Saturday, May 29, 2010

Polo Players On Bookplates

Rebecca Eschliman sent me the image of a universal bookplate originally distributed by Alfred Stenzel &Co , a firm which was purchased by The Antioch Bookplate Company in 1936.
Click onImages To Enlarge You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Windsor HoldenWhite was of the landed gentry. Here is what I found out about him at

" Windsor Holden White was the son of Windsor T. White.1 He married Jean Kathleen Mary Fielding, daughter of Sir Charles William Fielding and Florence Dixon, on 12 July 1944.1 He died in 1976.1 Windsor Holden White lived at Polo Cottage, Midhurst, Sussex, England.1 He lived at 10 Lowndes Court, London, England.1
[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1086. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition "

His bookplate was designed by D.W.V (unknown to me) in 1933 and engraved by A.N. Macdonald. (# 431 Edith A. Rights )

UPDATE 5/31/1010 Edith Anderson Rights most thoughtfully has advised me that the artist was Delia White Vail , Windsor Holden White's sister. For those of you who belong to The Bookplate Society, refer to newsletter vol.19 #1 (March 1997) for an article by Mrs. Rights about the artist.

I assume Thomas Holden White was in some way related to Windsor Holden White.His plate was designed by Cora White who I believe was his daughter.

I have not located any information about James Meckley Potts yet. The designer of his bookplate, Eleanor Barté was a children's book illustrator.

Carlyle S.Baer was an attorney in Washington and was also the director of The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers for over thirty years. I have a duplicate of the orange woodcut plate shown above and it is currently one of the items I have listed on Ebay.The artist is unknown to me.

Bookplate and Ephemera collectors are encouraged to send me a paragraph or two about their collections for inclusion in my blog. Send your information to

See you next Sunday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Two Mystery Purchases

This early comic strip was done by Henry Meyer (1868-1953).Was he the H.M. who years later designed the bookplate for Helen Sewall ?

The 1.75 in. wide by 5.5 in. long brass strip with four different rosettes shown below was purchased on Ebay.The seller was told it was used by a bookbinder for gilding book spines.Two very knowledgeable friends have their doubts.I purchased it as a decorative object which will be displayed on a wall with similar items.

I was was delighted to find this one yesterday. The artist's initials are HM. I have been looking through all sorts of reference books with one lead. On page 25 in The Rise of the Bookplate by Bowdoin there is a reference to a Henry Mayer. In searching Google I found an American illustrator , cartoonist named Henry Mayer and I have copied an early example of his work above.

A Google search of the owner's name ,Helen Sewall leads me to believe she might have been a book illustrator. Beyond that I could use your help. Let me know if you have any additional knowledge about these mystery purchases.
See you next week.
5/28/2010 Last night I listed 11 bookplates on EBay.I will add a few more this evening.
Here is a link :

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Trip Of A Lifetime, Part Three

Leather Bookplate used by William L. Clements
I have omitted the names of many , many institutions we visited as well as the private collectors who opened their homes to us in order to share their joy of collecting. By way of explanation, it takes a poet to properly describe a transcendental experience.Even then, the words fall short of the mark. All I can say is that next year, the good lord willing, I plan to attend the FABS meeting again.

The bookplate for A.M. Valerio was a gift from Hedger Breed, the president of the Book Club of Detroit and owner of White Raven Books in Ypsilanti Michigan. Professor Valerio taught at the University of Michigan and designed his own plate. Hedger by the way , is truly a "fisher of books" and a very helpful dealer with a large selection of books about books. Here is his Email

C.Hedger Breed P.O. Box 980469 Ypsilanti Michigan 48198-0469

Ann Arbor Michigan has a population of about 114, 000 and Philadelphia, Pa. has a population of about 1,447,000. I mention that because Ann Arbor has many more antiquarian bookshops than Philadelphia plus numerous book artists. Here are links to some of the artists , designers and publishers who attended the meeting:

Charles Adams Kelly(private press)

Cathleen A. Baker (designer, author, publisher)

Randy Asplund (illumination )

Kay and Virginia Kramer(private press)

I will be back on Sunday with my regular blog posting. See you then.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Trip Of A Lifetime, Part Two

Kathleen Marcaccio was one of many collectors I met. Her focus is on Gone With The Wind and she can be reached at In her own words here is a description of her collection:

"As promised, here's a photo of my GWTW bookshelves for your blog. The first copy of Gone With The Wind that I purchased happened to be a June 1936 printing! I then undertook to acquire other printings such as paperback editions, Book Club editions, Motion Picture editions, other hardbound printings that had visible differences such as a different color binding, and foreign editions. Along the way, I began to study the printing history of the book and acquire each known printing of the original book. It's now in its 123rd printing, and I've got 109 of those printings so far. "

Another collector I met was Maurice Barie. His focus is on Backgammon books , boards and ephemera. Maurice mentioned that he has never seen a Backgammon themed bookplate.If you have one please send a scan to and I will forward it to him.

Saul Cohen a member of the Zamorano Club collects among other things bull roarers.
If you have any for sale he can be reached at
If you are curious here is an article about bull roarers.

