Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mystery Bookplates and a Few Links

Here is a mystery bookplate , the designer's name is Fox and I assume it is either English or American.
The second mystery bookplate for Wilfrid M. Langdon was designed by A.W. in 1908.I may be steering you in the wrong direction but it originally came with a group of bookplates from Cleveland ,Ohio

Several weeks ago I purchased this bookplate in Boston and posted it on the blog asking for some information about the owner and the artist. With help from the Google Detective Agency and dumb luck the mystery has been solved. The artist Maurice Sullivan was a physician in Baltimore, who prior to marrying Beatrice Adams designed a bookplate for her. At the time she was a social worker so Dr.Sullivan depicted a woman helping a man in distress.

Brian Whitley is an enthusiastic new collector who recently started a blog about bookplates.

Dr. Wolfgang Rieger is a bookplate dealer in Germany who from time to time sends out a catalog:

This one has nothing to do with bookplates but if you are amused by the covers on pulp fiction magazines follow this link:
There is an upcoming book and ephemera show in Hanover New Jersey on December 3rd & 4th
Next week I hope to do some big time trading with a collector flying in from The Promised Land
Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Week in Bookplates 11/20/2010

Bookplate by the late Daniel De Bruin

" The bookplate of John Brooks Henderson (1826-1913). Henderson was a senator from Missouri. He also studied mollusks and even published papers on them. Politicians like him are nonexistent these days." This bookplate and a different one were on a blog about snails, slugs and related sea creatures.

The Bookplate Of Lionell Copley, Royal Governor of Maryland ?

A few weeks ago a Lionell Copley bookplate was sold on Ebay for $15.18

This was the description:

"Jacobean Armorial bookplate inscribed Lionell Copley Esqr. Not in the Franks Collection.

According to Thomas R Young's "Yorkshire Bookplates", the arms are of Copley quartering Bosville, Hardwick and Copley with Black? on an escutcheon, and impaling Black? We are further informed that on the death in 1709 of Sir Godfrey Copley Bart (the celebrated FRS after whom the Royal Society's Copley Medal is named) his Sprotborough, Yorkshire estates devolved on Lionel Copley of Wadworth (d.1720), a distant cousin, who was probably the bookplate-owner.

Entries in the IGI record Lionel (1677-1720) as being born and dying at Sprotborough, that his parents were Lionel Copley and Ann Boteler and that he m.1699 Mary dau of John Wilson (he was b.c.1643) of Burrell, Bedale, York. So it seems that the arms both in pretence and impaled are those of Wilson, not Black, but there is no explanation for the peculiar treatment of the wife's arms appearing both impaled and on an escutcheon.

Dimensions of paper: 100x80mm

Condition: Good"
This week a second (identical) Lionell Copley bookplate was sold on Ebay with this description :


I am the first one to admit to my lack of knowledge about heraldry. It is possible that both descriptions are correct or that the second description may be incorrect. In any event, two bidders got into a pissing contest and the plate sold for $73.00
Anthony Pincott, who is the expert on such matters was kind enough to send me this additional information after I sent him my outline for this posting:
Thanks for your note. It is all too easy for a bookplate to be attributed to a famous man rather than to a less famous namesake. We see this, for example, with bookplates for Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Ernest Shackleton, John Rogers (recently on eBay) and now this Copley one.

1. The Maryland governor died on 27 Sept 1693, about 20 years before the bookplate could have been engraved.
2. The Maryland governor married 20 June 1676 Ann Boteler of Walton, Woodhall, Hertfordshire.
3. The wife’s arms on the bookplate are evidently those of Wilson (certainly not Boteler, and not Black).
4. Given that Sir Godfrey Copley dates were c.1653-1709 he could not have left his Sprotborough estate to the Lionel who was governor of Maryland.

The correct owner of the bookplate (which is Not in Franks but is V.950 in the Viner Collection) is Lionel b.16 July 1677, d.25 Dec 1720, who m. Mary Wilson. He was the eldest of the three children of Lionel (governor for a very short time) and Ann Boteler.
It saddens me to report that Daniel DeBruin died on October 19th. We exchanged bookplates from time to time and he was an exceptionally talented heraldic bookplate designer . His good friend Robert Wooten, the executive director of The American College of Heraldry has uploaded a memorial website in which he has has posted all known exlibris by Daniel De Bruin. Here is a link: Please take the time to click on to it . Mr. DeBruin's body of work was remarkable.
I have noticed an uptick in the number of new collectors bidding on Ebay. This is music to my ears as we are on the endangered species list put out by the U.S. Department of Obscure Hobbies.
If you are a new collector and would like to have a "collector profile" on my blog send an email to me with a paragraph or two about yourself and your collection. My Email is
See You next Week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back From Boston, Part Two

It is both time consuming, and great fun to learn about the owners and artists of bookplates.Here are two I purchased at the Boston Book Show. Helena McCann and Winston Guest were married in 1934. She was an heiress to the Woolworth retail fortune and he was an heir to the Phipps Steel fortune. He was among other things a leading international Polo player. Their bookplate was engraved in 1935 and the artist's initials are W.E.O. Does anyone know who this artist was ?
Beatrice Adams is a very common name and determining who she was is more difficult. The designer of her plate was Maurice Sullivan. If you want a copy of the Adams plate , I believe Tom Boss still has one left. His contact information
There is some speculation that she may have been the patron of the American artist Ralph Albert Blakelock but I suspect that is only wishful thinking.

