Sunday, February 25, 2007

California Bookplates/Maynard Dixon/Cecil B. DeMille

Many years ago I collected ceramic tiles and was drawn to art pottery and tiles by California artists. It was primarily the muted colors that fascinated me. There is something about the light in California that makes colors appear more vibrant. I thought about this recently when I purchased the R.F.McGraw bookplate by Maynard Dixon.
If you want to learn more about Maynard Dixon and the history of California bookplates there is an excellent new book published by the Book Club of California called California Bookplates . It is quite informative and well illustrated. The book costs $35.00 and is can be ordered directly by calling 800 869 7656 If you are outside the United States the Email contact is info@BBCBOOKS.ORG
Buy the book, you will not be disappointed.

Speaking of California, I woke up at 4 A.M. the other night and was drawn to the computer by some mystical force.The next thing I remember was looking at a "Buy It Now " listing on Ebay and thinking that I have been drawn to these objects by some divine intervention. How could I not get these ephemeral Cecil B. DeMille items . The bookplate is illustrated on page 233 of Historic California in Bookplates by Clare Ryan Talbot. That's another book you may want to consider purchasing.It was reprinted several years ago and you can get copies on ABE for under $20.00 . Mr. De Mille sent Christmas cards to friends that related to his films.

During the filming of The Ten Commandments critics were predicting the expensive film would be a turkey and that became the inspiration for the sphinx. The card was designed by Bruce Dussell.
That's all for now. I do have more airplane images and will post them next week when I return from the Washington Book show(March 2 & 3) at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn , Virginia .
If you are in the Capitol area and have bookplates to sell or exchange , I would love to hear from you. My contact info. is

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gallery of Sacker's Bookplates/

Gallery of Sac's Bookplates

This may be a bit confusing because I have not mastered all that I need to know about links, but it should work. There are two links shown above.. One is about Amy Sacker, who was much more than a bookplate designer. It was created by Mark Schumacher, a reference librarian at the University of Carolina , Greensboro.It is excellently crafted and quite informative.

To the editors of ALA Direct , thank you for the kind words about my blog in your most recent issue. I have linked to your newsletter because most of the topics covered are newsworthy and of interest .

I also want to thank Kier Graff whose blog booklistonline is well worth a visit. The URL is

On Sunday,February 25th, I will be adding some more airplane images along with a newly acquired bookplate by Maynard Dixon. See you then.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Airplanes on Bookplates

Hugh Oswald Short was one of the founders of Short Brothers PLC. , the world's first aviation company.His bookplate was designed by Kenneth Hobson
I purchased the May W. Wise plate in England several years ago.It was done in 1926 by a French illustrator , E.Wiralt . This one has everything, a car, a boat ,a ship, a blimp., someone walking and someone on horseback.
Alfred S. Niles (1894-1975) was an author and professor of aeronautic engineering at the Guggenheim Aeronautic Laboratory of Stanford University.I do not know anything about P.W. Lawrence. Click on images to enlarge

I believe, but am not absolutely certain that this engraved bookplate was used by Carl Fisher , the Florida land developer.
Sidney Lawton Smith engraved this bookplate for Amy Bend Bishop in 1909.Click on the image to enlarge and see why S.L. Smith is considered one of the foremost American bookplate designers in the early twentieth century. When I starting researching Amy Bend Bishop, I came away with the clear understanding that she was well bred, and very very wealthy.Beyond that ,some refer to her as a great humanitarian and some refer to her as a virulent bigot. Maybe she was both. One thing is certain she had one of the nicest bookplates Mr. Smith designed. I suspect it is quite rare as I have only seen two in twenty five years.

About twenty years ago Bruce Dey sent me this very striking bookplate which he designed for his own use.

Harold F. Pitcairn (1897-1960) was an American aircraft pioneer who designed and manufactured Auto Giro Rotocraft. He also founded Eastern Airlines. His bookplate was designed by J.E. Caldwell & Co. of Philadelphia.

Earle L. Ovington was the first U.S. airmail pilot.

This posting will be expanded as I have many more images. As always , I encourage active participation from readers like yourself. If you have a bookplate image to share please send it to Bookplatemaven at Hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another Great Video/

YouTube - Introducing the book
Here is an enjoyable book related video ,that is making the rounds .I know it has been on several blogs already and I spotted it on a February 13th posting at Books Words and Writing
The premise is simple , a scholar who works with scrolls is confronted and overwhelmed by radical new technology called the bound book. The video deserves some sort of award.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bookplate Removal Video from YOU TUBE

bookplate removal - Google Video CLICK ON UNDERLINED TITLE ON LEFT

I did not expect to write anything today but I revisited this excellent video clip from You Tube and thought it would be of great interest . If you check my archives for June 2006 you will also find my written instructions for a speedier bookplate removal.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Science Fiction/ Odds and Ends

Mahlon Blaine probably did more than one bookplate, but the only one I have is in my "celebrity"bookplate collection. If you click on the image to enlarge it you should be able to see more details.Joseph Dunninger (1892-1975). was an accomplished magician and psychic performer who was very popular in the 1940's and 50's.
In fact, I remember listening to his radio show when I was about twelve years old.
Here is a link that , if it works, will give you biographical information about Dunninger.

