Sunday, November 18, 2012

This Week in Bookplates 11/18/2012

The Boston shows were , as usual,  both productive and exhausting.
 I purchased several "mystery bookplates" and hope you recognize some of them.
.The John Kobler bookplate shown below will go with my group about threats and warnings.
Here is some biographical information about the owner:
"  John Kobler worked for various news organizations as a reporter before editing the crime reportage of PM, a 1940s New York tabloid. In World War II he was a civilian intelligence officer posted to North Africa, Italy and France. He returned to freelance for The New Yorker, Colliers, Vanity Fair and The Saturday Evening Post. His first book, published in 1938, was "The Trial of Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray" about a notorious 1927 murder case. "Some Like It Gory" [1940] and "Afternoon in the Attic" [1950] were collections of essays about bizarre crimes and creepy characters. His best-known book was "Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone", a biography published in 1971 and reissued in 1992"

Does anyone out there know who the woodcut artist  CS might be?

This is mystery bookplate #1 . I suspect it is European  and I can't make out the owner's last name.

This is Mystery Bookplate#2

I think it might be from the library of John R. Bockstoce , an Arctic historian and archaeologist and I will  contact him to confirm my suspicions.

11/19/2012 -Mystery #2 Solved

Dear Mr. Jaffe:

If I remember correctly, my bookplate was designed and manufactured by Leo Wyatt in the U.K. in the 1970s.

Best wishes, John Bockstoce

This is mystery bookplate #3

This  one inch square bookplate was sent to me by fellow collector Edith A. Rights.. I've written to her to see if she has any information about the owner(s)  who I believe are Else and Edgar Hermann

 This is Mystery bookplate #4

   I purchased this  yesterday at the show.

A previous collector made the following notation:

Received from the artist Mr.James Guthrie, The Pear Tree Press. Flansham, near Bognor, Sussex ,England.
The plate is dated 1919 and I do not see Guthrie’s cypher.
In the 1936 American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designner's Yearbook a Guthrie checklist (page 28) indicates that a 1929 color plate was designed for William Maurice.
Do you know anything about this plate? Was it done by Guthrie ?

Mystery #4 solved By Fellow Collector Anthony Pincott

In your recent blog, Lew, you sought to name the artist of the William Maurice plate with its nude woman modestly draped in seaweed. There is what seems to be a two-letter signature (which defeats me) above the date 1919. Having some similarity of treatment with poet Walter de la Mare’s exlibris, it cries out JJ Guthrie, and in October 1919 issue of The Bookplate Magazine (edited by Guthrie) I find it illustrated with the caption “Bookplate adapted from D. Maclise, R.A., by James Guthrie” preceding a 3-page essay by Guthrie on the naked figure in bookplates. As the standard symbol of Ireland in the 18th century, and with the rise of Romantic nationalism, the harp was increasingly personified in its winged-maiden form as a female symbol of Erin (Ireland) and her struggle for political independence. The song ‘The Origin of the Harp’, written by Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852) and first published in the third number of his Irish Melodies in 1810, described the harp as metamorphosed out of the body and long flowing hair draped over the arm of a bare-breasted nymph marooned in a sea-cave. Abandoned by her lover, she weeps. So in allegory, linked to the harp, she represents broken-hearted Eire whose land and freedom have been taken. Moore’s imagery inspired paintings and other illustrations by artists including Robert Fagan and Daniel Maclise (see Thus it is the latter’s supercharged kitsch-erotic painting bearing this same title ‘The Origin of the Harp’ (painted and first exhibited in 1842, and now in the collection of Manchester City Art Gallery) that is the acknowledged precursor of Guthrie’s William Maurice bookplate.

That's about all for this posting.
 If you have any mystery bookplates and need assistance with identification send your scan to


CMMoore said...

Maybe, just maybe, the artist is C.S. Price, Portland Oregon- known for these "blocky" figures in his work. CMM Corvallis OR

HJ said...

Whilst this bookplate clearly has the 'feel' of Guthrie work, James Guthrie would never have created hands like this. He was a fine artist in a completely different league. When you consider that the monogram is not his either, this all points to the fact that this is a copy style bookplate by another artist trying to follow one of the great artists of the age. This was a far from uncommon. H J McGough