Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Squirrel Liberation Army

I found the Squirrel image at
It seems that many of you are putting out bird feeders then surrounding them with barbed wire, and claymore mines to prevent the Squirrels from sharing with the birds . Squirrels have had it . They are well organized and their training camps are scattered around the nation. Be advised, the next time you put lard on the feeder pole retaliation will be swift.
It was my intention to put a few Squirrel bookplates on but I kept finding other bookplates that either amused or intrigued me so here they are.

John Harwood Evans' plate amused me.

Fetch the book piggy -Another one to put a smile on your face. The bookplate was engraved by William Fowler Hopson

The two faces of John Mull . Was he a deep thinker or a dirty old man?

This one was designed to be looked at straight up or upside down. Can any of you translate the Japanese ?

John J. Kincaid owned a restaurant in Baltimore.

Mary Wallingford Dame used all sorts of symbolism in her plate.Chances are we will never learn what she had in mind.

I attended a library book sale and found this bookplate dated 1910 .It was designed by Taplin. Are any of you familiar with the artist ?


Several months ago I wrote about watch papers. If you follow the link above you will see some wonderful examples.

That's all for now. See you next week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Bookplate Website

I purchased a sleeper on Ebay several weeks ago. The American movie star Paulette Goddard had a bookplate which was designed by her husband Charlie Chaplin.

Unfortunately, the clutter on Ebay has been increasing dramatically. I still look at the new bookplate listings each morning and occasionally I find a sleeper but it is very time consuming.

It is my pleasure to announce that Tom Boss has set up a new bookplate website. For those of you , like myself, going through bookplate withdrawal here is a good spot to purchase nicely designed bookplates by E. D. French and Rockwell Kent .

Tom will be adding additional bookplates every week so you might want to bookmark the site

See you on Sunday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Click On Images To Enlarge

It is Memorial Day weekend here in the states when we honor those who fought for us . I thought it would be appropriate to display these bookplates.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bookplate Odds and Ends

Thank you Ulrike Ladnar, Heinz Decker and Claus Wittal for writing and publishing an excellent reference book about theatrical bookplates. I think every serious bookplate collector should order a copy. The book is written in German but the 241 color illustrations are accurately described in an understandable fashion .
You can order the book at

Thank you Richard Schimmelpfeng for pointing out that the cipher on the DeLysle Ferree Caas bookplate was the owner's initials. He designed his own bookplate.

Thank you Anne Stibor for sending me the following link for the Pratt Institute bookplate collection. I am impressed. They have done an excellent job of displaying the collection.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This Week In Bookplates 5/17/2009

Click On Images To Enlarge Bookplates by Roy Van Nice I hit pay dirt this week. A gentleman from the mid-west sold me a collection which focused on Chicago artists and bibliophiles . While cataloging a collection I go into overdrive, trying to learn all I can about the owners and their artists. Here are some bits and pieces I have put together .
Roy Blake Van Nice is not mentioned in any of the standard bookplate references. He was an artist for The Chicago Tribune . This is the only reference I have been able to find:

" Roy Blake Van Nice was born on 27. Dec. 1887 at Missouri. He was the son of Rev. Robert Little Van Nice and Ida Turrentine. Roy Blake Van Nice married Ada Joy Brown on 15. Feb. 1913 at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Roy Blake Van Nice was an artist on the staff of the Chicago Tribune c 1918 at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. "


DeLysle Ferree Cass was a minor pulp fiction writer.The artist's cipher on his plate is one I do not recognize.

Click On Images To Enlarge

"The foremost artist of the Pilgrims was George H. Boughton (1833 - 1905). Boughton was born in England, but grew up in the United States. He returned to England in , and spent the rest of his life and career there. Reproductions of his paintings of scenes and characters from the Courtship of Miles Standish, such as the March of Myles Standish (1870), “Why Don’t You Speak For Yourself, John?” (188-), Priscilla and John Alden (1884) and Rose Standish (1891) were widely distributed. “Why Don’t You Speak For Yourself, John?” was even made into a popular drawing room sculpture by John Rogers (1829 – 1904), creator of the famous “Rogers’ Groups” parlor sculptures in 1885. Boughton also painted the famous Pilgrims Going to Church (1867, originally "The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church"), a scene he interpreted from a quote in W. H. Bartlett's The Pilgrim Fathers (London:1853, p. 237), The Landing of the Pilgrims and The Return of the Mayflower before 1870, after which he specialized in illustrations of Longfellow's Courtship"
The information about the artist along with the picture of Priscilla were copied from this website:
I will try to add a few more nuggets as they are unearthed.
Right now it's time to have breakfast.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Art Deco Bookplates

In a discussion about pornography one of our legislators said he could not define it but he knew it when he saw it. That's my take on Art Deco . I don't know how to describe it precisely but I know it when I see it.

