Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye 2015

As the year is ending I would like to look back and look forward..

In  2015 I did not complete many of the bookplate projects I had planned.

The check lists of California artists , never got very far.
If you are in California and have the time to assist me with this project please send  an email..

For  the month of December here is a snapshot of readership by country.
United States
United Kingdom
Costa Rica

It is interesting to note that China which is feuding  with Google never shows up in these stats even though I know many in  China are reading my blog
 Looking Forward
  I would like to get more collector profiles and reader submissions next year.
 It is hard to believe but 2016  will be my tenth year as  a blogger.
In blog years ( like doggie years ) that is a long time.

To celebrate the tenth year I plan to have a bookplate contest.

Antioch Bookplate Archives–Unusual New Year’s Greetings submitted by

 Rebecca Eschliman 

Among the little correspondence from the 1930s that remained in the Antioch Bookplate Company files were some New Year’s Greetings from Art Young * to his friend (a friendship developed from their shared interest in socialist causes) and Antioch Bookplate Company founder Ernest Morgan.
Art Young in the late 1930s
1936 New Year's Greeting
1938 New Year's Greeting
*Art Young's bookplate designs for Antioch Bookplate were shown on these posts:


 From my own collection here is a New Years letter from 1943 which  I cherish because it reflects 
the pulse of a time long gone , when people had great respect and admiration for their leaders..
About Ralph Ward and Howard B. Cunningham
In 1941, Ward Baking Company became one of the first companies to enrich bread. The company introduced New Tip-Top Bread on June 3, 1952. This new bread doubled the calcium content and contained 1/3 more milk solids. The company was able to change its bread formula with the addition of the new ingredients without increasing the product costs. 11 The New York City headquarters of Ward Baking Company was eliminated during a company reorganization in 1974. 7 The company left the baking business entirely in 1981, when it sold the last of its baking operations to Interstate Brands Corp. 8 In 1924, George Ward’s son, Ralph, became the president of Drake Bakeries, a position which he held until his death in 1953.9 . Drake Bakeries is another bakery that is now owned by Interstate Bakeries Inc. The company is known for their snack cakes including Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles and Ring Dings.

To all of you out there may 2016 be a year for good health, joy and prosperity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Birth of a Mezzotint Bookplate

I love to receive unexpected submissions from readers like this one from Guillermo Moran

If you want to contact Guillermo about bookplate exchanges here is his email address


If you want to submit an article for publication in 2016 here is my email address 

Dear Lew,

Here are the pics with their short explanations. Hope you find it interesting. Maybe the text will need some editing: as always, it is up to you.


Here is the original sketch, drawn with white pencil on black paper, as I find that this way of  drawing is the closest to the mezzotint technique, where the areas affected will hold no ink and therefore, be white on the print.

Next step consists of cutting a copper plate to the desired size. Then it is to be grounded with the rocker': The rocker has small teeth that, when rocking the plate, will teve tiny dots and their burrs on its surface. A lot of passes, in different directions will leave an even and complete coverage  of dots and burrs that will hold the ink. Before being affected by any other tools, the plate should print an intense black surface.
With a scarper and a burnisher, the plate is to be affected where it has to print white. Here is the plate compared to the sketch. On the left there is a composite tool: pointing down it is a scarper, pointing up it is a burnisher.
The lettering has been added
The plate has been inked and wiped: the affected areas do not retain the ink.
Then, a slightly wet paper is to be placed on top of the plate and the whole is passed through the press, applying significant and even pressure

The print is  carefully lifted off the plate
Here are the first five proofs of the bookplate.
The final print, prior being numbered and signed.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bookplate Odds and Ends 12/13/2015

Collectors everywhere hope some day to find a hidden treasure overlooked by everyone else.
It is part of our DNA. That is why TV  shows like American Pickers and The Antiques Road Show have such a large following.
Rebecca Rego Barry has written a book about collectors who grabbed a brass ring. My copy is in the mail and I thought the book  might interest some of you.

