Sunday, May 27, 2007

Show And Tell

Click on Images To Enlarge. The Foote bookplate shown above is a type often referred to as a canting or punning plate.The person's name is incorporated into the design.No information about the owner is currently available.

Click On Images To Enlarge
This was a good week for bookplate hunting. A dealer friend sent me a large collection from which I was able to select some items that appealed to me. The bookplate for the West Side Republican Club (New York City) was designed by Charles N. Israels, an architect who was also a member . The club was organized around 1898 and in 2002 it had a name change. It is now the Gertrude And Morrison Parker West Side Republican Club. The history section on their website is not up and running yet but I will send them an email to get additional background information.

Gertrude L. Brown- I have a fondness for colors so this hand colored plate was one that immediately caught my eye.There is no artist's name and a Google search was of no help.

Ada Thatcher Huntzinger - Plate is etched and engraved, no artist indicated. She lived in California ,was the daughter of Mahlon D. and Luna a. Thatcher and married Robert Lee Huntzinger. As always your input is encouraged.

Caryle S. Baer- was one of the founding members of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors And Designers. The artist's initials on his polo plate are T.F. I should have more specific information about the artist before the end of the day.By the way , I do have multiple copies of this plate for possible exchange.

That's about it for today. Next week I will add some more canting plates.

Breaking News 5/28/07 --The West Side Loft Book Fair scheduled to open 5/31/07 in New York City was officially canceled last night. With such short notice I am sure there are going to be many unhappy exhibitors and attendees.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bookplate Ramblings

Click On Images To Enlarge

What could be more boring then being subjected to watching a neighbor's home video of a trip to Disneyland with their grandchildren ? My assumption is that most people, after five minutes, have similar reactions listening to me go on about bookplates .
That's why it's so pleasurable to meet with fellow collectors who share your enthusiasm.Yesterday fellow collector and bookplate junkie James M. Goode visited me and and we talked about his ideas for a book covering thematic bookplates. He has a has already written several books about Washington Landmarks and I look forward to seeing this one completed. I will keep you posted as it progresses.
In preparation for the visit I sorted through boxes of duplicates and unearthed things that had been put aside for additional research.Some of these bookplate puzzles are shown in the scans and hopefully someone out there in cyberspace can help me in my research.

Rufus C. Dawes-There is a strong probability that this is the bookplate for Rufus Cutler Dawes (1867-1940) who had a distinguished career in industry and government .In 1932 he was appointed president of the Century Of Progress Worlds Fair Organization and was concurrently president of The Museum Of Science And Industry in Chicago. The artist's initials are J.C.
If you click on the image it will enlarge so that more details can be seen.

Henry Curwen Lord - I always have the feeling that I have seen this bookplate in one of my reference books but I can not pin it down. It is dated 1904 and the artist's initials are C.A.L.
What appears to be an astronomers observatory is in the background.

Emilie Palmer Reed- My gut feeling is that this is English circa 1890.The artist's initials are FZ.
The verse referred to at the base of the tree ,Revelation, Chapter 22, Verse 2 is as follows:
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river , was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Montgomery Major- I have a theory that bookplates are a snapshot of their owner's psyche so I am not sure I would ever want to meet this book lover, assuming he is still alive.In any event, the artist is Fox and camouflaged in the background are many women with bobbed hair .

See you next week.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Retirement / Wild Bill Donovan & John Barry

If the truth be told I never enjoyed working all that much but I rolled with the punches , made a decent living and was fairly successful. Now I find that retirement is not all it's cracked up to be either. My psyche needs more stimulation than I get from this way of life. What works for friends and colleagues does not fit me well . I have no interest in golf and doing volunteer work offends me.
On the other hand, I do enjoy having the time, energy and good health to explore whatever strikes my fancy and have just registered to attend Book Expo 2007 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on June 1st. My primary interest is a 10 A.M. panel discussion about book related blogs. Later that day I also plan to attend the West Side Loft Book Fair Http://

The other night I watched a movie called The Good Sheppard which is based in part about Wild Bill Donovan "the father of American Intelligence ". His character was played by Robert DeNero.
It got me to thinking about a1950's foreign policy paperback which I picked up in Washington D.C. several years ago .The bookplate pasted in it (I decided ) belonged to Wild Bill Donovan but it was and still is only wishful thinking.This week I will contact Cornell University where many of his papers are housed to verify whether my assumption is correct.
Another bookplate which falls into the same bucket is an 18th century armorial for John Barry . It is listed in the Franks collection as #F1657 and the dealer who sold it to me thought it might be from the library of Commodore John Barry, the father of the U.S. Navy. I will investigate that one also.
That's about all for today.

5/15/2007 Commodore Barry Update

Mr. John Titford , a fellow bookplate junkie and professional genealogist was kind enough to do some research on my behalf and with his permission I am quoting parts of his email.

The plate is not Franks 1657...but is Franks 1658, Barry , next to Jackson quartering?Lehoop.
The arms of the husband , Barry are alongside those of his wife, in a fashion known as "Accole".
Commodore John Barry was born in Ireland(Bacumshane), but married ladies with the surnames Clary/Cleary and then Austin (not Jackson). So this CANNOT be his bookplate.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fat Man On A Bicycle/Lesser Know Bookplate Artists

I went to a library book sale last week not really expecting to find any hidden treasures and I hit the jackpot.I look for old beat up books that might have been overlooked by the herd of stampeding sex crazed booksellers who get up at ungodly hours , in order to wait on line one hour before the opening.They come equipped with high tech devices which they claim are used to scan ISBN numbers but I have always suspected they are really aliens communicating with their leader out in space. In any event, this trade card was tucked into a grungy book about sermons . Click on the image to enlarge.
I have very little information about the bookplate artists listed today, so your input would be appreciated. Sidney Alabaster engraved bookplates for very wealthy people in Suffolk County , New York during the 1920s and 30s. I have been told he also engraved for Tiffany.Three of his plates are illustrated and you can click on any image to enlarge.

Charles Selkirk(1855-1923) was an engraver who worked in Albany, N.Y. and like the others listed today , very little has been written about him.

Three Charles Selkirk Bookplates Shown Above.
Any additional information you have about these artists would be appreciated. Send it to

Margaret Hardon Wright (1869-1936) etched prints bookplates and Christmas cards.Her married name was Mrs. James H. Wright and she lived at 371 Harvard St. in Cambridge.Click on the images to enlarge.

Here is a link to a new website by Lee Jay Stolzfus , about printing history in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

If you click on his index on the left side of his site and select Jacob Staffer you will find much information about the bookplate artist David McNeely Stauffer. That's all for now. See you next week.