Wednesday, June 28, 2006
You will have to wait until Friday June 30th, when I return to get additional information but if by some twist of fate you know something about this gentleman and want to share it with us please let us know.
He probably lived in Connecticut .If you simply can not wait until I return go to page 304 in Bookplates In The News by Audrey Arellanes. See you all on Friday.
The following was written by Richard H. Schimmelpfeng in Bookplates In The News.
" Recently the writer was given the book label of Teily Blaksslee, said to be of Connecticut origin. The label is unusual in giving so much information about the owner; it is too bad that he didn't give his address as well. It is a large label , measuring 80 x 178 mm. border to border, and undoubtedly came from a large quarto or folio volume.
Research so far has not identified the owner.The name Teiley (Tillie,Tilla,Tilly,Tiley,Tely, etc.)
Blaksslee(Blackly ,Blazeley,Blakslee,Blackslee, etc.) is a common one around 17th and 18th century New Haven and Woodbury-Southbury, and turns up frequently in the vital records of the period although none is listed under 1728 (I assume the owner knew his birth year).
Men of this name served in the 1756,1757 and 1759 campaigns of the French and Indian war.None of these men apparently attended Yale or Harvard.
In the absence of any information, it is interesting to speculate about the owner: was he a printer perhaps, or had access to a printshop? The printing is not well -done ; it looks rather amateurish. The phrasing indicates somewhat that only one book was bought, and surely its purchase meant enough for the owner to have a special label in it.Was he a parson, perhaps?
It would be interesting to know what the book was which the owner bought 212 years ago."
This is the beginning of the research and as always your participation is encouraged.
That's all for now but additional information will be added as received.
7/4/2006 Additional Information Just Received
One of the joys of writing this blog is hearing from and learning from readers.
Mr. John Titford , a bookplate collector and Genealogist in England has written, as follows:
" You're wondering,I bet, why Teiley's birthday fell on 21 June in 1767, though he was born on 10 June in 1728 ?
Well, in 1752 in England (and no doubt in it's American colonies , too) a change was made from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar.
So: From 1752 the year would begin on 1st. January, not 25 March as hitherto.
To balance things up, eleven days were simply removed from the calendar in 1752.This explains the eleven days' discrepancy between his birthdate and his 1767 birthday."
Monday, June 26, 2006
I do not feel very focused this evening so I may ramble from one unrelated subject to another.On my previous posting about dated plates I discovered a particularly useful website:
Talk about a labor of love.This is a good example .The site's creator Daryl Lundry has spent thirteen years gathering information about the aristocrats in England and the continent.You can even locate by names of castles and estates.This site is extremely helpful for bookplate research.
A brief commercial pause -I listed 25 five bookplates on Ebay over the last few days.They reflect my collecting interests.If you go to Ebay and click onto advanced search, you can select by seller name- mine is Bookplatemaven
I have always admired the members of the Bookplate Society in England.They are a dedicated and truly focused group of individuals whose scholarly output of books and journals is worth considerably more than the modest membership fee. If you join the society as a result of this posting and advise me accordingly I will send you some particularly nice bookplates to add to your collection. My contact email is bookplatemaven at hotmail dot com
The American Society lost it's focus for a while but I think they are now back on track and I hope you will join. If you do so and advise me accordingly I will send you a copy of The Art Of The Bookplate by Jim Keenan I only have five copies so don't procrastinate.My contact email is Bookplatemaven at hotmail dot com
The two bookplates illustrated at the top of this posting need to be researched. Thomas Croswell lived in Falmouth in 1808 and Sarah Lawrence lived in Philadelphia ,probably in the 18th century.That is an educated guess because of the laid paper on which she made her bookplate. When I feel more focused the research will begin and your input , as always is appreciated.
That's all for tonight.
Friday, June 23, 2006
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"
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I suspect I am addicted to dust.My favorite method of bookplate hunting is to sit in an old bookshop blowing dust off covers , peeking inside, in anticipation of finding a bookplate treasure .The excitement of discovery that accompanies the search can never be replicated by Ebay.
Yesterday ,I listed some open shops.Here are some more ,which I try to visit whenever possible:
New York City
Appelfeld Gallery 1372 York Ave - They have a very large selection of used bookplate reference books from the Caplin collection .
