Saturday, February 12, 2011

Globe-Wernicke Bookplates by Michele Behan


I first encountered Globe-Wernicke bookplates on eBay. As both a postcard and bookplate collector, I found their advertising postcards fascinating. Each over sized Globe-Wernicke postcard included a detachable section at the top to request samples of bookplates, along with a copy of a booklet titled “The World’s Best Books.”
The bottom of each postcard included two perforated bookplates, some in black and white and some in color, to be pasted in books, with Globe-Wernicke advertising printed on the back. Obviously, the uncut examples I acquired on eBay had never actually been used as bookplates.
Once Globe-Wernicke received a postcard back from an interested customer, they would send out a standard form letter, including the advertised booklet plus a small supply of bookplates. They would then offer to sell more bookplates at the rate of 75 cents per thousand, 50 cents per five hundred or 15 cents per hundred.

The letter would then go on to state, “What we are particularly interested in, is furnishing you with Globe-Wernicke Sectional Bookcases to house your library...”
A website chronicling postcards of Cincinnati businesses has identified 12 separate Globe-Wernicke bookplate designs.
I have four of their designs in my own collection. Surprisingly, while an artist’s signature on a bookplate is generally considered to be a hallmark separating a commissioned bookplate from the usual, anonymously designed, universal bookplate, I did find an artist’s signature on one of the Globe-Wernicke bookplates.
The striking design of a proud sailing ship on choppy waters is signed H.L. Bridwell in tiny lettering on the inner frame surrounding the artwork. Below his name, the artist has added this motto:
Like argosies of old, seek treasure ~ but go a’voyaging in books.
H.L. Bridwell is Harry Loud Bridwell (1861-1930), a local Cincinnati artist and member of the Cincinnati Art Club who became partially paralyzed and taught himself to use his left hand. He did the decorations for the Grand Opera House, after the old theater burned down in 1901.
He also did magazine illustration, including a full page of boats in St. Nicholas Magazine for October 1889 and interior artwork for the same magazine’s November 1890 issue.


I want to thank Michele Behan for submitting this article. Submissions from readers are always encouraged. Send me an email if you wish to participate by writing about some aspect of bookplate or ephemera collecting.

On February 3rd Heraldry Today featured the bookplate of Sir Ian Gilmour

More Dogs on bookplates:

On February 7th Passion For Pipes included a bookplate which was of no particular interest but
the story about Alfred Dunhill was very enjoyable.
Is it my imagination or does the profile picture of Alfred Dunhill bear an uncanny resemblance to a well known bookseller in Salem, Mass.?

See you next Sunday.

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