In her new book Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places
  Rebecca Rego Barry recounts 52 extraordinary discoveries from the world of book collecting, including a stash of vintage comic books worth $3.5 million, long forgotten in a Virginia basement



Rebecca Rego Barry is the editor of Fine Books and Collections magazine. She has also written about books and history for various publications, including The Guardian, JSTOR Daily, Preservation, The Millions, and Victoria. A member of the Ticknor Society, a book collectors’ club based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, her personal collecting specialties are 19th- and early 20th-century illustrated medical books, and Henry David Thoreau. She lives with her family in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Here is a  review of the book by fellow collector Jerry Morris

Let There Be Light

In 1879 when the electric light bulb was invented.Mr. William Connell  an early user of this cutting edge technology was proud to incorporate  a light bulb in his bookplate
The Clarence Edward bookplate shown below was designed in  1918 when light bulbs were no longer cutting edge technology. Mr. .Rose was an Electrical Engineer.

The Electrical Standardizing and Training Institute bookplate was designed by

 T Erat Harrison (REF. Ex Libris Journal Volume # 2 page 4)

If you have any interesting electric bulb bookplates and want them added to this posting send JPEG images to                 

A New Bookplate Exchange Site

I received a n Email announcing the start of a new exlibris exchange site and contacted David Kovats ,one of the site developers  for  some background information.

 Here is his response.

Dear Lew,
Thank you again for taking the time to help us improve Collectorism as well as offering to write about it in your blog. This is a fantastic opportunity for us.
 I have attached 8 images that were selected to show how diverse is the bookplate collection of Ferenc Galambos which we acquired a few years ago.
Our journey on becoming seriously involved in the exlibris trade began when we had the chance to buy this collection. Over 70,000 bookplates and the whole library that comes with it. It took us days if not weeks to even understand the volume and the quality we are dealing with. We did have some experience with bookplates; I used to see examples while on valuations with Sotheby's and Karoly has been an antiquarian from the start so it wasn't all new. However this collection took us to a whole new level. In a couple of months we knew that we want to have this as a full time occupation. We opened stores on different online marketplaces, joined societies in different countries, attended meetings, auctions and congresses. We kept selling works and buying/exchanging new ones at the same time.
 We were surprised to see there is no real online platform for people to exchange their bookplates (or actually any other collectible). We wanted to create a place where everyone is welcome, where collectors can meet others without having the trouble of traveling to fairs or conferences. A place where people can showcase their collection and the passion behind it. And most importantly a visual, easy-to-use and fun system to exchange items with anyone from anywhere in the world.
The site opened last week and we already have lots of bookplates online. There are people who only want to showcase their collection or interest and that is great. It's also a fantastic way to make new contacts and there is no need to create your own website for a fortune anymore. There are also no restrictions on exchanging, so it's not just bookplates for bookplates, you can trade bookplates for a stamp collection, coins for posters or vintage toys for modern lego.
I know by experience that there are many collectors out there not able to spend $10/$50/$100 weekly to buy new works but they would love to have the chance to get access to thousands of items that are all up for exchange!

I truly believe this is a great way for exlibris lovers (and other collectors) to keep in touch, browse and find new things on a regular basis.
I hope what I put together for you is not too much, please do let me know if you have any questions
or need further information!

Thank you very much again.

With very best wishes,

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Bill Glaseman Collection- Part Two

Here are some letters from the Glaseman collection.
The following paragraph was written by Mr. Glaseman

The Bennett A Cerf Bookplate was designed by Rockwell Kent

Note From Lew

I am always pleased to publish collector profiles.

  The  profiles are are not very structured. You just write a few paragraphs about yourself and your bookplate collection.
Jpeg scans of your favorite bookplates increase the readership along with  a picture of yourself, if possible.
If any editing is needed or if English is not your primary language I will advise you of suggested changes before publishing.
A few randomly selected profiles are attached for your review
If you have the time and inclination to participate please contact me.

Lew Jaffe