Saturday, December 24, 2016

Seasons Greetings From Lew Jaffe

It is that time of year again. I want to wish each and every one of you a joyful, healthy and prosperous new year

Here are some Christmas Cards sent out by bookplate designers  bookplate collectors and others.

From Hugh Thomson
 From Mr. and Mrs. Harold Nelson
Designed and pencil signed 
By Rudolph Ruzica

 Designed and Pencil Signed 
By James D. Havens

Two Hand Colored  Designs
 by Hugh and Margaret Eaton

From George and Kazuko Sekine

Designed by Sonia Zwanetz

From Norman Kent
From Thomas E.French

Engraved By Stanley E. Scantlin

Mystery Christmas Card
Here's one which has bevelled gilded edges
An engraved image circa 1920
And Beautiful Calligraphy which is unreadable .
The sender's name might be  Mrs. Amanda W. Marshall.
What do you think ?

12/25/2016   I received this response to my inquiry from Russ Lura

Dear Lew Jaffe,

Seasons’ greeting to you as well.

I enjoy reading your emails; thanks.

Could the name be Amanda M. Larson rather than Marshall?

Russ Lura

12/27/2016 Here is another response from Olli Ylönen 
Dear Lew Jaffe,
Your question about the mystery Christmas card:
I read the calligraphy as Mrs. Amanda A. Carsey

Wishing You a Happy New Year,

Olli Ylönen
Lähetetty iPadista

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Clever Bookplates

I do not have any paid advertising on my blog but every once in a while I enjoy
giving a bookseller or in this case a  bookish hotel free publicity. If I ever go to Portugal here is where I would like to stay, The Literary Man Obidos Hotel. .By way of coincidence, the travel section in today's New York Times  (12/11/2016) is all about bookish hotels around the world as well as book stores.

Not too many bookplates make me laugh or at least smile.
Here are a few that amuse me.

 If you have any bookplates in your collection which amuse you please send scans and I will try to add them to this posting.

Martin Pacheco  is a magician in Argentina
Dr. Hopping was a proctologist in New Jersey

Dr Darnell 's practice was in Germantown,Pennsylvania.He was on the staff at Hahnemann Hospital.His wife Mildred Hollis Darnell designed his bookplate.

I do not know who the owner the plate shown above  was but it sounds like someone you would not want to alienate.

I was curious about Charles De Von LaFollette
 Here is his picture and  some   biographical information written by Beth Swift, the archivist at Wabash College


Just this week I had a request for a scanned copy of Bob Petty’s 1982 LaFollette Lecture, “The Margins of Knowledge”  and another request for a copy of a later lecture in this series. These two requests caused me to think about all of the other LaFollette lectures over the years. This series is a source of deep, engaged thinking. Each year one speaker is chosen from the faculty to present a lecture. It is an honor and, based on those who have spoken in prior years, I would think it might be a bit intimidating…These requests also caused me to think more about the man whose name is on the series…
Charles DeVon LaFollett 

Lafe, as he was known to his friends, was born in Thorntown, Indiana, a very small town in Boone County. He graduated from Thorntown High School in 1916. At Wabash he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Managing Editor of the Bachelor, student director of the Glee Club and a leader in the Wabash Players, the forerunner of the Scarlet Masque theater group and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. LaFollette stayed a fifth year and earned his master’s degree at Wabash before heading to Harvard. At Harvard he earned his M.B.A. and was asked to stay, at first as a researcher. In 1925 was appointed Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration. Following his Harvard years, LaFollette worked as Assistant to the President of the Bobbs-Merrill publishing company in Indianapolis.
The scene changed from Indianapolis to Corning, NY where this smart young man quickly rose through the ranks at Corning. Starting as sales manager of the Pyrex division, he was elected Treasurer in 1939 and by 1943 was the Vice President and Director of Sales. By 1946 Lafe was a director of the company. When he retired in 1964 he continued on the Board of Directors of Dow-Corning. LaFollette served as President of the Corning Museum of Glass and was a Trustee of the Corning Glass Works Foundation.
Yet through all of his success, Wabash was always a part of his world. In 1952 Lafe became a Trustee of Wabash College. He served for 25 years and in 1977 stepped down from the Board. It was in this year that the first LaFollette lecture was presented at Wabash. He and his wife also established the Charles D. and Elizabeth S. LaFollette Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, first held by Eric Dean. It is a distinguished list as first Raymond Williams and then Bill Placher followed  Dean. Leslie Day  an archaeologist with significant excavations in Greece and professor in the Classics department served as the next LaFollette from 2009-2011.  This highly prized chair is currently held by theater professor Dwight Watson.
Lafe loved this place and Wabash rewarded him for his good work. In 1956 he received the Alumni Award of Merit and in 1967 he received the Doctor of Humane Letters degree from President Paul Cook. On his retirement from the Board in 1977, faculty member Bert Stern presented, “The Businessman as Poet.” The lecture was at 4pm and was followed by a dinner. Ben Rogge spoke after dinner and ended his remarks with this toast, “To our friend, Lafe LaFollette, then, I propose this toast: May those who teach and those who learn at this college and those who guide its destinies in the years ahead be forever mindful of your example, forever aware that the finest product of a liberal education is that rarest of creatures, a truly civilized human being.”
What a lovely thought!
A truly civilized human being as the finest product of liberal arts education…
Beth Swift, Archivist
Wabash College
Here is a photo of Mr.Andrews along with  a link to some biographical information.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Request For Dated 18th Century English Bookplates