Here is a link to a site about the history of Art Deco

It's odd, but of all the hundreds of books about bookplate design , I do not recall ever seeing one about Art Deco. Here are some examples from the U.S.

Carleton Noyes was a writer

The RCA Laboratories plate was done by John Vassos when he worked there.

I am not sure if this plate by Carl Junge would by considered Art Deco by a purist but I included it anyway. Here is some background information about Mrs. Malloch:

Two by Rockwell Kent.

A signed plate by Dan Burne Jones to the late Audrey Arellanes. I was curious and tried to find out who Mr. Bostedo was. From the Social Security records I determined he was born in 1916 and died in 1994. His residence was Forest Park Illinois but that is about all I know about him.

This one by Lynn Ward for Edward F. Addiss is my favorite in the Art Deco Category.

John Doyle Roche was the owner of a large advertising agency in Los Angeles and had a very fine library of books about graphic arts.He was also involved in the restoration of the famous Hollywood sign.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Two Interesting Links/The First Bookplate

I will be writing about John Doyle Roche on Sunday.
I try to include one or two interesting links each Sunday but I think they often get overlooked .This is a bonus posting with two links that may interest you. One is about the very first known bookplate and the other is about trade cards.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Back from Boston

I spent two hours rummaging through the carts in the vacant lot next to The Brattle Bookshop. The most interesting bookplate I found was for Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. In the past I always did this hurriedly because I was on the company's dime and I had a tight appointment schedule. It was much more enjoyable this time around without the pressure.

"Fannie Farmer was born in Boston in 1857. Although destined for medical school, a serious illness forced her to change her plans and she, instead, attended the Boston Cooking School studying under Mary Lincoln. She graduated in 1889.
Within a short time she was appointed Director, a position she held until 1902. While in that position she complied and edited the now famous Boston Cooking-School Cook Book and justifiably less well known Chafing Dish Possibilities.
On leaving the Boston Cooking School she established her own venture which she called Miss Farmer's School of Cookery.
She went on to write such books as Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent (1904) and Catering for Special Occasions with Menus & Recipes (1911).
She became an expert in the preparation of food for the ill and infirm even being invited to lecture at the Harvard Medical School on the topic.
She was also one of the pioneers of writing recipes in terms of standard measurements - a practice not well known at the time.
She also promoted her recipes via her long-running column in the national magazine Woman's Home Companion.
Before her death in 1915 she had overseen 21 editions of the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook"


This small gem (2 inches square) was used around 1840. The image could be Masonic or Mr. Hudson might have been a builder or carpenter. There was an L.U. Lawrence in Hudson New York who around 1850 grew award winning plums . That is the Google reference most often cited.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I purchased the Hartman bookplate from Tom Boss at the Braintree Book Show. It was designed by David McNeely Stauffer and it is mentioned in passing on p.368 in American Bookplates by Charles Dexter Allen. Tom seemed to be selling a good number of items but the traffic at the show appeared to be thin. I am not sure why the turnout was so light.The show manager advertised extensively and the dealers brought some very desirable items.

Maybe it was a combination of the general economic malaise and a fear of being in crowds because of the flu scare. Mary insisted that I buy an alcohol hand spray to bring with me.

I saw no harm in being cautious so I used it throughout the day. It seems to have worked.

I also purchased the mathematical instrument maker's label shown at the top of the posting. It is probably from the 1850's
Frederick Walker Lincoln, Jr. (1817 - 1898)
"Frederick Walker Lincoln, Jr. was born at Boston on February 27, 1817 according top his monument in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His grandmother was Deborah Revere, daughter of Paul Revere. When he was thirteen years old, he was apprenticed to Gedney King and his son and successor, Charles Gedney King. In 1839 Mr. Lincoln went in business for himself. He continued for forty-three years as a maker of nautical and surveying instruments. In 1883 he sold the business, F. W. Lincoln Jr. & Co., to Charles C. Hutchinson who had been a partner since 1858. He continued the business under the firm name of C. C. Hutchinson until his death in 1913. The firm was then taken over by his successors until 1940 under the same name.
In December 1857, Mr. Lincoln became Mayor of Boston. He was elected Mayor each year serving until December 1864.
In 1882 he accepted the position of Manager of the Boston Storage Company, the position he held at the time of his death on 13 September 1898."
Reference: Smart, Charles E. The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700 Troy, New York: Regal Art Press. 1962

One final note, the Antique Week newspaper ( May 4th edition) had an article about bookplates in which I was featured. It can be seen at