Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bookplate Odds and Ends- Hitler and Trump

I spotted this in the  bookplate listings by the Ebay seller Owl10  and thought it was very clever.

*The Bookplate Rehousing Society
An imaginary society dedicated to finding new homes for old bookplates.

Pictures are worth a thousand words
Click on Image To Enlarge
Waiting for Appropriate Caption from an inspired reader relating to these two images  
Waiting for appropriate caption
By the way, if you can think of an appropriate caption for the Trump and Hitler bookplates or the two new years greetings please send them to me and I will publish one or more responses next  week

5/16/2016 Comments from a reader and my response 

Hi Lew, Whether one is a fan of Mr. Trump,or is repulsed by him, the  juxtaposition of Trump and Hitler is absurd.
Dear Phillip,
If one focuses on what Hitler did to the Jews and others  you are correct.
On the other hand, Hitler was a charismatic leader who came into power at a time of monumental social and financial instability offering false hope to a gullible group of people.
In that regard the juxtaposition  makes good sense to me.

An Interesting Link

Here is another resource  about bookplates and porcelain
The Bookplate Journal.
 An issue in which  20 pages and the back cover are devoted to an article by Paul Latcham entitled “Bookplates and Armorial Porcelain” [New Series, September 2008, Vol 6 No 2], available to non-members of The Bookplate Society at £14 plus postage from the editor, Peter Youatt [email: ]. This article includes a full list of the bookplates believed to have been used as patterns for armorial services

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bookplate Exhibit and Sale in Norwalk Connecticut

Ex Libris Collaborations and Other Personal Prints
By Jeffrey Price

For over 100 years almost everyone who loved books had their own personal prints created to identify their library and exchange with their literate friends.
These “Personal Prints” represent unique collaborations between artists and their patrons or collectors. Albert Einstein had a small print designed to identify books from his library and also as a personal artwork to be presented to his colleagues and friends.
 J. F. K. and Jackie Kennedy had their personal prints designed by Tiffany, while artists ranging from M. C. Escher to Maxfield Parrish created intimate artworks that reflected the artists’ styles as well as the interests and personality of their patrons.
This exhibition is one of the first opportunities to see prints such as these in a gallery setting, beautifully framed and available for ownership by a new generation of collectors.

The exhibition will be free and ongoing during Artists’ Market hours of  Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm, with special late hours on Thursday when the gallery is open until 8pm. Parking is free. For more information contact Jeffrey Price at 203-846-2550

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bookplates of Richard Wagener

I attended several book shows in New York City recently  and was pleased to meet with Richard and Cathy Wagener .For those of you unfamiliar with Richard Wagener here is some biographical information taken directly from his website.

Richard Wagener grew up in southern California spending a lot of time 

with his grandfather in remote parts of the desert and up in the Sierra. 

Early art classes introduced him to Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne. 

After school activities included selling the evening newspapers at the 

Disney studios where he met many of the illustrators and animators.

Richard has an undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego 

and a graduate degree from Art Center College of Design. He has been 

engraving wood for over thirty years and his work has been in a number 

of fine press editions, most notably with Peter Koch in Berkeley and the 

Book Club of California. In 2006 Richard established his own imprint 

Mixolydian Editions to publish his own fine press editions of his work. He 

has collaborated with David Pascoe of Nawakum Press, Santa 

Rosa, California on two fine press books, one of which earned them the 

2016 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. Richard was 

also awarded the Oscar Lewis Award for contributions to the book arts. 

He currently lives and works in northern California.

Check List Of Bookplates By Richard Wagener

Boston Book Congress 2000

James M.Goode

James P.Keenan 1994

Gregory Krisilas

Steven Sharafian

Cathy Wagener

Richard Wagener

A Mystery Bookplate

Every so often I go to a  dumpy bookstore in Philadelphia where I have only found two excellent bookplates in twenty years. A third one was found last week.
I know nothing about the owner of the plate nor the artist.
Here is an enlargement of his (her) cypher. At first I thought it said E Fry but on closer examination I now believe it is E Fay.
Does any one out there have any information about the owner or the artist ?

An Old Mystery Solved

I remember exactly when I purchased this bookplate. It was in 2000 at the Boston Book Congress.I've written about it in the past because it made no sense to me.

