Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bookplate Archaeology

I spotted a dis-bound book on EBay . The label half hidden for Harlaem Oil intrigued me.
As it turned out I was the only bidder.
With a little digging I found some information about Joshua Brookes and The Meadville Theological School
at this site:

  The library wits founded in 1845, at the same time with the school, by
donations from the Church of All Souls and the Church of the Messiah, 
New York, and from individuals living chiefly in New York and Boston. 
The only fund for the increase of the library, the interest of which is 
$72, was given by A. Worthington, of Cincinnati. 
  The library contains 12,308 volumes. The annual accessions average 
about 200 volumes. A card catalogue of authors and subjects is being 
  Between 1845 and 1850 Joshua Brookes, of New York, placed in the 
hands of the trustees $20,000, since increased by investment to $22,000,
the annual income of which is expended for theological works and their 
distribution among western clergymen who make application for them. 
About 2,000 volumes are thus distributed annually among some 210. 
clergymen. In this way 35,000 volumes of the best theological literature
have been given to western settled clergymen, irrespecive of denomi- 

 Mr. Christian Sylvester.owned both shops which sold the Harlaem Oil. The information came from this
1835 newspaper (Typos are not mine)

There are few of our. dtizens who have not some .
knowledge ef a poor but worthy and industrious
.mari./hamM CaaisTtAK; Srr.vEsTfia, who fat a
 of years
 has supported himself and family
bya book stand in Chatham street, formerly near
the.corner of Pearl street, and latterly, as at present,
at the corner of Roosevelt street. He has an incurabie'disease of'the
eyes, by Which he is-nearly /
blind, and he has nevertheless earned an honest h- II
-ving:at the jaboyff business for several years, and al- //
though ,so nearly blind that be is unable to recognise '
any face, 6f read aletter,. yet hchas acquired a surprising tact in conducting his establishment, by
which he knows where to find any particular volume
• uppn his well-filled shelves, and protects himself
; from'theft j though his stand is often'surrounded
with people examining his books. But in addition
to the eolc: of books, bur friend is celebrated somewhat as a doctor, espedally in the cure of those diseases for which JEfarlcem Oil is successful—for we
believe he uses no other, medicine. The design of
theprecent-artide, therefore, w to say that Christian Sylvester has made arrangements with the original inventors and proprietors of this article in
Holland, by which he has rectived a large impertation of the genuine Hartem oil, end, will be able to
keep a constant supply, at his residence, No* 121
East Broadway, *r at the book stand corner of Chatham and Roosevelt street, New York. The original letters frem the. proprietors in Holland, which
Mr. Sylvester has in his possession, and which he
is about to publisb, will satisfy the most sceptical » >
that idsosxhe genuine articWandthat much that is
sold in thi* city and elsewhere is spurious and worthless, in their estimation. Those, therefore, who
purchase RarUem oil of Mr. S; niay be sure that it
is pure as imported, and they will at the same time
help through the world an unfortunate and worthy
man.—Comtriunicated. '

This is my assumption, The label was was probably pasted in many  books sold at the Book Stand and fortunately no one ever  bothered to remove this one.until I found it.

Here is another  American book label from 1836

The inked inscription above the book label is quite   faded .
 I believe this is what it says:
To Miss Mary Compston
  This little tribute of respect
My Friend I give to thee
Treat not its motto with neglect
It is Remember Me
Dec. 1836                BFH

I had planned to write about American bookplates with a Chinese connection this week but I got more interested in exploring these labels.See you next Sunday

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