Sunday, September 30, 2007

Leather Bookplates

It has always been my desire to showcase the bookplates of other collectors so I was delighted to receive color Xerox copies of leather bookplates from a fellow bookplate nut who wanted to remain anonymous.
Leather bookplates were used by many of the wealthiest American bibliophiles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are without question elegant but as a practical matter the oils in the leather tend to damage the pages they touch. Removal of leather bookplates when required can be done by inserting the tip of an X-acto blade under a corner and gently prying the plate upward. Most glue did not bond well and the plates usually can be removed intact.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Images That Give Me Pleasure

Franklin Porter was related to Anna Porter whose bookplate is shown below. Both bookplates were found at The Title Page in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.
The Anna Porter plate is signed M.W.B. You can click on the image to enlarge it.My educated guess is that the artist is Mary Waterman Bonsall but I do not know that to be a fact. Something about the plate captivates me.
The hand colored mermaid bookplate above was signed by Bro. Chances are we will never find out who he or she was but I consider it bookplate folk art.

Until this morning I never took the time to find out who did the plate shown below.The artist Stephen W. Meader was the author of many children's books and I discovered an informative site about him

Seven Roads Gallery of Book Trade Labels
I have been very selective in choosing links and last night I revisited the Seven Roads Book Label Site. It is truly a labor of love and a visual delight. Click on the link above to see for yourself.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bookplate Odds and Ends.

My new bookplate by Daniel Mitsui is about a week away from completion . Here is what is looks like right now. Click on the image to see more details.
Consider this a" Saturday Night Special" On Sunday morning the blog will be posted on schedule.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eye Related Bookplates

The pollen count must be quite high this week.My eyes itch like hell and that was the genesis of this posting about eyes. Dr. Sidney A. Fox (1898-1983) specialized in ophthalmic plastic surgery

The bookplate for George Alexander Macbeth is illustrated on p.79 in Charles Dexter Allen's American Bookplates
I don't know who Huth was . In fact, there are many biographical gaps in this week's posting.If you have some information about any of these bookplate owners and want to share it let me hear from you.

Translation of the motto on Alfred Day's plate is several eyes see more than only one.
The artist for the M.C. Ennema was Anton Peck- Click on Images To Enlarge

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Adventures Of Isaac Titford

When in need of guidance in matters relating to heraldry, I turn to John Titford, a professional genealogist in England. Recently I contacted John about a bookplate which I unearthed here in the states and with his permission let me share his delightful response to my inquiry.

" This man is a great favourite of mine , not a direct ancestor but a more distant relation.Some while ago I published a book on the history of the Titford family from 1547 onwards.Nothing grand, mainly hard -working artisans. But I proved that everyone called Titford today is descended from one or two brothers living in Wiltshire England, in the 1550's, shoemakers and alehouse keepers.

Isaac Titford was larger than life.Born in Cranbrook, Kent, England; was a sword cutler in London; was bankrupt; joined the army as a surgeon in the 60th Regiment; went to America, was in the 1780's census for West Virginia; moved to New York in the 1790's, ran a shop selling all manner of things; a young boy relation drowned in his water closet so he moved from his Maiden Lane premises ; his two young daughters also drowned- in a pond in Rye, Westchester County, while playing with the daughters of James Fennimore Cooper, the writer.

Isaac won a gold medal from the Royal Society of Arts in London for importing cashew gum from Jamaica , whence he had moved and had a plantation; he fathered mulatto children; was imprisoned for debt; had his affairs sorted out there by his son from London ( William Jowett Titford,author of a well known book on the botany of North America)

Isaac returned to Cranbrook in England, worked as an apothecary, lived on for years and was buried in the churchyard."

On Wednesday , I will be going down to Washington for a book signing by President Clinton. If I can overcome the sense of intimidation I felt at his last book signing tour several years ago, I may muster the inner strength to ask him for a bookplate. Don't get me wrong , President Clinton has a gift and a talent, for putting people at ease. Any intimidation I may feel is self generated.Too bad he is not running again I would vote for him. Most of the other candidates are just not worthy of consideration and that includes the she -devil Hillary.

See you next week.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tales From The Land Of Ebay.

I have owned this bookplate used by The Inland Printer for quite some time and never knew who the artist with the stylized FH (click on image to enlarge) was.Thanks to Tom Boss it has been determined that this plate was designed by Frank Hazenplug.
Click On Images To Enlarge. Last week I visited the bookshop of William H. Allen (Tel. 610 461 8820 )
Website under Construction

In Japan, I believe they would call this establishment a national living treasure.

A well stocked open bookshop in continuous operation for over seventy five years, with a large inventory of scholarly books on art, history and literature , at very fair prices.

The Stanton bookplates which I purchased at Allen's aroused my curiosity.It turns out that Samuel Ward Stanton was a muralist and illustrator who focused on steamboats .His perished aboard the Titanic.The artist for the larger plate (RAW) is unknown to me.

From time to time "association copies" from the library of James Fenimore Cooper are being offered for sale These are not bookplates from the famous writer. They were used by one of his descendants.

I was reading a front page article in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday September 1st.

Let me recreate it as best I can. A woman on her deathbed who was not expected to come out of her coma suddenly was able to utter a few last words to her daughter. Not I love you dear , gasp like it would be in the movies but, be sure to follow my current Ebay bids.

The article went on to give prudent advice.Put all your passwords, PayPal , ATM machine, On line banking etc in writing in a safe deposit box where your next of kin can access them without spending hundreds(thousands) of dollars paying attorneys to sort through the mess.

Here is an actual Ebay message exchange . The seller's headline was "18th C bookplate, Carteret Granville" It did not look right so I contacted the seller and inquired if the item was on laid paper (chain lines which can be seen on 18th century American paper when held to light). The seller responded : "A friend of mine who is very knowledgeable saw it at the auction last night when I bought it and he said it was "right".Whether it was from Carteret's lifetime or several years after that,I guarantee it is period"

If you want to send your own buyer beware Ebay stories without mentioning any specific buyer or seller names I would love to include them in a future posting. Send them to
See you next week.