Sunday, March 04, 2012

Collector Profile Wally Jansen

    I collect woodcuts by Pam Rueter. He made over 1064 bookplates of which I have just under 1000. He also illustrated over 20 books and over 750 ephemeral items. His works were made with great skill and precision. Although readily recognizable sometimes they do not have that flair of a true artist. I collect his (inexpensive) works because my parents and even grandparents were great friends with his father Georg, uncle, Theo, and sister Maria, who were an artist, an architect, and a watercolor artist respectively. Maria's husband Willem Hofker was a highly respected artist known in the Netherlands for his portraiture, topographic drawings , pastels drawings and paintings of the people and landscape of Bali. He designed a few beautiful bookplates prints  which I have never seen even though I do have his preparatory drawings. . Georg Rueter designed around 100 bookplates, all woodcuts, but is better known for his design of book covers, stained glass windows, many arts and crafts era decorative items and even the cradle for princess Juliana.

     By the way, Pam Rueter also wrote about and helped publicize bookplates and was good friends with M.C. Escher who also produced some bookplates, one of which I have. They are all stunningly beautiful and consequently also very expensive.

    Other artists whose bookplates I collect are Dirk van Gelder, Theo van Hoytema and W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp. Van Gelder was the most prolific of the three but probably produced less than 150 bookplates. I think the other two, less than 20 each. One more artist whom I expect you are aware of is Anton Pieck. I have a few of his works but am selective about the ones I buy. He produced many without names for the mass market and a smaller number on commission for individuals. I collect the latter.

 What I would be interested in in addition to those specific artists are bookplates made for my direct ancestors. A significant number of those both wrote and collected books and I would love to find any bookplates they might have used. The most likely ones to have had bookplates were the van Hall, the Bierens de Haan, and the de Witt families. The first two from the 19th and 20th century and the latter from the 17th century. I know 17th century bookplates are rare but Johan de Witt ran the country back then and was known for having a fine library. Another ancestor, George Clifford (1685-1760) also had a fabulous library in the 18th century. He too is likely to have had one or more bookplates - probably botanically illustrated because Carl Linnaeus was his gardener. 

Here are a few examples of Pam Rueter bookplates.

If you have any bookplates for exchange or sale my contact information is :

The image shown below is a high resolution scan of the 1946 proof of membership in the Dutch Bookplate Club.  I think you'll enjoy the image showing the various stages of a bookplate's life, Commission, Inspiration, Engraving, Printing and finally Collection.  (Nothing about use as a bookplate!)  It is a remarkably fine copper engraving by Engelien Reitsma-Valença.  For being only four by four inches the detail is astonishing.


Note from Lew Jaffe- I am always delighted to receive collector profiles and hope more readers will send them to me.
See you next Sunday

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