Fellow Collector Peter Youatt Sent the Following Request.
  I have collected eighteenth century dated English plates since I was a school boy and I hope shortly to be in a position to do an article for The Bookplate  Journal  illustrating one from each year from my own collection.
I have over the years acquired a good number of them,although I have several for some years, there are currently just eight years that have remained elusive. They are 1714;1728;1731;1732;1771;1772;1784 and 1794. To count either the plate must itself be dated or the engraver’s signature must include a date.

If you can assist me I would be most interested in hearing from you.

Peter Youatt

Note From Lew -

 While sorting through my own dated plates  I came upon this one.
 Brian North Lee wrote the following on page 22 in  the March 1998 issue of The Bookplate Journal 
 "John Walford's ex-libris seems milder until one notices the knife in the hand of the cherub at left,who otherwise might seem to be giving a simple anatomy lesson to his fellows, though the one at right is perhaps straining to hear what is being said .Whilst amorini are perhaps more acceptable than human figures in such compositions, it is more comfortable and traditional to see them as harbingers of love"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tips For Building A Bookplate Collection

I just  cold- called* a bookseller and explained my interest in bookplates

  1. make an unsolicited call on (someone), by telephone or in person, in an attempt to sell goods or services.

  2. Then I followed up with this email.
Dear      ,
I am glad we had a chance to chat and I look forward to your response.
Bookplate collecting is my hobby and I am an active buyer.
It's hard to nail down what interests me but this may help.
In the best case scenario an accumulation of loose bookplates or bookplates on detached boards  are preferred.
For bookplates pasted in books here are some of my interests;
Any bookplates which you think are unique or attractive.

Leather bookplates
Angling bookplates
Bookplates used by notable people
Bookplates with Judaica themes

Finely engraved bookplates.
My preference is for books under $25.00 but for 18th century American bookplates  or bookplates used by famous people I am willing to pay
considerably more.
The ball is in your court..
Perhaps you can send scans or descriptions.


I'll keep you updated about the results but in general this approach is productive, sometimes years later.  As an afterthought , I will revise future emails to explain how to recognize universal bookplates and that they are of no interest to me.
Here is a bookplate I just purchased from a dealer who was contacted last week.

Thirty Five + Years of  Experience Condensed in One Article

For those of you who are new to bookplate collecting here is a link that
you will find helpful.

Mystery Bookplate
Does Anyone out there recognize this bookplate ?
This is the first response received 
It was sent by Mike.

Wonderfully odd mystery bookplate
This = This
Buch = Book (German)
Tillhor = Belongs (Swedish)
a' = To (French)
Gurgen ? = Cyrillic
Xrinrints ? = western Armenian

Nothing further I can figure out at this time.  Linguist? Magic?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Clara Tice and President Calvin Coolidge

Grolier Club Bookplates, Past And Present

A bookplate exhibit is now open at The Grolier Club located at
 47 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022
It is in the second floor gallery

GALLERY HOURS: The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge,
Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm through January 14, 2017. It will be closed
Thursday and Friday, November 24-25, for the Thanksgiving Holiday, and
December 24-31 for the Winter Holidays.

Update- Bookplates of Notable People For Possible Exchange
I have updated my exchange list.The bookplate of President Coolidge was just added .

President Coolidge was very interested in angling and included some fishing gear near the base of the tree on his bookplate .
President Coolidge

Clara Tice

This Biography was copied directly from

Clara Tice (22 May 1888 – 2 February 1973) was an American avant-garde illustrator and artist, who spent most of her life in New York City, United States. Because of her provocative art and public appearances, she was seen as representative of bohemian Greenwich Village and thus known as "The Queen of Greenwich Village."

