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. 


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