Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two Dumpster Tales

New York Times Obituary for Frederick C. Blank -1942

Mr. Blank's bookplate from The Richard Schimmelpfeng Collection

The One That Got Away

I am not exactly sure exactly what year I became infected with bookplaticitis. I assume it was in the early 1980's. 
By then Frederick Charles Blank had been dead around forty years.
At the time I was selling advertising space for a trade publication so I was a firm believer in the power of advertising. I placed an ad  in The Antique Trader  and was quickly contacted by a dealer who had about six hundred items relating to Mr. Blank . They included correspondence between him and King Gillette about a proposed bookplate. along with sketches.
The dealer explained that a picker found the items in a dumpster and the asking price was $125.00. Unfortunately, I had no idea who Charles F. Blank was and I declined the offer. Several days later I found out that I made a big mistake and contacted the dealer. You guessed it. By then the lot had been sold.

The One That Didn't Get Away

In 2010 a real estate broker called to tell me that he sold a house in which a bookplate collection had been stored in the attic.The new owner threw everything into a dumpster and the broker contacted me.
I bought the collection from him  without hesitation. The most significant item in the collection was this Charlie Chaplin bookplate.

Here is a detailed inventory of the collection. The original owner was Katherine C. Bartholomew.
http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com/search?q=katherine+bartholomew

=========================================================
Mystery Bookplates


Dear Mr. Jaffe,

I received an inquiry regarding the bookplate of Robert Hoe, and your name was referred to me as someone who might be able to proffer some assistance or opinions. 
One of our members recently acquired a book bearing the blue bookplate of Robert Hoe, which differs from (but is quite similar to) his red bookplate.  The red bookplate I am familiar with, but the blue one I have never seen before.  The question is, do you know if the blue bookplate is a variant of the red, or if it could be the bookplate of his son, Robert Hoe III?
I have attached photographs of both bookplates herewith.  Any thoughts you might have on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

With my best regards,

Sophia

Sophia Dahab, MLIS
Assistant Librarian
The Grolier Club
47 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-838-6690



This title page was sent by Tom Boss .

7/19/2017 Fellow collector  Richard Cady  sent the following message:


 I think both your plates are Robert Hoe's.

Grolier Club members at around the turn of the century often had their leather bookplates printed in varying colored leathers as well as on paper.  And there are some design variants.  I have three Hoe plates - one reddish, one brown, one blue. In my own collection Cortland Bishop had at least three - green, red and blue.  William L. Clements four, Barton Currie two, Ernest Gee two, Frank Hogan five, Pierpont Morgan two, W. Van R. Whitall two, John Camp Williams three (diamond shaped), and assume this is just the tip of the iceberg.  RHC
=========================================================

Hats off to Stephen Fowler, owner of The Monkey Paw Bookshop in Toronto
In this day of diminishing antiquarian book shops Mr. Fowler figured out a way to
get customers from all over the world .

http://www.monkeyspaw.com/the-biblio-mat/

Monday, July 10, 2017

More Recent Arrivals

Jeffrey Price has a new wood block bookplate engraved by Andy English.
I asked him to write something about his new plate and this is his response:

It started with the idea of  referencing M. C. Escher’s artwork and including my own Latin motto. I enjoy the phrase ‘Seek the Extraordinary,’  and the closest Latin translation of that is ‘Quaerite Singulari.’ I used ‘Ex Collectione’ rather than ‘Ex Libris’ for flexibility, thinking that I may put it on the back of a picture from my gallery, a book from my collection, or perhaps exchange it with other collectors..
     Both Andy and I are fans of Escher’s work, especially his 1931 series of  woodcuts titled ‘XXIV Emblemata.’ Emblemata prints have a history going back hundreds of years. Their function was to educate by illustrating a moral lesson or motto with a memorable picture, often created in woodcut. The design Andy created has its roots in an Emblemata print of a sundial, in which the transience of time is shown by a passing shadow. But a fortune-teller’s crystal ball sees the future, and I am indebted to good fortune. 

Andy even crafted a reflection of Artists’ Market in this sphere, and you can even make out the number 163 of our address in the image. The tiles are engraved like Escher’s, and the garden is 100% Andy English. Andy cut his initials into the block in Escher’s style, tying  everything together quite neatly.

