"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 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
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
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
Labels: Threats and Warnings on Bookplates
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.
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.
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 (www.addisonsauction.com
) 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.
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.
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:
Arms with chevron, estoiles, cross, crescent
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.
Edward, Earl of Clarendon. The life ... written by himself. (Oxford: At the Clarendon Printing-House, 1759).
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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:
BOOKPLATES FROM THE BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL JOSÉ MARTÍ
Fellow collector Jacques Laget sent this information about the owner of this bookplate
Pierre Nicolas, Consul of France in Cadiz, he succeeded him in that office.
General of the Navy in Madrid 1749. Intendant des Invalides. He had to appoint
Baptiste (In Mélanges Ponsot, casa de Velasquez
28), but said he had been appointed
Invalides, and in the State Archives of Bretagne Series C, we find Jean Martin as Intendant des
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------That's all for now.-See you next Sunday.
Labels: Little House On The Prairie, Ray F. Coyle, Rose Wilder Lane Bookplate
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
That's the end of the series. See you next Sunday.