Saturday, September 05, 2015

This week in Bookplates September 5,2015

Let's start with two interesting Emails I received. 
The First one came from Guillermo Morán Dauchez.

"Having seen your blog 'Confessions of...' I have taken the liberty of writing you this mail, hoping that it will not bother you.

My name is Guillermo Morán, I am from Spain. I am considering starting an ex-libris collection, since I both love books (as literature recipients and as objects) and graphic arts and printmaking. 

I already have  some  and, besides, I have done some as a self taught aficionado printmaker, mostly for me, some for friends or relatives. Would you have the kindness to take a brief look at the scans I attach to this mail and tell me if you think they are worthy enough to be proposed  for being exchanged with other collectors? May they even interest you?

Any advice or comment would be warmly welcome, specially negative ones, that are always more useful than compliments.

As you can see, they are linocuts (x3), excepted the last one I did: a drypoint (c4), aimed to depict Achilles. Those are the two techniques I use, although I'm starting to practice with mezzotint.

Thank you very much for your time.

Guillermo Morán Dauchez

This was part of my response

Would you like me to feature your bookplates on my blog ?
If so, can you send me a paragraph or two about yourself.
If you have a recent photo of yourself send me a scan.
It is not necessary to do so but photos tend to increase readership.
I use a Dragonfly bookplate designed by Daniel Mitsui.
Would you like to exchange one of your Kipling plates for one of my
Dragonfly plates ?

                                                 I received a reply quickly

Dear Lewis Jaffe,

I'm very thankful to you, both for your answer and for having shared my mail with your friends. Mr. Schimmelpfeng has already contacted me, proposing some exchange.

I would be glad to exchange one of my Kipling's for one of your dragonfly's. I Had already seen it as it is quite popular on the Internet and found it an awesome plate, not only for the general aspect but also for the exquisite lettering and that  detailed background. The Kipling's is, as I told you, a linocut print, with two plates, printed with Charbonell Aquawash Etching Ink on Fabriano 'Rosaspina' paper (200gr/m2).
 It was made for my son, Mateo, who always enjoyed a my wife reading 'The Book of the Jungle'.
at bed time
 Unfortunately I will not be able to post it to you before September, the 14th, as I won't be home until then, but I will do on that day. I assume you want it to be send to the postal address at the end of your mail. Mine is:

Note From Lew- I have omitted the postal mailing address for reasons of privacy and have also done some minor editing. You can contact Guillermo Morán Dauchez. at this Email address:

I also would be very happy to be featured in your blog. As a  I was born in France in 1978, but always have lived in Spain. I studied History at the University of Valladolid, and received my Ph. D. in Prehistory and Archaeology. I work as an archivist in Seville. I have always been interested in drawing and painting and  I started printmaking four or five years ago. I do linocuts and drypoints. and woodcuts .I'm also training myself in mezzotint: 
Literature is one of my major interests, and my interest for ex libris is the link between my love for books and my love for graphic arts.Actually I 'designed' (so to say)  my 1st ex lirbis when I was 7. My parents commissioned  an office rubber stamp from a tiny hedgehog I had drawn as  a birthday present for me. I still use it.

After that, I did no more until recently. I now want to start a collection, so I created some Ex Libris for myself, friends and relatives, in order to exchange them with collectors, which is my principal aim,. Nonetheless I would  gladly listen to any small commission proposals..


Guillermo Morán Dauchez.

The Second Email came from Chris Wasshuber

Lew, what are the motivations for somebody to use a bookplate? Most book
lovers, collectors and readers I know do not use bookplates.


Quite frankly, I was at a loss to come up with a good answer but this is how I responded:

Dear Chris,
   Most book lovers ,collectors and readers I know do use bookplates..
I am at a loss to  give a clear and precise answer to your provocative
In part it has to do with pride of ownership, and maintaining  a sense of
continuity with the past.
The last time I had a similar befuddlement was about fifteen years ago when
a client asked me why I collect..

I  will post your inquiry on my blog to see if someone else can come up with a
better answer.

If you wish to add your own response  send it  to

9/6/2015 First Response-Thank you Gordon

Dear Lew,
I could not resist answering this!
Why Would Anyone Use A Bookplate?

In response to a question recently posed to Lew Jaffe:
“what are the motivations for somebody to use a bookplate? Most book lovers, collectors and readers I know do not use bookplates.”
I thought I might answer by telling why I am commissioned to make them. Generally I have three kinds of client:
•              institutions/collections,
•              life “milestone” celebrants
•              those that consider their books an intimate part of their lives.
The first group is quite straightforward, literally a library stamp, but one designed with an identifying aesthetic way beyond formal utility. The books belong there and they are cared about!
The other two types usually share a desire for some kind of biography or personal motif, with a relevant symbolism developed for each particular piece. Often there is a sense of tradition, sometimes a lineage of family plates, sometimes a life milestone to celebrate.
The second group of “celebrants” have a desire to illustrate and commemorate an event or stage of life. Graduation, inauguration, attainment, ordination , heritage, there are so many things to mark.  Bookplates are an Art form available for this, it could be as easily be a video, a portrait or a sculpture, but Ex Libris is much less formal, less ostentatious and integrates easily into their daily life, a constant presence.

The third group go beyond this. Often they are collectors and this is the Art Form they collect. Here there may be a desire to illustrate and display their ownership of a volume, a sort of pictorial threshold blurring the edge between their life and art, the art being in this case literature. But it is usually and simply a particular sense of aesthetic.
My continuous use of the word desire is perhaps a clue to why most plates are commissioned; a “senseless act of beauty” being motivation enough?

Gordon Collett

9/6/2015 Second Response- Thank you Guillermo

Concerning the question  about why readers and book lovers do not use plates , I would say that sometimes they do not know that these items exist.  Personalized plates designed and printed by artists/craftsmen are unknown to many young people, even  educated individuals.
That's only a personal perception, not that I have seriously studied the question.

Free Bookplate

I have sorted through a collection which contained many bookplates from Ohio residents.
Among them were 10 copies of this bookplate.If you would like a copy send me an email with your postal mailing address.

The previous owner made this notation:
"Bishop's helm ,resurrection cross,Christian fish (Note tail makes A.A. symbol if turned sideways)
Mr. Bishop is a member of A.A. which means a lot to him and therefore he included a double A symbol. The 21st. century robo-mouse is reminiscent of the tiny mice that monks would incorporate
 in illuminations "
Note from Lew-The bookplate was designed by Charles Bishop Jr. who to the best of my knowledge is still an active bookseller and writer whose specialty is Alcoholics Anonymous.
For additional information about him follow this link:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Upcoming Book Show

The Brooklyn Book Show takes place on September 19th and 20th.I will be attending on September 19th.If you have bookplates for sale or trade and please contact me.

Here is a link with show information:

Information about Exhibit and Lectures  in Ohio Sent by Daniel Mitsui

From Daniel Mitsui

I received a kind invitation from Franciscan University in Steubenville to exhibit my artwork on campus. The show opens on Monday 14 September; that evening at 7:00, I shall deliver a lecture in the Gentile Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

On the evening of Wednesday, 16 September, I am scheduled to speak at the Young Adults’ Group meeting at Old St. Mary Church in Cincinnati. Adoration and prayer begin at 7:00; my talk will follow. This, too, is free and open to the public.

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