Sunday, June 26, 2011

California Booksellers and Circulating Libraries

I recently sorted through a large collection which was  rich in California booksellers and circulating libraries.
If you would like to send me additional information about these booksellers it would be appreciated and will be added to the blog.. Send your comments to
Copper plate engraving.The artist was Ward Small.Mr Roger was the owner of the Tecolote Bookshop in Santa Barbara
This bookplate seems out of place for California but  it  was noted Santa Barbara Bookseller so I have included it .

6/27/2011 Additional Information
You latest listing of subject plates is interesting. Perhaps you already know but just in case ---
The Gelber and Lilienthal plate is from San Francisco and dates to the period between the Wars. Their house publications were issued under the Lantern Press name and their books were printed by Robert and Ed Grabhorn, who published from the 20's to the 70's under the Grabhorn imprint.
Ernest Dawson was the long time premiere bookseller in Los Angeles - the shop being continued by one of his sons, Muir, who, I presume is one of the five silhouettes. Ernest published books by Ward Ritchie and Lawrence Clark Powell - printer and librarian respectively. He authored a short piece, "A Visit with Dr. R", referring to Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, the Dean of American high end booksellers in the early 20th century.
Cordially, Lee Harrer
I have also included several bookseller labels.
The Green Dragon Colony was a place where actors , authors ,and other came to spend time and practice their crafts.
"Since there is a Catalina Ave. in Pasadena, I thought I would do some searching on the internet and I came up with a website that gives the story of a Dow Family. There is a reference to this book store as being operated by one Helen Brown."
 The website is

I suspect that the shop was in one of the small store fronts in the Academy Theatre building, which are still there today.

This information was sent by fellow collector Jim Lewis

The bookseller label shown above was for Gelber Lilienthal Inc.
If you want to see an excellent site about bookseller labels follow this link:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Booksellers, Circulating Libraries and Umbrella Makers


I look forward to receiving a weekly email from  This was how I found this bookplate for R. H. Perdue designed by H.B.Quinan in 1897 .If you click onto the link you may be able to find a book sale where you live.
Would you believe I had every intention of writing about circulating libraries in California this morning until I started looking at this group of labels from England. I haven't looked at them for quite some time and found the fine print entertaining. Mr Croydon for example sold books and made umbrellas while Mr. Baker among other things sold genuine medicines. These trade labels are not easy to find but one thing  I always ask booksellers is if they have a box of detached boards.That grimy box stored in the basement sometimes turns into an unexpected treasure trove.If you hit pay dirt in following my suggestion send me a note about what you found.

 Next week if all goes according to schedule I will write about circulating libraries in the U.S.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Recent Bookplate Finds

The Courtney Crawford plate is a mystery. .Please let me know if you have any information about it.

When I first looked at the Charles Currier Beale plate I thought he might have been a pen collector.
As it turns out he was an author who wrote about stenography.

 I thought this plate for William P Lawlor might possibly have been done by Howard Pyle so I contacted Paul Preston Davis  and this was his slightly edited response:

Hi Lew, 
Regarding your blog, if you are inclined you can use any of this new information. The Lawlor bookplate is not by Howard Pyle. The letters HP on bookplates receive more than their share of recognition and confusion as Howard Pyle, Henry Pitz and Henry Peck were all artists and all three were inclined to use HP. All three had close ties to Wilmington. Peck was an early Pyle student moving to Wilmington in 1901. Peck is also known to have used variants of HJP as early as when he was designing program covers for amateur theatrical productions in Wilmington. Pitz was a prolific writer and seemed to enjoy writing of Pyle and the so called Brandywine School of art. His Pyle biography of Pyle was published in 1975. In later years Peck and Pitz both seemed inclined to use their full name. I showed this image to Ian Schoenherr whose knowledge of Pyle I respect more than any other. Ian agreed the image is not by Pyle and could actually be by anyone as there were numerous HP's on the fringes of the art world, also adding that it is kind of amateurish/art student style. 
 Best wishes, Paul 
Note From Lew : Paul Preston Davis has spent two lifetimes researching Howard Pyle and his book about Pyle is superb. Here is a link with information about the book:

 I have been sorting through a very large collection for several weeks and have come up with many "mystery bookplates" This one was done by MRM or RMM.. Does anyone out there recognize the artist or the owner?
Here are several more  which need further research.Gertrude L.Brown's plate was done by J.K.
I also have a duplicate of the Brown plate for possible exchange.Click on the images to enlarge.
   The Arthur Herman Ziegler plate shown below was done by George H Gihon. The owner was a book collector and a member of The Brothers of The Book..I have a duplicate for exchange.

That's all for now. See you again on Sunday.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Bookplate Artist Profile, Muriel Frega

Muriel Frega



Born in Buenos Aires ( Argentina) in 1972, studied at the Manuel Belgrano and Prilidiano Pueyrredón National Academies of arts, obtaining a degree in drawing and engraving in 1994. Also did a post-graduate Master’s at the Ernesto de la Cárcova Higher School of Fine arts (1996). Since 1998 work as a freelance illustrator.

My first ex-libris were made with traditional engraving (xilography) but quicly turned to computer graphics. Being a new technique, it is always updating and developing, and that's what I find amazing about it. Most of my works are erotic and colorfull (even though I mostly use a restricted color pallette).

By exchanging bookplates with other artists and collectors, I've started serendipity collecting bookplates and publications about bookplates.

I've earned several prizes and mentions in national and international competitions, including recently the First prize for the best series of erotic ex-libris in the ‘Eros & Thanatos’ competition, 2011.
Odds and Ends-  I  want to thank Muriel Friega for sending this information.Submissions to the blog are always welcome.  I will be out of town until June 13th so the next posting will probably be sent out on Tuesday June 14th.
For those of you who are interested in the bookplates of Hollywood celebrities follow this link: