Thursday, July 20, 2006

Library Bookplates,Bookseller's Labels and The Heraldry of Fish

Click On Images To Enlarge

Click On Images To Enlarge

Click On Images To Enlarge Right now, you are looking at some interesting pictures along with whatever information I currently have. As people contact me and I do more research, additional information will be added. Your input is encouraged and appreciated.This is really a work in progress. Bits and pieces will be added throughout the day.

Bookseller's Labels And Bookbinder's Tickets

Now the dirty little secret is out , for all the world to see. Many booksellers are closet collector's of bookseller's labels.The compulsion to save these tiny graphic gems is known only by their most trusted friends .

In 1986 , Larry Dingman published a charming book on the subject, Booksellers Marks.
I assume it can still be found on ABE .

There is also a website for you to see: Http:// When you get there click on the Gallery of Book Trade Labels.

Here is an interesting site with Bookbinders Tickets Http://

J. Francis Ruggles YEBIBLIOEXPERTO Bronson ,Michigan

My assumption is that Mr. Ruggles was in the book trade in the early 19oo's. I know he had a great sense of humor and gathering more information about him should be relatively easy.
What do you know about him?

Oliver Ditson Company Boston,Mass.

This bookstore and music publisher was started in 1836 and was still in operation in 1918 when they published Notes on Music in Old Boston by William Arms Fisher. My copy was purchased earlier this week and has not been read yet but it appears to be an excellent reference about the book and music trade in 18th century Boston.

The signed bookseller's label/bookplate within the book is most interesting .
Alma Gluck( 1884-1938) was a very famous opera singer who married Efrem Zimbalist the Violinist (1889-1985). They were the parents of Efrem Zimbalist. Jr. , the actor.

Several years ago I wrote to Efrem Zimbalist , Jr. explaining that I had the bookplates of both his parents and was hopeful that he also had a bookplate to add to my collection.
Most graciously, he took the time to send me a very warm and cherished letter.He does not use a bookplate.

Thomas Groom, Boston, Mass

They were in operation as early as 1835 and published The Boston Almanac


I have always liked the bookplates of circulating libraries . They tend to have interesting graphics. Several very well illustrated books on the subject are as follows:

A Book For A Sixpence by David Kaser
The Evergreen Tree Of Diabolical Knowledge by Davendra P. Varma
A History Of British Circulating Libraries by Charlotte A. Stewart-Murphy

S H Colesworthy Circulating Library

Samuel H. Colesworthy was a bookseller and publisher in Portland Maine in the 1830's and 40's
His book label was engraved by Cyrus A. Swett.

Farmington,Monthly Library

In Charles Dexter Allen's American Bookplates this is item #267. It is signed in the copper
M Bull's & T. Lee's Sculp.

Bell's Circulating Library

This establishment was within walking distance of my house. Later in the day I will go to Third St. to see if there are any historical markers. I know that Tom Paine worked there.

W. Aikman's Circulating Library

This is an rare item.The library was established in 1773 in Annapolis Maryland.

The Heraldry Of Fish

Learning about heraldry requires a discipline which I lack. I tend to favor bookplates that strike my fancy and many of them are armorial.

Several years ago I came upon a disbound copy of The Heraldry Of Fish by Thomas Moule. If someone felt the need to write a 250 page book on such an arcane subject, I felt a responsibility to preserve it .

Whenever I find bookplates that are in the heraldic fish category I tend to get them and read about them in my nicely rebound copy of Mr. Moule's book.

That's all for now.


sarahsbooks said...

Ah, those are very nice little booksellers' tickets, and I would dearly love to have them in my own collection - but since I cannot, thanks for sharing them here - I will keep hunting!

A book about booksellers' tickets and other labels: "Wenn am Buch der Haendler Klebt" by Reinhardt Oehlberger, Vienna: Loecker Verlag 1999. 357pp. Many illustrations and a few original tickets laid in. I haven't seen the book myself but hear it is worth having, even if you can't read German (which I cannot)...

Bookbinder said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful bookplates.