Friday, November 20, 2015


Dealer Profile Harri Ylikomi

My name is Harri Ylikomi. I am an antiques dealer  living in Jämjö outside the city of Karlskrona in the south of Sweden.

I was born in Sasi close to the city of Tampere in Finland. I started to learn about antiques at a very early age since  my parents Eila and Lauri have been in the antiques business since the 1960s. In fact, my father has been  a bookplate collector for many years. I had my first antiques shop  in Tampere, Finland, from 1995 to 2013. My  wife Maria and I got married in 2014. Now we live in Sweden where I sell antiques and bookplates mostly through  eBay (my seller name is tampereen2005)

Here is a link to my Ebay store:

Recently I acquired the Olga Nilsons and 
Alf Westergren Bookplate collections of over 2,000 fine and old 
Ex Libris from the 18th century to the 1950s

Alf Westergren (1891-1968), Swedish physician. In 1921 in an article on blood in pulmonary tuberculosis, Westergren introduced his method for measuring the sedimentation rate of red blood cells.Alf Westergren's collection was  started about 1910, .I currently have a copy of his bookplate in my Ebay store

They included, for example, the bookplates of Alfred Nobel and the polar explorer Thorild Wulff both of which have been sold .

Thorild Wulff polar explorer, who died in Greenland 1917

There are far too many bookplates to scan individually so many of the bookplates have been listed on Ebay in groups of twenty, forty etc.

  I can  sort them  by themes like different kind of animals (birds, cats, horses ...), professions (doctors, teachers, pharmacists, writers, priests, captains, architects …), musical, ships, flowers, heraldry Vikings, rune stones etcetera. 

Send me an email with  themes or artists that interest you and I will send scans for your consideration.

These are just the tip of the iceberg

Send your inquiries to

Vera Stenhusen (Viking decoration)

Carl Oscar Borg ( a Swedish born, American painter who was known for themes of the Southwestern United States) 

Frithiof Hjelmqwist (Art Nouveau)

Notes From Lew

I have purchased some theatrical bookplates from Harri Ylikomi.
Because the service was outstanding I asked him to create this profile.
This is one of the  theatrical plates I ordered for my own collection. I liked it so much that I sent the image to my son who in turn inquired if I was not feeling well.  I then showed it to my wife who thought it was grotesque.
So there you have it there is no accounting for taste.

Here is a link to the Swedish Bookplate Association website

Sunday, November 08, 2015


This Week in Bookplates 11/8/2015

The two day auction of the James M. Goode collection is over

.Here are  a few of the higher bids:

George Washington                              $2750.00 *

Paul Revere (four items)                       $2375.00  
Prominent Artists                                  $2000.00 **     

Famous Actors                                      $1625.00

286 loose American Bookplates           $1375.00  

* I doubt that the buyer has received his shipment yet but he has already placed it on Ebay
for  $4950.00

** I suspect the  bookplate for Nelson Rockefeller by Picasso  was the driving force for the high bid

Martin Matthews

Designed by Jeffery Matthews

. Martin Matthews(1935-2013) was a watch case maker. This tribute to him was written by Nicholas Philippe and appeared in the April 2013 issue of  Horological Journal

“Where does one begin to talk about the man Martin Matthews, who gave so much to his profession and became internationally known as one of the most important case makers of his generation; but at the same time a human being who was both caring and sharing in all respects. I came across Martin in his later years and I have been both touched and inspired. I owe him a great debt of gratitude. It all started one day in the summer 12 years ago when I happened to be watching a video ‘Four Generations of Watchcase Making’

