Monday, March 29, 2010

Polar Exploration On Bookplates and Ephemera

In the late 19th century trade cards distributed by merchants and manufacturers were an inexpensive and very effective way to advertise.They were printed in relatively large quantities and often  pasted in scrap books. What I like most about them are the colorful quirky themes .The group above shows how interest in arctic exploration was used to promote all sorts of products.Click on the images to enlarge them.
The Byrd bookplate was originally engraved by E.D. French for Admiral Byrd's grandfather . Admiral Byrd had it  reproduced for the books in his library by Dempsey and Caroll in New York City
Donald Baxter MacMillan is not as well known as Admiral Byrd so I have added a biographical link
Amos Bonsall was a masters mate on the second Grinnell arctic expedition
Marie Peary Stafford was Admiral Peary's daughter.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Philadelphia Bookplates

 The first thing that struck me as I started picking Philadelphia bookplates to share with you was how many diverse clubs and societies  existed in the late 19th  and early 20th centuries. .Interestingly some of these clubs are still around today.  My favorite Philadelphia plate is for The Center Library,Pennsylvania Hospital For The Insane, Department for Males.( It is now called the U.S. senate).If  you have a copy of the Du Ponceau name label shown below (loose or pasted in a book) please contact me at

The information is needed for an ongoing research project by a fellow collector.
See you next week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brooklyn Bookplates

Click on Images to Enlarge

A book mysteriously appeared last week when I was removing Philadelphia dust from the bookshelves.. Mary and I have no recollection of ever having bought it. It was The Brooklyn Follies  by Paul Auster.
I mention it because it is the best work of fiction I have read in the last ten years.I plan to buy some more books by Mr. Auster and hope they meet my high expectations.
Brooklyn was the place I spent the first 20 years of my life and I tend to accumulate Brooklyn bookplates  and ephemera when it comes my way.

Here are   links to three excellent  bookplate  and ephemera collections in Brooklyn :

Next week I will write about Philadelphia bookplates.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Treasures From The Washington Book Show

Here are a few of the items purchased at the Washington book show .The Art Nouveau Renate plate is hand colored. Does anyone recognize the artist's cipher?
Richard Schimmelpfeng Just sent me the information requested.
Lew, the Renate plate is by Armin von Folkersam, 1861-1917. The "o" has an umlaut, i.e. Foelkersam.
On impulse I purchased this1920's direct mail flyer for  Davies Super Dry Cleaning in Evanston Illinois.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Lots of Bookplate Links On A Sunday Morning

 On March 1st Adventures In The Print Trade featured some Jugenstil bookplates.My favorite is shown above.       Caleb Crain at Steamboats are Ruining Everything wrote about Edwin B. Coddington's plate. See if you can spot something out of place in the image before clicking on the link
Knox College has an excellent group of virtual bookplate exhibits featuring among others Ruth Thompson Saunders(designer) and Irene Dwen Pace Andrews (Collector)

The Washington book show was spectacular. Two dealers brought large collections and I came home with lots of plates.I believe one of the collections must have come  from the late Brian North Lee.It included many 18th century Englsh book labels and leather plates.Home made bookplates appeal to me so if I had to choose my favorite purchase it was probably this one.If you click on the image it will enlarge.
Later in the week I will scan some more images for you but right now I am trying to play catch up after having been away for two days.