Sunday, September 30, 2012

Threats and Warnings on Bookplates-Part One

                 A Curse On Bookplate Thieves

( Copied From )
"It was traditional, particularly before the invention of the printing press when books were all hand written manuscripts, to letter a curse into the book to prevent theft. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have worked very well, as the books also had to be chained into place. Even chains had limited effect. Witness the many ancient libraries where there are still chains in place -- but no books.
Here are a few examples...
Thys boke is one
And God's curse another;
They that take the one
God geve them the other.
He who steals this book
may he die the death
may he be frizzled in a pan...
This present book legible in scripture
Here in this place thus tacched with a cheyn
Purposed of entent for to endure
And here perpetuelli stylle to remeyne
Fro eyre to eyre wherfore appone peyn
Of cryst is curs of faders and of moderes
Non of hem hens atempt it to dereyne
Whille ani leef may goodeli hange with oder.
Steal not this Book my honest Friend
For fear the Galows should be your hend,
And when you die the Lord will say
And wares the Book you stole away?
A variation on the same theme...
Steal not this book, my worthy friend
For fear the gallows will be your end;
Up the ladder, and down the rope,
There you'll hang until you choke;
Then I'll come along and say -
"Where's that book you stole away?"
From the Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, a blanket curse for the entire library...(I really wish this one existed, but unfortunately, it appears that it is apocryphal -- there is no monastery in San Pedro. It's so nasty though that I include it anyway.)
For him that Stealeth a Book from this Library,
Let it change into a Serpent in his hand & rend him.
Let him be struck with Palsy, & all his Members blasted.
Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy,
Let there be no Surcease to his Agony till he sink to Dissolution.
Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not,
When at last he goeth to his final Punishment,
Let the flames of hell consume him for ever & aye."

 Recently I began to organize my own collection with  loose leaf page dividers labelled by themes and or artists.,
One of the themes I chose was threats and warnings. Here is part of what I included .

Philip Reed

Philip Reed was an illustrator and book designer who lived in St Joseph Michigan .He and his wife Nancy operated a woodcut stationery and bookplate business.Shown above are two of the nineteen universal bookplates he designed.
Ref . P.57 Bookplates in the News 1970-1985  by Audrey Spencer Arellanes

Lloyd Douglas

The artist's initial's look like UD.I do not recognize them.

Roger Place Butterfield    

 Mr. Butterfield, a former national affairs editor for Life magazine, was the author of ''The American Past: History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima, 1775-1945.'' The book presented 1,000 drawings, political cartoons, pictures and photographs with connecting text by Mr. Butterfield.

 Stanley Dressler Lovegrove was an artist who lived in Pennsylvania

Marion Nutt  

A pencil notation on the reverse side indicates she designed her own bookplate,

Malcolm M. Ferguson (1920-2011)

The late Mr. Ferguson was a bookseller in Concord Massachusetts. His bookplate was designed by a German prisoner of war after WWII based on "two or more Weird Tales -one being William Fryer Harvey's 
The Beast With Five Fingers plus another by my late friend,August Derleth"
Ref letter letter from Mr. Ferguson dated Oct 2nd, 2006

I saved my favorite for last.Perhaps it's the touch of red but I would not borrow a book from this owner whoever he is.
Stay Tuned for Part Two

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jessie M.King Bookplates

The Art Nouveau style characteristic of renowned Scottish artist Jessie Marion King (1875-1949) is instantly recognizable and will be familiar to anyone interested in the illustration of children's books and the design of jewelry, fabrics and painted pottery in the first decades of the 20th century. A leading enthusiast for her work is Colin White, author of The Enchanted World of Jessie M. King (1989). His later book A Guide to the Printed Work of Jessie M. King (2007) includes images of her work on an accompanying CD-ROM. Unlike the majority of ex-libris, King’s bookplates can be classed as fine art, and they command a corresponding price, especially those printed in color, some of them using gold to magical effect.
Forming a major part of the forthcoming Autumn 2012 issue of The Bookplate Journal is Colin White’s updated and expanded edition of the descriptive text he wrote for The Bookplate Society in 1995. The 32-page article comprises an essay on King’s work, followed by a checklist of her bookplates, both the ones she completed and her unfinished designs. Not only are all the colored bookplates reproduced here in color, but two or three additions have come to light in recent years, and there is more information about these bookplates than appeared in White’s books.
Let me again encourage readers to join The Bookplate Society and to receive this high quality journal as part of their good-value subscription. Non-members who wish to obtain just this issue should act quickly (the deadline is October 14, 2012) to take advantage of a pre-publication offer.
See and follow the link to fuller details on the News and Events page.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Week in Bookplates 9/23/2012

I have used the phrase "the wonders of the internet" several times this year. In each case a relative of a bookplate designer has come forth with new information about the artist . Barbara Coyle, grand daughter of
Ray F. Coyle sent me the following information along with images of two bookplates her grand father designed.