. As a result of seeing this video I felt the urgent need to make contact with him. So I rang Martin and introduced myself, explaining that I was inspired by the video and that I was very interested in becoming his apprentice, so that I could learn the art of case making from a true master and expert in his field. He initially declined as he felt that it would take too long for me to learn these skills; I accepted this. However, for people who knew Martin, he was by nature, a kind and gentle person always willing to listen. From this first encounter our friendship began. As he got to know me through our conversations he understood more about me, that I was already a classically trained diamond mounter and goldsmith, which led him to changing his initial view. He said: ‘You had better be here first thing next Wednesday morning, but not before 9 a.m and not after 9 a.m!’
 I have many fond memories of my time spent with Martin. I would travel to his home in Otford, Kent, and we would share
many great moments, have long discussions and philosophize greatly. Martin was an excellent teacher, always patient and transferred his knowledge in such a manner that I could honestly say I have learnt from a true great. He was a dedicated family man, who embraced and always welcomed me. I thoroughly enjoyed my moments with him; always starting the day with a cup of tea or coffee and then moving into his workshop, where we spent the first part of the day together, with Martin guiding me in all aspects of case making. At mid-day, we would take a break and, over lunch, spend quality time in his garden, observing the fauna and flora as he had a great love for nature. From my many hours with Martin, I began to understand better the inner core of the person: a conservationist, someone who had a deep passion for natural history, a true philanthropist and a humanitarian. His Christian faith was deeply important to him, as was his family. Married to Margaret, they had four children, sadly losing one son in infancy. At the time of Martin's death, he had six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Martin Matthews was, I believe, the last traditional watch case maker in England. He was the fourth generation of a Clerkenwell, London, family of watch case makers, whose remarkable skill, patience and expertise turned a sheet of silver into an elegant watchcase. Only now do I really understand Martin's true expertise, and how well I have been trained by the great master, whom I will deeply miss. My love and sympathy goes to his family and his loved ones and I will cherish the special moments and the knowledge and skills he has provided to me. Your friend always – you will be in my thoughts forever”.

Jeffrey Matthews

Designed by Jeffery Matthews


During his interior design study, Matthews was taught heraldry and letter typography. He then became an illustrator and created logotypes, graphic and typographic designs for public administration, firms and book covers. He diminished these activities during the 1990s.
At the end of the 1950s, Matthews registered to the Council of Industrial Design, which proposed graphic artists to client entities. In 1959, he was amongst the designers the Council proposed to the Post Office; the British postal administration was looking for the design of two stamp series to mark its 300th anniversary. He was then regularly invited to propose stamp projects. His two first postage stamps were issued in 1965 for the 20th anniversary of the United Nations.[1]

The Machin series

In the 1970s, he became involved in the designs of new Machin definitive stamps, picturing Queen Elizabeth II's profile since 1967. When ordered, he designed new symbols for the Regional Machins in 1971, with new digits and letters.
Philatelic recognition came from his work on the Machin series colours. In 1976, he prepared the three colours needed for the photographed high value stamps. In the middle of the 1980s, he provided the Post Office with a large palette of colours, sufficient for the new next values. This work was honoured by a mini-sheet of eight stamps and two labels that Matthews designed, which were sold during the Stamp Show 2000.

Brander Matthews (1852-1929)

Bookplate Designed by E.A. Abbey

James Brander Matthews was an American writer and educator. He was the first full-time professor of dramatic literature at an American university and played a significant role in establishing theater

Monday, November 02, 2015


Upcoming Book and Paper Shows

My New Bookplate
By Al Gury

As a collector of  private press books and bookplates, I wanted my own unique bookplate.
I had already been collecting the woodcuts of the Philadelphia artist Martha Knox, so I commissioned her to design a bookplate for me.

She sent me several designs, one of which is the bookplate shown here.
The process was fun and interesting and I am pleased to own the original block.

I know Martha is interested in designing more bookplates.
She is a 2006 MFA graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Besides numerous editions of fine wood block fronts, she has recently produced two books: Cats A-Z, and Owl and Cat in Love.
Both are illustrated with her beautiful wood cuts.

Here is a link to Martha's website.

About eight years ago I attended one of Hal Lutsky's vintage paper shows in California and I was able to purchase a wide range of bookplates.

Here is a note I received from him today.

If you are in california this show is worth visiting.

