Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kindles And Shakers

Richard Schimmelpfeng is trying to find out who designed this mystery bookplate.The artist's initials seem to be HMD. His colleagues at Stanford were unable to locate the information and I found nothing in my reference books.Does anyone out there recognize the cipher ?

In case you are wondering what  could possibly connect Kindles and Shakers apart from the fact that I like catchy headlines, the connection is that the Shakers were destined to fail because they could not create a new batch of followers while  Kindles , Nooks and IPads can.. My blog is now accessible on Kindle.
If you wish to receive it on your Kindle follow this link below
 ( there is a 14 day free trial and a .99cents per month charge after the trial period.)
This is an experiment and  feedback would be appreciated.

On to the Shakers- David Serette was a man with  multiple interests and talents.The bookplate he designed for one of his many collections was memorable.

The first time I read about him was in the April 1979 issue of  Bookplates In The News by Audrey Arellanes.He was a retired television director,  who   became the printer in residence  at The United Society of Shakers in Sabbathday Lake Maine.. .
"A frustrated sculptor ,Serette began collecting old stone collectors tools and equipment .This led to slate carving , which led to early gravestone art which somehow led to a series of illustrated talks that kept leaning toward the macabre and resulted in yet another collection of early embalming tools and books on the subject."
Among his other hobbies were bookplates, booksellers labels,long haired Dachshunds and microscope slides. He also founded the Yellow Kid Press.The bookplates and note cards shown below were printed by him at the Shaker Press while he was an active member .

I have in my own collection correspondence from David Serette to Audrey Arellanes
.It is spiced with charming tidbits like this.
 " Dear Audrey,
     What a surprise hear from you.Saturday. If I sounded distracted it was because Sister Francis and the library secretary were bouncing around trying to tell me about the arrival of a baby lamb.They thought Arnold needed help..I'm trying to resign thr sheep midwife position,but-."

While doing some research for this posting I found the following comment about David Serette at this site:
"I had the pleasure of living with the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake for two summers in the mid 70's. Brother Ted Johnson was living at the time, as was acting eldress Mildred Barker, and sisters Minnie, Elsie, and Elizabeth. I have memories of taking care of sheep under the barn, and of seeing Sister Elizabeth tending irises beside the dwelling house kitchen.
Once, Brother David Serette played a joke on a woman who lived with the community, but who wasn't a Shaker. She had a small, yapping dog that she kept tied up outside. David found the skeletal remains of a lamb that had become lost, and he substituted them for the dog! The woman came out to get her dog and saw this little skeleton with the dog's collar on it, and she almost did a somersault! I half expected her to chase Brother David around the property, but she didn't, and later laughed about it.
The village is beautiful. Too bad the state ran a highway through it. The Shakers offered the state land so that the highway wouldn't be where it is, but to no avail. Cars now wiz between the dwelling house and the 18th century meeting house. To my knowledge, the community still takes guests, who pitch in with the work and worship with the Shakers. They're a remarkable people."

That's about all for now.See you next Sunday.

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