to date in St. Petersburg, Tokyo and Istanbul. In 2012 the meeting was held in Finland.
    For their annual contribution DEG-Members gain a bibliophile yearbook with scientific articles about the bookplate and with accompanying original artwork, three editions of the bookplate magazine "Messages" with the latest information of what happens in the bookplate world, and occasionally a special publication.

    Here is the table of contents from the 2015 Yearbook.
     Although  written in German the year book is so well illustrated that you can easily get an overview of bookplate activity and designs around the world.

    I want to thank Dr. Henry Tauber  editor of the 2015 yearbook  for his assistance in making this article by Yosef Halper available to readers of my blog .I used some images of bookplates which were not in the original article because they were clearer than the images I received.

    If you wish to see a description of all the the yearbooks published go to

      In my own  library I   have a copy of the 2004 Year book .It is a very useful reference

     Jewish Culture and ex libris
    Heinz Decker (ed. / Frankfurt / Main 2004) 
    Themenband with 12 contributions. With originals of Leo Bednárik, Andreas Prey, Utz Benkel, Rudolf Rieß and Studer. 

    Hardcover, 30 x 21 cm, 180 pages, 180 fig., ISBN 3-925 300-34-1

    Yosef Halper is a bookseller and bookplate collector who lives in Israel.

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    I have always been drawn to physician's bookplates . They often depict a medical specialty with striking clarity.Occasionally they are   humorous .

    If you have similar items send scans to and they will be added to this blog posting.

    Weston D. Bayley (1864-1931)
    Dr. Weston D. Bayley was a Neurologist who taught at the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia.  Throughout his life he was actively involved in the study of hypnotism and psychic research. The artist who did the bookplate is unknown to me and his(her) cypher is shown below.
    Dr. J.W. Brinkman *
    Woodblock print by the Dutch artist Nico Bulder, made in 1931

    Reginald Burbank
    Dr.Burbank was a Rheumatologist and a book collector. He was the chairman of the Section of Historical and Cultural Medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine.   

    Robert A. Chase
    "Dr. Robert A. Chase, Emile Holman Professor of Surgery Emeritus and founder of the Robert A. Chase Hand and Upper Limb Center, has devoted his career to approaching medical  problems through the efforts of a team.

    Hand surgery, in the vision of Dr. Chase, represents a union of three specialties: General Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery."

    Burrill B.Crohn (1884-1983)
      An American gastroenterologist and one of the first to describe the disease that now bears his name. Although the description of Crohn's Disease is by far his most famous accomplishment, Dr. Crohn had a long career both as a clinician, and as a researcher who contributed to our understanding of many 
    gastrointestinal conditions.

    Richard Irwin Darnell
    Dr Darnell 's practice was in Germantown,Pennsylvania.He was on the staff at Hahnemann Hospital.
    His wife Mildred Hollis Darnell designed his bookplate.

    Walter Edward Dandy
    Dr. Dandy was an American neurosurgeon and scientist. He is considered one of the founding fathers of neurosurgery, along with Victor Horsley and Harvey Cushing.
    His bookplate was designed in 1939 by D.H.P
    Does anyone recognize the artist's initials ?

    Frank Stephen Dolley
    Dr. Dolley was the president of The American Association For Thoracic Surgery

    M.C. Ennema
    I have no biographical information about Dr Ennema but he probably was an opthamologist.
    His bookplate was designed by Anton Peck.

    Eugene Somer Flamm 

    Dr Flamm is the Jeffrey P. Bergstein Professor and Chairman
    Department of Neurosurgery
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Montefiore Medical Center
    He took the time to respond to my inquiry about his bookplate as follows:

    The figure in the center is the Egyptian glyph for"brain" as it appears in the Edwin Smith Papyrus of 1700 B.C.. It is in the oldest known scientific document.
    The Latin quotation can be translatedas: Genius survives,all else perishes.It comes from the tombstone of the skeletal figure in Vesalius' great anatomical work of 1543:De humani corporis fabrica.

    Julius Friedenwald (1866-1941)
    Dr. Friedenwald's bookplate was designed by W. Wirtz
    The Hebrew words are from Proverbs 12:18
    There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing

    Sidney A. Fox(1898-1983)
    Dr. Fox  specialized in ophthalmic plastic surgery.
    Prof.Dr. Cornelis den Hertog,*
     Landbouwhogeschool, Wageningen, Netherlands (Nutrition education).
    Bookplate made by the Dutch artist G. Rouwendael

    Richard A. Hopping
    Dr. Hopping was a proctologist in New Jersey

    Henry Ottridge Reik (1868-1938)
    Dr. Reik,  was an author and Ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital

    Richard Singer
    Dr. Singer's bookplate was etched by Amadeus. He may not have been a medical doctor..If he was a physician would you want to be one of his patients ?
    John Walford
    This dated bookplate was engraved by Yates in 1754

     Brian North Lee wrote the following on page 22 in  the March 1998 issue of The Bookplate Journal 
     "John Walford's ex-libris seems milder until one notices the knife in the hand of the cherub at left,who otherwise might seem to be giving a simple anatomy lesson to his fellows, though the one at right is perhaps straining to hear what is being said .Whilst amorini are perhaps more acceptable than human figures in such compositions, it is more comfortable and traditional to see them as harbingers of love"

    Ward Williams
    Dr. Williams removed  a tumor from the brain of a Syracuse New York boy. That child years later drew the image for the doctor's bookplate.  Fred D. Schlachter designed the outer border.