Early life

According to herself and the New York Times, in 1908 Tice was the first woman in Greenwich Village to bob her hair.Around the same time, Tice was able to study under the famous artist and teacher Robert Henri. In 1910, Henri and some of his artist friends, organized the first exhibition of Independent Artist. This art show, which was with its jury-free and no-awards concept quite a revolution at that time and thus received enormous attention, was financially backed by Tice and featured her works.

Immersion in the arts

A few years later, namely in 1915, Tice's fame skyrocketed when Anthony Comstock, main founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, tried to confiscate Tice's art at the well-known bohemian restaurant Polly's. Thereafter images of Tice's artworks and photos of the artist were featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Rogue, The Blind Man, and Cartoons magazine. During that time she had several one-person exhibitions and also worked on numerous other projects, for example, she created posters for bohemian costume balls and played herself in the 1922 version of the Greenwich Village Follies.
During those years, Tice not only played an important part in Greenwich Village's colorful art scene, but also joined the Arensberg Circle in their uptown location. It was probably Marcel Duchamp who introduced Tice to Walter and Louise Arensberg and their salon. There she met Henri-Pierre Roché, with whom she spent several evenings. Tice also participated in two projects by the Arensberg Circle: first, two of her works were shown in the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists and second, one of her works was featured in the The Blind Man.[
During the 1920s, she illustrated about a dozen books with her erotic images, these are nowadays expensive collector's items. In 1940, her own book called ABC Dogswas published. It is a children's book in which each letter of the alphabet is represented by a dog breed whose name starts with the same letter.[8] This publication sparked renewed interest in Tice and her art. She also worked on her memoirs, which she never completed

Clara Tice Bookplates and Ephemera
Shown below are Clara Tice items from my  collection and the Tom Boss collection.

If you have items not shown please send a scan and your items will be added to this posting.

11/19/2016  These two were submitted by Nina Allen
They were commissioned by Jack Howard Andrews, who was a dog breeder from Connecticut. The second scan is a Christmas card.

The Quill

The Quill was started by Arthur H.Moss, a vagabond publisher.

"Arthur Harold Moss  was an American expatriate poet, and magazine editor.
In 1917, he returned to Greenwich Village, founding The Quill with partner Harold Hersey and was managing editor and wrote articles. It included artists Clara TiceWood GaylorMark Toby and Alfred J Frueh .
He married Millia Davenport (1895–1992) and worked with her at The Quill. They co-authored, The Quill: For And By Greenwich Village, vol.4, no.8, 1919.
They separated shortly thereafter. She went on to design costumes.
In 1920, he hired his future wife Florence Gilliam to edit Quill

Here is a link to another website for further examples of art work by Clara Tice along with a bibliography.

Clara Tice, Nude Woman Feeding Horse, n.d.
Private Collection, Winthrop, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Revisiting Old Friends-Part Two

Here are some more bookplates I unearthed while rearranging my collection in new albums.
The designs of these two plates appear to be by the same artist although one is signed by T.Craig and one is signed JDL. They were  mystery plates when I first wrote about them in 2011 and the mystery is still unsolved.

Note From Lew
While I think of it I am long overdue for my annual Ebay listing of 25 very special bookplates. Send me an email and I will notify you when my listings are up and running. If you are particularly interested in a certain artist or theme  advise me accordingly and I will try to include some items for you.

Was Arthur Frisbie an Egyptologist or a Dung Beetle enthusiast ?
The artist appears to be JFK or FJK. Your input would be appreciated.

At first glance you might wonder what's so special about this bookplate ?
It is the story behind private Trumbull that is of interest,  Here is some biographical information
about him from Time Magazine

So he was sentenced to 26 years of hard labor which was reduced to one year and later ran unsuccessfully for congress in 1940.
This sounds like  a John Grisham novel.

Here is one more mystery bookplate.

I'll see you again on Sunday by which time I may have recuperated from waking up in an alternative universe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Revisiting Old Friends

I recently purchased five additional albums to make my bookplates more  easily accessible. In getting everything organized I discovered  bookplates I  had forgotten about and in some instances I didn't even know they were in my collection.
Here are some of the most interesting bookplates I found.
The bookplate for TNP was designed by L.S in 1913. The owner and the artist are unknown to me. Let's call this mystery plate #1.The brayer would indicate that the owner was involved in graphic arts. Does anyone out there recognize the plate ?

