Sunday, February 26, 2017

10th Anniversary Bookplate Contest

2017 marks the 10th year of my blog. In blog years that is a very long time
To celebrate the anniversary I have  begun a simple bookplate contest with a nice
prize for the winner.

The contest relates to this bookplate for Doctor Ferdinandi Pasquinelli
He was licensed in Italy in 1908
The motto at the top of his plate translates as follows:
Latin nihil sub sole novum, from the Hebrew אֵין כָּל חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ ‎(en kol chadásh táchat hashámeshthere is nothing new under the sun), from Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Click on Image to Enlarge

The contest is very simple .

 Create a caption about the image in ten words or less.
It can be serious or humorous.
Onlyone entry per person 
The entries must be received no later than Midnight (Eastern Standard Time) Saturday April First
The judges are fellow collector Richard Schimmelpfeng and myself.
We reserve the right to reject entries in poor taste (Highly Unlikely)
 The winner will receive a professionally bound hard  cover inscribed book  with all my blog postings for 2016.
Send your Entries to

Sunday, February 19, 2017

This Week in Bookplates 2/19/2017

Fellow collector/ dealer Richard Thorner purchased the Holy Grail of presidential bookplates.
The Clinton bookplate is inscribed to Worthington White, a White House usher who worked there from 1980 to 2012.  He and Clinton shared a love for golf.

I received the following message from Mr. Don Dimock and I  asked him to send some biographical information.

I don’t know if you want home made bookplates or not.  I have always made my own.  I am sending you about all that I have left.  I drew these in the early 1980’s and printed them with a copy machine.  The one I used most by far is the one with the descending  dove.  I have a shelf of books on swimming so I made the swimming bookplate,  I usually colored it by hand.  I used the one of the book when I didn’t want a figure.  I almost never used the rest of them.  You have my permission to do anything you wish with them or just throw them away.  It is up to you.  I enjoy what you post VERY much.  

Dear Lew,
I don’t know what to say about myself.  I have had an adventurous life.  I changed careers a few times.   
Presently I am 86 years old.  I was born in a remote part of rural Hawaii in March of 1930.  I left Hawaii for the last time in 1952.  After attending college in Colorado I spent the rest of my life here in Oregon. 
I have always had an interest in books.  My present residence is full of books on a wide variety of subjects.  I also have always had an interest in art.  I used to do oils.  I changed to acrylics when they became available.  And I have always had a profound interest in photography.  In recent years I have been doing wildlife photography.  And I write.  I used to do free-lance photojournalism.  That is no longer practical.  I began writing books for a hobby years ago.  I self-published some of them.  Before computers I used to illustrate my books with line drawings.  That is what prompted me to do my bookplates that way   I still come out with a hobby book every year or two – or three.  My recent ones have all been illustrated with photography.  Digital photography makes that practical.  For the last twenty years or so all of my books have been poetry.  Yes, I write poetry.  None of my books are available now.
I used to be very active in masters’ sports such as running and swimming.  I have a lot of books on running and a shelf full of swimming books.  That is why I made the swimming bookplate.
I have not made any bookplates since the 1980’s.  I am still using the one with the descending dove that I sent to you.  If I were to make bookplates today they would almost certainly be a mix of photography and drawing.  The logo I put on the copyright page of my books began as a line drawing.  The same drawing is now in color and there are parts of it that are photographs.
I have done lots of wildlife photography in recent years.  If I were to make any bookplates today they would probably contain photos of birds and/or flowers.

Thank you for your interest.  I hope I haven’t bored you.  I wish you all the best.
Don Dimock

Notes From Lew- If you have any home made bookplates and you want them added to this blog posting send a scan to

I have been sorting through a large collection built between 1930-1950 .It has many duplicates from England , France Germany,Italy  Spain , Russia Australia and California.I would be interested in trading or selling the duplicates.
Here are a few examples.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Bookplates with Cartoons Part Two

This week I have a few more bookplates with cartoons plus some bookplates used by notable cartoonists.
Before I get started let me mention that I will be listing a number of choice bookplates on Ebay in a week or two. If you would like me to notify you when the listings begin send me an email.