Hello Collectors,

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be in San Marino (near Pasadena) for the postcard show this coming Saturday. I'll be there SATURDAY ONLY. In addition to my regular stock, I'll be bringing about 20,000 postcards priced at 25 cents each. These are fresh cards, most of which have never been to a show.  

FREE PASSES! Email me by NOON THURSDAY for a free pass. I'll send one back via email that you can download & print. Admission is normally $5.  

Saturday, November 7
10am - 6pm

Masonic Hall

3130 Huntington Dr.

San Marino, CA 

Hal Lutsky



A notice I received from The Ephemera Society of America.

If you are unfamiliar with the Ephemera Society Here is a link

MARK YOUR Calendar

November and December

November 1, Toronto, Ontario: Old Book & Paper Show 

November 4, New York City: Heritage Rare Books & Historical Manuscripts auction 

November 4-8, Pasadena CA: Daguerreian Society Symposium    

November 7, Dallas TX: Heritage Americana & Political auction  

November 13-15, Boston MA: 39th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair WE NEED YOUR HELP in manning the Society booth. Give an hour or two? Bring something from your own collection to illustrate the scope of ephemera?

November 14, Boston MA: Boston Book, Print and Ephemera Show 

November 14, Shelton CT: Memorial Service for Phil Jones, 2:00 at the Shelton Intermediate School, 675 Constitution Blvd. N., reception following in lobby. A citation from our Board of Directors in appreciation of Phil's contribution to The Ephemera Society of America will be read at the service. 

November 20, Cincinnati OH: Cowan's American History Auction, 

November 20-21, Worcester MA: CHAViC conference, "Moving Pictures: Images Across Media in American Visual and Material Culture to 1900" 

November 20-21, Carversville PA: Antique Toy Auction, 

December 4-5, Northampton MA: Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair 

December 6, London England: The Ephemera Society Special Fair,
January & February & March 2016

January 2-3, Wilmington MA: Book & Paper row at the Boston Antiques and Design Show

January 9-10, Hartford CT: Papermania,
February 5-6, San Mateo CA: San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair

February 12-14, Pasadena CA: 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair
February 19-21, New York NY: Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair

DEALER BOOTHS STILL AVAILABLE mgetman@bookandpaperfairs.comMarch 18-20, Old Greenwich CT: Ephemera 36, Annual Conference and Fair, & 

See you again on Sunday

Friday, October 23, 2015


Bookplate News and Events 10/23/2015

The Upcoming James M. Goode Bookplate auction was featured in The New York Times

A collection of entertainment bookplates are among the thousands of holdings from the James M. Goode collection. They are matted and framed and will be auctioned at the Waldorf Astoria. 


Marsha Brown  took the time to send this information from 

The Repository | Royal Society
Updates about our work on bringing the history of science to life.

I always read your newsletter and so I thought you might be interested in the photo below.

 If you have a bookplate crimes category,this is a candidate

No prizes to the owner of Barnsley Park, one James Musgrave, who has plonked his armorial bookplate squarely down in the middle of the great scientist’s handwriting (Sir Isaac Newton) – I think I shall have to lie down in a darkened room for a while to lower my librarianly blood pressure at this point.

You can see the entire blog posting by following this link .

Oct 16th 2015, 08:00, by Rupert Baker 

Note from Lew- This is Marsha Brown's Blog

Some further thoughts on the place of bookplates in libraries
By Christine Downer

Some years ago I think I mentioned that a medium sized collection of international bookplates was given to the State Library of Victoria.  This is not a stagnant collection, as funds have been made available for purchases over the past 5 years.  There is no endowment for this area of collection, so funds come from two budget lines within the special collection areas _Rare Printed and Pictures.  Recently a collection of international bookplates was purchased to add to the existing collection.  This was formed in Hamburg by Viktor (or Victor) Singer, a collector and publisher, who fled the Nazis in late 1938, and came to Australia via England in 1939.  The collection, which was known to exist but seemed to disappear after Singer's death in 1943, surfaced with a rare book dealer in Melbourne a year ago, and was purchased by my bookplate mentor in order to prevent it being broken up and sold overseas.  The purchase funds were provided by 2 donors (2/3 of the total) and by the Library for the remaining third.  There are about 2000 plates in all, and the arrangement is by country, and within each country, alphabetically by artist.  It took me about 4  months to archaically house and box the collection before it went into the Library. 

