Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Birth Of A Bookplate

I remember putting my children's first finger paintings on the refrigerator . It was my intention to save them for posterity.Over the years the paper turned yellow and eventually disappeared. That's what happens to most of us I guess. The reason it comes to mind is that in the bookplate world the same thing happens.Old memories wind up in the Staten Island landfill. This bookplate archive is unique in that some old memories survived the ravages of time.
This is a photo of Margaret Van Nest Smith taken in 1882. In 1896 she married George Van Wagenen Duryee. They had a home in Saranac Lake , New York where E. D. French , the foremost American bookplate engraver also had a studio.
This is an early sketch of the proposed bookplate done on the back of an envelope postmarked 1899. This and the initial designs were done by Mrs.Van Nest Duryee.

These are some early tissue sketches done by E. D. French.

Further along in the design process these are sketches and early working proofs

The first trial proof done in 1899

The completed signed proof.

That's about all I have to say right now. See you next week.


Luiz Felipe said...

Wonderful post! Thank you and congratulations!

That Girl said...

What a lovely finding! To be able to see someone's creative process so many years after their original thoughts, it's pretty neat. :D

Undine said...

So beautiful! I think this is one of my favorites I've seen on your blog. If I were to design one for myself, I would definitely use this as inspiration!

José Vicente de Bragança said...

Fine research.