Disney characters are used on many universal bookplates.Follow this link to see additional examples:
Shown below is a bookplate which may have been used by Walt Disney.
I have read conflicting stories about the authenticity of the  bookplate .
Here is another universal bookplate

Many years ago I got the S.O.S. bookplate in the $1.00 bin  outside of Mr Allen's
bookshop in Philadelphia..I remember that the abbreviation of the owner's name was S.O.S but for some reason I did not write down his name
No matter what you collect it is easy to identify with Mr. Kennedy

Remus Harris was the grandson of Joel Chandler Harris.
Fred Hartman drew the Red Ryder Comic Strip
Last but certainly not least is Gary Trudeau..I am not sure if he uses this bookplate in his library or for book signings (or both).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bookplates with Cartoons Part One

plural noun: cartoons
  1. 1.
    a simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humorously exaggerated way, especially a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine.

  2. I've selected a number of cartoonish bookplates and several done by cartoonists.
  3. Very few (if any) are humorous. Many of them seem to reflect a style of drawing popularized in the 1920s and 1930s

This is the earliest cartoonish American bookplate I have found.It was designed by Henry L. Stephens around 1840

Click on Image to Enlarge

Note From Lew
If you have any cartoon bookplates please send  scans to  and I wiil try to include them in part two , next week..
I received the following note from fellow bookplate collector Debra Walker .
Hi Lew,
I am enclosing a scan of Walter J Wait (I believe the middle initial is a “J”)  by the cartoonist A D Condo. 

Note the poke at Roycroft.  I wonder why. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Assembling a Norman Kent Check List

My next blog project is a Norman Kent Checklist.
This is my starting point. The checklist which appeared  in the
1945-1946 YearBook of The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers .I need scans of the following #1, #2, #8, #11, #12,#14,#22
plus all bookplate done after 1946. Your help would be appreciated.
Lew Jaffe

Bookplates  and Ephemera for Possible Exchange
A  4 by 7 inch new years card by Ismael Smith
Finely engraved map bookplate by Roy Cooney for Cdr. A.T.
Welch R.N.
Bookplate by T.B.Hapgood Jr.
By Amy Sackler
By Margaret Overbeck 

It's hard to believe I am starting my tenth year as a blogger.
Here is a nine year  snapshot of pages viewed by country.
The Chinese viewers are under reported. I suspect some Chinese bookplate collectors  somehow are able to bypass the government censors and my blog is passed around from collector to collector.
United States
United Kingdom
South Korea

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The World of Bookplates at The Grolier Club

The Grolier Club cordially invites you to

"The World of Bookplates”
-- A Mini-Symposium Occasioned by the Exhibition “Grolier Club Bookplates Past & Present”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
5- 7:30 pm

47 East 60th Street
New York, NY

Free and open to the public


Alexander L. Ames, PhD candidate in History, University of Delaware, curator of “The Art of Ownership: Bookplates and Book Collectors from 1480 to the Present" at the Rosenbach of the Free Library and co-curator of “Grolier Club Bookplates Past & Present”

Molly Dotson, Assistant Director for Special Collections at the Robert B. Haas Family Library, Yale University, and Curator of the Yale Bookplate Collection

William Butler, John Edward Fowler Distinguished Professor of Law, Dickinson School of Law, Pennsylvania State University, bookplate collector, founding editor of The Bookplate Journal and author of The Golden Era of American Bookplate Design (1986) and Modern English Bookplates (1990), both in co-authorship with Darlene J. Butler

Reception follows

.Mark Samuels Lasner
Senior Research Fellow
University of Delaware Library
181 South College A

Photographs from the exhibit provided by fellow collector Michael Anthony Middleton

Click on image above to enlarge

    For rare book lovers:  provided by fellow collector David Lowden
·       encyclopedic website devoted to the work of Arts & Crafts book publisher Thomas Bird Mosher, recently rebooted by Phil Bishop (Mr. Mosher to some of us!) -
·       All about the Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition (1910) -

Mystery Bookplates

 Does anyone out there recognize these bookplates?
The artist's monogram on both is HC

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
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