Sunday, December 29, 2013

Quirky Bookplates

Quirky Bookplates

Here is a snapshot of this month's activity by country.
The surprises are Malaysia and the U .K ,. which more often than not is in second place
United States
United Kingdom

I want to thank you all for helping to make this blog a success.

Happy New Year


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Seasons Greetings

James Keenan the director of The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers *
 sent me two images this week which are timely:

This bookplate is by Konstanin Kalinovich

  He a graphic artist and book illustrator who utilizes mixed etching techniques

Konstantin Kalinovich was born in Russia and now lives in The Ukraine. He studied at The Ukrainian Academy of Print and works in the fields of painting, graphic arts, book illustration. Kalinovich has devoted himself to bookplate design since 1985.

"I attach a card that was printed and "tinted" at the T J Lyons Press when I worked there about 30 years ago.  We were well known for fancy letterpress printing utilizing Victorian typefaces & ornaments.  Lots of bookplates too!  

To the best of my knowledge, the Boston city scape engraving was originally created at the Riverside Press in Cambridge. You know, they were publishers and book printers started by Henry Houghton in 1852 . A few years later George Mifflin became a partner "

*Note From Lew-
The American Society has revamped and updated their website.  It is well done and loaded with useful information including electronic versions of most of the major bookplate reference books.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Odds and Ends

Mystery Bookplate- Elizabeth E. Haywood
  I recently obtained this bookplate from a dealer in North Carolina who unfortunately knew nothing about it.
It may be English or American and  appears to be from the period 1820-1840.(that is an educated guess)
    I have a  large selection of reference books relating to  early 19th century bookplates from the U.K. and the states and have not unearthed any useful information.

The dimensions are 3 1/2 inches wide by 3 inches high and the plate was soaked before scanning to show the watermark

A Franco American Bermudian Plate with an interesting story

   This is a remarkable  early 18th century Franco,American,Bermudian bookplate with a colorful story .
James PĂ©rot was sentenced to the Bastille and was there without food or water for 21 days.
Miraculously he survived because a  hen laid eggs in the recess of the small window of the cell.
     He with his family emigrated to America in 1687 and settled in New Rochelle , New York.
Eventually they moved to Bermuda where he was a Silversmith.
In all probability he executed the copper design  with the hen for this bookplate *

*Ref. Exlibris Journal Volume XV P.20

The plate is 3 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches high.
It is not listed in Allen but is item 247 in West Indian Bookplates by Vere Langford Oliver

 The most interesting animal bookplate contest ends soon
The clock is ticking. Here is all you need to know.

You can see all the submissions here
You can also see the prize you might win along with the contest rules here
The Contest ends at midnight (E.S.T) on New Years Eve
send your submission to

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Bookplates

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I would be pleased to receive more scans from you of Christmas bookplates for inclusion in this posting .

Send your scans to

Here are two from my collection

Mr. Nitter was a lawyer in Boston

Fellow collector Michael Kunze sent me these two 

I found two bookplates reminding on the season approaching:
1. made by Erich Buettner (Berlin 1889 - 1936 Freiburg) for Fritz and 
Marie Brandi ( an etching done around 1920)
2. Theo Broekstra (Netherlands, in 1952 or 53 he emigrated to Australia) 
did the silhouette/ paper art in 1951 for A. Duyvestin mst.


Rebecca Eschliman Sent This Plate

This universal bookplate shown below  was based on Scherenschnitte brought  from Europe in the early 1930s by Lucy and Arthur Morgan (parents of Antioch Bookplate co-founder Ernest Morgan).

From Fellow Collector Anthony Pincott

By Eric Gill. 
Used as, but not originally intended for, a bookplate.

Couldn't resist slipping this  in.

Grandson Jack

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Wendy O. Williams, Bugsy Siegel , James Fenimore Cooper and Wild Bill Donovan

Earlier in the week I received this Email :

"I was hoping you could help me with some information on a book plate I recently purchased.  I've attached a photo.  Im not a bookplate collector rather a collector of 20th century organized crime artifacts.  I believe the bookplate I purchased belonged to infamous gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel.  The name of Ben and his wife are correct and it appears to be the correct time period (1930's - 40's).  Is there anyway to determine any other info associated with the bookplate?  Like the  printing manufacturer or artist?
 Any insight will be helpful.? 


