Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Special Edition Bookmarks

Each morning I receive, Exlibris-L an interactive news letter which is of great interest to librarians and their groupies. More often then not it is quickly deleted; however, this morning I spotted a link about bookmarks which was submitted by Steve Mauer ( www.bookmine.com )

Here is the link: It is well worth looking at

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Leather Bookplates

This is my annual update of the blog's growth. The number of visitors is now about 2,500 per month and a large percentage of them come from Google searches. About four months ago I started experimenting with Feedburner and already have 36 subscribers. The advantages of Feedburner are twofold: 1 - The blog will be delivered to you automatically within 24 hours of each new posting . 2 -there is no waiting period for the data to be downloaded. The Feedburner registration process is simple and free . It is located on the upper left side of the blog under "subscribe via Email"
There is something elegant about leather bookplates so I have selected a grouping of my favorites. Very few people use them nowadays because eventually they damage the paper they are in contact with. I can't imagine that notable book collectors like Jerome Kern and Robert Hoe did not know this but I suppose it did not concern them.
The original design for John Drinkwater's bookplate was done by his cousin G.C. Drinkwater

This plate was engraved and designed by Oscar Taylor Blackburn .If you click on the image you will see greater detail.

If you have some biographical information about the Strasburgers or the Havens please share it with us.

William Simon Glazier collected angling books. Interestingly enough I found this pasted under another bookplate which is how it got slightly damaged during removal. Leather bookplates are usually easy to remove because most glues do not firmly adhere to them and weaken over time.

Place the tip of an X-ACTO blade under a corner and gently pull upwards to remove them.

Julia Parker Wieghtman collected miniature books .

J. P. Morgan whose bookplate is shown above was last reported doing cartwheels in his grave over Hank Paulson's Christmas present to all his cronies. See you next week (year).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bookplates and Christmas Cards # 4

Iorg Gambini created thousands of these ephemeral items along with a multitude of bookplates.

Bernhardt Wall is best known for his etchings and post cards but he also designed a number of bookplates.

Olivia Erdmann lived in New York City. Her book plate and this charming card are in my collection

George Sekine made the following notation on the back of this card: " (Junishi) is the twelve signs of the oriental zodiac. The sign of this new year is a snake.The snake sign of this year is the same as my birth's year sign. These men are called as Toshi- otoko (year's man) in Japan "

By Ernest Huber

By Jan Battermann

By Marius Liugaila

By Sascha Kronburg

That just about ends this Christmas Card Marathon .

Here is a link to a Japanese site with many examples of contemporary European bookplate designs:

Enjoy your holiday.

Bookplates and Christmas Cards #3

Here are two cards engraved by Stanley E. Scantlin. The smaller one below was made for Hallam Webber. It is in the style of a 9th century illuminated manuscript. The card required five separate stamping impressions.

Will Simmons (1884-1949) designed the card below.

Allen Lewis (1873-1957) did this plate.

The Plate below for Mr. and Mrs. Robert Floyd should be clicked on and enlarged especially if you have ever been to the upper west side in Manhattan.There are no longer any detached mansions surrounded by pristine acreage .

Yesterday I included two cards by J. W. Spenceley. Here are a few by his brother Frederick(1872-1947) .
You may have Frederick Spenceley bookplates in your collection and don't realize it.
Bookplates signed Spenceley , with no first name were done by Frederick.
Click on the images to enlarge them.

I am currently a subscriber to Fine Books & Collections and was recently informed that the magazine will no longer be available in it's monthly printed format. There will ; however,be a free monthly e- letter which you can subscribe to at
The magazine will be missed.
See you on Wednesday with more Christmas cards.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bookplates and Christmas Cards #2

Every day this week, until Christmas, I will be posting cards by bookplate designers and collectors. Click on any image to enlarge it. Frederick Starr collected and wrote about bookplates and coins . These two postcards were sent by him to the American ephemera collector Bella C. Landauer
Thomas Ewing French designed many of the Ohio State University bookplates which were engraved by A.N. Macdonald.

Jean Jacques Pfister (1878-1949) sent this card to Bella C. Landauer when he lived in New York City. On the reverse side he has written " Mrs. Pfister has closed her gallery on Lex.Ave. (The Hielt-Gallery) and we have taken a studio apt. in the Noflo *Arts Club.We hope you will come down to see us sometime."
* Hard to make out his handwriting. His best known work is We At Daybreak recording the transatlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh.

The card below was designed by Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978)

The card below is a wood engraving for Bella C. Landauer by Timothy Cole .

These two were done by J. Winfred Spenceley (1865-1908)

Additional Images will be posted on Tuesday. See you then.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bookplates and Christmas Cards #1

I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas.I suspect this is the last year little Harrison (in his Indiana Jones hat) will be a Santa believer.
Family members from left to right :
Lisa (daughter- in -law), Santa, Me
Moira (daughter),Harrison (grandson)
Steven (son -in -law), Steven (son)

Bookplate Designers often create interesting Christmas cards for their own use and for their clients. Each day this week until Christmas I will Scan a few.This first group is by A.N. Macdonald. If you click on any image it will enlarge.