Jeffrey Price                                     


Artists' Market Inc.
The Artists' Bookplate Museum
163 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851 USA                   
203.846.2550
=====================================

Here are a few recent additions to my collection


By way of explanation I purchase bookplates that fit into themes that have  some weird appeal to me.

                       Severed Heads

For quite some time I have been fascinated by bookplates with severed heads and exposed brain matter. I call it my Donovan's Brain collection.
If you are turned off by this topic do not click onto this memorable link from the movie
  Underwater awakening

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrVc_8vbZP8

If you want similar bookplates from your own collection added to this posting send jpeg scans to
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com

This bookplate was designed by Roberto Buonacconsi
I see no artist's signature on this plate but the previous owner noted that it was done by Pavel Simon
This bookplate shown above is a gift from fellow collector James Keenan.
It was etched by Matthew Collins

Okay, this is not a bookplate. It is a magazine cover which reflects my own fears about our current president - his misguided , and very muddled mindset.
As a nation we survived the civil war , two world wars and the great depression
 Hopefully we will also survive this very sad turn of events .

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bookplate Odds and Ends 6/29/2017

Links worth Perusing

The American Antiquarian Society has an Instagram site .
Lots of interesting bookplates I've never seen before.
You can view it on your computer.

 https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/aasbookplates/

The Luna Image Collection from Washington University in St. Louis should be bookmarked. It is an excellent digital bookplate resource.
http://luna.wustl.edu:8180/luna/servlet/view/all/who/os/950/what/Bookplates/when/n.d.?sort=Title%252CCreator_Name%252CObject_Typ

Three Mystery Bookplates
Send your Mystery Bookplate scans and answers to inquiries to
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com



Hi Lew -

Thanks for getting back to me and offering to help me sort this out -- I would be most grateful if you were to post something on your blog or otherwise point me in the right direction. (However limited your knowledge of Russian bookplates may be, I can assure you that mine is far more limited!)
This is what I have figured out so far...

The translation says:

"From the books of Б. М. Тенин." 

The foreground graphic is obviously Shakespeare's portrait with  a quote from Hamlet, Act 1 scene 5, lines 190-1: 
"The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite / That ever I was born to set it right!"

From what I have gleaned, Boris Mihaylovich Tenin (Б. М. Тенин) was a famous Soviet actor born in 1905. In addition to his work on stage, film, and television, he was quite a bibliophile and collected bookplates. I found -- and have attached -- a picture of Tenin in his library, with what appear to be some bookplate designs, one of which also seems to have Shakespeare's portrait. I can't read Russian, so I have no idea what the text says. I've asked my daughter, who is more adept with computers and research, to try to figure it out.

As for this particular bookplate, I have no idea who the artist that designed (and signed) it is, nor where this particular bookplate came from. It was given to my daughter as a gift over a decade ago. Any help or advice you can give would be most appreciated.

Thanks!
Susan


Hi Lew,
          Any idea who this artist may be? LBM are the initials but I have no idea.

                         Best,

                             Tom

I suspect this was an honorarium plate for Fidel Castro. It may be a Russian Plate.  Your input would be appreciated. Thanks,
Lew



Recent Additions To My Collection

Send scans of  recent additions to your collection to
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com

In 1945 Ernest Morgan , the president of Antioch Bookplate Co. sent this letter to
Louis Henry Cohn , the owner of House of Books Ltd. in New York City.

Here is one of the Lynd Ward Proofs

By way of comparison shown below is one of the printed bookplates.




Here is another proof

Lewis Henry Cohn's bookplate was designed by his friend Ernest Hemingway

"Ernest Hemingway,
autograph inscription and bookplate [n.d.]
Original autograph text by Ernest Hemingway used for design of a Cohn bookplate, includes autograph notes on scale and line cut for the printed bookplate. The Hemingway autograph was written on the verso of Hotel Brevoort (New York) stationery."

http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/hemngway/cohn.htm


I got the Lockett plate on Ebay. It just strikes my fancy.