My point is that, if collectors are worried about the future of their collections, and would prefer them not to be broken up and dispersed, it might be as well to choose and institution and begin negotiations well in advance.  Patience and the long-term view are both important when negotiating with public institutions - there's always a reason for them to say there are no funds to support future acquisitions.  This is a stock response to most initial negotiations., but money can always be found  in the end if a well thought-out case is presented, from my experience of working 25 years in such an institution.
The other avenue might be, if personal funds allow, to leave collections to these institutions, with some kind of endowment.
The final avenue of course it to allow collections to be dispersed so that others can have the fun and discipline of building up a new collection.
I don't know if this adds anything to the collection of opinions that you have already assembled from people with much more experience than I in these matters

10/26/2015  Received this Email From Gene Alloway

Hello sir -

I hope this note finds you well and with many new treasures this 
fall.  I read your posting re: Marsha Brown and the bookplate over 
Newton's handwriting. I had a similar experience last week ( no 
pictures, sadly). I was doing an appraisal of books a local public 
library (not Ann Arbor, thankfully) had returned to a family after 60 
years of not-so-benign neglect.

The family's grandfather had donated hundreds of books, many rare, 
but the library decided (after losing track of some 40% of them) that 
the remnant  needed to be returned or destroyed. Luckily, after some 
dithering, they did give them back to the family.

One of the books was a presentation copy of a work by Charles Knight 
to Dickens. the book had both the library bookplate put in the book 
at the dispersal of the library, and the record of the book at the 
sale pasted in as well. The library, in its infinite wisdom, had 
placed their bookplate DIRECTLY on top of the personal bookplate of 
Charles Dickens.

I used to be a librarian, and my disappointment and irritation at the 
treatment of these books by the library was simply topped off by the 
above. I cannot imagine either the ignorant placing of the 
institutional bookplate of the famous one, or - a more inexcusable 
action - the deliberate covering up of it. As I get older, I cannot 
help but think that many librarians and library staff, despite 
protests of their love of books, really didn't and don't know much 
about the items in their care, nor are concerned to learn more.

In any case, I was able to lift the institutional plate off with no 
additional damage to the plate below, at least restoring the Dickens 
plate to view.

Best wishes -

Gene Alloway
Motte & Bailey Booksellers
212 N. 4th Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Member, Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA)
Open Mon-Sat 10 am -7 pm

Saturday, October 10, 2015


This Week in bookplates 10/11/2015

My last posting about Bedbugs and Zombies was a bit creepy ,wasn't it ?
I suppose bats are less repulsive since they feast  on tons of  Mosquitoes .
I just got a bookplate featuring a bat. It is an unusual subject..If you have any bat themed bookplates in your collection send me a scan and it will be added to this posting.

The owner Bates Grimston Van De Weyer was a member of the landed gentry in England

Bates Grimston Van De Weyer

Death:(Date and location unknown)
Immediate FamilDy:
Son of Victor William Bates Van De Weyer and Lady Emily Georgina van De Weyer
Brother of Maj. William John Bates Van De Weyer, MVO and Edward Bates Van De Weyer

10/20/2015 -Three Bat Bookplates sent by Luigi Bergomi

10/25/2015 New years Greeting(1984)  and  Bat Bookplate 

sent by Jose Martinez

The artist for the PF is JIŘÍ VLACH

                                            Bookplate  By Anneke Kuper


 Heraldry of Fish

One of the first bookplate books I ever purchased was a disbound copy of 
The Heraldry of Fish,.
. Notices Of The Principal Families Bearing Fish in their Arms

by Thomas Moule
Here are a few examples of bookplates  spawned by that book.