Fellow Collector Richard Schimmelpfeng just srnt the following information:
 I found a reference in Gutenberg Museum Katalog, G41,749 for a monogram plate by Joakim Skovgaard (1856-1933), Denmark. for NPT 1913. Initials over a printer's ball, ie ink ball. Measures 58x50 mm. Found in either black and white, or colored.  Usually the monogram would have the main initial larger than others, so, I thnk this may match your plate, even though the LS doesn't. 

In three separate albums I found these bookplates by Francis Lee Jacques.
Here is some biographical information about the artist.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Francis Lee Jaques (1887-1969) was an American wildlife painter.
Francis Lee Jaques hunted and trapped with his father and connected with editors and writers from major hunting magazines. While still a teenager, Lee paid ten dollars to buy a taxidermy shop in Aitkin, Minnesota. He toughed out a few winters scarcely earning enough money to survive and bartering paintings to pay for services. He alternated railroad work in northern Minnesota and taxidermy in Aitkin to make ends meet.
In 1918 Jaques was drafted into the army. During his six-month stay in St. Emilione, France he recorded his surroundings in several small pencil drawings and watercolor paintings. He came home with a rank of Private First Class and returned to Duluth, Minnesota. There he met Clarence C. Rosenkranz, an artist of the impressionist style, who helped him mix color and express his feelings through art.
In 1924, Jaques sent some of his paintings to the American Museum of Natural Historyin New York City. His talent was recognized and he was invited to join the museum's team as a background painter. The team traveled around the world gathering exhibit specimens. Jaques recorded his experiences throughout.
Jaques was almost 40 years old when he met Florence Page, a friend of his landlord. She was a budding writer just out of a prestigious school in the East, but was originally from Decatur, Illinois. Jaques and Florence found common ground in nature and developed a friendship. They were married in 1927.
Francis and Florence Page Jaques spent time camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. The time provided inspiration for their now-famous books, Snowshoe Country and Canoe Country. Sales from these two books helped fund the Jaques' involvement in the conservation project at Susie Island in Lake Superior. The conservation area was later named The Francis Lee Jaques Memorial Preserve in his honor.
The Jaques lived in New York City for over 25 years before returning to Minnesota to work at the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History on the University of Minnesota campus. Jaques worked designing and painting diorama backgrounds until his retirement.
The Jaques' final years were spent living in North Oaks, a few miles north of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Jaques painted daily and created a mountainous body of work. Upon his death Florence completed and arranged for publication of his biography, Francis Lee Jaques: Artist of the Wilderness World. She donated his remaining art works to the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis and to the Saint Louis County Historical Society, Duluth MN.
Frances Lee Jaques died July 24, 1969 at the age of 81. His wife, Florence Page Jaques, died January 1, 1972 at 82 years of age."
Note from Lew- If you have any bookplates in your collection designed
by Francis Lee Jacques  please send me a scan and your images will be 
added to this posting.

Ropes End sounds like the title of a mystery novel. I'm guessing Mr .Richardson was a reporter or a mystery writer. I came up with this information while searching Google.
 "The Los Angeles Examiner paper was from 1903 to 1962 when it then became the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. In the 1940s city editor James H. Richardson encouraged and promoted his reporters to bring to light the scandals and crime in Hollywood."
Let's call this mystery bookplate #2 until I verify with certainty who the owner was.
You input would be appreciated.

 This charming bookplate was used in the 1920s or 30s. at P.S. 46 in the Bronx.
 The  school is still open so I wrote to the principal to see if they have any records indicating who the artist CAB was.

This is a home made  bookplate made by Bros(?). and is high on my list of favorites.

Here is another home made bookplate

I'll be posting more of the  bookplates I unearthed  later in the week.

Two Bookplate Exhibits

Major bookplate exhibits are infrequent . Two exhibits in one month are unprecedented The first exhibit is at the Rosenbach Library here in Philadelphia.

Bookplates and Book Collectors from 1480 to the Present

Wed, 09/21/2016 - Sun, 01/15/2017

Presenting beautiful and curious specimens from five centuries of book ownership, from a 15th-century coat of arms to engravings inspired by Romantic artists, The Art of Ownership delves into the stories of these bookplates.

The second exhibit is in New York City at The Grolier Club

Thursday, November 17-Saturday, January 14 Second Floor Gallery Exhibition: "Grolier Club Bookplates Past & Present," curated by Mark Samuels Lasner and Alex Ames.