Sunday, February 28, 2010
To Err On The Side Of Caution/ Gouverneur Morris Bookplate
I spotted the listing shown above on Ebay and was interested but somewhat skeptical so I wrote to the seller as follows:
How do you know that this is the bookplate used by the founding father and not a descendent with the same name? All my reference books show a different bookplate. If you can cite a credible reference I will be glad to place a bid.
The seller promptly responded as follows:
"hi lewis. if you research"governeur morris" you will see that he spent time in france around the same time this book was printed.he also spoke fluent french.it certainly makes proper sense that he could very easily have picked up this book while he was in france.especially since his bookplate is in the book.,and the bookplate is very old.however,i wasn't there when he bought it.so my advice is if you don't feel comfortable with purchasing it,then please don't.i don't want you to have buyer's remorse and have us debate over getting your money back.it is not worth it for either of us. thanks very much for having interest in my book."
This is the Gouverneur Morris bookplate in my collection (Allen # 591)
I chose not to bid and neither did anyone else.If the seller is correct in his wishful thinking assumptions I missed a valuable addition to my collection.
Next weekend I will be at the book show in Washington D.C.
My Sunday blog may be delayed until Monday.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Baldwin's Book Barn/The end of an Era
In 2006 I wrote about my favorite bookstores.Here is a link to that posting.
Most of the stores mentioned are alive and well .Tom Boss is now located in Salem ,Mass, and Applefeld in New York City closed its doors after Mr. Applefeld died. All too frequently.Bookstores cease to exist when the owner dies or retires.
It was with great sadness that I recently learned that Baldwin's Book Barn Is Up For Sale.
If you are unfamiliar with Baldwins picture this: A five story stone barn built in 1822 sitting on 5+ acres of land in the BrandywineValley . The barn is filled with over three hundred thousand used and antiquarian books.
In this economy it is highly unlikely that the bookstore will be sold to another bookseller .Chances are the bookstore will be a fond memory replaced by luxury housing .
Perhaps this bookstore obituary is premature but I strongly suggest you visit the store while it is alive.
Here is a link:
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Bookplates of John Lewis Childs
His had one of the finest private libraries in the world devoted to natural history. It included among other rarities Audubon's original work Birds of America.
His bookplates are quite unique .The printed outer frame on each one is the same but the central portion is hand colored and hand lettered. I assume he had talented artists working for him in his catalog business and one of them may have assisted him with the bookplates. I would like to learn the artist's name and how many different bookplate images were in his library.
The bookplates from Mr. Child's library are quite scarce.I have only found three in thirty years but hope springs eternal. Maybe, a few more will be offered to me as a result of this blog.
OOPS, I almost forgot: From time to time I run bookplate collector profiles.It is not very formal or structured. Collectors write about themselves and their collection.and the information is posted on the blog.It's a good way to meet other collectors who want to exchange information and or duplicates.Don't be shy. Send me a paragraph or two. Lew Jaffe Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com
Friday, February 19, 2010
Bookplate From The Liebert Lavatory Library
No, I never mentioned it to my analyst .
Here are the titles I now own:
Toilets of the World by Morna E. Gregory and Sian James
Clean And Decent by Lawrence Wright
The Conquest of Water by Jean-Pierre Goubert
The Compleat Loo by Roger Kilroy
The Polished Earth byArchibaldM. Maddock,11
Temples of Convenience by Ligunda Lambton
When I spotted a bookplate for the Liebert Lavatory Library at Yale on EBay how could I not buy it ?
Here is some biographical information about the curator of the Liebert Lavatory which I copied from the seller's description :
"Herman Wardwell ("Fritz") Liebert was a distinctive personality in Johnson and Boswell studies, but will be remembered even more as the first librarian of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. He was responsible for the development of its collections from a firm base in Yale's historic library, but even more he provided the buoyant link between the Beinecke brothers who funded the marvelous new building and the traditions of Yale bibliophily which it enshrined and developed. A New Yorker by birth, Fritz Liebert graduated in English at Yale in 1933. His pre-war career was as a newspaperman, gathering experience he was to put to good use during war work with the economics branch of the Office of Strategic Services, and later in well-judged public relations for his library and its collections. He belonged to one of those generations of pre-war Yale men whose intellectual and collecting instincts had been inspired by Chauncey Tinker's Johnsonian scholarship. It was his 18th- century interests that brought him back to Yale when the war was over, first as a Research Associate in the Sterling Library but with an increasing involvement in library administration. The later 1940s were a good time to be an 18th-century specialist in New Haven, for there was the probability that Yale would acquire the James Boswell archives, at last reunited in the United States in the possession of Colonel Ralph Isham. Liebert was one of the quayside party which deputised for Isham when the Boswell papers arrived in New York on the Queen Mary in 1948, and he acted as go-between during their purchase by Yale a year later. He was involved with them for the rest of his life, as a member of the Boswell editorial committee from its inception, and he was for long chairman of the publication committee of the Yale Edition of Samuel Johnson, presiding over its stately progress. He was specially attracted to Johnson. He collected his works and memorabilia with gusto, and as generously passed them on to Yale, published a number of articles, and encouraged many young Johnsonian scholars. At Yale he became Curator of the Rare Book Room at the Sterling Library from 1958 to 1963. It had become clear that the university's rapidly growing rare book collections would need separate accommodation, which the three Beinecke brothers were willing to provide. Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed a fine, rectangular granite and marble construction, beautifully finished, which was opened in 1963. Fritz Liebert then received the keys of this fine new building like the captain of a newly commissioned liner. He was intensely proud of the building he served as Librarian until 1972. There had been problems during its construction. He liked to tell of the architect's disappointment when the books in the massive glazed internal stack did not all have blue spines as in his drawings: Liebert explained that a more practical color scheme would be necessary. The building - "a source of learning and inspiration" unlike so many of its generation - has stood the test of time. During his curatorship its collections developed purposefully, in its special areas of German literature, Western Americana, and medieval manuscripts as well as Liebert's own interests in English literature. He had a particular rapport with benefactors - from the Beinecke family downwards - and was much liked in the higher echelons of the rare-book trade. Hans Kraus, the greatest dealer of his generation, greatly appreciated Liebert's taste and judgment, and he contributed much more than an introduction to Kraus's memoirs, A Rare-Book Saga, published in 1978. Fritz and his wife Laura were excellent hosts, always sensitive to the particular occasion, and his own anecdotal jocularity was well balanced by her dour one-liners. He was in his element in New Haven restaurants like the now-defunct Old Heidelberg, where he had his special chair, and he had a taste for martinis and ample steaks. THE SAMUEL JOHNSON COLLECTION OF HERMAN W. LIEBERT. The bulk of Fritz Liebert's Johnson collection, one of the finest two in private hands, was gifted to the Beinecke Library. It comprises more than five hundred works, representing a total of more than a thousand volumes by and relating to Johnson."
See you on Sunday when I will be writing about the bookplates of John Lewis Childs
Sunday, February 14, 2010
This Week In Bookplates 2/14/2010
at the Greenwich Library in Connecticut. . Fellow collector Bob Weinberg has loaned a number of his Lincoln bookplates to the Library which is located at 10 west Putnam Ave.( 203 622 7948)
Saturday, February 06, 2010
I have written about watch papers in the past. Among other things, they are circular jewelers advertisements, dust protectors, and written records of when a pocket watch was last oiled and cleaned.The same 18th century engravers who did bookplates (Paul Revere ,Peter Maverick etc.) also did watch papers.Finding other watch paper collectors is always challenging so I was delighted to receive this email from Richard Newman: