Friday, August 31, 2012

American Name Labels, Part Four

Benjamin Vinton French (1791-1860)

Alexander Fridge (1765-1839) ?

Founder of B&O Railroad ?
I made pencil notations without a source on the back of the Alexander Fridge label many years ago but I am not confident the information is correct.

 House Of Representatives.T.Barnard ,. Printer

This is a large label ,6 1/4inches wide by  3 1/4 inches high. More often than not it was pasted to the outside front cover of books.  
"Theodore Barnard was on the southwest corner of 11th street and the Avenue, the site afterward occupied by The Star; Blair & Reeves, publishers of the Congressional Globe, on the north side of the Avenue, between 3d and 4 ½ streets, in the building known as Jackson Hall. M. Buel was on the south side of the Avenue between 12th and 13th streets, and afterward was of the firm of Buel & Blanchard, publishers of the National Era, on 6th street below the Avenue. Gales & Seaton were at 7th and D streets, publishing the Intelligencer, and the Gideons were on 9th street."

    Caleb Huntington

I suspect this is American but I can't say it with absolute certainty.The fact that his daughter's name is Rebecca will be most helpful when someone does some further research.

    John R. Livingston (Allen # 494)

 William Lord, East Haddam

The identification of owner's is not an exact science.This gentlemen mentioned in the link below may have been the owner of the name label

     Stay tuned for part five.See you soon.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

American Name Labels , Part Three

 I am somewhat overwhelmed by this project because I never fully realized how many of these 18th and early 19th century labels I had accumulated . When completed this will be a good resource for further study and expansion.If you have information about any of the owners of these name labels or the printers who made them please send your input to

Rebecca Berry, Portland

Teiley Blaksslee

This Label is one of my favorites.It is quite large measuring 80 X by 178 mm.border to border.
It undoubtedly came from a large quarto or folio volume.
The owner was probably from Connecticut

Robert Brough,Norfolk , Virginia

There are a number of internet references to Mr. Brough. He was very active in The Masons in the early 19th century

James Byrne

Samuel Jordan Cabell

Samuel Chase

Signer of The declaration of Independence from Maryland.

Henry Conwell

Second bishop of Philadelphia

SamuelDexter ( Allen # 222) 

Secretary of war in 1800 and Secretary of the treasury in1801

Samuel Dexter was an early American statesman who served both in Congress and in the Presidential Cabinet. Wikipedia
BornMay 14, 1761, Boston
DiedMay 4, 1816, Boston
PartyFederalist Party

James Edmondson, Essex, 1772

David Fonda, Albany

I have family in upstate New York so I know a little about this owner. The town of Fonda New York was named after him.and his descendants include Henry , Jane and Peter.

Ann Franklin

The owner Ann Franklin was the first woman to be a printer by trade in Rhode Island .

Stay Tuned for Part Four- To be Continued 

UPDATE 8 /31/2012

I found two more examples  similar to the Ann Franklin label. My assumption about the printer of the Ann Franklin plate may have been clouded by wishful thinking.Perhaps the plate was used by a different Ann Franklin.The last thing I want to do is spread misinformation so I will back away from my from my assumption  until more research is completed..

Monday, August 27, 2012

American Name Labels, Part Two

There are very few books about 18th century name labels. The best reference available is
Early Printed Book Labels by Brian North Lee. The book is primarily about English items but it does contain one or two pages  about America.

Amos Allen, Jun.

The label shown below is unusual in that it was printed for a student at Rhode Island College.

General John Armstrong

General John Armstrong fought in the American revolution.

  The Association Library


. For many years I thought it was printed by Ben Franklin but I now believe I was mistaken.

Edward Bass ,Jun.

I wrote about the Edward Bass Jr label. in a 2009 blog posting.
 Here is a link:

Caroli Bensel

 of Germantown, Pennsylvania woodcut label with type border printed by Christopher Sower

In all candor this name label project  is bigger than I had anticipated so I will sign off for now and continue with an additional posting on Wednesday or Thursday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

American Name Labels Part One

Name Labels  have limited appeal among bookplate collectors but they are of great interest to me.After handling them for a while you can sense the approximate date they were printed .With the recently purchased Dr. Gott label I was even able to find some  old gossip about him in 
The Story Of Cooperstown 

"A quaint character who established himself in the village before the coming of Elihu Phinney was Dr. Nathaniel Gott. He was a man of fiery spirit. When Dr. Gott's patients, on being restored to health, seemed inclined to forget their indebtedness to him, he threatened them with chastisement, and published the following rhymed notice in the Otsego Herald:
Says Dr. Gott,
I'll tell you what,
I'm called on hot,
All round the Ot-
-Segonian plot,
To pay my shot
[Pg 147]For pill and pot.
If you don't trot
Up to the spot,
And ease my lot,
You'll smell it hot.