Friday, June 09, 2017

A Win-Win No Brainer for Amazon or Barnes and Noble

"Be on the lookout for a train with 10 subway cars that have been covered in bright blue, purple, green, orange and yellow.
The train — which is alternating between the E and F lines in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens — is decorated with the words “SUBWAY LIBRARY.”
Inside those 10 cars, the seats resemble books on a shelf.
Beginning today, the Subway Library will offer commuters six weeks of free downloadable books from the city’s public libraries.
But you don’t need to be in a library car to take advantage. When you enter a subway station, connect to the Transit Wireless WiFi network available at all underground stations. When you’ve logged on, you’ll see a prompt for SubwayLibrary.com, and — voilà — you can start browsing and downloading books, short stories, chapters and excerpts donated by publishers to the New York Public Library. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless created the project.
“It used to be that you were ‘unplugged’ on the subway, and even though you’re connecting to the wireless now, you’ll still have the sense of being unplugged when reading books,” said Lynn Lobash, manager of reader services for the New York Public Library. “It’s a lot different than the frantic sense of checking your email or being on Twitter.”
You’ll find short reads curated for the quick commutes, and long reads for the farther destinations or delayed rides. You can explore New York stories, children’s titles, young-adult novels or new releases in the “New and Noteworthy” category."CC "

This article was copied from The New York Times 6/9/2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/nyregion/new-york-today-subway-library-mta-nypl-frank-lloyd-wright.html
=========================================
Note From Lew- What an innovative , thoughtful idea.
Hopefully other cities will offer similar services , maybe some will even have "real books" Personally I would be pleased to pay an extra fare to ride in a library car with real books and a librarian.
If you are so inclined  send this on to your local transit system. 
 I am going to send a copy of this posting to the marketing director at Amazon. It seems like it would be a win -win no brainer for them.

 In the golden era of railroad transportation library cars flourished.
Here are two examples of bookplates used in railroad cars.
"The Atalanta was a private  railroad car built  for Jay Gould, a noted financier and owner of several railroads. It was built in 1888 to Gould's specifications and was named the "Atalanta". The car had four staterooms, two observation rooms, two baths, an office, a kitchen, a dining area, and a butler's pantry. Only the finest materials were used. Upon Gould's death, ownership of the car fell to his son George Jay Gould who was also a railroad president. The car remained in the Gould family until the 1930s. It was then used as a private residence during the Texas oil boom until finally coming to Jefferson Hotel in 1954. Today it is a tourist attraction in Jefferson Texas". 
I suspect the bookplate was designed in the 1930s.

In 1901 The Alton Road (railroad) hired J.W.Spenceley to engrave the bookplate shown above.
In writing about this subject in the Journal Of Library History (vol15,No.4) Phillip Metzger mentions that During the 1850's and 1860's , railroads began heavy competition for first class passengers and that the development of the "vestibule" or flexible covered connection between cars made it safe for passengers to move about the train. Railroads began attaching parlor cars to their crack trains and the parlor car shortly thereafter became the " library -buffet smoker car".
"The Chicago and Alton(C&A) traced it's roots back to 1846, eventually developing a triangular route between Chicago, St . Louis, and Kansas City.The C& A also carried President Lincoln's body on the final leg of it's journey to Springfield. In 1900 The Alton Limited was probably the premier train of the ten or eleven the C&A ran daily, leaving Chicago every morning at 11 A.M. and arriving in St. Louis at 4:30 P.M."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you plan to be in New Zealand before July 5th you might wish to see this bookplate exhibit.
http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/news/2017/ex-libris--art-for-bibliophiles-features-in-uc-exhibition.html

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bookplate News and Events

Fellow book and bookplate collector Jerry Morris send me  his new bookplate and I asked him to send me a brief description. Here is his response.

Back in February 2013, I wrote a blog post 
On Selecting a Bookplate For My Library .
 Recently, I asked a friend to make two copies of Bookplate #4 for me.  I was donating two books, Four Oaks Farm and Four Oaks Library, from my Mary Hyde Collection for the silent auction at the upcoming Florida Bibliophile Society Banquet in May, and I wanted to paste the bookplates in them.
This friend, Charles Brown, the President of the Florida Bibliophile Society, makes exquisite bookplates for our guest speakers; but instead of merely making copies of my bookplate, Charles improved upon it .
I liked it so much that I had 100 copies made for the other books in my Mary Hyde Collection.

Jerry Morris

============================================
Piggy Go Fetch My Book
Shown above is one of my favorite plates by William Fowler Hopson
If you are near New Haven Connecticut before October 6th you should
visit the Hopson Exhibit at Yale.

