Saturday, July 24, 2010

Collector Profile Jerry Morris

OCCUPATIONS: U.S. Air Force, Retired,1989. U.S. Postal Service, Retired, 2006).

PROFILE: People on the web know me as moibibliomaniac. I collect books by and about bibliophiles, authors, and other famous people. I have books they formerly owned, catalogues of their libraries, autographed letters, and bookplates( if they had them). I've completed the cycle for a few bibliophiles in my library and have come close with Henry Blackwell (1851-1928). He was a bookbinder, bibliographer, author, book and bookplate collector from New York City. An autographed letter is all I'm lacking. But I have something better: a signed proof of his 1894 E.D. French bookplate. Blackwell inscribed it,"Compliments of Henry Blackwell."
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Henry Blackwell emigrated to America from England in 1877. He started his own bookbinding business in New York City in 1892, and wrote articles about bookbinding and bookplates. He was a member of ex libris societies in America, England, France and Germany. He wrote the Introduction and a chapter on the study and arrangement of bookplates for W.G, Bowdoin's book, The Rise Of The Book-Plate, New York, 1901.

He had the largest Welsh Collection of books on this side of the Atlantic, and wrote articles, books and bibliographies about Welsh-American books. In 1893, he commissioned H.T. Sears to engrave a Welsh bookplate for his Welsh books. This bookplate is pasted on the front pastedown of Blackwell's copy of A Journal of the Life, Travels, and Labours in the Work of the Ministry of John Griffith, London, 1779. Griffith was a Welsh minister who emigrated to America in 1726.
Blackwell bound this book himself:

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While still in England in 1872, Henry Blackwell created a leather gift bookplate which he used to present his cousin, Sarah Parry, with a copy of The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, Edinburgh, 1869.

In December, 1915, Henry Blackwell sold his collection of bookplates and books relating to bookplates:

The month before he sold his private library of literature, history, and bookbinding books:
Henry Blackwell kept his collection of Welsh-American books until 1925. This collection eventually found its way to Yale University in 1948.
For more information on Henry Blackwell, please read his listing in"> The Welsh Biography Online.
For more information on Jerry Morris, please visit me on Library Thing:
or on my website:

Thanks to Jerry Morris for submitting a most interesting collector profile.You are encouraged to submit your own collector profile.There is no formal structure. A paragraph or two along with a few pictures is about all you need .Send it to

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Remarques on Bookplates

Here are two wonderful bookplates recently designed by Daniel Mitsui.

You can see a good many more at his website

Bookplates By J.W. Jameson

* John William Jameson (1882-1939) used remarques more than any of the other American bookplate designers. They helped him to make a living during the economic turbulence of the 1930's

* Ref. p.90 American Bookplates by William E. Butler

I never realized until I examined this proof that Elizabeth Diamond not only collected bookplates but also was a talented artist.

The bookplate for The American Library in Manila was designed by Mary E. Rath Merrill and engraved by William Fowler Hopson, Many copies were made and this is probably the most widely distributed of all Hopson plates. What makes this working proof so special is that Hopson not only took the time to have it hand colored , he also drew , signed and dated a pencil sketch .

Papermania in Hartford Connecticut will be held on August 28th and August 29th.
Here is a another link that I found interesting :
It is about objects found in books

See you next Sunday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arthur Szyk Bookplates & Ephemera by Robert Weinberg

Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) emigrated from his birthplace in Poland ,to art school in France, and then to the United States of America. He was one of the most memorable political caricaturists during the Second World War. He was also a master book illustrator , designing such books as The Book of Ruth, Tales of Chaucer and The Haggadah. He was noted for his American postcards of George Washington and the Revolutionary War and produced many stamps for many nations.

With his art he fought against the National Socialist (Nazi) regime and its axis partners.Hitler had placed a $1,000,000 reward on his head.The first lady Eleanor Roosevelt referred to him as "a one man army" Though his political art was acerbic and barbed his illustrative works were the antithesis of his politics.
Although bookplates were not his major forte, he did design about twelve.His early bookplates presented the views of his patrons , while his later ones portrayed his viewpoints on life and religion.

Here , he chose to portray his reverence for life, learning and religious beliefs. Note from Lew Jaffe- For more information about the signed plate shown above go to:

If you have Szyk bookplates or ephemera for sale or trade I would like to hear from you.

I want to thank Bob Weinberg for submitting this article.
If you would like to write an article for the blog please contact me
See you next Sunday.

Friday, July 02, 2010

This Week in Bookplates July 4th Weekend 2010

Here are five etched mystery bookplates by Paul H. Smith of Boston.They belong to Tom Boss. He would be most appreciative if any of you out there have other examples by Paul Smith or biographical information to share. Tom can be reached
If you are looking for bookplates to start or add to your collection Tom is an excellent resource.
Here is a link to his website

I have been contacting artists who were associated with the Antioch Bookplate Company and gathering information which I hope to post on the blog in several weeks. Tom Boss also sent me this 1943 directory of bookplate artists published by The Antioch Bookplate Company.This is an all inclusive directory . Many of those listed were not directly connected with Antioch which is why it is such an useful reference. I have found several artists listed ,whose bookplates I own and for whom I had not been able to find any information .

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Click On The Images to Enlarge Long before face book , Ipads, smart phones, the X Box and television there was another
after school diversion, RADIO. One of the many radio shows I listened to was Can You Top This

The way the show worked was that the moderator told a joke and the panelists tried to tell a funnier joke about the same subject. The laughter was measured by an applause meter.

Here is a link to The Radio Hall of Fame with more information about the show:

One of the panelists was Joe Laurie Jr. and true to form he created a comical bookplate.

Next week's posting will be about Arthur Szyk.