Now the mystery is solved

See you next Week.
4/26    Comments received from readers
Hi Lew
When I first saw Richard Wagener's bookplate of an emu, my first thought was that he must be an Australian to be using the iconic flightless bird (not much smaller than an ostrich), but now realise that he isn't!
Best wishes
Andrew Peake

Cannot find a bookplate example, or that monogram, but could this be by Clark Fay?

Hope that helps! - Mike

Friday, April 01, 2016

Ô Canada

I rarely write about Canada so I am  pleased to talk about some Canadian related topics today.  The University Of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library  has placed a portion of their bookplate collection on Flickr.

Here is a link:

New Flickr Set: Canadian bookplates

Ex-Libris of Mary Frances Holgate
The Fisher Library possesses an extensive bookplate collection dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, referencing prominent figures and institutions in Canadian history. Reaching across Canada as well as the United Kingdom, the ex-libris collection comprises a wide range of owners. Provenance for some bookplates include prime ministers, military commanders, universities, libraries, private businesses and journalistic groups. The collection also offers a wide range of styles, representing a great variety in bookplate artistry. Some of the styles consist of armorial, pictorial, printed, emblematic, and hand-written bookplates. Many ex-libris have extraordinary artwork by notable artists like J.E.H. MacDonald and Francis Adams, while others possess witty rhymes, elegant mottos and family crests.

 These are just a sampling of the collection as there are more than 1,000 bookplates are available in the library’s physical collection.
Student intern Selin Kahramanoglu was responsible for preparing the finding aid for the collection and for curating the set of images on Flickr.

Fellow Bookplate collector Warren Baker has a new PDF catalog of Historical Canadian Documents, autographs and ephemera
I am unable to reproduce PDF images on this blog .
Here is Warren's contact information to obtain a copy of the catalog.

Warren Baker P.O. Box 844, Station B Montreal, Quebec H3B 3B0 

Tel. (514) 482-3070


Here is a link to a Canadian bookplate blog by Andrew Godefroy which has not been updated for quite some time .

In My own collection of notable people I have several Canadian bookplates

Dr.Frederick Grant Banting
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC was a Canadian medical scientist, physician, painter and Nobel laureate noted as the first person to use insulin on humans.

William Maxwell Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook)
William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, PC, ONB, was an Anglo-Canadian business tycoon, politician, newspaper proprietor and writer who was an influential figure in British society of the first half of the 20th century

Saul Bellow

Thomas B. Costain
 was a Canadian journalist who became a best-selling author of historical novels at the age of 57
Stephen Leacock
Stephen P. H Butler Leacock, FRSC was a Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between the years 1910 and 1925, he was the most widely read English-speaking author in the world

If you have any interesting Canadian bookplates in 

your collection please send  a scan to me 

and it will be added to this posting.


Fellow collector Beau Williamson sent the following 


"I so rarely find good bookplates in the wild, mostly relying on dealers to expand my collection, so I was very happy to pick up this one (attached) in a book about hawks. The owner of the plate was a University (of Toronto) professor who specialized in Native American subjects. Stanley Harrod is a favorite designer of mine, though his plates are not always of the highest artistic quality."

I'm always looking for Canadian plates. I have maybe 20 or 30 in my collection. This is one of my favorite though.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Some Interesting Bookplate Stories

 George Brent ( 1904 –  1979) was an Irish-born American stage, film, and television actor .He was also a book collector .His unique  exlibris is the largest leather bookplate I have ever seen.The outside dimensions are 3 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches high.
George Brent

John Held Jr.

Clare Dwiggins
Clare Dwiggins(1874- 1959) , a.k.a Dwig was a well known cartoonist. He was the creator of the first half page Sunday feature known as SchoolDays
Shown below is the bookplate he and his wife Bess used in their library.

This bookplate amuses me. How often do you see a Judaica angling plate?
Does anyone out there know anything about the owner ?
Send your responses to

Solving an E.D. French bookplate mystery with the assistance of fellow collector Richard Schimmelpfeng

Lucy Coleman Carnegie  This one is easy to identify (Brainerd #91)*

Margaret C. Perkins         The puzzle begins here.
This plate is identical to #91 in every way except it is printed in green
and the owner’s name has been changed. It is not listed in Brainerd*

F.Curtis Perkins Jr.  As above, but again with a different name.