Argosy Books- 116 east 59th St- One dollar books outside in stalls, finer bookplates in the print depatrment on the third floor and a basement to browse through for hours on end.
Brattlebooks 9 West St, Boston- Second generation bookseller with helpful employees-Try to go on a day when it is not raining as they put thousands of one to five dollar books in outside stalls.I have found many bookplate treasures there.
Bryn Mawr BookStore 373 Huron Ave. Cambridge,Mass.-One of several fine Bryn Mawr Shops run by delightful volunteers taken right out of a Dicken's novel. Well worth a visit.
Washington D.C. area
Second Story Books warehouse-12160 Parklawn Drive Rockville, Md.- Row after row of inexpensive books. They often buy the estates of Washington's elite so with patience you can find affordable items from the libraries of very famous people.
Philadelphia Area- Baldwin's Book Barn-865 Lenape Road West Chester Pa.-Time does not stand still but you know that it has slowed down when you visit this store.It is a five story barn built in 1822 and lovingly converted into a living national treasure. Well worth the trip when you are in the Philadelphia area.
If you personally have visited other open shops worthy of being included in my blog please let me hear from you.Dust is not a requirement but it it is helpful.
I would be remiss if I did not mention two Bookplate specialist dealers who do not run open shops but house many thousands of bookplates for sale and can reached by telephone:
Tom Boss- Wellesley Mass. 781 431 2037
James Wilson-Berkhampsted.England 01144 1442 873396
Last but not least- Here is what I have found out about the Francis Woodward Prentice bookplate which I got at Baldwins Bookbarn, in their dollar room many years ago.I believe she wrote short stories for McCalls magazine in the 1930's .The bookplate designer is Butler and it was done in 1927. Do you have any additional information about the owner or designer?
That's all for today.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Reincarnation is not something I believe in but if such a thing were possible I would prefer to come back as an archaeologist, as opossed to an ant or an albatross. I mention this because for me ,the joy in bookplate collecting is somewhat like archaeology.It enables you to dig into the history of the owner,the artist who designed his plate and sometimes you even get a snapshot of a historical moment.
Let's start with the two items where my "dig" was sucessful. Haille Flanagan(1889-1960) was the director of the W.P.A. Federal Theatre Project during the depression in the 1930's.There is a wealth of information about her on the internet but this site is most helpful : Http://Wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallie_Flanagan
I was so pleased when I got the Flanagan plate that I made the following notation "5/18/2000 found in the stalls outside the Strand Bookstore in New York City for 48 cents"
Sam V.Moore was an active hiker in Maryland who devoted much of his time and energy to helping The Boy Scouts and members of his community. A tribute to him can be seen at
Georgiana T. W. Erdmann is still a mystery.She lived at 60 West 52nd. St. which I am assuming was in New York City.Although I suspect that no more than twenty people read my blogs each day, sooner or later someone will come forth with additional information which will be duly noted.
ZVR is the toughest nut to crack.The plate was designed by E Reeve in 1927. It is a puzzle to be solved.
I mentioned the Strand, located at 828 Broadway (near 12th St) in New York City.If you go there be sure to visit the rare book room .Not all the books there are expensive. From time to time you can find choice bookplates for your collection at reasonable prices.
It does ;however, take time and patience to sort through hundreds of books to find one desireable bookplate.
Here is anther store to visit within walking distance of the Strand:
12th St Books, 11 east 12th st (off 5th avenue) -Nice selection at very reasonable prices.
Tomorrow I will list other stores and dealers worth contacting for bookplates or books about bookplates. Thats all for today.
Monday, June 19, 2006
My last contest was answered correctly in less than a minute so this one is going to be more difficult. The bookplate shown above is from the library of a famous living American writer.Can you guess whose plate it is? The winner will receive a copy of The Art Of The Bookplate By James Keenan.
While on the subject of writer's bookplates, I have also scanned the images of four duplicates from my collection. I would consider exchanging one or all for bookplates that you might wish to offer.They need not be writer's plates .I am primarily interested in graphics that appeal to me.
That's all for today.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
It's all very subjective .Over the years I have ,in fact, removed many bookplates.
Sometimes the books are donated to a charity, sometimes they are resold on ebay.
