Sunday, August 27, 2006

Children's Bookplates And Meerkats

My Home Library
Every Friday evening my wife and I watch a television series called Meerkat Manor . One of the things that bonds Meeerkat families is grooming and it occurs to me, that reading to children before bedtime is much like grooming.

For those of you who read to your children and want to give them a bookplate click onto the orange link for My Home Library above. You will find this free service delightful .

If some of you out there are especially proud of the bookplate(s) you or your child have already designed why don't you send me a scan. I can be reached at

There are a number of children's bookplates in my own collection and I have scanned a few for your enjoyment. Additional scans and biographical information about the bookplate designers will be added throughout the week.

The bookplate for Harold Chandler Kimball Jr. was designed by Harvey Ellis (1852-1904) who is best known as a furniture designer who worked with Gustav Stickley.
I may be mistaken, but it appears that Harold Chandler Kimball Jr. graduated from Harvard in 1912 and was a casualty of world war 1

I bought the bookplate designed by Winifred Bromall at the Papermania show in Hartford.The artist was unknown to me so here is what I found in a Google search:
"Winifred Bromhall was born in Walsall, Staffordshire, England and was educated at Queen Mary's School, Walsall Art School and Birmingham University. Her family immigrated to The United States in 1924. She worked for a while at The Children's Art Center in Boston and in the art department of a New York settlement house before illustrating full time.

She illustrated her first children's book, Zodiac Town:The Rhymes Of Amos and Ann, by Nancy Byrd Turner in 1921. She continued to illustrate for other authors until 1945, when she began writing and illustrating her own books. Her first self-illustrated book was Johanna Arrives "

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Theodore Brown Hapgood (1871-1938)


Last week I visited a bookseller who contacted me after seeing this blog. He had some bookplates for sale and thought they might they might be of interest. I got a number of plates from him but what was most intriguing were the ephemeral items relating to T.B. Brown.

I knew the name, but only one of his bookplates was in my collection (Alfred Bartlett) .

Here is what William E. Butler wrote on P.79-80 in American Bookplates: "Hapgood was a designer whose work, in addition to bookplates, included hand- illuminated memorials , architectural monuments, plaques, and inscriptions in wood, bronze, stone and marble,embroidered clerical vestments, and decorative design and lettering for books and other printing. His bookplate designs were noted for the exceptional harmony achieved between type and decorative form"...."All were pen- and ink drawings with intricate elaborate borders framing stylized human figures , architectural motifs, or sometimes merely lettering and decorative symbols. The great majority range from 1898 to 1910."

The shipping label Mr. Hapgood designed for his own use is interesting because it was sent to Charles Dexter Allen , the leading authority, in his day, on 18th century American exlibris.
Upon closer examination of the lettering in the bookplates used by Mr. and Mrs. Allen and comparing it to the lettering on the shipping label , I came to the conclusion they all must have been designed by Hapgood.

Little by little , I will add more information about Hapgood and hope to get additional input from some of you.

If you plan to visit Papermania in Hartford Connecticut , next week(August 26th-27) and have some bookplates for sale or trade let me hear from you (Bookplatemaven atHotMail Dot Com

I just found a most informative article about Hapgood written by Tom Boss several years ago.

Here is the link Http://

That's all for now.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Soylent Green ,Tom Mix And Sam Colt


Years ago (1973) I saw a movie called Soylent Green with Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson.It was , in fact, the last movie Mr. Robinson made.For those of you not familiar with the plot, it depicted a future society in which there was global warming, contamination of the food supply and one in which most people did not read. At the time it all seemed like nothing more than a fine film. Need I say anything more.

Edward G. Robinson and his wife Jane used a simple, off the shelf, (universal) bookplate.I do not know if Charlton Heston uses a bookplate, but I will write to him and keep you posted.

When I was about ten years old (1947) every week day around 4:30 I would religiously listen to the Tom Mix radio show.Tom Mix was a popular cowboy movie star who used an interesting die-cut bookplate in a simulated raw hide suede paper.

Many cowboy movie stars , especially those who were active in silent films used bookplates.Ken Maynard's bookplate is made with some sort of silk thread paper which is very delicate.

No self respecting western star would be without his Colt 44 so I have also included the bookplate for Samuel Colt (1814-1862) The inventor of the breech revolving pistol.

That's about all for now.I will try to add more biographical information about these people throughout the week and would encourage comments .

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bookplates By The American Banknote Company

Click on Images To Enlarge

To Enlarge, Click on Images

Ambrose Swasey(1846-1937) owned Warner & Swasey, manufacturers of
astronomical telescopes.

