Thursday, February 26, 2015

This Week in Bookplates 2/26//2015

A Major Addition To My Bookplate Collection

By Larry Nix

Bookplate collecting is a serious endeavor which is normally undertaken by serious collectors. I don’t consider myself a serious collector of bookplates so it is surprising that I have made 18 previous posts to my blog about bookplates(this one makes 19).

 I have also ended up with a fairly significant collection of bookplates for institutional libraries (as opposed to personal libraries). I added a major addition to that collection last year when I purchased an album of over 300 bookplates from a dealer at a stamp show.  The dealer who knew about my interest in library history had previously offered to sell the album to me, but the price was more than I was willing to pay. He finally got tired of lugging the album around and made me an offer that I could  not refuse. The album includes only part of someone’s former collection. The bookplates are for libraries starting with A and going through libraries starting with M.  The bookplates are tipped or pasted into the album and I still need to safely remove them. Most of the bookplates are unused and were probably acquired by exchange with libraries or other collectors. The image of the page from the album for the Bangor (ME) Public Library shown above is indicative of that approach. A few of the bookplates in the album were removed from books. A bookplate from the library of the Bureau of Statistics and Labor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, also shown above, is an example of those bookplates. The Massachusetts  bookplate was added to the library on April 2, 1906.  I have no clue who compiled this collection of bookplates, but it is a fair assumption that it was a librarian. I previously obtained a collection of library bookplates that was assembled by Essae Martha Culver who was executive secretary of the Louisiana Library Commission and later Louisiana State Librarian.  Some examples from the Culver collection are located   HERE   . It is always nice to make a connection with a previous or current collector of librariana.

Note from Lew- I want to thank Larry Nix for sharing information from his blog
Library History Buff
Does anyone out there recognize this bookplate ? 
Who was it made for?
Alden Jewell's bookplate is listed in
Theatrical Bookplates by A.Winthrop Pope
It is dated 1908 and the artist's initials appear to be MP
Do you know any thing about the owner or the artist ?
If you have any mystery bookplates send your scans to

New Bookstore in Bucharest

See you again next week

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bookplate Odds and Ends 2/19/2015


Monday  February 23rd is the deadline for submitting your first round of bids for the Bookplate Society web auction.  A day or two after this we shall be seeing the bidding status available online against each lot, and registered participants will be able to increase or add bids. The end date has not yet been announced, but is expected to be sometime around the middle of March.  it’s not too late to register and take part.

Some Theatrical Bookplates

Billie Dove

Dove was born Bertha Bohny in 1903 to Charles and Bertha (née Kagl) Bohny,Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired as a teenager by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She legally changed her name to Lillian Bohny in the early 1920s. and migrated to Hollywood, where she began appearing in silent films. She soon became one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s, appearing in Douglas Fairbanks' smash hit Technicolor film The Black Pirate (1926), as Rodeo West in The Painted Angel (1929), and was dubbed The American Beauty (1927), the title of one of her films.
She married the director of her seventh film, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The two divorced in 1929. Dove had a huge legion of male fans, one of her most persistent being Howard Hughes. She had a three-year romance with Hughes and was engaged to marry him, but she ended the relationship without ever giving cause. Hughes cast her as a comedian in his film Cock of the Air (1932). She also appeared in his movie The Age for Love (1931)

Ricardo Cortez

Bookplate designed by Bank Gordon

  In 1922 When Jacob Kranz arrived in Hollywood , the Valentino mania was in full swing. Never shy about changing a name and a background, the studio transformed Jacob Krantz  into Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez from Spain. Such was life in Hollywood.

Starting with small parts, the tall, dark Cortez was being groomed by Paramount to be the successor to Rudolph Valentino. But Cortez would never be viewed (or consider himself) as the equal to the late Valentino. A popular star, he was saddled in a number of run-of-the-mill romantic movies which would depend more on his looks than on the script. Pictures like Argentine Love (1924) and The Cat's Pajamas (1926) did little to extend his range as an actor. He did show that he had some range with his role in Pony Express (1924), but roles like that were few and far between.

With the advent of sound, Cortez made the transition and he would play Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1931) (aka Dangerous Female). Never a great actor, Cortez was cast as the smirking womanizer in a number of films and would soon slide down into 'B' movies. He played a newspaper columnist Is My Face Red? (1932), a home wrecker in A Lost Lady (1934), a killer in Man Hunt (1936) and even Perry Mason in The Case of the Black Cat (1936).

