Friday, December 29, 2006


Let me start by thanking the folks at Google for creating this idiot proof system for reaching out to kindred spirits.
At the same time, I want to thank each and every one of you who visit each week. This is really a collaborative effort and I am delighted to receive your comments and scans of your own bookplates.

My Meerkat bookplate arrived yesterday and I have already pasted one in a treasured book and sent some out to collector friends. If you would like to exchange bookplates let me hear from you. My contact email for such things is
The Papermania show is coming up in Hartford Connecticut on January 6th and 7th. If you are in the area be sure to attend .It is one of the best east coast ephemera shows. You can get specific information at
As a direct result of the blog exposure I am in the early stages of negotiation with a British publisher for a book about the bookplates of famous people . My grandmother taught me the essence of a Yiddish word which I will Anglicize Kina Hurra. I think it means something like this :If you are too specific about an upcoming event you may prevent it from happening. It's sort of a precursor to quantum mechanics.
Here's to a happy healthy prosperous new year. See you in 2007
1/31/2006 Mr. Eli D. Goldstein was kind enough to send me the following information:
" The term you refer to as "Kina Hurra" in your blog is actually Kayn ayin hora (from the Hebrew Kayn Ayin Ha' Ra ) and refers to the evil eye (ayin hara) - it is usually used when one for example praises someone but does not want the evil eye to "spoil" the praise e.g. He is such a nice person -"kayn ayin hora". The pronunciation "hurra" instead of "hora" is usually used by Polish Jews"

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Stop the presses! Son of bookplate junkie just sent this to me and I thought I would share it with my eight regular readers since it made me laugh out loud:

My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the time to send me odd ball news items throughout the year. I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah and a very prosperous New Year.

Extra thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat shit in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to get a wet towel every time I need to seal an envelope.

Because of your concern, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it removes toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheist bastards who refuse to put " under God " on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap or Teflon frying pans because they cause Cancer.

I no longer receive packages from FedEx or UPS since they are actually Al Quada in disguise.

I no longer eat KFC because their" chickens" are horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

All joking aside, it has been a good year and I am waiting for the son of the exiled president of Nigeria to send me a three million dollar pay out on my $20,000.00 investment.

Seasons greetings to one and all. Lew Jaffe

Monday, December 18, 2006

Celebrity Bookplates , Mostly Actresses

Getting celebrity bookplates is always a challenge for the collector. Many people do not use them and when you write , your message probably lands on the desk of some junior clerk who does not know what a bookplate is . That's why I have a pile of auto pen signed glossy photos in a drawer. For the moment , you may still be able to PURCHASE one of the bookplates designed by Anthony Euwer (1877-19?) for Lana Turner by sending your inquiry to
The others , with the exception of Greta Garbo do show up on Ebay from time to time.



Friday, December 08, 2006

The Meerkats Are Coming / Odds &Ends/Trip to Chicago

This is a very rough preliminary sketch of my new Meerkat bookplate.
I wish I had a dollar for all the people who have told me they have been meaning to get a bookplate.What in the world are they waiting for? I expect my Meerkat bookplates from Andy English to arrive before Christmas. If you want to see some of Andy's finished woodblocks go to
For those of you on a limited budget here is a less expensive but very tasteful alternative from the Moontree Letterpress .Their bookplates can be found at:
I have been meaning to mention this for several weeks.The UBC Library's bookplate website has a very nice image management system and some interesting bookplates.
My annual trip to Chicago takes place next week (12/12 through 12/17 ) . If any of you from that area have bookplates for sale or trade let me hear from you. One place I always enjoying visiting when I go to Chicago is Bookmans Alley in Evanston. If you have never been there and you plan to be in the Chicago it is worth a visit.
It's Monday morning and I have stumbled upon an interesting blog about supporting your local bookstores. I have no axe to grind with the chains but do applaud anyone tries to to slow down the extinction of independent booksellers with open stores.
It's Tuesday morning and I will be leaving for Chicago today.This week I have been posting some bookplate sites that are worth visiting. Marcela Groeneveld in The Netherlands is a bookplate dealer whose site is very informative.
One foot out the door but I have got to add one very nice blog about Clifford Berryman's bookplates compiled by Mike Rhoade

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Physician's Bookplates

Dr.Berry lived in Australia and he is reading a book about the preparation of mulch.

