Friday, June 17, 2016

Judaica Bookplates for Possible Exchange

From time to time I post duplicates for possible exchange.It is a good way to add items to my collection and meet new collectors.
 I also have duplicates in the following categories :
18th century American
Notable people
Theatrical and Cinema
I can send scans by category to anyone who contacts me.

 Just added a duplicate of Erich Cohn's bookplate by Hermann Struck along with one used by congressman Emanuel Celler
Erich Cohn No longer available
The Emanuel Celler Bookplate is no longer available

                                                                  Marcus Adler No Longer available
Hebrew College Brookline No longer Available
                Joseph Klein No Longer available--
                                                     -Heinrich Loewe no longer available

Note: one side of the David Wolffsohn bookplate is closely trimmed

The Lilien Plate is no longer available

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Opposite of a Perfect Storm

Perfect Storm-"a detrimental or calamitous situation or event arising from the powerful combined 
effect of unique set of circumstances"

I contact many booksellers each week with a simple repetitive message.
I am a bookplate collector.Do you have an accumulation of loose bookplates for sale ?
More often than not the answer is no but I do have many bookplates in books. 
What are you looking for ?
I collect American bookplates . Can you scan any that you think are unique in books under $25.00

That resulted in my purchase of this bookplate:

" Very attractive illustrated huntsman's bookplate(with flying wild turkey framed in trees with rod and gun) on half-title page on which is printed In Memory of Austin Haight and Charles Haight. (Austin Haight wrote a well-regarded memoir, The Biography of a Sportsman.). Signed by the author on a card affixed to the front end paper. Overall a very good copy without dust jacket"
Several more scans were sent which did not appeal to me or I already had the plate.

 I then received this scan  and I purchased the plate.
I knew I had seen this plate somewhere so I wrote to Anthony Pincott and swiftly received this response:

"A copy in the Wright collection (disposed of through the Society) carried the note that the name Perceval M Fraser was written on the flyleaf of the book from which it came."
This was my final selection:
This is a scarce Rockwell Kent Bookplate.

It is illustrated (in red) on page 38 in Later Bookplates and Marks of Rockwell Kent

So there you have it I experienced the opposite of a perfect storm which as it turns out is called a Virtuous Circle

"The terms virtuous circle and vicious circle(also referred to as virtuous cycle and vicious cycle) refer to complex chains of events which reinforce themselves through a feedback loop.
 A virtuous circle has favorable results, while a vicious circle has detrimental results"
By the way,if you have unearthed wonderful bookplates lately send me some scans and a few words about the bookplate so I can add the information to this blog posting.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Bookplate Odds and Ends 6/5/2016

Congratulations to fellow collector Jerry Petterson for having unearthed a very rare Anglo-American bookplate.

Here is what he wrote to me.

"I found a bookplate that is very interesting and unlisted in Allen,Eno, or the American society of bookplates 1959/1960.of a Gabriel Johnston, his nephew was Samuel Johnston, the American patriot.
Gabriel Johnston was Governor of North Carolina 1734/1749? I could only find his biography, it was engraved by an English engraver Andrew Johnston, 1724/1750 "

I sent the information to fellow collector Anthony Pincott and he sent me the following additional information :

Dear Lew

As you say, this is undoubtedly a rare bookplate. It was known to John Henderson Smith, so I assume there may be a print in his collection at the National Library of Scotland. In his copy of Fincham it is one of six extra plates added to Fincham’s tally of eight bookplates by Andrew Johnston. As the second Royal Governor, being appointed in 1733 to succeed Governor George Burrington, he first arrived in North Carolina in November 1734. The bookplate was probably ordered from LOondon a few years later. It bears a crescent for cadency, so maybe Samuel (mentioned in Gabriel’s will, as is their sister Elizabeth Smear of Fife) was his elder brother (although I suppose there could have been other brothers). Samuel and Helen (née Scrymoure) were in Dundee at the time of the birth of their son Samuel Johnston (1733-1816, American revolutionary leader) but emigrated to North Carolina, probably at about the same time as Gabriel.