I suggested that he should contact Mr.Siegel's daughter to which he replied::
"Thanks for the response.  I actually already reached out to Millicent through the Mob exhibit she was working with in Vegas.  She said she didn't particularly remember the book plate"

So there you have it , a bookplate with a famous person's name which can't for the moment be authenticated.

From time to time I have purchased such bookplates. It's like buying a lottery ticket even thought you know statistically it is a waste of money..

Here are a few more examples :
Wendy O. Williams

Wild Bill Donovan

This bookplate was engraved by Tiffany and Co. for James Fenimore Copper's grandson, 

If you have other examples of bookplates that  fall into this hope springs eternal category send scans to      and they will be added to this posting.

Turn Me Upside Down Advertising
From the late 19th through the early 20th century these kinds of advertisements were popular

Here is a bookplate in that style:

If you know what the  Chinese word means please let me know.
See you next week.

12/9/2013 Xg Yu sent me the following information:

Hi Lew,
That character pronouces as 'lian', apparently a Chinese name that owner chose for 'Leonard'.

It is commonly used as a verb in Chinese which means 'to connect'

Sunday, December 01, 2013

This Week in Bookplates 12/1/2013

For many years  I was a regular exhibitor at the Maryland Microscope Show because I had accumulated an eclectic mixture of books, ephemera and gadgets relating to science and technology . When I started collecting bookplates I was particularly interested in those depicting microscopes. Here are a few examples from my collection;

John Gustav Dell  recently updated the excellent article he wrote about bookplates and microscopes. .
The article originally appeared in Modern Microscopy. It is well written and well illustrated.
Here is a link to the article

Rebecca Eschliman Just sent the following note:

Do you have in your collection the universal design done by Antioch Bookplate in 1943, designed by Harry Roth? I didn't see it noted in the article, either

Bookplate Contest

Entries for the   bookplate contest are still arriving .Here are entries eight and nine..
The contest ends Midnight (E.S.T) New Years Eve

Submitted by Debra Walker

Submitted by Craig Harris

You can see all the submissions here
You can also see the prize you might win along with the contest rules here
The Contest ends at midnight (E.S.T) on New Years Eve
send your submission to

Mystery Bookplate Artist
Joseph Henry Harper was the grandson of Fletcher Harper one of the founders of Harper Brothers publishing.
He used an attractive printed bookplate which is not artist signed. The Harper's May  poster was done by Edward Penfield and there is a striking similarity between the two. Perhaps the image on the bookplate was copied from something done by him.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This week in bookplates 11/24/2013

I recently purchased this bookplate by Viggo Jacobsen and was able to find information about it at this link.

This is entry #7 in the animal bookplate contest. It was submitted by James Keenan.

You can see all the submissions here
You can also see the prize you might win along with the contest rules here
The Contest ends at midnight (E.S.T) on New Years Eve
send your submission to
How to build a collection 
Have you noticed that there is more and more clutter on Ebay combined with rapidly rising prices ?
Here  are a few time tested tips to help you build your collection without having guilt pangs about telling white lies to your spouse about what you paid for that must have bookplate.

Hand Bookbinders

If you search the internet you will find one or two older craftsmen who specialize in hand bookbinding.
More often than not they are hard wired pacrats who save every scrap of leather, marbled paper and even bookplates.Connect with your local hand bookbinder by telephone and explain that you are a collector
 Ask if they have  accumulated any bookplates over the years which he might be willing to part with..
If they have none see if he can  recommend a colleague who might have some.

Library Book Sales in the U.S,A.

Most communities have library book sales where you  can obtain books and books with bookplates inexpensively..Here is a free weekly service you can get about book sales in your area.

Join a Bookplate Society

Most countries have bookplate societies. Through these organizations you can meet other collectors with whom you can exchange duplicates.and learn more about your hobby.
I am a member of  two societies:Americian and U.K.

A comprehensive list of bookplate societies around the world

Antiquarian Booksellers

Your local antiquarian bookseller can assist you if you make yourself known to him (or her)
When I enter a store for the first time I usually gravitate to the poetry section because books in that section tend to have more bookplates.

Bookplate Exchanges
Exchange your duplicates with other collectors.
Here are seven duplicates I currently have for possible exchange:

More tips will be posted here as they are received. 
See you next weekend