" Thanks for your interest in my grandfather’s art work. He was professionally an interior designer and on the “side” illustrated books for members of the Bohemian Club; for which he seems to get more recognition.

I found what I was looking for, the bookplate  for Dorothy Wood Simpson illustrated in 1921. The signature is on the right hand side above the “s & o” of Simpson. I’m clueless as to who she was. Ray F. Coyle died at the age of 32. My father being the oldest was only 10 years old at the time.  As far as I know he didn’t do any other bookplates for family.

   He painted the murals in the John Muir High School in Berkely CA. You should be able to pull them up. They’re not bookplates; yet one can see the whimsical side of Ray F. Coyle.
Some names of his dear friends might bring you to some of Ray’s work. John Henry Nash and George Sterling; both living during the 1920’s. Ray also illustrated a book by Jurgen ( I don’t know the first name)"

Thank you Barbara for sharing this information with us.

UPDATE 9/27/2012
Thank you Lee
Hello – In respect to Barbara Coyle’s comment about Ray Coyle having “illustrated a book by Jurgen....”, I first thought of “Jurgen” by James Branch Cabell but could find no illustrated copies in Via Libri or ABE. Last night I was looking through auction results ( and noted the sale last March of that title, with 12 illustrations by Ray Coyle, being published by McBride in 1923 as the first illustrated edition of that popular and controversial novel. That particular book had a TLS from Cabell tipped in and was estimated at $100-150. It brought only $25 before the buyer’s penalty was added – a very good buy for the auction winner. I have enjoyed your “Confessions...” and commend you for maintaining the weekly schedule. Cordially, Lee Harrer

Rebecca Eschliman of the Yellow Springs Historical Society
 sent me three scans of bookplate artists listed in the 1938 and;;1941 Antioch Bookplate Co.Catalogs, - They are very useful references

Thank You Rebecca.

Click On Antioch Directory Images To Enlarge

Henry Scott Miller Bookplate At The City Dump

This is a blog posting  that appeared in 2009. I copied it in it's entirety below because I was impressed with something other than the bookplate.The town of  Scaneateles, New York   has a village dump in which there is a swap shop where people drop off things that still have some utility left in them. What a simple and clever idea,
Perhaps it is done elsewhere but the concept is new to me.

At the Village dump, in the Swap Shop where people drop off things that still have some utility left in them, a copy of Willa Cather’s Sapphira and the Slave Girl sat on a shelf. It was a first edition, the binding somewhat faded by sunlight, and inside was the bookplate of Henry Scott Miller. The name was familiar to me because I see it every Sunday, on the floor at St. James’ Episcopal Church, on a brass plaque surrounded by tiles. The Rev. Henry Scott Miller was the thirteenth rector of St. James’, serving from 1931 to 1956.
Henry Scott Miller was born in Richmond, Indiana, in 1886, and graduated from that city’s Earlham College in 1915. While at Earlham, he was active in the Classical Club, in school plays and the Y.M.C.A., was on the staff of the yearbook and served as editor of the Earlhamite, the college literary magazine. One of his poems was chosen as the Prize Poem of 1913-1914 and included in an anthology entitled Earlham Verse, published in a limited edition of 250 copies in 1914. Miller was proud of his work; he inscribed and sent a copy ofEarlham Verse to Indiana’s famed poet James Whitcomb Riley.
In the Earlham yearbook, Henry Scott Miller was described in these words:
“Poor Harry! He has such a hard time remaining popular, ’specially with the Dean, because he insists on telling folks about themselves — and it’s generally true. Then, too, many people think that he is married and that his wife’s name is Bertha and that she keeps him at the library, which is enough to make any man tear his hair, even though he is a poet and a philosopher.”
After graduation, Miller left Indiana and studied at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, graduating in 1918. He returned to Indiana to serve in his first parish, and afterward served in New York City and Washington D.C. In late 1930, he received a call to serve at St. James’ in Skaneateles.
Over the next 26 years, he baptized, married and buried many parishioners. He was never married himself, but parishioner Virginia Thorne recalls that he was “surrounded by spinsters.” Spinsters and books. Henry Scott Miller never lost his love of poetry and literature, and he has an appropriate legacy today, as books from his personal library, bearing his bookplate, are in collections all over the world. His eight-volume set of The Works of George Fox (1859) was auctioned off in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2007. The books bore the marks of the Skaneateles Library Association; one can easily see the Rev. Miller returning home with his arms full from the library’s annual book sale. The Rev. Miller’s copy of The Country of Pointed Firs (1896) by Sarah Orne Jewett is today in the University of California’s library at Berkeley, and his copy of Unbeaten Tracks of Japan (1881) by Isabella L. Bird has made its way to a library in Japan.
The Rev. Miller retired from St. James’ and his profession in 1956. In 1966, he died in Elmira, N.Y., where he had resided since leaving Skaneateles. He was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery, Auburn.
In his portrait, published in a history of St. James’, the Rev. Miller seems to be looking around the corner into the frame, not quite committed to having his picture taken, perhaps wishing he was home with a good book.