See you on Sunday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back From Boston ,Part One

CLICK On Images To Enlarge No I am not taking ads on my blog. On the way up to Boston I was reading a local newspaper and this ad made me laugh out loud so I decided to show it. I am somewhat overwhelmed today so I will make this short and sweet . My plan is to research a few more of the plates I purchased and post them on Monday.
This is the Mystery bookplate I brought back from the show. The only thing I know about it is that it was purchased in England. Does anyone out there have any information about the owner Oliver Daly?

The Boston trip was a smashing success.I found a number of interesting items and was able to purchase an 18th century American bookplate which is quite scarce plus an early 19th century engraved American Reward of Merit also not often seen in private collections.

John Allen was a Boston bookseller and publisher of The News -Letter

His bookplate was engraved before 1730 (Charles Dexter Allen #13)

Ref.P 43-44 Vol.1 Journal of the Exlibris Society

This Reward of Merit for Miss Ogden, a student at Madame Binsse's Academy was engraved by Thomas Gimbrede "He was Born in France in 1781; died at West Point, New York 1832. Gimbrede came to the United States in 1802 as a miniature painter;but he was engraving some excellent portraits in the stipple manner for the New York publishers John Low and William Durell as early as 1810.In 1816 he had an office at 201 Broadway, New York and he furnished a considerable amount of work for the Philadelphia magazines, The Port Folio and The Analectic . On January 5, 1819 Thomas Gimbrede was appointed drawing master at West Point and he remained in that position until his death. He continued to engrave ; however,until late in his life .as we find portrait plates engraved and published by him in 1831."

Ref. Fielding Dictionary of American Painters Sculptors and Engravers P.139

Madame Binsse's Academy was a ladies finishing school catering to the offspring's of the elite. Tuition was $600.00 per year.
That is about all I want to say right now. I will be back on Monday.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This Week In Bookplates 10/7/2010

The Immortal Soul Of Emily Seaman
I attended a flea market today and was drawn to a tattered text book which had a political cartoon pasted on the inside back cover.Below the cartoon was a faint pencil notation "presidential campaign 1896 defeated candidate:".The 114 year old cartoon is very timely since the same folks who helped to bring us close to an economic tsunami now want to save us by debasing our currency.
When I got home I noticed a pencil notation on the first blank page.I will write the message in case the scan is not clear. "Emily Seaman is my name. Hamburg ,is my station.Heaven is my dwelling place.Christ is my salvation.When I am dead and in my grave and all my bones are rotten remember me,as you will see that I am not forgotten." I am not sure if there is such a thing as divine intervention or not but I am obliged to honor Emily's wishes.She will not be forgotten for a long, long time.
Click on The Cartoon To Enlarge

Here are two more examples of let the buyer beware when bidding on Ebay. In the listing for the bookplate shown below, the seller indicated it was for the poet Heinrich Heine. I am not all that knowledgeable about German bookplates so I asked fellow collector Richard Schimmelpfeng for assistance and he quickly determined that the plate was done in 1923 by Mathilde Ade. Since the poet died in 1856 the plate was either done for someone with the same name or as an "honorarium" plate.

For the plate shown below the seller indicated that it belonged to Theodore Roosevelt.Giving the seller the benefit of the doubt, what he did not know was that the Roosevelt family used the same bookplate design from generation to generation. A Roman numeral was printed in the lower left corner to indicate which family member the plate belonged to. The numeral three indicates President Roosevelt's grandson.. Theodore Roosevelt the Third ( Click on image to enlarge) and not the president.

I received an email in answer to last week's inquiry about the artist who did the John Cotton Dana bookplate.
"Edith Rights sent me a note and introduced me to your blog. Congratulations on some great information and wonderful images on the art of bookplates. We have a collection of bookplates here at the NPL, which Edith has worked with off and on over a number of years. Our collection was largely collected in the time of John Cotton Dana and immediately afterward, but since it really has not been processed or cataloged since the 1940s or 1950s, unfortunately there is not much access to it (as is the case with many of our collections in our Spec. Col. Division). Regardless we have great examples from Arthur Nelson Macdonald among many other bookplates for which we know relatively little.
However, tied into your blog post about Dana, it is our understanding here at the Library that Dana designed his own personal bookplates. He designed one tied into his Japanese Collection (see attached) which looks similar to the plate on your blog, so I would assume that he did that one as well. Some discussion of Dana and bookplates is in a book by Ezra Shales called Made in Newark: Cultivating Industrial Arts and Civic Identity in the Progressive Era (Rutgers Univ. Press, 2010), but it is far from exhaustive on bookplates as you might imagine (see:"
Best wishes,

Chad Leinaweaver
Special Collections Division
Newark Public Library
Upcoming talk on bookplates and bindings in Amherst, Mass. with interesting bookplate illustrations.


Next Weekend I will be in Boston attending two of the best book/ephemera shows on the east coast.
Here are the links with hours etc.

If you are in the Boston area and have some bookplates for sale or exchange please contact me.

I saw this book for sale on Ebay and it made me laugh. See you next week