Here are two bookplates I purchased at John King's store.The signed hand colored proof for Janet Lansing Wicks was done by Pauline Stone . Her father, Wilbur Macey Stone was also a bookplate designer. Cecil Billington wrote books about the plants of Michigan. Normally I would soak a bookplate with glue stains on the verso but this color is tricky and sometimes bleeds so I will leave the plate as is.

John King has bookstores in at least two Detroit locations. The one I visited was at 901 West Lafayette Boulevard. It is the largest bookstore in Michigan with over 1 million Books

By New York/Philadelphia standards his prices are very reasonable.If I ever go back to Detroit I would like to spend a full week rummaging though the store.

At the end of each day I would take the Amtrak train to AnnArbor and stay at The Library Bed and Breakfast . In the morning I would reverse the process.

The owner of the Library Bed and Breakfast is Joan Knoertzer . Many people worked very hard to make the FABS trip so enjoyable but the person who made the most lasting impression on me was Joan. For those of you who have not met her , she is part Perle Mesta, part Ethel Merman., part Mother Teresa (for the stray cat community) with a dash of Amelia Earhart thrown in.
Stay Tuned for part three.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Trip Of A Lifetime, Part One

The Rowfant Club plate above was designed by Will Low and the one below was engraved by Sidney Lawton Smith

The Grolier Club plate was engraved by Edwin Davis French as was the plate for W.K. Bixby .

Who would ever expect a sane person to come back from a Detroit, Michigan trip and describe it a magical experience. Actually, it wasn't the place so much as the people I went with , the institutions I visited and the kinetic energy that is created by putting 55 collectors from all walks of life together for five days. The trip was organized by and for members of The Fellowship Of American Bibliophilic Societies
Over the next few days I will have blog postings about a few of the collectors and dealers I met but I wanted to keep this website separate so that additional bookplates from the member clubs can be added as received. Send your scans to

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wendy O.Williams' Bookplate and The Answer Man

Do you know anything about this artist, Furth? I suspect he was German or Austrian and emigrated to the states. Click on images to enlarge. Here is some biographical information about Mr. Kaempffert:

Richard Minsky has written an excellent book about embossed American book covers. For bookplate collectors it is a very useful reference because many of the artists mentioned designed both bookplates and covers. Some of the ciphers illustrated in the book enabled me to identify some mystery bookplates. Here is a link with more information:

I am both repulsed and fascinated by the late Wendy O.Williams of the Plasmatics so I decided to bid on a book of poetry which allegedly came from her library.The tipping point was that the EBay dealer offering the book was in Connecticut and I knew she lived in that state before committing suicide.

I wrote to the dealer asking how he knew with certainty that this was not a bookplate from someone else with the singer's name . By the time he replied the auction had ended and I was the high bidder He apologized and offered a refund because he really did not know with certainty who this really belonged to. My gut feeling is that the Wendy O.Williams of fleeting fame did not own this book but I kept it anyway.

From 1947 to about 1951 I used to listen to a radio show called The Answer Man. For those of you who never heard of him I just copied this information from Wikipedia:

"The Answer Man was a United States 15-minute radio program that aired from 1937 to 1956 on the Mutual Broadcasting System and also in syndication. It was broadcast late Sunday evening on some stations. During the 1940s, the program was sponsored by Trommer's White Label Beer. The Answer Man was Albert Carlyle Mitchell, who was born May 31, 1893 in Elsberry, Missouri. The series was created by Mitchell and Bruce Chapman.
Questions submitted by listeners were answered on the air by Mitchell, and those who sent questions not used in the program were given answers by mail. The program's offices were located across the street from the New York Public Library, which helps to explain how Chapman and his 40-person staff were able to deal with a constant flow of a million questions a year. They also kept their own specialized library of several thousands of volumes, and they created a card index of 20,000 authorities who could be consulted when all research avenues failed. The show was carefully scripted, yet it created the illusion that Mitchell was answering spontaneously. Many listeners believed that he was a genius with total recall of all information.
On New York's WOR, the program was heard twice a day from 1937 to 1952. Questions and answers covered every conceivable topic, from stain removal to legal advice. "

I mention the Answer Man because the frequency of my blog postings relating to a somewhat obscure topic puts me on top of most Google bookplate searches and that in turns leads to several bookplate questions each week from people all over the known universe. This week it is my turn to ask questions. Here are two bookplates along with enlarged scans of the artist's ciphers . Does anyone out there have some information about these artists ?
I can be reached at

I leave for Michigan in the morning and next Sunday I will be at the Ann Arbor book show so the blog will not be updated until May 25th.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hotel Ephemera

The Touraine bookplate was engraved by J.W. Spenceley
There was a gentler time when hotels had libraries for guests and they often used bookplates.

Old "Do Not Disturb Signs "pop up at paper shows from time to time and I often buy them . Here are a few of the older ones. Marilynn Gelfman Karp wrote an excellent book called
In Flagrante Collecto in which she devotes a few pages to these signs.It's one of those delightful books that is hard to not read and smile since it covers an amazing range of oddball collections.

While I am recommending books let me mention The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

Be warned this one will not bring a smile to your face. If you have contempt for politicians and financial experts or just want to get a clearer understanding of the housing crisis and the financial mess we and our grandchildren are paying for, this is one you ought to read.

Oops I scanned this one twice

See you next Sunday.