I do not know very much about Dr. John.His bookplate was etched and signed by Vondorous in 1915.Since this is a collaborative undertaking perhaps one of you out there in cyberspace can share your knowledge with us. I can be reached at
If you have any physician's bookplates for possible inclusion in this posting please send me a scan.

Dr.Richard Hopping was a proctologist with a sense of humor, who practiced in the state of New Jersey.

Sigmund Freud-Super Star-No Biographical information required unless you are an alien from another planet. Click on images to enlarge

Dr.Thomas Dale practiced in Charles Town South Carolina around 1725. Ref. Annals of Medical History by Robert E. Seibels, M.D. vol.3 NO.1 pages 50-57

Dr.Cutbush (1772-1843) was a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Medical School and practised in Philadelphia. In 1779, he was appointed surgeon in the U.S. Navy

Henry T. Child was a graduate of Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia), class of 1843.On the back of my copy there is a pencil notation "Henry L. Stephens Sc." I find no listing for this artist in any of my references. There is reference on p. 350 in Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers for a Frank L. Stephens who was in Philadelphia and was an illustrator and cartoonist known for his caricatures. Further research needs to be done.

I have always been amused by this charming plate for Henrik Stenvald.It was designed by Per Christensen.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cheap Bookstores In Boston

Click On Images To Enlarge. 11/29/06 Steve Beare was kind enough to submit biographical information for
Eman Lycurgus Beck : Born 1875 ,resided in Mexico City and Littleton,New Hampshire,occupation banker--Thanks Steve the input is appreciated.

Click On Images To Enlarge The Burnham book store label came from Tom Boss in Wellesley, Massachusetts.I have been buying bookplates from him for about twenty years and consider him a friend. He has a large number of bookplates for sale, including a recently acquired selection of 18Th century American bookplates many of which came from the Richard C. Lichtenstein collection.

From time to time I have purchased 18Th century exlibris with a lavender colored tissue affixed to the back.It turns out that many of these bookplates came from the Lichtenstein collection. I do not know why Mr. Lichtenstein did this. Perhaps it was for easy identification if they were loaned out for an exhibit.

Tom Boss can be reached at

The Parker bookplate is listed as item 642 in Charles Dexter Allen's Early American Bookplates

It came from the Lichtenstein collection and the background lighting from the scanner creates magical colors in the image because of the lavender backing.The plate is black grey and white.

Whenever I get to New England, The Boston Book Annex at 906 Beacon St is worth a visit. They have an incredible "one dollar room" in which many bookplate treasures have been found. Nothing found on this trip but you can't always hit home runs.

Here is another place to go on your Boston bookplate quest: The Bryn Mawr Bookshop in Cambridge ,Massachusetts.They are located at 373 Huron Ave.On this visit I got a bookplate for
Eman Beck.

A cursory Google search for more information about Mr. Beck led me to blind alleys . If you know something about him please share the information with us.I suspect he may have been a banker.

The best of the best is The Brattle Book Shop at 9 West Street in Boston .The store itself is well stocked , and the employees are very knowledgeable and helpful. .That, in itself is remarkable in this day and age but what is even more remarkable is that the vacant lot next to the shop is filled with rolling carts of books priced between one and five dollars. I have never left that lot empty handed. The Rothermere and Whitney plates were two of the best I found there.
A site for bibliophiles run by a bookseller / collector whose enthusiasm is refreshing.
There are never enough hours in the day but if you like ephemera spend some time here.
That's all for this week

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Feel Good Cookies , H.G. Wells & Carolyn Wells


I had over 4,ooo site visitors this week and was mentioned on the same day by a religious site and a porno blog. My friend Terry suggested that it sounded like One foot in Heaven and one foot in Hell. I was tempted to use that phrase as my headline but opted for something completly different.

Let me first of all explain that I have the pack rat gene and not only did I inhale in the sixties but I kept some of the ephemera .The label shown above was used on "feel good" cookies.This may be the only one that still exists. I am feeling good this morning not because I have a stash of forty year old cookies but because I am leaving for New England where I will looking for bookplate treasures .