From this link I deduced that these were all relatives who used the original copper after the Brainerd book* was published.

I also sent the link to Richard and he responded as follows:
”Hey thanks for the link. I did a little research myself, and Lucy Coleman Carnegie married the brother of Andrew, had nine children, one of whom married Frederick Perkins. All the ones you bought are altered names from the original ED French copper engraving; yes, they are genuine, and they wouldn't have turned up in the literature because of being too late.  The Carnegies and Rockefellers intermarried, and they owned several islands. Fascinating people."  

 * REF. Edwin Davis French A Memorial by Mary Brainerd French

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Tribute to The Late Larry Conklin By Tom Boss

 I'm really going to miss Larry Conklin. We had innumerable interesting conversations over the thirty-five years I knew him. He was always a provocative thinker with a great vocabulary and command of the English language. Larry loved to discuss, dissect and yes, even argue.

        He was an important mineral dealer and had many stories about collectors and collecting. His personal collection was also enviable. Larry had a passion for early American furniture and decoration and displayed wonderful pieces in his home. They always seemed well-integrated into his style of living.

         I knew Larry chiefly as a book collector first, then as an avid early American bookplate enthusiast. He formed an extensive collection of the works of William Loring Andrews the American bibliophile. I found most of the books in his collection for him. I hope his work on Andrews will result in a book on this important figure.

         Larry also became vulnerable to the charms of bookplates and decided to collect the works of Paul Revere and Nathaniel Hurd and other important engravers and prominent American figures of the 18th century. He liked to keep his bookplates in specially made boxes with the individual prints matted. He was a fastidious collector whose knowledge and passion were in ample evidence whenever I encountered him.

          I hope that other collectors now and in the future will be influenced by Larry in their activities but I'm afraid that with his passing we are left with a permanent void.

Note from Lew -Here is a link to Larry Conklin's website:


Sunday, February 28, 2016

This Week in Bookplates 2/28/2016

A good many bookplate collections are currently up for sale or have recently been sold so the current supply of choice items is  overwhelming.
Anthony Tufts purchased the  Robert Lloyd Henderson Collection.  Mr. Henderson was the son of James D. Henderson, the famous collector of miniature books. Robert was a collector in his own right with Charles Dickens being a particular interest. Most of the collection is being sold on Ebay.
You can see his current listings by searching Ebay using the seller name  Exeter-Rare-Books

From the Henderson Collection I purchased a group of leather bookplates used by Jerome Kern

Jerome David Kern(January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago (and Far Away)" and "Who?". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr.Guy BoltonP. G. WodehouseOtto HarbachOscar Hammerstein IIDorothy FieldsJohnny MercerIra Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg." In addition he was an notable American book collector.
I currently have a duplicate of his bookplate for possible exchange.If you wish to contact me my Email is

Tom Boss recently purchased two significant bookplate collections and is currently sorting though and pricing them.He can be reached at this Email address:

I was sent a fine collection from a collector who wishes to remain anonymous
Here is one of my favorites from that collection.
Within that collection I also obtained this bookplate for Blaine Cordner.
He was an actor and his bookplate is a woodcut by Drusilla Albert (Mrs. George Kidd) I already have a copy so this one is also available for possible exchange.
Last but not least, fellow collector Luigi Bergomi purchased the Richard Schimmelpfeng collection. In several weeks he will be writing a blog article about the collection .This is one of the finest private collections assembled in the last fifty years. It contains well over 50,000 American and European bookplates .
If you want to contact Luigi his email address is

Here are a few Mystery Bookplates

 I believe both bookplates were done by the same artist..Dr.Eric Stone was affiliated with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in the early twentieth century
and he lived in Brookline Mass.Does anyone out there know who designed these bookplates?

Yes, this one is grotesque . Perhaps that is why I like it. In any event do you recognize the Artist's cipher ?
This one measures 2 1/4 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches high ,circa 1920
At first I thought it might be a book ticket but most book tickets are tiny and it was pasted in the center on the inside front cover of a book about world war one.
 Mr. Schliepmann sold books  from apartment 13 A at 440 west 40th Street. I have not located any information about this bookseller and any input would be appreciated.

See you again Next Week.