Here is the way I remove the bookplates without damaging the book.I would suggest that you start by practicing on distressed items.These instructions should not be used for leather bookplates and those with red dye should be tested first with a moistened Q-Tip, as red tends to bleed.
1) Boil Water
2) Fold a paper towel in quarters and cut it slightly larger than the bookplate
3) Using tongs, immerse the folded towel into the boiling water.
4) Place the steaming towel on top of the bookplate. If the bookplate is on the inside front
cover be sure it is level. You may have to place a saucer under it to keep it level.
5) Wait two minutes and place the point of a knife under a corner of the bookplate. Lift gently
and try to pull off.If you encounter resistance continue to soak another minute.
6) To avoid curling, after removal , place the bookplate betweeen some paper towels ,
place a book on top and let it sit for a day.
Let me know how well this worked for you. From time to time you may be surprised to find a second bookplate under the one you removed.
That's all for today.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
The answer is Pablo Picasso.
*"While earning a degree at Dartmouth College,Rockefeller had also become interested in the arts, especially photography. Many of his school breaks were spent touring art galleries with his mother, who was a serious collector of impressionist and post- impressionist art in her own right. As his interest in different forms of art developed,Rockefeller began what would become one of the largest and most impressive private art collections in the world.Picasso was regarded as Rockefeller's favorite artist..." *This information was copied from a website some time ago but I did not retain the URL .
The use of bookplates, like the love of reading is often passed on from one generation to the next. Nelson learned about the use of bookplates from his parents , Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Here are some other examples of bookplate usage passed from one generation to the next:
Douglas Fairbanks And Mary Pickford ,Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Evelyn Waugh and Auberon Waugh
More to come another day.
Friday, June 16, 2006
It's not too often one finds a bookplate featuring an Okapi , so I did a little investigation and found out that William Durant Campbell ((1907-1995) was an explorer and field associate in the American Museum Of Natural History, Department of Mammalogy.
He led six expeditions to Africa in the 1930's.
The artist was Robert W. Kane (1910-1982)
Yesterday, I mentioned Angel Of Death Letters. Here is a partial response to one such letter received several years ago : " Many thanks for your letter of the 20th of this month.What a beauty:the exlibris you enclosed.---I am not planning to exchange my bookplates inasmuch as my greedy heirs already have their hands on them "
That's all for today.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
The exact opposite applies to bookplates.That is why so many new collectors give up after the initial enthusiasm wears off. It takes considerable thought, time and energy to build a collection,which is precisely why I enjoy this hobby so much.
For those of you thinking about starting or building a collection here are a few time-tested tips to think about. Some are extreme, but they are all very productive.
BOOKBINDERS In most large communities there is at least one hand bookbinder.Check the Yellow Pages, Google, or ask a book dealer.More often than not they, being pack rats ,hold onto old bookplates ,and in some instances are more than willing to sell you a cigar box full.
BOOKPLATE ORGANIZATIONS In most countries there is an active bookplate society.I have been a member of both the American and English societies for many years and have gotten many choice items through exchanges with other members.
The American Society www.bookplate.org
The English Society www.bookplatesociety.org
EBAY Without question, I rely on this highly addictive site increasingly.Here is a tip.Search all possible spellings :Bookplate, Book Plate, Exlibris, Ex Libris
Yahoo Groups They have an exlibris discussion group which is highly recommended for both beginners and advanced collectors . They currently have 232 members from around the world.
Angel Of Death Letters From time to time I send letters to collectors in their eighties ,inquiring about purchasing their collections .Since I am currently 69 years old do not contact me until 2017
I have much more to say, but the train to New York City leaves shortly.I will continue in my next posting. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about bookplates and good luck in building your collection.
Lew Jaffe Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
"The New York Firm Of Tiffany & Company was commissioned to engrave and print, in 1961, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy presidential seal design ex libris .President Kennedy used these bookplates for the books in his private library in The White House.They are pulled from a deeply engraved steel plate " (private correspondence from a noted Kennedy collector)
The two copies I have in my collection came from the private collection of Mary Barelli Gallagher, who was Jacqueline Kennedy's personal secretary from 1956 to 1964
Other copies of the plate ,affixed to books, were included in the two Sotheby's auctions and the plate is illustrated on page 86 in the Sotherby's 2005 Kennedy Family auction catalog.
