Sunday, October 12, 2014

This Week In Bookplates 10/12/2014

The Harvard College ,University Bookplate Collection of Hamilton Vaughan Bail   

        Hamilton Vaughan Bail(1891-1997), who graduated from Harvard in 1911, amassed one of the largest collections of bookplates for the institution ever formed. There are almost 500 examples. They range from the earliest Harvard College "Detur" plate engraved by Nathaniel Hurd to bookplates designed by 20th century greats like Bruce Rogers.

         The collection has work accomplished  by E D French, J W and F Spenceley, E B Bird, W F Hopson, S L Smith, Bruce Rogers, Rudolf Ruzicka and many others. The plates ate mounted on cards and enclosed in two half-morocco cases which make for a very handsome assemblage.

         Hamilton Vaughan Bail was for a time Harvard's oldest living graduate, having died at the age of 106. He is also known for having written a standard book about views of Harvard.

Fellow collector/dealer Tom Boss purchased the entire collection and hopes to publish a book about it. Within the collection there are  duplicate copies of some of the rarest plates
The duplicates are available for sale..

Here is Tom's contact information:
Tel. 617 308 5062   or

Several weeks ago I attended a book show in Brooklyn, New York and one of the dealers I met sent me a nice selection of bookplates to choose from.I mentioned this to a friend who is not a collector and he was surprised that a dealer would send out items on approval to a stranger
Upon reflection, I realized that most antiquarian booksellers will send out valuable books for examination.The only time I ever had someone refuse to send me a collection for examination was
when a lawyer purchased a bookstore.. I suppose it is because booksellers are in a " gentlemanly profession" and lawyers are conditioned to  not trust the people they encounter.

Here are some of the items which I purchased.

"The Atalanta was a private  railroad car built  for Jay Gould, a noted financier and owner of several railroads. It was built in 1888 to Gould's specifications and was named the "Atalanta". The car had four staterooms, two observation rooms, two baths, an office, a kitchen, a dining area, and a butler's pantry. Only the finest materials were used. Upon Gould's death, ownership of the car fell to his son George Jay Gould who was also a railroad president. The car remained in the Gould family until the 1930s. It was then used as a private residence during the Texas oil boom until finally coming to Jefferson Hotel in 1954. Today it is a tourist attraction in Jefferson Texas". 
I suspect the bookplate was designed in the 1930s.
Here is a link about private rail cars currently for sale if you are in the market for one.

I need to do some research on the Considine plate.Perhaps it was used by

John W. Considine Jr. (1898–1961)


Father of actors Tim Considine and John Considine.


 (age 62) in Hollywood, California, USA
I will contact his son(s) and let you know what I find out.

!0/24/2914 Tim Considine responded to my inquiry.
It is the bookplate used by his father.
This Rockwell Kent plate  shown above  turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  I already had it (so I thought )
but purchased it anyway because Kent bookplates are easy to sell or trade. As it turns out Mr. Levinson's middle initial was actually L .Rockwell Kent made a mistake.which he subsequently corrected..

I had been  looking for the Laha Whittaker plate designed by Jay Chambers for some time.
 She was an actress who married  Jay Chamber's .The proof  is hand hand colored and pencil Jay Chambers..
Here is something I wrote about Jay chamber's son Whittaker a few years ago..

One last thing-I am going to have another bookplate contest 
.Details will be published within three weeks..

See you again next Sunday.

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