|My own bookplate made in 2000, still looking like me.|
|Michael and Elizabeth Kunze|
I did not chose to
collect bookplates - it seems it lay in wait for me.
In September 1997
a friendly second-hand bookseller gave me a book with a bookplate. I read that
book and still have it: The German
translation of Mary Holderness' "Journey from Riga to the Crimea" (1822), printed 1824 in Jena,
Nice but nothing special so far; However, the owner’s bookplate "Ex Bibliotheca Serenissimae Domus Saxo-Isenacensis" - i.e. (Library of the venerable House Saxon-Eisenach) puzzled me.
That puzzle which drew me me into
the bookplate-jungle was hidden in detail. The "Domus Saxo-Isenacensis". The
last descendant of the family ruling the Duchy Saxon-Eisenach died in 1741. So - how did it get into a book printed in
1824? All I found out was that the The Duchy was combined in 1809 with the Duchy of Saxon-Weimar to
form Saxon-Weimar-Eisenach. After quite
a time I had called the Chief Librarian of the Duchess-Anna-Amalia-Library in
Weimar by phone and asked him if he had an explanation. He did not have any at
hand and promised to call me back. Some
days later he fulfilled his promise and told me that in 1809 all the books of
the Eisenach-Library were brought to Weimar to be added to the Library there -
together with quite a number of unused Eisenach-bookplates. And as it was
obvious that from now on all books marked by this bookplate belong to Weimar,
they decided to use the remaining bookplates up to the last one to mark new
bought books. A nice by the way: Library director from 1797 unto his death 1832
was Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
bookplate experience had consequences. It is the main reason why my interest in
this heartwarming hobby still is searching and investigating for details about
the owner of a bookplate. The pictures get more focused when the outlines of a
biography are unearthed. That still is what moves me
Sometimes, if an
owner’s name gets my attention I only,
in the second place, notice how beautiful a bookplate
Here are several of my favorites:
Carl Otto Czeschka, born 1878 in Vienna, lived in Hamburg when he made the elegant
bookplate for Martha Hane in 1910.
Michel Fingesten's Bookplate
|Max Klinger did this bookplate for Eduard Arnhold, a Berlin merchant and banker, in 1906|
For several years
my main interest has been pictorial Judaica bookplates
There are other
bookplates categories and artists of interest such as
Literary authors writing in
German as owners or artists
Fre Cohen (The
Hans Thoma and
There also are a
lot of unsigned bookplates which excite me. Often of interest is the way a
bookplate is printed. It certainly
mustn't be a copper engraving to be of interest. But on the other hand engraving
sometimes says something about the skill of the artist, of his creative
ability, the love of his handicraft
and, last not least, something about the number of exemplars
probably being in circulation.
I am not a member
of any bookplate society. But there are some fellow collectors sharing my
interests. It is a pleasure to exchange
stories, opinions, suppositions - and bookplates, of
Notes From Lew
Thank you Michael for submitting your profile.
Mrs. Geri Caruso sent me this Email last week
"I wanted to let you know that after reading your blog and looking at the
bookplates for a while I decided to contacted one of the bookplate artists. She
designed a bookplate for my son which I gave him as a birthday present. We did
it so that he can reproduced it by printing it on sticky paper. It was a hit!
Highly individual and useful forever
Michael is reader and a gardener. The little guy in the picture is his son Nick"
Here is the bookplate which was designed by Muriel Frega
I really enjoyed this month's edition of the Old Book News Monthly
and want to share it with you.
Of particular interest was the article about searching on line book databases
See you again next Sunday.