H. G. Wells had a bookplate which is a label with an ornamental border. It is described by Brian North Lee on page 28 in London Bookplates : From the Library of H. C. Wells at 13 Hanover Terrace regent's Park London 1947 (with facsimile signature).

Several years ago I obtained an H. G. Wells bookplate quite different from the one described above.I called Brian North Lee for enlightenment but he was unfamiliar with it.There are two explanations: either it is an unrecorded plate or it is an honorarium plate. A bookplate designed by an artist without the consent or knowledge of the owner. More research needs to be done.

Carolyn Wells, the American author of children's literature used two bookplates that I know of and they are illustrated above.

That's all for now. I have to catch a train to Boston.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

18th CenturyAmerican Bookplates+Odds& Ends


There is a fuzzy area in eighteenth century American bookplate collecting where two cultures intersect and it's not clear how to categorize some individuals, by country. The Loyalists, for example were American residents who chose to support the British during the revolution.

Many of them eventually fled to Canada or went back to England. Another hybrid group are the Englishmen who had vast land holdings in the Americas or resided in both countries.

Many books have been written about the loyalists and some of the ones I use most frequently are :
The Loyalists of The American Revolution by Lorenzo Sabine.
Divided Hearts Massachusetts Loyalists 1765-1790 by David E. Maas
British- Americans The Loyalist Exiles in England 1774-1789 by Mary Beth Norton
Sir Robert Eden
Last royal governor of Maryland (1768-1776) , resided in England during the revolution, returned to Annapolis after the war ended. REF. Sabine Vol 1, p 402
General De Lancey
Oliver De Lancey ,born in New York in 1717, descendant of a Huguenot family that had emigrated to America, was head of loyalist troops in America, died in England in 1785.
At the time of his death a fellow loyalist said "....There will scarcely be a village in England without some American dust in it, I believe, by the time we are all at rest" Ref.Sabine Vol.1 p.365
Jeremiah Dummer
Born in Boston about 1680 and died in England in 1739 . He was a benefactor of Yale College to which he presented 800 volumes. His dual citizenship is reflected in the motto on his bookplate "Anglus Americanus" Ref. Charles Dexter Allen Early American Bookplates P.195
William Axtell
Born in my old neighborhood, Flatbush, Brooklyn, N. Y.-Was a loyalist colonel , died in England in 1795
Dudleuis Woodbridge
Very rare early plate-land owner in the West Indies ,which at the time was considered part of The Americas Ref. West Indian Bookplates by Vere Langford Oliver P.28
Odds And Ends
Richard Schimmelpfeng is an avid collector who has accumulated many fine duplicate books about bookplates . He is currently selling his duplicates and can be reached at
Stanford University has an excellent bookplate website, well worth a visit:
Biblomania in Schenectady , N. Y. has a number of 18th century bookplates for sale:
Jvarnoso has a new bookplate blog with special emphasis on armorial items-excellent !
I will be in New England during the week of November 13th , prior to attending the Boston shows. If you have bookplates for sale or trade please contact me.
That's all for this week.,

Saturday, October 28, 2006


CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE Claude Fayette designed his own bookplate
James Horsey Fincken engraved the Robert Garrett plate
Rudolf Ruzicka designed the Donnelly plate
E.T. Nelson designed the Katherine Derr plate

Warren Chappell designed the Hollis Holland plate
Ernst Puehler designed the Sterling Morton Hamill plate
Leonard Baskin designed the Robin Halwas plus the plate to it's right

Rudolf Ruzicka designed the Florence Bronson Windom plate
Frederic W. Goudey designed the William Reydel plate

Click on Images To Enlarge


A book you might wish to consider purchasing is Design In Miniature by David Gentleman. The author writes about all sorts of small ephemeral items including postage stamps, match box covers , labels, trade cards and watch papers but he omits bookplates.

More often than not bookplates are about 4 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches high. If you think about it, by reducing the image size to about 1 1/2 wide by 2 1/2 high you have an added design challenge.