George Barr, an established SF illustrator wrote to me several years ago and mentioned that he had done several bookplates for clients but kept no copies. Here are two I know about.The one on the left was done in 1968 for his own books and the one on the right was a universal plate done in 1972. From time to time I see the universal plate offered on Ebay .The original drawing for his own exlibris was later painted in watercolor and sold.

Helen Clarke , Head Collection Services and Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Calgary sent me the Oswald Train bookplate image with the following notation"Oswald Train was a fan, minor author,one of the founders of a SF small press called Prime Press " Thank you , Mrs. Clarke for your thoughtfulness.
The bookplate for The Joseph Campbell Hospital shown at the top, falls into the "odds and ends" category.It arrived in this morning's mail and was purchased on Ebay last week. I bought it because it puzzled me and I thought there was an outside chance that it was 18th century American. It is, in fact, English and the Frank's identification # is 5013

More Odds and Ends- The Manuscript Society will hold a meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday February 24th. The topics of to be discussed after lunch are Bela Bartok letters and a Babe Ruth encounter. Reservations for the presentation and three course brunch ($30.00) can be made by contacting Barton Smith (tel. 610 678 8030)

Speaking of meetings, if you can get to Boston , Mass. on Saturday March 24 th you are invited to a meeting of the American Bookplate Society to be held at the Boston Public Library , starting at 10:30 A.M. There is no charge for this event and Jim Keenan will give a brief presentation about displaying, storing and preserving bookplates. There will be time set aside for exchanging duplicates with other collectors and learning more about bookplates , in general. I hope you will join us.

That's about all for this week, I jumped the gun and published a day earlier than usual. See you next week

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Science Fiction/ What ever happened to Stuie Steinkritz ?

I do not know for certain that each and every one of this group are for science fiction collectors.The Algot Erikson bookplate was done in Sweden in 1940 .The Vepstas bookplate has a comic book theme.It was designed by Henrietta Vepstas for her brother.The Morehouse bookplate amuses me so I included it.
The Sallume plate was designed for Antioch Bookplate by Ed Emsh.

I do not know if Ray Bradbury uses a bookplate in his own books.When I wrote to him in 2001 and asked him to send me his own bookplate , this is what he sent.I have a very special fondness for Ray Bradbury as he was the very first Science fiction writer I recall reading.Taking a trip down memory lane I also recall a fellow student in my public school in Brooklyn, whose name was Stuart Steinkritz ? He was, as I recall a nephew of Leslie Nielson , the actor. Using a pen name, he actually got published in one of the Science Fiction pulp magazines.I think that's pretty impressive for a 12 year old.
Although I can't be sure about the exact spelling of his last name I do recall the acronym he taught me B.E. M. (Bugged Eyed Monsters)
The late John Brunner used a bookplate designed by Jim Barker.The designer's name is hard to make out but you can click on the image for enlargement. Porcupine books in England has a number of books from Mr. Brunner's library with his bookplate, priced at $20.00 + They are nice people to deal with.
Edgar Rice Burroughs' bookplate does not come up for sale very often.About ten years ago, I tracked down his grandson and was able to purchase my copy from him. If a copy is offered to you from a reputable source, buy it.
Arthur C. Clarke's bookplates show up from time to time on Ebay. They seem to sell in the $25.00 + range.
L.Sprague de Camp used this very distinctive triangular bookplate.I purchased it from Tom Boss, a bookseller in Wellesley , Mass. several years ago.He may possibly have more copies.
Harlan Ellison uses a bookplate printed at Gnome press from a design by Ed Cartier.The late Andre Norton used a similar bookplate.
H.P.Lovecraft- A word of caution if offered an association copy with a Lovecraft bookplate. Mr. Lovecraft's cousin ,Wilfred B. Talman originally designed the bookplate. Several years ago The Necronomicon Press reproduced the plate and distributed it.I see them from time to time on Ebay. There is no easy way that I know of to distinguish these reproductions from the originals. Let the buyer beware.
It is Monday February 5th. I had hoped to complete this posting yesterday but real life interfered. I want to thank all of you who participated in my Ebay bookplate auction.The bidding was frantic and 24 of the 25 items listed were sold. I think this blog contributed to the many new bidders who participated. I plan to have my next bookplate auction sometime in March.If you would like to be notified just send me an Email :

H.G.Wells- He had at least two bookplates.The one he definitely used is item #44 in London Bookplates by Brian North Lee "From the library of H.G.Wells at 13 Hanover Terrace Regent's Park London (with facsimile signature). Label within an ornamental border"

The one illustrated above is from my collection and was designed by Robert Saldo. I do not know is whether the Saldo plate was ever affixed to any books in H.G. Wells' library.Some bookplate designers created "honorarium " plates without the knowledge or consent of the owner. It gave them a certain amount of prestige to claim they had designed a bookplate for a well known person. As can be seen from the Saldo advertisement, he promoted the fact that several celebrities of the 1930's were his clients.

A final note-This has nothing to do with the science fiction theme. Quite by chance I discovered several interesting bookplate groups on the Flickr photo sharing site.If you click on the words Science Fiction in the title, at the beginning of this posting it will lead you to the Flickr search engine.
See you next week.