Museum of American Financial History

The American Banknote Company traces it's origins back to 1795 and a detailed history of the company can be found at the orange link above.

There is a also a news release (7/13/2006) about the company on the website for Rare Book Review I am quoting from it in part :"The American Banknote Company will auction over 200 tonnes of the ornate printing plates from its archives, many of them over 150 years old."

I don't think the American Banknote Company printed very many bookplates and suspect the activity was primarily with institutional customers .

If you have any other bookplates by them please send me a scan (bookplatemaven at Hotmail dot com) and it will be added to this posting. In The Artists and Engravers of British & American Bookplates by H.W. Fincham, a pictorial bookplate for The Brooklyn Institute is listed but not illustrated.

Some of the bookplate engravers who worked for the company are Ernest Clegg ( See Harvard Bookplate above) , Sidney Lawton Smith ,Rudolf Ruzicka and Frederick Spenceley (Ref. American Bookplates by William E. Butler, p.46 , p118, p.121)

Mr. Mark Tomasko was kind enough to send the following: " The Norman Williams Library bookplate is interesting because it has two portraits that appeared in the picture engraving records. NormanWilliams was engraved in 1884 by G.F.C. ("Fred") Smillie (1854-1924) , an outstanding bank note picture engraver who trained and worked at ABN and later freelanced, and later still was the chief engraver at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Mrs.Williams was engraved in 1884 by Alfred Jones (1819-1900) , probably the finest banknote engraver of the second half of the nineteenth century. In a quick look,however,this portrait does not appear to be one of his better jobs"

In addition, Mark Tomasko has also supplied the following American Banknote Company bookplate images :

Bowdoin College, Thomas Hubbard Fund
James Hazen Hyde
Brown University, Hammond Lamont Library
Marguerite Macdonough Holm
Walter Thomas Wallace

Friday, August 11, 2006

Technorati Rating And New Image Search Engine

When I started this blog back in June I had no idea how enjoyable the process would be but I quickly realized that it gives me enormous pleasure to create these little postings and share information with kindred spirits.

On June 9th my Technorati rating was 1,373,516 . As of this morning it was 123,898 .Thank you out there , for the vote of confidence.For those of you unfamiliar with Technorati it is both a blog search engine and rating service .

Another website which is quite new deserves your attention :
It is a well organized image search engine.You can , for instance search bookplate and see many images either as a slide show or individually. The site developer needs to work out some bugs. It takes a few minutes to figure out how to shut down the slide show and use the roller on your mouse instead , but it is worth the effort.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Beardsley Bookplates-Information Needed for Ongoing Research

Monday August 7th-Olli Ylönen has written me that he believes Aladár Erdley was a Hungarian composer( born 3/31/1870-died 1/15/1957). Thank you your input is appreciated.

Does anyone out there know anything about the owner's of these Beardsley bookplates? Posted by Picasa

Don't Mess With These Guys

I believe Stanley Dressler Lovegrove was an illustrator who lived in Pennsylvania. Can anyone out there verify that?
The Virginia Lewis bookplate is one of nineteen universal (your name is inserted) bookplates designed by Philip Reed and mentioned on page 57 in Bookplates In The News , 1970-1985 by
Audrey Arellanes
10/11/2006 Stop the presses- Malcolm M. Ferguson has contacted me. It turns out he is an 86 year old retired bookseller.I am quoting in part from his letter: "My bookplate was based on my idea, based on two or more Wierd Tales -one being William Fryer Harvey's The Beast With Five Fingers plus another by my late friend, August Derleth. The design was executed by a German prisoner of war after World War II's European aspect had ended , and I was awaiting return home in France."

NewYork Times 2/1/81 by Wolfgang Saxon "Roger Place Butterfield, a historian and journalist died yesterday of a heart attack at his home in Hartwick, N.Y. He was 73 years old. Mr. Butterfield , a former national affairs editor for Life Magazine was the author of The American Past: History Of The United States From Concord To Hiroshima, 1775-1945"

Yellow Springs News Online

I read two articles this week about astute bibliophiles who spotted stolen library books on Ebay.The one that especially impressed me was in Ohio ( see link above) where Scott Sanders at The Atioch Library spotted a book stolen in1956. The clue that enabled him to notify the authorities was the bookplate.

Click On Images To Enlarge

The book label on the left, from an unknown Englishman, is the winner of my do not mess with these guys award.

The runners up are also shown. If you search Google under bookplate curses you will find additional epithets, from dead monks.

It's Saturday morning and I am going out now to do some bookplate hunting.If anything of merit is found , it will be posted when I return.