After 1936, Cortez hit a lean patch for acting and tried his hand at directing. His career as a director ended after a half dozen movies and his screen career soon followed. 
He retired from the screen and returned to Wall Street, where he had worked as a runner decades before. This time, he returned as a member of one of Wall Street's top brokerage firms and lived a comfortable life.

 Some Interesting Links

Paula Jarvis at  The Book Club of Detroit writes about bookplates

-Ohio Bookplates

Hand Colored Proof  for Ohio Alcove in the American Library at Manila designed by Mrs. Mary E. Rath-Merrill and engraved by W.F. Hopson

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

English Theatrical and Cinema Bookplates-Part 3

My input for this project is just about complete. As I get additional items they will be added to the blog postings.I hope that other collectors will find the time to  to send scans of bookplates which can be added to to this repository.Over a period of time it will grow and become a very useful resource .

Send your scans to

Michael Redgrave

Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave CBE (20 March 1908 – 21 March 1985) was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.His bookplate was designed by Keith Vaughn

Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry  (1847-1928)

"Dame Ellen TerryGBE  was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain.
Born into a family of actors, Terry began performing as a child, acting in Shakespeare plays in London and toured throughout the British provinces as a teen. At 16 she married the 46-year-old artist George Frederic Watts, but they separated within a year. She soon returned to the stage but began a relationship with the architect Edward William Godwin and left performing for six years. She resumed acting in 1874 and was immediately acclaimed for her portrayal of roles in Shakespeare and other classics.
In 1878 she joined Henry Irving's company as his leading lady, and for more than the next two decades she was considered the leading Shakespearean and comic actress in Britain. Two of her most famous roles were Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. She and Irving also toured with great success in America Canada and Britain."


I recently started reading A Strange Eventful History by Michael Holroyd .The book is about the dramatic lives of  Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and their remarkable families.It has stimulated my interest in victorian theatrical celebrities.Within the book are s eight line sketch drawings of bookplates by Gordon Craig.

Gordon Craig designed his mother's  bookplates.    On one of them she hand wrote  travel instructions.

Clement Scott

"Clement William Scott (6 October 1841 – 25 June 1904) was an influential English theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph and other journals, and a playwright, lyricist, translator and travel writer, in the final decades of the 19th century. His style of criticism, acerbic, flowery and (perhaps most importantly) carried out on the first night of productions, set the standard for theatre reviewers through to today."


Henry Urwick (1859–1931), as Shylock(from 'The Merchant of Venice')

by Walter Chamberlain Urwick

© the artist's estate
photo credit: Royal Shakespeare Company Collection

The artist's initials on this bookplate are  G.H.H.

  1. Edward Smith Willard
  2. Bookplate engraved by  Thomas George Johnson (1844-1904)
    "Edward Smith Willard (1853–1915) also known professionally as E. S. Willard, was an English actor. He was born at Brighton and made his debut upon the stage at Weymouth in The Lady of Lyons in 1869. He then toured with E. A. Sothern and later joined various stock companies. Coming to London in 1875, he played Antonio in The Merchant of Venice with Charles Rice in 1876.[2] After a varied experience in Shakespearean and other plays, in 1881 he was engaged by Wilson Barrett at the Princess Theatre, where he played in The Lights of LondonThe Silver King, and other well-known pieces. In 1886 he made a hit asJim the Penman at the Haymarket.
    One of his greatest successes was his production of The Middleman by H. A. Jones, at the Shaftesbury in 1889, he himself creating the part of Cyrus Blenkarn. He came to the United States in 1890, and made his first appearance at Palmer's Theatre (later, Wallack's Theatre) in New York, November 10, 1890, when he again acted in the powerful play of "The Middleman," by Henry Arthur Jones, and the greeting that hailed him was that of earnest respect.
    When Willard played the part of Judah Llewellyn for the first time in America, December 29, 1890, at Palmer's Theatre, he gained a verdict of emphatic admiration. Willard had long been known and esteemed, in New York, by the dramatic profession and by those persons who habitually observed the changing aspects of the Stage on both sides of the ocean, but to the American public his name had been comparatively strange. He sailed to England, then returned again to the United States in 1896, remaining till 1903, when he made 13 American tours.

    In 1906, he retired from the stage, but returned on special occasions, as in 1911 for the gala performance at His Majesty's Theatre, London, to play the part of Brutus in the forum scene from julius Caesar.
    In 1875 Willard married Emily Waters, the daughter of a government civil servant attached to theWoolwich Arsenal station in London. Emily Waters was originally an actress but later turned to writing children’s stories and plays under the pseudonym Rachel Penn.
    Edward Smith Willard was the uncle of Shakespearen actor Edmund Willard and the great-uncle of children's author Barbara Willard. Willard died in London on 9 November 1915."

