Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some Ongoing Rockwell Kent Research

The best and most complete printed resource for information about Rockwell Kent bookplates is
Rockwell Kent The Art of The Bookplate   by Don Roberts. Before it was published in 2003 the most helpful resource was a small  printed checklist by Dan Burne Jones ( a keepsake from The American Society of  Bookplate Collectors and Designers)

 Leo Hart was a well respected printer in Rochester New York. When he asked Kent for bookplate suggestions Kent  came up with the design  of a punning plate using a lion and a deer.

 The bookplates were printed by Hart's company.

After Mr. Hart's death many variants of the original  were  printed as memorial plates without Kent's input.
Here is one I found on the internet

Here are three more from my own collection:
These two images were sent by Scott R Ferris
If you have other examples of Leo Hart memorial plates please send scans and they will be added to this posting

This is a Kent inspired bookplate used by Leo Hart's son and daughter in law.  
It is in many Kent collections
It is listed in the Keepsake but it is not listed in Don Robert's book..
For clarification I sent the following email  to fellow collector Will Ross :

Dear Will,
   In 1978 the American Bookplate Society issued a small keepsake about the bookplates of Rockwell Kent.
It included the Joan and Horace Hart bookplate.
Ken Roberts did not include it.
Can you clarify the omission ? Was the keepsake listing in error?
If so, do you know anything about the bookplate?

This was his response:

Hello Lew,

Hope you are well. Interesting query. I remember very well discussing the issue of this bookplate, and some others, with Don while he was doing the compiling.

Don decided, and rightfully so in my opinion, only to include bookplates that were designed by Kent to BE bookplates. The Joan and Horace Hart plate, like some others, is actually based on an illustration used for another purpose. In this case the dust jacket to Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis," published by Leo Hart in 1931. In fact, I have a letter from Horace Hart dated February 14, 1969, where he says exactly that. I will be happy to send a copy to you if you wish.

*Another example are the plates J. Edouard and Elizabeth Diamond did, which are quite large, based on illustrations RK did for the complete works of Shakespeare.

Hope this answers your question. Keep up the good work! Enjoy every weeks "Confessions."


*Note from Lew- This is an example of one of the four Diamond plates using a Kent illustration.
It is printed on silk thread paper and certainly is quite large ( 8 inches wide by 10 inches high)

Here is another bookplate listed in the keepsake which is not in the Roberts book.

Elbridge Hadley Stuart was the son of the founder  of The Carnation( Milk) Company.
If anyone out there can send additional information about the plate it will be added to this posting
 From The Let The Buyer Beware File
Rockwell Kent designed a bookplate for George Henry Corey in 1940
About thirty years later the image was" borrowed" .

That wraps it up for today. See you next Sunday.

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