Thursday, June 08, 2006

What Ever Happened To Good Old Herman?

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When looking at a bookplate depicting a short fat guy in a suit, overshadowed by a bottle of Haig & Haig , one naturally has to wonder about it's genesis.

The bookplate was designed in the late 1920's by Fridolf Johnson, a collector/illustrator who in later years would write , ATreasury Of Bookplates From The Renaissance To The Present .

Leon Noel Booth , another bookplate collector wrote to Fridolf Johnson about exchanging duplicates and on June 19,1930 Mr. Johnson replied as follows:
"My Dear Mr. Booth-
Your Idea of exchanging bookplates is excellent and in furtherance of your aim I am enclosing a plate I designed for a friend of mine. Mr. Johnson is an inveterate elbow-bender and when I made up the rough sketch I had no idea that he would ask me to complete it-for I meant it only as a sly commentary on his habits.But he liked it and so here it is.It is unconventional,to be sure, but I hope you will enjoy it and reciprocate with one of yours"

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