" From his home on New Haven’s Whitney Avenue, William Fowler Hopson catered to a growing marketplace that sought out individualized, personal bookplates. Hopson’s process realizing his 201 bookplate commissions—preserved in correspondence, sketches, and corrected trial proofs—demonstrates his commitment to encapsulating his patrons’ identities.
This exhibition in the Sterling Memorial Library exhibits corridor, features Hopson’s artistic materials and personal papers, part of the Yale Bookplate Collection and Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives, to elucidate the process of inventing, negotiating, and printing bookplate designs in their golden age. Ultimately, Hopson’s clients commissioned bookplates with artistic representations that were emblematic of their familial, personal, and communal contributions. By tracing the claims made through these commissions, we gain unique insight into some of the social standards and aspirations at the turn of the twentieth century in America."
http://web.library.yale.edu/news/2017/05/constructing-pictorial-identity-bookplates-golden-age
=====================================================================

DON'T Procrastinate
The contest is almost over

The contest is easy.
 Just create a caption for the bookplate ,shown below.


The rules are simple .
Only one submission per person The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.

All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island
http://www.jgrisham.com/heist-thriller-camino-island-to-publish-june-6/

Send Your Submissions to
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This week in bookplates 5/24/2017

Sometimes it is difficult to come up with new blog postings each week which is why I am  always pleased to publish submissions from friends.
Fellow collector Jeffrey Price sent me this breaking news about a recent sale of an unpublished bookplate  by Robert Crumb.
Note From Lew
Personally, if I wanted to spend $7000.00 + for a bookplate  I would look for one from George Washington's library.
Here is a universal bookplate by Crumb which shows up on Ebay from time to time.
=================================================

Over at Bookplate Ink Karen Gardner has been writing a fascinating blog focusing on bookplates ordered by notable people , bookplates for special events and trips to exotic places.
http://shop.bookplateink.com/blog/

=======================================================================
If you wish to see the finest selection of 18th century American bookplates, documents and ephemera  a trip to the American Antiquarian should be on your bucket list.
In any event bookmark this link. It will take three lifetimes to carefully read all the bookplate articles. In the interest of full disclosure I have barely scratched the surface .

http://www.americanantiquarian.org/search/gss/bookplates
=======================================================================
California bookplates are one of the many areas I focus on.
It is particularly gratifying to find a California artist not mentioned in the
standard reference books.

Walter Barron Currier (1874-1934)

"Walter Barron Currier, a painter, craftsman, bookbinder ,illustrator, printmaker, and etcher, was born in Springville, Massachusetts on May 3, 1879. After his education at Brown and Cornell universities, he studied art with Arthur Dow, Eben Comins, and Kenyon Cox. By 1913 he had settled in Los Angeles. He was at one time the head of the art department of Lincoln High School there and in 1926 established the Currier Creative Art School in Santa Monica. He died there on January 11, 1934. Member: Laguna Beach Art Ass'n; California Art Club; California  Society; Santa Monica Art Ass'n; Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles. Exhibited: Printmakers of Los Angeles, 1916; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1920; San Diego FA Gallery, 1920; Berkeley League of Fine Arts, 1925. Works held: Lincoln High School (Los Angeles); Exposition Park Galleries, (Los Angeles); Cecil B. DeMille Home for Girls (Hollywood)"

I currently have the artist's own bookplate. If you have any others he designed please send a scan to 
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This Week in Bookplates 5/17/2017

The Birth of a Rabbit Bookplate

I have always wanted a rabbit bookplate so I asked Daniel Mitsui to
 create one for me  and track its progress from start to finish.










I am very pleased with this project and will get the bookplates printed as soon as I receive the completed art work

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes From Lew


A group of rabbits is known as a colony, or nest (and occasionally a warren, though this more commonly refers to where the rabbits live). A group of young rabbits with the same parentage is referred to as a litter, and a group of domestic rabbits is sometimes called a herd.

Rabbit - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit
In 2011 I ran a three part series of blogs about Rabbit Bookplates
They still make me smile.

http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-herd-of-rabbits-part-one.html

http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-herd-of-rabbits-part-2.html

http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-herd-of-rabbits-part-three.html

5/18/2017
Rabbit Owner Nancy McClelland sent this additional information.