Some sleezbucket has been making fake Kennedy plates for several years and here is how to protect yourself from paying big bucks for a counterfeit:
Know and tust your dealer . Verify, if possible, the provenance.
Some( but not all) of the plates are on Tiffany watermarked paper.Hold the plate up to the light to see if there is a watermark.
The critical test is very simple.Gently rub your finger on the plate.If you do not feel the high relief letters and seal from the engraving process the plate is bogus.
Attention- William Jefferson Clinton -I have set aside one of my duplicate Kennedy plates to exchange for one of your plates.
There are also many many fake Hitler, Mussolini and George Washington plates in the marketplace.Let the buyer beware.
That's all for today.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Information about President Hoover's plate was written by Norman Kuhner and appeared on page 264 of Bookplates In The News
1970-1985 by Audrey Spencer Arellanes
" The centerpiece is a reproduction of a woodcut from one of the earliest printed books on mining, the BERGBUCHLIN VON ALLEN METALLEN of 1527.This work, whose author is anonymous, describes the locating and working of veins of ore; it served miners as a handbook which went through many editions.
Later,in 1556, appeared the great DE RE METALLICA or "ON the Metals"which the Hoovers translated (while raising two sons!)
three hundred years later"
That's all for now.
Monday, June 12, 2006
In 1939 A. Herry designed a charming bookplate for Greta Garbo and he captured her essence with great skill. The bookplate is in my collection and I enjoy looking at it but it may be one of those" honorarium" exlibris. I just do not know.
The term honorarium is used when a designer creates a bookplate for a celebrity without the knowledge or consent of the subject.Many bookplate designers, to this day, engage in this sort of shell game.
I designed a bookplate for Greta Garbo. The fact that she never asked me to design it is irrelevant. It impresses potential clients. .
Perhaps I am being too cynical. There may very well be some designers who do these sorts of plates out of respect for and as a tribute to someone they greatly admire.
Here is another plate from my collection that may very well be in the honorarium category -Josephine Baker by Attilio Cavallini (1888-1948)
That's all for today.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Click On Image To Enlarge
I wanted to come up with a catchy tag line about these physicians but the creative juices were not flowing.If anyone out there has any witty ideas please let me hear from you.
Here is what scant information I have unearthed :
Dr. Fox (1898-1983) was a prominent opthalmologist in New York City
Dr. Williams was ,I assume, an OB/Gyn.
Although the plate is signed FBS ,1944 it is not the work of Frederick B. Spenceley
Dr.Hopping was a proctologist in New Jersey.
Years ago, tracked down his son but he had no idea who designed the plate.
If you have a personal plate you are proud of why don't you scan it for me and I will try to include it in a future issue.
NEW TOPIC- Yesterday I spotted the following on the website of a British dealerand it amused me.
"The condition of this copy is only good as it shows a few signs of age and wear.
However it has the remains of three Maudie's Select Library labels overlaid one on another on the front board and a stylish bookplate of Lilian Maud Levi of Woughton House Bletchley on the front paste-down.
One wonders if the lady refrained from taking the book back to the library and absorbed it into her own collection or if she owned it before it fell into Maudie's hands"
That's all for today.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Click On Image To Enlarge
On a self-indulgent Saturday morning, I am apt to ramble.
A link to the site of another bookplate enthusiast has been added (click on the underlined title).
I would be delighted to link with other bookplate sites on a reciprocal basis.
Later in the day,I will pick up a copy of Mockingbird , a biography of Harper Lee.
When I requested a bookplate several years ago she took the time to respond even though she does not use one..Thank you Ms. Lee
There was a winner in yesterday's contest, Sean Tierney.He graciously declined his prize since he already had a copy of Jim Keenan's book so the contest is still up and running.
My new bookplate by Andy English should be ready in several months.It features Meerkats.
By coincidence, there is a delightful series about Meerkats on The Animal Planet.
My current bookplate by Roy Cooney is always available for exchange with other collectors. That's about all for now.
Friday, June 09, 2006
I stumbled upon an interesting site yesterday, www.technorati.com .It focuses on the number of viewers who visit blogs and rates the sites accordingly.
When you consider the fact that I have only been at this for one week, that 75,000 new blogs are created every day, that at most, there are only an estimated 200 active bookplate collectors in the U.S. A , my ranking of 1,373,516 is impressive.