Monday, February 09, 2015

English Theatrical and Cinema Bookplates-Part 2

This is the second installment of this ongoing project. If you have any theatrical bookplates which you want included in this posting send your scans to

Prince Frank Littler (9 September 1903 – 23 January 1985) CBE, born Prince Frank Richeux, was an English theatre proprietor, impresario and television executive.His bookplate was designed by Cecil Thomas and engraved by G.T. Friend

Leon M. Lion 

Still from Number Seventeen

"Leon M. Lion was a British stage and film actor, playwright, theatrical manager and producer.Lion produced and appeared in a number of plays written by John Galsworthy and their correspondence was later published as a book.[Lion toured in J. Jefferson Farjeon's play "Number Seventeen" in the late 1920s and also starred in the 1932 film version directed by Alfred Hitchcock."

William Macready 

William Charles Macready (3 March 1793 – 27 April 1873) was an English actor.

Ivor Novello

"David Ivor Davies (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951), better known as Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.
He was born into a musical family and his first successes were as a songwriter. His first big hit was "Keep the Home Fires Burning", which was enormously popular during the First World War. After the war, Novello contributed numbers to several successful musical comedies and was eventually commissioned to write the scores of complete shows. His 1917 show, Theodore & Co, was a wartime hit. He wrote his musicals in the style of operetta and often composed his music to the librettos of Christopher Hassall.
In the 1920s, he turned to acting, first in British films and then on stage, with considerable success in both. He starred in two silent films directed by Alfred HitchcockThe Lodger and Downhill, both in 1927. On stage, he played the title character in the first London production of Liliom (1926). Novello briefly went to Hollywood, but he soon returned to Britain where he had more successes, especially on stage, appearing in his own lavish West End productions of musicals. The best known of these were Glamorous Night (1935) and The Dancing Years (1939). From the 1930s, he often performed with Zena Dare, writing parts for her in his works. He continued to write for film, but he had his biggest late successes with stage musicals: Perchance to Dream (1945), King's Rhapsody (1949) and Gay's the Word (1951)."
"In 1935, still in her teens, she appeared as Baroness Frankenstein in Bride of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and Colin Clive. She played opposite Henry Hullthat same year in Werewolf of London, the first Hollywood werewolf film, predating The Wolf Man by six years. The latter half of the 1940s saw Hobson in perhaps her two most memorable roles: as the adult Estella in David Lean's 1946 adaptation of Great Expectations, and as the refined and virtuous Edith D'Ascoyne in the 1949 black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets.
In 1952 she divorced her first husband, the film producer Sir Anthony Havelock-Allan (1904–2003), and married John Profumo (1915–2006), an MP, in 1954, giving up acting shortly afterwards. Hobson's last starring role was in the original London production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical play The King and Iwhich opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on 8 October 1953. She played Mrs. Anna Leonowens opposite Herbert Lom's King. The show ran for 926 performances"

Sir Terrence Mervyn Rattigan (1911-77)

Sir Terrence Rattigan was one England's most popular and Successful contemporary playwrights. He was knighted in 1971.His most famous plays were perhaps  French without Tears,The Winslow Boy, The Deep Blue Sea and Separate Tables.

His bookplate has addresses presumably of his homes or places connected with his life.He also used a simple label in a border with calligraphic flourishes on either side of his name.

Ref: London Bookplates by Brian North Lee P.145 item #294

Sunday, February 08, 2015

English Theatrical and Cinema Bookplates- Part One

This is the first installment of an ongoing listing of bookplates used by English theatrical and cinematic entertainers . It also includes writers, producers and directors.. The brief biographical blurbs were copied from the internet .

 If you wish to add theatrical bookplates to this posting send scans to

"Harold Chapin (15 February 1886 – 26 September 1915) was an English actor and playwright.
Chapin was born in BrooklynNew York, in 1886. Although “technically an American citizen, he was an English actor, and English playwright and died as a British soldier”. A true man of the theatre, he worked as an actor (appearing extensively in the West End and in the original productions of What Every Woman Knows by J.M. Barrie and Strife by John Galsworthy), director and stage manager, and was closely associated with Harley Granville Barker.
His plays were produced throughout the UK and in New York 
Regarded as one of the greatest potential dramatic talents to be lost in the First World War, his work has often been compared with that of Edwardian playwright St John Hankin. Although largely unperformed today, his best known three act workThe New Morality was performed at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2005.
Enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army in September 1914, Lance Corporal Chapin was killed in action at the age of 29 at the Battle of Loos in 1915, leaving a wife and five year old son."


"Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".
Born in Teddington, southwest London, Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay FeverPrivate Lives,Design for LivingPresent Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works."

"David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III audiences and managers began to take notice.
Impressed by his portrayals of Richard III and a number of other roles, Charles Fleetwood engaged Garrick for a season at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He remained with the Drury Lane company for the next five years and purchased a share of the theatre with James Lacy. This purchase inaugurated 29 years of Garrick's management of the Drury Lane, during which time it rose to prominence as one of the leading theatres in Europe. At his death, three years after his retirement from Drury Lane and the stage, he was given a lavish public funeral at Westminster Abbey where he was laid in Poets' Corner.
As an actor, Garrick promoted realistic acting that departed from the bombastic style that was entrenched when Garrick first came to prominence. His acting delighted many audiences and his direction of many of the top actors of the English stage influenced their styles as well. Furthermore, during his tenure as manager of Drury Lane, Garrick sought to reform audience behaviour. While this led to some discontent among the theatre-going public, many of his reforms eventually did take hold. In addition to audiences, Garrick sought reform in production matters, bringing an overarching consistency to productions that included set design,costumes and even special effects.
Garrick's influence extended into the literary side of theatre as well. Critics are almost unanimous in saying he was not a good playwright, but his work in bringing Shakespeare to contemporary audiences is notable. In addition, he adapted many older plays in the repertoire that might have been forgotten. These included many plays of the Restoration era. Indeed, while influencing the theatre towards a better standard he also gained a better reputation for theatre folk. This accomplishment led Samuel Johnson to remark that "his profession made him rich and he made his profession respectable."

"Wyndham Goldie (1897–1957) was a British stage and film actor. Goldie first achieved fame as an actor with the Liverpool Playhouse from 1927 until summer 1934, the last year during which he also directed plays. He was married to the television producer Grace Wyndham Goldie."

John Pritt Harley (February 1786 – 22 August 1858) was an English actor known for his comic acting and singing.

"Sir Arthur John GielgudOMCH (/ˈɡlɡʊd/; 14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.
During the 1930s Gielgud was a stage star in the West End and on Broadway, appearing in new works and classics. He began a parallel career as a director, and set up his own company at the Queen's Theatre, London. He was regarded by many as the finest Hamlet of his era, and was also known for high comedy roles such as John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. In the 1950s Gielgud feared that his career was threatened when he was convicted and fined for a homosexual offence, but his colleagues and the public supported him loyally. When avant-gardeplays began to supersede traditional West End productions in the later 1950s he found no new suitable stage roles, and for several years he was best known in the theatre for his one-man Shakespeare show, The Ages of Man. From the late 1960s he found new plays that suited him, by authors including Alan BennettDavid Storey and Harold Pinter.
During the first half of his career Gielgud did not take the cinema seriously. Though he made his first film in 1924, and had successes with The Good Companions (1933) and Julius Caesar (1953), he did not begin a regular film career until his sixties. Between Becket in 1964, for which he received an Oscar nomination, and Elizabeth in 1998 he appeared in more than sixty films. As the acid-tongued Hobson in Arthur (1981) he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Although largely indifferent to awards, Gielgud had the rare distinction of winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. He was famous from the start of his career for his voice and his mastery of Shakespearean verse. He broadcast more than a hundred radio and television dramas, between 1929 and 1994, and made commercial recordings of many plays, including ten of Shakespeare's. Among his honours, he was knighted in 1953 and the Gielgud Theatre was named after him. From 1977 to 1989, he was president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art."

Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905)

"Sir Henry Irving  born John Henry Brodribb,  was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility (supervision of sets, lighting, direction, casting, as well as playing the leading roles) for season after season at theLyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as representative of English classical theatre. He was the first actor to be awarded a knighthood. Irving is thought to have been the inspiration for the title character in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula."

The bookplate shown below(with the letters of his name in red) was reproduced on page 238 in English Bookplates by Egerton Castle.
From time to time I have seen his bookplate with the red letters..Such bookplates were cut out of Mr Castle's book and are bogus.

Gertrude Lawrence (1902?-1952)

 English actress and singer.A childhood friend of Noel Coward.. She appeared with him in his
Private Lives (1931) and Tonight at 8:30 (1936 )

Shown above ia a bookplate used by Gertrude Lawrence and her second husband the American producer Richard Stoddard Aldrich.
He was born on August 17, 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is is known for his work on As Summers Die (1986), The Moon Is Blue(1953) and The Ed Sullivan Show (1948).