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.

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 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 .


1 comment:

BeauW said...

re: the Biblio-mat
I received a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs on my go-round with the machine.