Friday, June 23, 2006

Dated Bookplates

Click on images to enlarge

I have always been partial to dated bookplates . Somehow, knowing precisely when a bookplate was engraved is very orderly and comforting. A strange choice of words perhaps, but that is my gut feeling.

In any event, these images are a good snapshot of the transition from the Jacobean Style of the early 18th century to the Chippendale Style in mid -18th century.By clicking on the freestanding images they should enlarge should you want to see more detail.

Two excellent reference books about dated bookplates are:

Dated Bookplates, A Treatise On Their Origin And Development by Walter Hamilton
There are three volumes.Volume two covers the eighteenth century.

Early Printed Book Labels by Brian North Lee
Anything written by Brian North Lee is carefully and lovingly researched.

JohnHervey -1698 -A brief biography can be found at


ScroopEgerton -1703 A brief biography can be found at


Henry Hoare -1704 - On page 31 in London Bookplates by Brian North Lee's description is as follows: "Jacobean armorial (single coat) in a decorative frame with two crests, ns. F14859. Probably, like the rare Jacobean for Benjamin Hoare(NIF) , it was the work of an engraver in the gold or silversmith trade.

Henry Hoare (1677-1724-5) was the second son of Sir Richard Hoare, founder of Hoare's Bank(1673), of which he became a partner in 1702.There is an article on this family's exlibris in The Bookplate Society Newsletter for June 1978, pp.120-31 "

Henry Dering -1749 - Thomas Dering, an American, had Nathaniel Hurd engrave his bookplate.It is the earliest plate by an American engraver which is both signed and dated( Allen #219). His son Henry PackerDering of Sag Harbor(1763-1822) who was appointed by Washington as the collector of the district , had part of the name on his father's plate removed and re-engraved with his own name. Both plates are exceptionally rare.

John Walford -1754 - I am indebted to Brian North Lee once again-( March 1998 issue of The Bookplate Journal -Page Twenty Two) "John Walford's ex-libris (NIF) 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"


JVArnoso said...

Very interesting article. Congraulations.

sarahsbooks said...

Orderly and comforting indeed. I smiled with recognition when I read this post. I think those of us who collect ephemera (and books) find such enjoyment in it precisely because it evokes these sentiments. I am enjoying your blog...