Cool.  I was told that a conglomeration of bunnies like the "Rabbit Island" pic can be called a Fluffle--sounded strange but appropriate to me.
Here are a few recent additions to my rabbit collection.
If you would like your rabbit bookplate added to this posting send a scan to
Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com


The Clock is Ticking.

My Goodness - Two contests in one year. I am on a roll. Alice L. Salzmann's bookplate was designed in 1905 by A.H.B (artist unknown) She was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society . The contest is easy.  Just create a caption for her bookplate ,shown below. The rules are simple . Only one submission per person The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.

All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island
http://www.jgrisham.com/heist-thriller-camino-island-to-publish-june-6/
Send your submissions to
 Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com






Friday, April 21, 2017

This day in Bookplates 4/21/2017

Fellow collector David Wilton sent the following information about his new bookplate.

"The bookplate is engraved from an original artwork, a watercolor, by Graham Redgrave Rust.


The house shown is The Firs in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. The Firs was built in 1922 to a design by the well known architect George Howe of Mellor, Meigs and Howe. It is a scaled-down variation on its neighbor,  Howe's own house High Hollow.


The arms at the top and the circular badge in the bottom right of the cartouche are my family's. My initials are in the circle in the base.


The bookplate was engraved and printed by Book Arts in Washington DC on acid-free pre-gummed paper. The idea was to capture the feel of the watercolor, which I think they have achieved."

Note from Lew -The bookplate has a thin blue line border which the scanner does not show properly.
=========================================================

A new contest was hatched this morning.

My Goodness - Two contests in one year. I am on a roll.
Alice L. Salzmann's bookplate was designed in 1905 by A.H.B (artist unknown)
She was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society .

The contest is easy.
 Just create a caption for her bookplate ,shown below.

The rules are simple .
Only one submission per person
The judges (Lew and Mary Jaffe) will delete any submissions in poor taste.
All submissions must be received by Midnight (E.S.T) May 30,2017 

The winner will receive a copy of John Grisham's upcoming new thriller about the antiquarian book trade , Camino Island
http://www.jgrisham.com/heist-thriller-camino-island-to-publish-june-6/

Send your submissions to
 Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com



Sunday, April 16, 2017

More Bookplate Odds and Ends



Fellow collector/dealer Jeffrey Price sent me this information about a very special bookplate he recently framed in his Norwalk, Connecticut Studio.

"This is what I look for in a bookplate, and how I like to present such special pieces. .

Bookplate for Calvin Coolidge. Proof printing of the engraving by Timothy Cole. Signed by Timothy Cole and noted, 'this is the latest printed today.' Also signed by Calvin Coolidge. This print was formerly in the collection of Malcolm S. Forbes.

The 'floating' presentation within a patriotic red mat with a decorative inner frame allows the complete print to be displayed with its full margins. The 'Stars and Stripes' design of the frame echoes the flag unfurled around the vignette of George Washington which crowns the plate.

The hand-painted gold-leaf name-plate identifies the details of this fine work."
=========================================================
I am always pleased to receive emails from blog readers.
Anna Jaffe sent me this information.

"I ran into your website which caught my eye as a fellow Jaffe - who used to work at an antiquarian bookstore and designed a few bookplates for customers.
Just for fun, here's a bookplate I bought years ago (hairy guy), plus 2 of my own designs".


"As to my bookplates, I worked for over a decade at an antiquarian bookstore in The Hague (proprietor Bob Loose, now sadly deceased). We had various steady customers who collected specific subjects, as one does. I originally studied Industrial Design and like being crafty, so I'd ask if they'd be interested in a personalized bookplate or stamp, as I love making them. Animals seemed to be the most frequent. I think I've done ants, monkeys, snails, snakes, owls, "levenstrap" (life phases pictured on stairsteps), tiger and probably more. There's something about expressing yourself in a restricted space that I really enjoy."


========================================================
Many Mystery Bookplates
I purchased a large collection several weeks ago and it includes many bookplates   about which I know very little . Here are two examples.

A rebus bookplate which may be in Spanish.
Have fun with this one. I can use some help.

Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com




It would be nice if this was Fidel Castro's bookplate. I suspect it is a tribute plate made to honor him.The collector whose contact information is printed on the verso  shows up on Google at the same address with a telephone number. Unfortunately the telephone number is no longer  working.