    Notes From Lew

    *The bookplates for Doctors Brinkman and den Hartog were submitted by fellow collector 
    Joseph Swiers.

    Here is an excellent well illustrated  website with bookplates of Maryland doctors.

     Another database of physician's bookplates from Duke University

    Mystery Bookplate--Philip Larkin

    Fellow collector and bibliophile Benjamin Clark sent me this inquiry:

    Dear Lew,
         I'm working on a reconstruction of Philip Larkin's library.  99% of his personal library is intact in full, it looks like (hooray!), but a few books went out with friends, gifted to others over the years so I'm tracking a few through auction records, correspondence, etc. 
          It's recorded he used a bookplate, but I have not been able to find an image online or anyone who can share an image.  Do you have one, or if not, perhaps you are willing to ask your readers?  Thank you!!

    If you have information about the Larkin bookplate please let me know.

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    Dear Mr. Jaffe,
    We're glad you'll be putting together a post on your blog about the upcoming auction of two lots of bookplates from Robert Weinberg's collection.  I have included in this email information about the exhibition and auction, as well as the descriptions of the lots as they appear in our catalog, and attached the two images for your use. 
    The two bookplate sets are Lot 181 and Lot 182 in Kestenbaum Sale 65, descriptions follow.  The full catalog for Auction 65 can be viewed at

     The sale will take place on Thursday, June 25th at 3 PM at our office (address below).  Public exhibition hours are Sunday-Wednesday before the sale (June 21-24) Sunday 12-6PM and Monday-Wednesday 10AM-6PM.  There are no viewing hours the day of the sale.  No appointment is necessary to view the exhibition, and the bookplates will be displayed.

    They are described in our catalog as follows:

    Click on Images to Enlarge

    Lot 181

    Lot 181Two hundred and fifty-one Lilien designs housed in two binders. Also included are templates for bookplates. Accompanied by Lilien-related reference books.Ephraim Moshe Lilien (1874-1925) designs are iconic in the Jewish and Zionist visual world, with an emphasis on Biblical and Orientalist characters and landscapes. Many of Lilien’s works, principally his etchings, were made into postcards and are here featured aplenty.In addition to the postcards, the collection also includes forty-one bookplates designed by Lilien for luminaries including Martin Buber, Davis Trietsch, Berthold Feiwel and Dr. Franz Oppenheimer.Detailed provenance and related correspondence is included alongside many of the bookplates, as documented by the founding chief curator of the The Rowe Bookplate Museum, Robert J. Weinberg.
    Estimate: $3000-5000         

       Click on Images to Enlarge

    Lot 182

    Lot 182:
    Five hundred and sixty-four bookplates (excluding duplicates) housed in three binders. Accompanied by related reference literature.
    The cultivation of a personal library is often seen as a Jewish value in its own right, and the use of a personal bookplate affirms the importance the collector places on his own relationship to his books. The collation and careful preservation of these Jewish bookplates has been a labor of love for collector Robert J. Weinberg, curator of the Rowe Bookplate Museum.In the present lot two binders contain primarily personal bookplates and one binder primarily the bookplates of American Jewish congregations and institutions. Many of the bookplates were submitted personally by the inscribees to Weinberg for the purpose of this collection. Where available, provenance has also been documented.Highlights of the collection include the oldest Hebrew bookplate, designed by Hebraic scholar, John Moore (1742- 1821) as well as the oldest Jewish bookplate designed by Benjamin Levi for Isaac Mendes in 1746 in London. Individuals of note whose bookplates appear in this collection include: Marcus Nathan Adler, Gershom Scholem, Benjamin Cardozo, Moses Montefiore, Albert Einstein, David Wolffsohn, David de Sola Pool, and Solomon Schechter. The collection includes bookplates designed by artists Arthur Szyk, Marc Chagall, Herman Struck, Uriel Birnbaum, Jacob Steinhardt, Ilya Schor and Joseph Budko, some of them signed. Institutions from whose libraries bookplates derive include: Touro Synagogue (Newport, RI), Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia), Shearith Israel (New York), as well as many universities.
    Estimate: $5000-7000

    Best regards,
    Peninah Feldman
    Kestenbaum & CompanyAuctioneers of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Fine Art242 West 30th StreetNew York, NY 10001Tel: (212) 366-1197
    Forthcoming Auction:June 25, 2015Fine Judaica: Rare Books, Manuscripts, Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Ceremonial Objects & Graphic Art
    For further details see our website:


    After reading  last weeks posting about physician's bookplates a medical book collector asked for assistance in identifying this bookplate. Does any one out there recognize it ?

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