Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bookplate Ephemera/ Carl Anders Breitholtz

I am always intrigued by ephemeral items relating to bookplates and bookplate artists Many of these scans relate to J.W. Spenceley , one of the foremost engravers during the" golden age "of American bookplates

Etched By J.W. Spenceley- Click on images to enlarge.

This is the artwork drawn by Carl Anders Breitholtz for his families archive at the Royal Library in Stockholm. Mr. Breitholtz paints heraldic subjects and illustrations for several publications. He particularly likes to draw subjects which relate to imagination and fantasy.

His website on heraldry ( mainly in English ) is

This is a sketch for a bookplate by J.W. Spenceley.It was done on the blank side of a business card(shown below) for practitioners of occult therapeutics .

I was sorting through a recently acquired bookplate collection when I came upon this embossed label for Mrs. Christian R. Holmes Collection.It didn't look like a bookplate so I Googled Mrs.

Holmes and it appears she was an authority on Ancient Chinese bronzes. I am assuming these labels were numbered and affixed to the underside of the items in her collection.

This is the reverse side of the sketch foe Levi Eaton's bookplate

Newsworthy- This week in bookplates:

Wolfgang Rieger's latest bookplate catalog is up and running.Here is a link:

There are two book shows in New York City this week. They both open on Friday April 3rd and I plan to attend both.

Here are the promoter's websites :

See you next week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Eighteen Small Bookplates

Click On Images To Enlarge
Margaret Mc Causland- This is a hand colored universal bookplate .The artist Lucia Patton is a children's book illustrator and author.

Pat Lawlor was a book collector , author and journalist in New Zealand and Shibli Bagarag is a reference to character in The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith. I am not on firm ground with this assumption so please let me know if I am correct.

Margaret Williams- I know nothing about this bookplate but it is a delight to look at.

Let's face it , some Sunday mornings I have very little to say. That's why I like the collector profiles so much. It's a win -win situation you get seven days of fame and I do not have to write something when the creative juices are not flowing. If you want to participate send me a paragraph or two about yourself and your collection. A photograph would be helpful. If I make any minor revisions they will be sent to you before publishing. I am particularly interested in hearing from collectors in Europe , South America and Asia. Most of the profiles received so far have been from American collectors. Send your profiles to

I just took a book off the shelf called Design In Miniature by David Gentleman.It's about small things,coins, stamps, labels etc. which measure one or two inches across. A number of my favorite bookplates fall into this category. I know something about some of these bookplates and their artists and will try to fill in the blanks throughout the week. Stay Tuned.
In 2006 I wrote about some additional small bookplates. Here is a link:

Monday Morning, 3/23- I have started to fill in some background information about some of the bookplate owners and the artists who created their plates.

Mary Hastings Bradley( 1882-1976) Her plate was designed by CK Berryman .
Mrs. Bradley was a writer and explorer who took her six year old daughter on an African safari. The daughter Alice B. Sheldon became a popular science fiction writer using the male name James Tiptree Jr,

E. Wilkinson- Reasonable assumption , he was a naturalist.

Brooklyn Edison Library- Artist's initials F.B. Done in the early 1900's

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Rowe Wright - Was not able to find anything in initial Google search. There was an author listed with that name .The artist's cipher is distinctive so someone out there will probably recognize it.

John Gerard Heckscher ( 1837-1908) Plate engraved by Tiffany & Co. Mr. Heckscher had an extensive angling library and had several different bookplate by famous American engravers.

Katherine E. Derr-Artist E.T. Nelson . I bought this at the Kutztown extravaganza several years ago and have not found out anything yet about the owner or the artist. I thought it would be easy to find biographical information about the owner, especially with a street address and city listed on the bookplate but no luck so far.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blank Book Labels

I picked up the floral Art Nouveau T L bookplate yesterday. It was in a French art book published in 1905 and bound by a binder in Sweden. Not much to go on. I have narrowed the field somewhat. It did not belong to Toulouse-Lautrec . Do any of you recognize it?

Click On Images To Enlarge

Click On Images To Enlarge

A book consisting of clean or ruled leaves for writing or making entries, with printing limited to page headings and/or divisions Examples include diaries, albums, scrapbooks, guestbooks, sketchbooks, account books, minute books, log books, exercise books, etc. Because the information recorded in official blankbooks may be of permanent value, good-quality paper and durable bindings are generally used. A blankbook should open flat for ease of use. Also spelled blank book.

There must have been thousands of Blank Book manufacturers . They were printers , binders , booksellers, stationery stores and suppliers for the retailers and factories throughout the world.

Many of them pasted advertising labels on the inside front covers.

The collecting fungus from outer space that has infected my brain must have been responsible for my interest in these obscure items . I buy them whenever I can so if you have some for sale, I am an easy mark.


Another Digitized Bookplate Collection

"Hello,I work for the University of British Columbia's Rare Books and Special Collections and we're digitizing our Thomas Murray bookplate collection at the moment. I love reading your blog. It has made me really curious about our holdings. We love getting feedback,especially if someone has a matching bookplate or more information for us. Take a look our what we have up so far Cheers! Eileen Hogan "

That's about all for today. See you next week.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Rodgers Book Barn and Pope Pius X

Click On Images To Enlarge
There is a charming book store in Hillsdale, New York called Rodgers Book Barn
About ten years ago I was told by a fellow collector that Mrs. Rodgers had acquired an enormous bookplate collection that had been built over a long career by a Manhattan bookseller who had retired in upstate New York.
Needless to say I was at their doorstep the very next day and what I found was spectacular. One item I acquired was a bookplate from the library of Pope Pius X.
At the time, my focus was on 18th century American bookplates so I made a trade with the late Brian North Lee whose focus was on royal bookplates. After his death the Lee collection was sold at auction in England. Brian had a distinctive way of displaying bookplates. He mounted them on graph paper. I mention this because several weeks ago the Pope's bookplate I had exchanged with Brian was offered on Ebay and I was the high bidder. So there you have a small slice of a papal pilgrimage , from Manhattan to Hillsdale, New York, to Philadelphia , to Barrowgate Road in Chiswick and back to Philadelphia.
See you next week.
Update 3/9/2009

If you plan to be in New York City this Friday or Saturday (3/14 -15) here is a link to an ephemera seminar that may interest you.

Friday, March 06, 2009

News & Events- 3/6/2009

Congratulations to Keith Scheid , the winner of the tattoo bookplate contest. His winning entry was:

"Exlibris The College Of Arms "


New Digitized Bookplate Site

The Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut has begun to digitize their bookplate collection. It is an ambitious work in progress for which they deserve our collective appreciation.

There will be errors. They are to be expected.When I get the name of the project coordinator I will post it on the blog so he can be notified about corrections.


Bookplate News From Around the World

The International Federation Of Exlibris Societies (F.I.S.A.E.) maintains an excellent site which is worth your time. Here is a link:


Book sales In Your Backyard

I look forward to receiving this information every week and plan my itinerary accordingly.


Calendar Of Book Shows & Auctions From Fine Books Magazine