I have no idea how Mr. Technorati arrived at that number but I intend to jump start my ranking. If you find my blog enlightening, amusing, quirky or just happen to be my brother or my children send it on to a friend.
I have also begun a contest.The prize is a copy of The Art Of The Bookplate by James P. Keenan. To win, send me the name of the person whose bookplate is illustrated.The motto on the plate is Impelle Obstantia Here is a hint.He was a president of The United States. Good Luck
Thursday, June 08, 2006
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"
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Several years ago my friend Jim Keenan published The Art Of The Bookplate, a very fine reference book .On Page 58 , I spotted the Maurice Sendak plate and by coincidence was able to get his home address from a mutual friend.
I sent a letter to Mr. Sendak requesting a copy of his bookplate for my collection and enclosed a copy of Keenan's book to reciprocate. Several weeks later a signed plate arrived but it was not the one that had Jennie the Sealyham Terrier who was also the star in Higgledy, Piggledy,Pop. I assumed he no longer had any loose copies .
Fast Forward-June2006-The elusive Sendak bookplate showed up on Ebay and I was the high bidder.It is signed and dated(1970) on the reverse side.
On to the next bookplate on my wish list:
I have been trying to get William Jefferson Clinton's bookplate for several years and did not have the nerve to ask him when I was shaking his hand at the My Life book signing in 2004
Several letters have been composed but none have been sent.I will keep you informed of my progress. That's all for today.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Click On Image To Enlarge
You will not find Nelson Eddy listed in the index of Don Robert's book , Rockwell Kent The Art Of The Bookplate, but at the bottom of page 91 is the following paragraph :
" There were other bookplates to be completed in time for Christmas. A Philadelphia art dealer had inquired about one as a gift for Nelson Eddy. Rose Marie , the actor's second picture with Jeanette MacDonald,was that years sensation-but the client had balked at Kent's fee of two hundred fifty dollars."
The client went instead to the prestigious firm of J.E. Caldwell & Co. and ordered a second rate knock-off in the Kent style. Let us assume $100.00 was saved by doing this.
At the time of Nelson Eddy's death in 1967 the pencil signed proof that Kent would have supplied would have fetched about $1,000.00 . In today's market it would be worth upward of $4,000.00
Monday, June 05, 2006
Every once in a while I get a bookplate that makes me wonder about the owner.
Such is the case with the bookplate for James Allan.
My assumption is that James Allan was sent to do the work of God in Africa, before the days of political correctness. He had a friend , H.T. Church , who designed his bookplate as a gift.
In this instance, Google has not been the shining light I have come to expect and none of my reference books mentions an H .F. Church
If anyone out there knows what fate had in store for James Allan please let me know.
I am often asked if I have a favorite bookplate and no one item comes to mind as I have many that give me a great deal of pleasure. The bookplate for Harold Lindley would;however, be near the top of the list.
Here is what I assume :He was under ten years of age in the 1920s or thirties and probably lived in America or England.
Prior to checking Google I had hoped to find something like this: Mr Harold Lindley, a retired pilot started reading about airplanes when he was ten years old and even created his own bookplate.-- No Such Luck.
What I did find among the listings was a deceased minister and a deceased physician who might have been the young book enthusiast.Perhaps I will never find out but hope springs eternal.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Jay Vivian Chambers was born in 1901, on April fools day.His father was the very talented bookplate artist Jay Chambers. Jay Vivian joined the communist party when he was twenty four years old and eventually become a first rate spy for the U.S.S.R
He got tired of being a spy in 1939 and went to work for Time Magazine.At an early age he got rid of his given name and changed it to Whittaker.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Brace Beemer would be unknown to you unless you were a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s. Three evenings each week at 7:30, The Lone Ranger was broadcast on the Blue Network station, WJZ .
For some reason, it was broadcast a day earlier from WXYZ in Detroit and I was able to receive that station,with a good deal of static ,in my bedroom. How proud I was to know what was going to happen to The Lone Ranger and Tonto a day before any of the other kids at my public school in Brooklyn.
It's funny but I can't remember if I attended P.S.152 or P.S.153 but I clearly remember the man in the mask with his silver bullet. It was Brace Beemer.
For over twenty five years I been collecting bookplates and this is my first blog entry. Stay tuned and I will try to add more bookplate trivia each day.