The twenty images shown reflect good design in a small package. If you have a small bookplate which you use in your own library and wish to send me a scan I can be reached at As an afterthought, I would be delighted to exchange duplicate bookplates with anyone who is so inclined.
That's about all for now . I will be in New England for the Boston shows during the week of November 13th and hope to purchase some collections while I am there.
Send me an email if you have some bookplates for sale.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

News Flash-Congressman Caught Seducing Pigeons


Congressman X was video taped in Rock Creek Park earlier today holding a bag of peanuts in one hand, while trying to seduce young Pigeons . He was outraged at the suggestion of inappropriate behavior when questioned by reporters and kept mumbling "The Devil Made Me Do It, The Devil Made Me Do It."

That sordid exchange got me thinking about Devil images on bookplates . I also found a Pigeon plate about which I did some research.
Wendell M. Levy Sr. - headed the signal corps pigeon section during World War I and this expertise led him to co-found the Palmetto Pigeon Plant in South Carolina. For additional information go to
Jane F. Peters - Her bookplate was designed by Charles Henry Carter , an American illustrator.
The bookplate curse was originally from the library of C. J. Peacock. If you want to see more bookplate curses go to
S. Pritikin - Several bookplates in my collection were designed by S. Pritikin including the one illustrated. All were for men of the cloth. Don't do a Google search for more information unless you are also interested in weight loss.
Leopold A. Chambliss - Bookplate was designed in 1928 by H.Hubert. The quotation is from The Revolt Of The Angels by Anatole France ,Chapter 35 , last sentence.
Jacques Vallee - A true Renaissance man , writer, futurist , venture capitalist and much more. His bookplate is designed around an illustration drawn from The Circus OF Dr. Lao
Rev. Carl E. Peterson- was a bookplate collector. This exlibris was engraved in 1895 by Levy and company .The designer was Bessie Pease Gutmann who is better known for her illustrations of children.
That's all for this week.
Breaking NEWS- 10/24/2006
On Sunday, for the first time in twenty years, Congressman X did not get into his BIG BIRD suit and drive to Rock Creek Park . In fact, he has not been seen since the infamous video tape was shown on The Animal Planet .
It is rumored that the harsh glare of public scrutiny may be too much for him to handle.
Capitol police are puzzled by the following cryptic note found in his waste basket :
Call Junior for name of Ken Lay's Plastic Surgeon
Check to see if Bird seed is available in Bimini

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Odds And Ends/ How To Affix a Bookplate

Yesterday I went out to buy a new flatbed scanner and visited two different Staples stores plus one Radio Shack.The Staples personnel were poorly trained and not very helpful.The Radio Shack salesman was very helpful but did not have much of a selection so I am back to square one.

Fortunately, I have a stash of saved images to tide me over until I make a purchase.

Most major libraries. plus many colleges , museums and historical societies have bookplate collections that were donated or else a librarian in the early nineteen hundreds was fond of bookplates and built a collection for the institution.

If you plan to be in New York City and wish to see a fine collection , the print department at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art has among their holdings , The W.E. Baillie collection .It is easily accessible and rich in 18th century American Exlibris

You can make an appointment by calling them at +212 670 3920

E.D. French was the best known American bookplate engraver in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. He did several bookplates for The Metropolitan and also engraved the membership certificate shown above. His skill is apparent and his fame is justified .

There are; however, a slew of talented engravers about whom little has been written. One such engraver is Joseph Hallworth. Here is what I have found out about him so far. In 1918 his studio was at 56 Bartlett St. in Malden Mass. More research needs to be done.
Andy English, has recently updated his site and if you click on the bookplate tab you will see his method for affixing bookplates.
I generally prefer pre-gummed archival glue on my bookplates and usually moisten the top edge only .That enables me to cover the previous owner's bookplate(s) without eliminating them.It creates a paper trail of previous owners
Two New Bookplate Blogs from collectors in other countries:
That's all for today.See you next week.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Garrett Hardin, John Vassos & The Cranbury Bookworm

Click On Image To Enlarge


This has been a good week for bookplate hunting. I received the Garrett Hardin bookplate from Borogove Books They may still have a few more copies left. My scanner needs to be fixed or scrapped as the colors are off .I did not know anything about Mr.Hardin but a Google search was very productive.