Here is another link with information about other thrift shops at garbage dumps.

My next blog posting will be on Sunday September 30th. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cowboys On Bookplates.

Ken Maynard, American Film Actor and Stuntman

BornJuly 21, 1895, Vevay
DiedMarch 23, 1973, Woodland Hills
Ken Maynatd's bookplate was printed on a silk thread paper and Tom Mix's bookplate was printed on simulated raw hide.

Thomas Edwin "Tom" Mix was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. Between 1909 and 1935, Mix appeared in 291 films, all but nine of which were silent movies. Wikipedia

BornJanuary 6, 1880, Mix Run
DiedOctober 12, 1940, Florence
SpouseMabel Ward (m. 1932–1940),Victoria Forde (m. 1918–1931), More

R.F. McGraw's bookplate  depicts a Maynard Dixon painting from 1940.
The printing technique used puzzles me. Under magnification the ink has a 
texture similar to crinoline .Perhaps it was silk screened..I would be delighted
 to purchase  other Maynard Dixon bookplates . If you would like to learn more 
about his bookplates you might want to obtain a copy of California Bookplates
from the Book Club of California .They may still have a few copies left for sale.

I have not been able to find any biographical information about Philip Azarie Poirier..The artist's initial is N .Does anyone out there know anything about the owner of the plate or the artist ?

11/12/2012 Fellow collector Jerry Morris was kind enough to send the following information:

Dear Lew,

If you haven't found it already, here is some info on Philip Azarus Poirier, whose bookplate you displayed in your Sept 2012 post: Cowboys on Bookplates.

Philip's sister, Lydia M. Poirier was a bookplate collector. She was the librarian at the Duluth Public Library in the early 1900s

The artist who designed the bookplate for Lewis Winchester Jones is Bodrero (signature in lower right corner of image), I did find a James Bodrero who is best known for his work at Disney Studios but I do not know if it was he who designed the bookplate.Here is some biographical information about the Disney artist:

Born in Belgium on July 6, 1900. Bodrero was named for his uncle, artist James M. Spalding. He began drawing and painting as a child and remained self-taught. As a teenager he was working as a freelance artist in NYC, submitting work to national magazines and illustrating for authors. In 1925 he settled in Pasadena and in 1938 went to work in the art department at Disney Studios as a story director and character designer. There he created Dumbo the elephant, the ostrich who danced in "Fanta (showing 500 of 1029 characters).

Alfred Henry Lewis  

American journalist and author. His bookplate was designed by Frederick Remington

Don Louis Perceval

This is a working proof by Anthony Kroll.. A cattle brand has been embossed at the bottom and the owner's name has yet to be added.
 Ref Page 12 Bookplates In The News 1970-1985 by Audrey Arellanes

Elizabeth Phillipps Dowling

I know technically Mrs. Dowling  isn't a cowboy.
 .I guess that's what you call poetic license.

See You Next Sunday.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Bookplate Odds and Ends

From time to time I like to look at Google's stats for  my blog viewers , sorted by country.These were compiled for this month as of September 8th.  China is always under reported in the stats but it is increasing rapidly. As I have probably mentioned in the past  high bidders on my   EBay bookplate sales are often from China.