Jim Lewis was kind enough to send me the following information:
Satterwhite was J.P. Morgan's son-in-law and wrote a book about him after he died.
That huge house was on Long Island and eventually burned
EdithA. Rights was kind enough to send me the following information:
Your Macdonald Christmas cards sent me back to my 1980s notes on Macdonald images. I saw about 30 such designs in 8 different collections with only a few duplicated by those you pictured. The Library of Congress collection (in the Prints and Photographs Division, I think) had the most of these. But one unique design was owned by a grandson of Macdonald's and I am sure that has since been lost to research because he was not a young man and still rather bitter about Macdonald's abandonment of his family.

More Cards will be posted on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bookplates On Ebay, Alas Poor Dodo

The mystery woman's bookplate has always intrigued me. I bought two copies . One is in my collection and one is currently for sale on Ebay *. She may have lived in California and the artist's name is hard to make out so I have blown it up. Do any of you recognize it?
* If you click the title of this week's posting you will be linked to the 25 bookplates I currently have for sale on Ebay.

You might wonder why someone would pay tribute to the Dodo bird on his bookplate. I certainly did and here is what I learned: Ralph Whistler has been collecting Dodos for a good many years .You can learn more about his world class dodo collection by following the video link below.

Last year I had a bizarre bookplate contest which was well received and I have been thinking about another (different ) sort of bookplate contest but the creative juices are not flowing. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Many of you have found odd and interesting things in books. In fact that is one of the joys of working in a bookstore.

Howard Yeend has a site devoted to things found in books.

Here is a very creative way to display a bookplate collection. I do not know whose collection this is but he or she is probably in Canada and must know me because the collection has several of my personal bookplates.

I am off to a bookstore to find treasures. See you next week.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Gifts For Bookplate Enthusiasts

Here are two bookplate books which I use frequently .They belong in any Bookplate reference library. Dr. Butler's book American Bookplates is available from the author at $29.95 plus postage
Primrose Press , Inc.
155 Mt. Rock Road
Newville , Pa. 17241-8916
Tel. 717 776 7359

Fridolf Johnson's book A Treasury of Bookplates from the Renaissance to the Present is an excellent starter book , readily available from your local bookseller for under $20.00

This has nothing to do with bookplates but I thought it might interest you.

The Jaffe clan met with Santa earlier this week and while in New York I stopped off at Christie's to pick up a bowl .When they were packing it I thumbed through some literature in the reception area and got caught up in reading about Dunnellen Hall , the former country estate of Harry B. and Leona M. Helmsley. Here is the good news for those of you who are house hunting in Connecticut. The price has been reduced from $125,000,000 to $95,000,000. I have been reading about Leona Helmsley and doubt she deserved all the nasty press she got , not to mention a stiff jail term . Some people are just jealous of the rich and famous .
Speaking of the rich and famous, you might was to visit Nick Harvill Libraries. He has a number of books for sale ,with celebrity bookplates .
If you want to buy some bookplates to start or add to a collection contact me and I will try to assist you. Here is a link to my bookplates currently for sale on Ebay:
See you next week.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Clark Gable Was A Book Collector/Who wasMontgomery Major ?

Audrey Arellanes used to live near Hollywood and would come up with remarkable celebrity bookplates for exchanges. From what I recall Clark Gable had a very fine collection of books about fishing. According to Audrey's notes she originally got the Kathleen & Clark plate from Justin Turner who was Gable's attorney in the 1960's . Kathleen Gable was originally Clark Gable's dramatic coach. I got the later Gable plate from James Pepper in Santa Barbara, California. He tends to get celebrity libraries.

My educated guess is that Wilfrid M. Langdon is English. His plate was done in 1908 and the artist's initials are A.W. Does it look familiar to you ? I've scanned four unidentified plates today and your input would be appreciated.
There was a California poet with the name Bernice Long Wright. Perhaps this was her plate. Do any of you know the artist whose initials are R L (click on image to enlarge).
If you have unidentified bookplates send me a scan and I will try to assist you.The Reed bookplate is signed FZ. Can anyone identify the artist or the owner ?

I have scanned several unidentified bookplates and hope that one of you may know something about them. The Montgomery plate is signed Fox . Cursory Google searches were not very helpful.There is something hauntingly addictive about the image.I paid far too much to obtain it because I was drawn to it like a magnet.
Update 12/1/2008
Fellow bookplate enthusiast Jim Lewis sent me the following note:
"There was a Montgomery Major who was a big shot in the chess world sometime back...
Could that strange looking person in the plate be reaching for a chess piece just out of view ?"
I tend to focus on American and English bookplates but there are many active collectors in the rest of the world . The link below will give you access to bookplate news from around the world.