Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mystery Bookplates

Mystery Bookplates

I was hoping that I could trouble you for some advice. I recently discovered a large bookplate collection in our library, which was gifted around 1950. It was the personal collection of William Edgar Fisher. I am hoping to get a rough idea of the value of the collection, as well as find out a little more about the collection. The collection contains bout 400 of fishers plates (many signed proofs), 130 of other artists,as well as other paraphernalia.

That said, could you direct me towards someone that could help me find the value, and tell me a little about the work so I can set up an exhibit? I, obviously, do not mind doing most of the work, just need to be pointed in the right direction. One thing that is rather problematic for me is identifying people by initials, a problem I saw others having on your recent blog post. Some of these people are: CB, LBM, GRH, HP, HE, W, WHA, ROM, ACR, WKB, WJJ, and what looks like a stylized JC, and EF.  Any advice you could offer me would be highly appreciated.  
Thank you, 

I didn't want to overload you with to many images but here are a few I have questions about.
1- Bi Lauda- What is this? "Artistic Bookplates" 1901 says "a secret society in Wellsville Ny". Nobody in Wellsville has ever heard of it (county/town historians, Historic societies etc). Also, I have seen this reprinted many times in black and white, is the color version uncommon?
Note from Lew- The color version is not uncommon

Emmett Kirsch
Special Collections Curator
David A. Howe Public Library

Note From Lew-- 12/23 /2017-
 Here is a checklist of William Edgar Fisher bookplates  from  the 1945/46  Yearbook of The American Society of Bookplate designers and Collectors

Hi Lew,

 I just love what you turn up and your research on the plates.

I posted on Facebook awhile back a picture of a plate that I could not get to first base on… maybe your readers could help?

Can anyone help with this name? What script/language? The bookplate is in a 1932 edition of this French text. I know the text in the bookplate banner is French renaissance poet Clement Marot's motto which translates as ' Death, dull are thy fangs (Death, where is thy sting?)' 
I look forward to your response.

If you have any information about these bookplates please
send it to

 I wonder if anybody reading your blog  can identify this bookplate
(On the other hand there must be somebody somewhere...)




I have had this signature on laid paper for several years
 General George Meade's signature   usually contains his middle initial initial G
(see photo below) In addition,  General Meade's son was also named George and there are  other  people named George Meade who lived in Philadelphia.
I am inclined to think the signature was not written by the general.

"George Gordon Meade (December 31, 1815 – November 6, 1872) was a career United States Army officer and civil engineer best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He previously fought with distinction in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican–American War. During the Civil War, he served as a Union general, rising from command of a brigade to command of the Army of the Potomac. Earlier in his career, he was an engineer and was involved in the coastal construction of several lighthouses."

I recently purchased a George Meade bookplate originally engraved by Dreka in Philadelphia.
" Dreka Phila". is below the crest but it is very faint and not picked up in the scan.
None of my reference books shed any light on this bookplate. If you dig deep enough on Google you will find one or two auctions which included the Meade bookplate (see the link below).

Subsequent sales of the Meade bookplate use these auctions to verify authenticity..
The bookplate is very questionable and I have my doubts about it.
I will do more research and keep you updated.

Hi Lew,

I hope you are well.

I also am not having much luck with the attached interesting plate for Dr. Procházka - any ideas?

I found a couple cheap books with two of William Beebes plates (one with normal bird, one with flying dinosaur) that you mentioned on your site previously. Do you know the artist that made them?

Kind regards,

Here is another interesting bookplate. I wonder if you recognize it.

I found a few gorgon plates with the same R.B. name and motto (and also a turtle) in the John Starr Stewart Ex Libris Collection at University of Illinois
But they don't appear to have owner or artist listed (I tried asking the curator but haven't had a reply yet)

There is writing on the back of mine that I attached but I can't make any of it out.

Update Below Sent By Ben 
Hi Ben, 

I've taken a look at the R.B. bookplates and believe that I have found some information that you might find useful. 
On the back of each bookplate a small note is glued in that reads: Buonaccorsi Roberto, Taranto (Italie).

I've attached a picture of the note, and would be happy to help with any further questions.

Kathryn Funderburg
Rare Books and Manuscript Library GA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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