Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Fuzzy Line between American and English Bookplates

Sometimes the lines between what is an English and what is an American bookplate are fuzzy.
Here are four such examples :

Members of The Woodridge family were in America starting in the 17 th century.
On Dudley Woodbridge's bookplate the words Anglus Americanus are very accurate. He spent much time in Barbados. For more specific information about the family please refer to volume XIV page 123 in The Exlibris Journal.

Joseph Priestley (Allen #702) was 61 years old when he came to America

William Axtell lived in New York . He was a loyalist who left America after the revolution and returned to England. Ref: Loyalists In America, Vol l Page 198

Lawr.Dinwiddie- Both the design and Motto are the same as the Robert Dinwiddie Plate (Allen 224).The only change being the name of the owner. Ref.Year book 1959-60 page 28
I figure he was Robert's brother or the brother's son.

. LAWRENCE DINWIDDIE of Germiston Born 1697. Died 1746. Virginia merchant. In 1774 his old firm, then Dinwiddie, Crawford & Co. stood fourth in the list of tobacco importers. An original partner in the Glasgow Arms Bank, in the "New Glasgow Tanwork and Shoe and Saddle Factory," and, like his brother the Governor, in the "Pott Work" at Delftfield, near the Broomielaw. Had his town house in the second flat of that great tenement on the north side of the Trengate, just east of Hutcheson's Hospital. Bought back Germiston, from which, years before, his elder brother Matthew, being insolvent, had vary naturally been evicted. Provost in 1742, 1743. One of "the Six Commissioners" to the Rebels in the '45. Son of Robert Dinwiddie of Germiston, and brother of Governor Robert Dinwiddie (No.11). Had two wives, Janet Coulter, sister of Provost John Coulter, and Elizabeth Kennedy of Auchtyfardle, who between them bore him twenty-one children. One of the twenty-one, Lawrence Dinwiddie, Junior, married Mary Nisbet, who lived till 28th June, 1849. In 1843, just 100 years after her father-in-law's Provostship, Mary Dinwiddie gave to Free St. Enoch's the communion plate still in use, Germiston, which is a 2 merk land of the "Tenandrie" of Provan, is now owned by Provost Dinwiddie's indirect representatives, the Lockharts of Milton Lockhart.
When I started collecting bookplates I had no particular focus. Whatever came my way and looked appealing went into an album. After a while I got interested in 18TH century American bookplates . The good news is that there are very few active collectors in this niche.The bad news is that these bookplates are hard to find. On the other hand , even with a modest budget persistence pays off.
Here are some time tested things that will work for you if you are patient.
Start with the antiquarian and used booksellers in your area. Introduce yourself and explain what you are looking for. Do not be discouraged no matter what the response. I have had booksellers ask me what a bookplate was. The point is that it is up to you to plant a seed so dealers will set things aside for your consideration. Ask the dealer if he has a box of ephemera. Sometimes the question pays off handsomely.
Another question to ask is whether the dealer has a box of detached boards. Sometimes they have still have bookplates attached to them.
Look for hand bookbinder's in your area. They often save old bookplates and may very well sell some to an enthusiastic collector.
Book and Paper Shows.
Again persistence pays off. Stop at every booth and ask about bookplates.
For those of you near Glendale California here is a link to an upcoming paper show;
Collector Profiles:
Send me a paragraph or two about your collection and I will try to include it in a future blog posting.
I received this inquiry from a Edith Eggenkamp, a bookseller label collector in the Netherlands:

Dear Mr Jaffe,

As a dutch collector of booktradelabels I am (always) looking for other collectors to start and keep and exchange-correspondence.

I already exchange/trade with several collectors in the US. I understand you collect booktradelabels apart from bookplates (exlibis) as well?
Maybe, you are interested in exchanging booktradelabels with me. I can only offer you dutch booktradelabels/booksellers'tickets, old and new.
Sometimes I can also offer you some Dutch bookplates..
Fellow collector Jerry Morris has written about Arthur M. Schlesinger's bookplate.
Here is a link:
I will see you all next week.

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