Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fingerprints, Golf, Leather, Cats & Dragons


Leather Bookplates were primarily used by advanced book collectors. They are elegant but over time they tend to damage the pages they touch. Frank Hogan was a district attorney in New York and John Bakeless was an American historian and author.Robert Hoe was one of America's best known book collectors in the early 20th century.

        In an attempt to make to make this process less time consuming and more flexible I  switched to Blogger's new post editor.I am sure it is a vast improvement over what I have used for over   three years.but my brain has not yet figured it out, so it has taken me a great deal of time to get to this point.
.In any event what I am writing about is that sub categories in collecting evolve in a peculiar way.
You find a plate with fingerprints knowing it's an odd subject and then you spot a second one and so on..
If you have some bookplates with odd or interesting themes send  a scan to
and I will try to include it in future postings

Happy New Year, See you in 2010

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates, Act Four, Finale

I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope all your wishes will be granted.Cast of characters from left to right:
Top Row Lisa , daughter-in- law
Moira, daughter
Harrison, grandson
Steven, son-in -law
Lew, Bookplate Junkie
Bottom Row
Steven, son
Ellen Terry (1847-1928) had several bookplates designed by her son Gordon Craig.
Click on any images to enlarge.
Click on the image below to enlarge and see Ellen Terry's handwritten notes.

See You next Sunday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates Act Four , Scene Two

As promised, here is a continuation of the series on theatrical bookplates from the U.K.
New York was both stimulating and exhausting. We took our annual pilgrimage to see Santa and I also attended a book and print auction at Bonhams . On Sunday I will try to present the finale.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates Act Four ,Scene One

David Garrick's plate was engraved by John wood.
Click on Images to EnlargeJohn Drinkwater's leather bookplate was designed by his cousin G.C. Drinkwater

This is scene one because I have a good many theatrical plates from the U.K. and not enough time this morning to scan them all . On Wednesday, I will add scene two when I return from seeing Santa Claus at Macy's in New York City. Little Harrison is starting to question Santa's credentials; However, my daughter Moira is expecting in May so next year there will still be at least one true believer .

Gertrude Lawrence had two bookplates .One that was made for her in the 1920's or 30's as shown below. The artist is unknown to me.The second bookplate was used after her marriage to Richard S. Aldrich.

Received the following from fellow collector Bob Weinberg:

Dear Lew--After I graduated from Colorado Univ. in the summer of 1948, and having lots of time left on the GI Bill, I decided to go to the Sorbonne in Paris. On the SS Mauritania, I met Gertrude Lawrence and danced with her in the Salon Class ballroom. I was traveling steerage but met her through an English woman I met on board.One of the most magical moments of my life-- B

Sir Henry Irving's plate was designed by Sir Bernard Partridge.
Sir John Gielgud had two bookplates. This one was used around 1938 .The second one was used later in his life and is heraldic. I do not have a copy and would like to purchase one.
The artist's initials for Henry Urwick's plate are GHH .
Several weeks ago Tom Boss
had a copy of William Charles Macready's plate for sale

Intermission. See you on Wednesday.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates Act Three

Johnstone Beech is my mystery bookplate. Does anyone recognize the name? When I wrote about another mystery bookplate two weeks ago I mentioned the Dewey Theatre. Even as a ten year old growing up in Brooklyn I recognized the Dewey Theatre for what it was, a dump.
The attraction was that the first 25 kids to leave the movie received a comic book.
In 1938 Dick Rickard directed Ferdinand The Bull for Walt Disney and won an Academy Award.

Lawrence Shubert Lawrence, Jr.( b. circa.1916 - d. Jul 18, 1992 Boca Raton, FL, USA ) Male
Manager, Producer
Also known as:

L. S. Lawrence, Jr.

Grandnephew of Lee Shubert Grandnephew of J. J. Shubert Second Cousin of John Shubert Son of Lawrence Shubert Lawrence, Sr.
Additional Information:

headed Shubert Organization 1962-1972

The Yale Dramatic Association plate was designed by Max O. Parry.

The National Vaudeville Association plate was designed by Roy Van Nice

The plate for The New Theatre in New York City was engraved by J. W. Spenceley

The Hebrew Actors Club was located at 31 east seventh st. in New York City

Augustin Daly (1838-99) was an American theatrical manager and dramatist.
He established Daly's Theatre on Broadway .

Ruth St.Dennis and Ted Shawn were dancers and directors and they shared a bookplate.
This is the third my third posting about theatrical bookplates. There is an excellent book on this subject called B├╝hen-Bilder Exlibris rund ums Theatre by Ulrike Ladnar & Heinz Decker.
It is written in German , which I do not read ,but it is still an excellent reference because it has hundreds of color illustrations. You should be able to order a copy at
Next week I plan to write about theatrical bookplates from The United Kingdom.
Scans from your collections for inclusion would be appreciated. Send them to
See you next week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates Act Two

My plan is to continue posting theatrical bookplates for several more weeks and hope you will keep sending me scans to include on future postings. Send them to
Many thanks to Chris for sending the Eva Le Gallienne scan and to Karen for sending me information about the Antioch universal plate used by Larry Gelbart ( by my definition theatrical includes TV) Let's start with the mystery bookplate used by D. McK. W. For all I know he or she could have been the head usher at the Dewey theatre in Brooklyn but something about the plate suggests celebrity. Does anyone recognize the name
Eva Le Gallienne's bookplate was designed by Waslav Richard Rychtarik in 1926.It features a quotation from Ibsen
( Listen to Fred DuPrez preform)
Like I said last week unless you are a theatre buff many of these celebrities may be unknown to you so biographical links, where available, are included

Frank Fay with his first wife Barbara Stanwyck
Last week I posted a bookplate for his wife Florence Eldridge

The universal plate used by Larry Gelbart was originally distributed by Antioch Bookplate and is still available from Bookplate Ink.Follow this link for ordering information:

And now a brief commercial message from your sponsor-
When the mood strikes me I sell duplicates on Ebay. Some are theatrical but they run the gamut from angling to armorial. Here is a link:
See you next week.
Email received from fellow bookplate collector, Jim Lewis
"This is probably way off the track, but when I saw the D McK W bookplate on your blog my brain immediately said
"David McKay Williams", who was director of music many years ago at NYC's famed Riverside Church - but why the masks on a musician's plate? Must be someone else."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Theatrical Bookplates Part One
If I find a bookplate related to any aspect of the film or stage professions I usually buy it. If you immediately recognize more then three of these celebrities it means you are either much older than I am (72) and you are to be congratulated for your great memory or you are a film/theatre buff.
Biographical links have been added if you want to learn more and I have indicated the bookplate artists wherever possible. If you have any theatrical bookplates to share with us please send a scan to Marlowe/Sothern plate engraved by Tiffany& Co. Lionel Atwill used a universal plate by Bank Gordon The artist's name is hard to read .It appears to be R.C. Chase

TheFania Marinoff plate was done by Willy Pogany

Next week I will add another group of theatrical bookplates.See you then.
11/27/2009- Here is a link to the bookplates I currently have for sale on E Bay