Friday, October 09, 2015


A Slow Week for Bookplate News

Submitted by Guillermo Morán

This belongs to the University of Salamanca and, as far as I know it is not exactly a bookplate, but a print aimed to be on a wall or the like.
It is quite popular nowadays and you can find copies of it hanged in a lot of private libraries in Spain.
I translate:
There is excomunion 
reserved to His Holiness 
to any person
that may take, embezzle or by any other way
alienate any book 
parchment or paper
from this library 
without being able to be absolved
until it is not perfectly reintegrated
There's an explanation in Spanish in this link:


This really has nothing to do with bookplates

Bed Bugs in Libraries

ON THE HUNT A bedbug-sniffing dog at a library in Wichita, Kan.

Zombies In Libraries

I will be back on Sunday .Have no fear.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Bookplate Odds and Ends 9/26/2015

Last week I attended a book show in Brooklyn and found about twenty bookplates.
Shown below are four of my favorites.
This monogram is very confusing. I see an S and perhaps a second backward S.
Do you see any other letters ? I could use some assistance.

9//29 A comment sent by Guillermo Morán

Regarding the 'confusing monogram' (quite baroque, indeed) I would say it depicts an S and a M and the same letters symmetrically reflected on the right.

This octagonal bookplate   circa 1840 is from a Circulating library in Scotland

I already own the Waters bookplate but I hope to trade with someone eventually.
The bookplate is mentioned in Theatrical Bookplates by A. Winthrop Pope (Published 1914)
My first though was that it might have been used by Ethel Waters but she was only eighteen in 1914
so the owners first name is unknown.

R.W.G. Vail, librarian and Author,%20R.%20W.%20G.%201890-1966.%22&type=author&inst=

 Robert W. G. Vail (1890-1966) was the  librarian of the American Antiquarian Society from 1930 to 1939. 

A bookplate Selfie sent by Luiz Felipe P. Stelling

Dear Lew,

I found this picture so interesting. Like our modern times with many selfie-photos by smart phones, it seems in the 1950s there was a selfie by this woman depicted in this bookplate.

Best regards,


Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia today.

Pope Francis Selfie

Everyone's doing it...even  Pope Francis has his picture taken inside St. Peter's Basilica with youths from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza and Bobbio who came to Rome for a pilgrimage at the Vatican. Photo: AP

I don't know if Pope Francis uses a bookplate , Here is a scan of the bookplate used by Pius X
It has  traveled around the world. I originally purchased it in 2003 in Hudson New York.At the time my focus was on 18th century American bookplates so I made a trade with the late Brian North Lee whose focus was on royal bookplates. After his death the Lee collection was sold at auction in England.
Brian had a distinctive way of displaying bookplates.He mounted them on graph paper.I mention this because in 2009  this came up for sale on Ebay and I was the high bidder.

Luigi Bergomi sent the following 

scans from his collection:

Ugo Boncompagni (Gregorio XIII) approx. 1572 (188 x 140 mm)

Luigi Barnaba (Pio VI) approx. 1800 (64 x 58 mm)

Lorenzo Orsini (Clemente XII) approx. 1730 (49 x 38 mm)

By Cordeglio Penel

Upcoming Bookplates at PBA auction #571 

Lot #401(10/15/2015)

Threats and Warnings on Bookplates

Three years ago I wrote two articles about threats and warnings on bookplates.

The name label shown below is a new addition to the collection.

Chester Winslow(1792-1858) used this bookplate in his book No. 81. 
Job Richmond acquired the book and made the following notation:

March 1854  I will not own up, so go home No. 81.
I found you astray.
If a thing is lost does it change ownership 
Job Richmond
9/29/2015   A note from Guillermo Morán

I followed the link related to threatening bookplates and took a look at the curses of the Monastery of San Pedro.
In the city of Barcelona, there was a Benedictine monastery named Sant Pere de les Puelles, being Sant Pere the Catalan for Saint Peter.
I took a look at Google and it appears that they still have their archives

They also claim to have a small collection of ex-libris (mostly from the 20th century). 

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