Dr. Gott was an eccentric. He wore short breeches, with long stockings, and always ate his meals from a wooden trencher. Among a company of village men enjoying a convivial evening at the tavern a contest of wit and satire arose between Dr. Gott and Elihu Phinney who had become warm friends. Finally it was proposed that each should compose an impromptu epitaph for the other. In the epitaph which he improvised for Judge Phinney Dr. Gott, adapting the conceit of the schoolmen, made out Judge Phinney's soul to be so small that thousands of such could dance on the point of a cambric needle. Judge Phinney retorted with the following:
Beneath this turf doth stink and rotThe body of old Dr. Gott;Now earth is eased and hell is pleased,Since Satan hath his carcass seized.
Amid shouts of laughter from the onlookers, Dr. Gott, turning jest into earnest, strode from the tavern, and his friendship for Judge Phinney was ended.
Richard N. Venable (son of Nathaniel Venable and Elizabeth Michaux Woodson) was born 16 Jan 1763 in "Slate Hill" Prince Edward Co., VA746, and died 1838 in "Slate Hill" Prince Edward Co., VA746. He married Mary Morton on 05 Mar 1797746, daughter of William Morton.

William Gaston  1778-1844
Hannah McClure was William Gaston's second wife

I have a number of additional name labels to scan and they will be added next week in part two 
when I return from Papermania.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Odds and Ends

I made a decision when I started this blog not to include any paid advertising . When I mention  book sellers from time to time it is because they are exceptional and I want them to thrive.Here is a link to one of my favorites, The Paper Lansdale , Pennsylvania.
It is a  Disneyland for paper, book and ephemera collectors

Larry McMurtry in his bookstore in Archer City, Texas, August 6, 2012       David Woo/Dallas Morning News/Corbis

 Larry McMurtry's bookplate is shown below. It depicts the brand used in his family's cattle ranch and nothing else
.I mention him because he had the income stream and determination to establish a book town in the middle of nowhere.If you are from Archer City Texas and are offended, I apologize. Eventually he decided to sell 300,000 books from his inventory and  The  New York Times article about the auction is very interesting.On the one hand it is  about the September song of his impossible dream.On the other hand it's nice to hear about young people buying truckloads of books to start a book store.
Here is a link to the article:
On August 25th I will be in Hartford Connecticut to attend Papermania.
If you plan to be there and have bookplates for sale or trade send me an email.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Collector Profile Thomas C. S- Wixon

Several months ago I was contacted by Thomas C.S-Wixon .He explained that most of his bookplate collection had been destroyed during hurricane Katrina. He was particularly interested in obtaining a copy of the 18th century American bookplate for John Pintard (Allen#686) , one of his ancestors.
If you can assist him he can be reached at

After several discussions I realized he was a  not only a bookplate collector but also a collector of seals.
These "chops" were used in China on scrolls,manuscripts and official documents hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years before bookplates appeared in Germany . He also is an active collector of miniature books and art pottery.Here is a newspaper article about these varied interests.

" I have over 200 hundred seals (will let it go at that!). The seal I am holding is an 18th century Imperial household bronze seal. One of my best, historically.  I was given the Chinese name "Sage Falcon" because my surname: Sokolosky has the root word of Falcon. So my main "bookplate" seal is "From the library of the Sage Falcon". For special books I have one that reads "A Treasure from the library of the Sage Falcon".

                                               The Image shown above is used in my favorite  books


                                   Links Worth Visiting

The American Society of  Bookplate Collectors and Designers has an updated website with useful information

Exlibris land has updated it's bookplate exchange website.

From My Crest Collection

From time to time I have been purchased small crest collections
.I really know very little about this hobby and was pleased to find this website.

That's about all I have for this week..See you next Sunday.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Chinese Iconography in American Bookplates

In the year 2000  the Bookplate Congress was held in Boston.
Collectors from around the globe came to meet fellow  enthusiasts, attend seminars,
 and exchange duplicates. Of the 138 registrants 16 were from China.The Chinese collectors were very enthusiastic When I list duplicates on EBay the high bidders are often from China.This is especially true for Rockwell Kent plates. He seems to be a cultural icon there. There are currently four Chinese bookplate Societies with an estimated total membership of 847.For additional information about all the bookplate societies around the world follow this link:
I have assembled a group of American bookplates with   Chinese themes for your enjoyment.
If you have similar items in your collection and would like them added to this posting send your scans to

The Frederick Townsend Ward plate was engraved bi Sidney Lawton Smith in 1910

Frederick Townsend Ward
Frederick Townsend Ward was an American sailor, mercenary, and soldier of fortune famous for his military victories for Imperial China during the Taiping Rebellion. Wikipedia
BornNovember 29, 1831, Salem
DiedSeptember 21, 1862, Ningbo

Frederick Wells Williams was a professor of oriental literature at Yale.He had two versions of his bookplate designed by William Fowler Hopson.. One was unsigned.

This Leonard image when turned upside down  changes from a frown to a smile.

The two bookplates shown below were designed by Hui-Ming Wang..
Here is a link with biographical information about him.

This blog is a collaborative undertaking so I welcome

biographical information about the owners of these bookplates and translations of the Chinese words.
 See you next Sunday..