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.