Here is an abridged quote from Wikipedia:
"Hardin received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Chicago in1936 and a PhD in microbiology from Stanford University in 1941.Moving to the University of California , Santa Barbara in 1946, he served there as as Professor of Human Ecology from 1963 until his (nominal) retirement in 1978. A major focus of his career, and one to which he returned repeatedly, was the issue of human overpopulation. ......"

He and his wife committed suicide in 2003.

When you click on the orange link above (MMJ Page 11 of 16) and examine Figure 47
you will find an interesting enlargement of the creature's tail . It depicts the evolution of simple to more complex life forms.

On Friday , I stopped at a national treasure: The Cranbury Bookworm ( 54 N. Main St., Cranbury, N. J.) .
Picture this, a three story house with thousands of reasonably priced used and rare books , no computers, and no cutesy over priced coffee shop . In other words , a bookstore from another time. They are rapidly becoming extinct.

It takes a while to find items I want , but for bookplates I am very patient and the "find" was exceptional. John Vassos( 1898-1985) was an art- deco book illustrator and industrial designer who worked for RCA Laboratories . In the 1930's he designed a bookplate for them and this is only the second copy I have ever seen.
To see more of his designs go to the following link :

If you are in the central New Jersey area here is another of my favorite bookstores:
The Book Garden 868 Rt 537, Cream Ridge, New Jersey 08514 . The store is in the middle of no where but if you go you are in for a treat.

Last thing for this week- The Athenaeum Of Philadelphia (215 925 2688) currently has an outstanding exhibit of contemporary Ex Libris from around the world.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Russian Bookplates plus Odds and Ends

Click On Images To Enlarge

Russian Imperial Books Collection

I found , quite by accident, a site with a wealth of information about bookplates used in Imperial Russia.This is not an endorsement of the dealer.I know nothing about him but the information is useful. You can see the site by clicking on the orange link above.

In my own collection I only have one Russian Royal plate for Czar Nicolas II. It was designed by Armin von Foelkersam in 1907. My scanner is in need of repair so the colors which are gold, turquoise blue and black are not as striking as they should be.

In The World of Ex-Libris, vol 2 published in 1995 by The Belgrade Ex-Libris Circle I found the following on P.215 : "Two Exlibris of Czar Nicholas II (1868-1918) are known, a small blue circular label with crown and monogram (in two varieties) , and this beautiful ex-libris which was used for the books at the Winter Palace and the Summer Palace with a modified inscription .The palaces suffered during the revolution, and this ex-libris is scarce."

Several years ago I picked up a charming Russian plate which struck my fancy.It is now framed and sits above my desk.When I took it down to scan this morning I found the description in Russian. Perhaps someone out there will be kind enough to translate it for us.

For those of you in the Boston area, the clock is ticking. In about six weeks (November 17 &18)the Boston Book Show and the Ephemera show are taking place.I will be in the area starting November 13th, so if you are a dealer with bookplates to sell or a collector with bookplates to exchange, I would love to hear from you.

That's about all for today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bookplate Ephemera / Exchange Duplicates

By Rudolph Ruzicka
By Bernhardt Wall By Timothy Cole
Click On Images To Enlarge

Click On Images To Enlarge

Squirl: Duplicate Bookplates, For Possible Exchange

One of the easiest ways to build a collection is to exchange duplicates .To facilitate the process I have posted some duplicates for possible exchange at the Squirl photo sharing site.
Simply click the orange link above to see them. More will be added throughout the week.
My desire would be to exchange for any of the following categories :
American and English bookplates,
Bookplates from the libraries of famous people,
Bookplates with Jewish signs or symbols.
Please send scans or a description of your duplicates to

My preference is exchange;However, I am not against selling an item if that is your preference.

If I have not previously mentioned it, a great source for getting bookplates is your own local bookbinder. They often keep old bookplates and if asked, will sell them to you.

Ephemera Related to bookplates:

Christmas Cards
Bookplate artists often sent their customers and friends etched or engraved Christmas Cards which show up from time to time when purchasing older collections. Many of the cards shown above were sent to Bella Landauer around 1928. She was a wealthy ephemera collector who donated much of her collection to the New York Historical Society. Charles M. Schwab was the president of Bethlehem Steel and Frederick Starr was an anthropologist and bookplate collector.