Pageviews by Countries
Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

Here are a few recently purchased bookplates:

Robert Francis Coyle by Ray F.Coyle

Ray F.Coyle( 1885-1924) was a California artist .The bookplate shown above was designed for his father Robert Francis Coyle,Two additional bookplates he created are mentioned in Historic California in Bookplates by Clare Ryan Talbot.
. Although there are some similarities in design and gold overlay his artwork is quite different from the bookplates I have seen. Here is an example:

More of his illustration can be seen here:


"It remains unclear whether Laura Ingalls Wilder was a naturally skilled novelist who never discovered her talents until her sixties, with Lane's only contribution to her mother's success her encouragement and her established connections in the publishing world, or if Lane essentially took her mother's unpublishable raw manuscripts for Little House On The Prairie in hand and completely (and silently) ghostwrote the series of books we know today. The truth appears to lie somewhere between these two positions — Wilder's writing career as a rural journalist and a credible essayist began more than two decades before the Little House series, and Lane's formidable editing and ghostwriting skills are well-documented. The existing written evidence (including ongoing correspondence between the women concerning the development of the multi-volume series, Lane's extensive personal diaries detailing the time she spent working on the manuscripts, and Wilder's own initial draft manuscripts) tends to reveal an ongoing mutual collaboration that involved Lane more extensively in the earlier books, and to a much lesser extent by the time the series ended, as Wilder's confidence in her own writing ability increased, and Lane was no longer living at Rocky Ridge Farm. Lane insisted to the end that she considered her role to be little more than that of an adviser to her mother, despite much documentation to the contrary.
Whatever the extent of Lane's help to her mother in writing the books, it certainly played some role. Wilder did not keep copies of her correspondence with Lane, but Lane kept carbon copies of virtually everything she ever wrote—including the correspondence with her mother concerning the Little House Books. The correspondence shows that Wilder sometimes adamantly refused to accept some of her daughter's suggestions, and at other times gratefully accepted them."

Here are a few Interesting Links:

Fellow collector Anthony Pincott told me about this site from The Consortium of European Research Libraries which is devoted to provenance.

Willis (a second son)
Arms with chevron, estoiles, cross, crescent
Identification sought.
2010-12-22 (last changed: 2012-06-29 ) by John Lancaster
Rococo style shield (please forgive any errors in my amateur attempt at blazon): Or on a chevron gules between three estoiles gules, a cross patty argent; with a crescent for difference. Crest: a hind trippant, in the mouth an oak sprig.
Bibliographic Details:
Edward, Earl of Clarendon. The life ... written by himself. (Oxford: At the Clarendon Printing-House, 1759).
Holding Institution:
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Identified as:
Willis (a second son)
Identified by: The Bookplate Society
Alastair Johnston at Booktryst wrote about some bookplates randomly selected from books in her own library.

Lincoln Cushing has an interesting article about:


 Fellow collector Jacques Laget sent this information about the owner of this bookplate

Son of Pierre Nicolas, Consul of France in Cadiz, he succeeded him in that office. Commissioner General of the Navy in Madrid 1749. Intendant des Invalides. He had to appoint Jean-Baptiste Martin, Didier Ozanam cite only Jean Baptiste (In langes Ponsot, casa de Velasquez 28), but said he had been appointed Intendant des Invalides, and in the State Archives of Bretagne Series C, we find Jean Martin as Intendant des Invalides.

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

Sunday, September 02, 2012

American Name Labels, Part Six

It is my hope that someone will eventually use the information from this six part series , do more thorough research and  write a book about American Name Labels. If you want to send me additional scans for inclusion they would be most welcome.

I recommend A Dictionary of Colonial American Printers' Ornaments & Illustrations
By Elizabeth Carroll Reilly for help in identifying 18th century American printers.I will be studying it for clues about some of the puzzling name labels in this series and will keep you updated.

I have already received several emails about this series from fellow collectors.This one in particular may be correct:

"I suspect that Ann Franklin, Benjamin Morris and William Peachey may be from UK, but we must see,
A great series,"

John R.Plater (woodblock by  Thomas Sparrow)

Initials F.G. above the Sparrow signature are for the printer Frederick Green.
The link below is about Maryland currency engraved by Sparrow,

Norton Porter ,Westmoreland, 1797

One of the first physiciams in Oneida County , New York

George Shaw,Cabinet Maker Philadelphia 1780

18th century furniture labels are quite scarce. In this instance the owner had a dual purpose label.
He used it on the furniture he made and in his books.
An excellent reference book with many furniture labels illustrated is American Cabinet Makers  by William C. Ketchum Jr.

Alexander Smyth, Attorney at Law, Virginia

In this instance biographical information was easily obtained. Here is a link:

Charles Stockbridge (Allen#829)

Joseph Teel, Newbury Port July 97

Gulielmi Thompson , Philadelphia ,1801

Martin Van Buren (Allen # 87

Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson. Wikipedia
BornDecember 5, 1782, Kinderhook
DiedJuly 24, 1862, Kinderhook
Presidential termMarch 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841

That's the end of the series. See you next Sunday.