Saturday, November 29, 2014

The California Bookplate Project- Sheldon Cheney

I intend to focus on California bookplate artists. and  create a central clearing house for information about.their bookplates My hope is to attract some other bookplate enthusiasts who can assist me in this project..   This first installment (below) is about Sheldon Cheney.

If you would like to help me I can be reached at

These are some of the bookplate designers  I plan to write about over the next few months Some of the artists worked  in several locations throughout their careers but many collectors think of them as Californians.:

Beulah Mitchell Clute
John A. Comstock
Mallette Dean
Anthony Euwer
Mac Harshberger
Anthony F. Kroll
Dorothy Payne
Olive Percival
Charles J. Rider
Ruth T. Saunders
James E.Webb
Margaret Ely Webb 
Albertine R.Wheelan
Leota Woy

Sheldon Cheney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Sheldon Warren Cheney (June 29, 1886 – October 10, 1980) was an American author and art critic, born at Berkeley, California, the son of Lemuel Warren Cheney (1858–1921), California lawyer and writer. At first he worked in his father's real estate business, later moving to Detroit where he founded the Theatre Arts Magazine in 1916 and edited it until 1921. Cheney was one of the most significant pro-modernist theatre and art critics of the early twentieth century. He helped introduce European modernist practices in theatre to the United States. His Theatre Arts Magazine promoted American little theatre activity, advocated for New Stagecraft design, and nurtured new American playwrights".

Conversations with Sheldon Cheney : oral history transcript / and related material, 1974-1977

The Warren and May Cheney House at 2241 College Ave. was built in 1885.
 (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2005)

The Cheney Family and the  family residence are discussed here:


The Sheldon Cheney Bookplate Checklist
( A work in Progress )

Holmes Beckwith 

W.A. Brewer Jr.

Dr.Edith Brownsill 

California Bookplate Society

Calimedico Club (University of California)
Ref P.59 American College Bookplates

C H Cheney 

Sheldon Cheney 

Sheldon Cheney (Art Library) 
Warren Cheney

William F. Gable 

William F. Gable (Sun Dial) 
Breckinridge Greene (Submitted by Richard Schimmelpfeng)

Breckinridge and Florence Greene 

Otto A. Jeschien 

Kit's Book 

Lois Kohn 

Charles and Julia Shinn (Peace Cabin) 

Mary Louisa Sutliff 

Alice Grover Whitbeck

Margaret Mason Whitney 

Mr, Cheney Made the following pencil notation on the back of the Whitney plate:
In this kind of work I make the engraving (or etching) myself,direct on the copper.
In the other kind,I simply make a drawing on cardboard in pen and inkand a process zinc plate is made from the drawing by photography.
Etching is very much more difficult but the resulting print is generally considered very much more satisfactory."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How Could I Not Buy This Stuff ?

And The Winner is

Roseanne Simon

The Raunchy Rabbit Contest ended last night .
 I want to thank all of you who submitted 

                                                    Here is  the winning caption:
Books Hare There and Everywhere

How could I not buy an advertising blotter from a dentist whose last name is Greif or one from the Liverpool Manure company or the Miracle of Running Water ?

How about an all purpose post-card ?

How about an undertaker's bill from the 1880's ?

How About Some Calling Cards with interesting graphics ?
(Click on images to Enlarge)

How about a fat man on a Bicycle trade Card ?

How about a traveling knife sharpener post card ?

How About an American art nouveau trade card ?

Next week  I'll begin the California Bookplate Project.
Enjoy your holiday.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Judaica Bookplates For Possible Exchange

I  have a number of duplicates for possible exchange.Here they are:

Please send scans or descriptions of your duplicates to

The Elkan Adler plate has a stain on the reverse side which is intensified in the scan.

The Levitan plate is unique.It was designed for a collector of miniature books.
The dimensions  are 1 1/4 in. wide by 1 1/2 inches high

Mystery Judaica Plate

This one is not a duplicate. I purchased it last week and fellow collector Philip Stieglitz sent me the following information .
"I can't tell you which library this is from, however the words are ve-higita yomam ve-leilah, you should study it day and night(Torah). On the bottom is written ve-zot ha-torah asher sam Moshe, which translates as, "this is the Torah that Moshe placed".... I don't know what APA means."

Do any of you know which institution used this plate and what the APA signifies?

11/17/2014    Richard Schimmelpfeng and Kate Doordan Klavan  both came to the same conclusion..

The mystery plate is from Italy.

Here is Richard's response :

Lew, your mystery bookplate is for the Universita Giudaica del Livorno (Italy) designed by Antony De Witt, ca. 1900, and cut by Ulvi Liegi, pseudonym of the artist Luigi Levi.  The Hebrew is from Joshua (Hosea?) 1,8 and means meditate its essence day and night, referring I suppose to the book in Joshua's lap.  This is from Remo Palmirani's book "Gli ex libris del popolo del libro" 1994, p. 39.  The university's name may be slightly different now.