There is a conflict of information between the Dictionary of American Biography, which indicates he did not take a degree, and the online article 

which states: “In 1717 he entered the University of St. Andrews as a divinity student, graduating with a Master of Arts degree. In 1721 he began attending the University of Leiden to study medicine but then after a month applied to teach Hebrew at St. Andrews. In 1727 he moved to London to pursue political opportunities. For seven years he lived in the house of his benefactor Spencer Compton, first Lord of Wilmington and his primary occupation was as a political writer. He primarily wrote articles for a publication called the “Craftsman.” Wilmington helped him obtain an appointment in the Colonies as governor of North Carolina.”

The online article also tells us he was “born in 1698 in Southdean Scotland to Reverend Samuel and Isobel Hall Johnston” (the DoAB gives 1699 as year of birth) and that “he and his brother built the largest collection of books in the colonies which was kept at his brother’s home, called Hayes Plantation. Also, under his leadership, the first printing press began operation in North Carolina.”

Andrew Johnston  (fl.1683-1730) engraver in Round Court [in the Strand], London, is mentioned in several newspaper advertisements (the first being the London Gazette, October 14, 1718 - October 18, 1718; Issue 5686). An edition of Twenty five actions of the manage horse : engrav'd by Josephus Sympson was printed for and sold by J. Sympson at the Dove in Russel-Court in Drury-Lane, and Andrew Johnston Engraver in Peter's-Court in St. Martin's-Lane, 1729.

Rgds, A.

Capitol Hill Books Washington D.C.

I have never visited Capitol Hill Books in Washington D.C but after reading about the store I will go there on my next Washington trip.

Edward Chace Tolman 
"   A white rat scurrying through a multiple-choice maze is featured on the unusual, but singularly appropriate, bookplate of the distinguished theoretician and "rat psychologist," Edward Chace Tolman (1886-1959). He went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an undergraduate and took a degree in electrochemistry, and then in 1915 earned a Ph.D. in psychology at Harvard with a dissertation on human memory. Tolman began using rats in 1919 at the University of California at Berkeley to study animal learning, specifically, the inheritance of maze-learning ability (N. K. Innis, "Tolman and Tryon," American Psychologist 47 [1992]: 190-197).  Based upon his animal learning experiments, Tolman developed an influential cognitive theory of learning that was the antithesis of the then-dominant school of Behaviorism.
            Tolman's professional and scholarly career were well established within a decade, and in 1932 his seminal book Purposive Behavior in Animals and Men (New York: Century) was published. He dedicated it to "M.N.A."; in his preface, he reveals that M.N.A. is Mus norvegicus albinus, the white rats that were so important to his research. In 1937 he served as president of the American Psychological Association and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. The white rat and maze from Tolman's bookplate appear again on the title page of Collected Papers in Psychology (Berkeley: the University of California Press, 1958), a volume of Tolman's articles compiled by his students and published in his honor, the rat stars again on the half title of the book's second printing with the new title Behavior and Psychological Man (Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1958).

            The original block for Tolman's seven-by-eleven-centimeter bookplate is in the collection of his papers held by the Archives of the History of American Psychology located in the University of Akron's Bierce Library. "

An Interesting Link

Morocco: one of the world’s oldest libraries is renovated

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bookplate Odds and Ends- Hitler and Trump

I spotted this in the  bookplate listings by the Ebay seller Owl10  and thought it was very clever.

*The Bookplate Rehousing Society
An imaginary society dedicated to finding new homes for old bookplates.

Pictures are worth a thousand words
Click on Image To Enlarge
Waiting for Appropriate Caption from an inspired reader relating to these two images  
Waiting for appropriate caption
By the way, if you can think of an appropriate caption for the Trump and Hitler bookplates or the two new years greetings please send them to me and I will publish one or more responses next  week

A serious combat injury in 1916 meant that Willy Knabe (Eisleben 7/7/1896 – Magdeburg 20/3/1967) had a leg amputated. He spent the next four years at art school, then worked as a painter and graphic artist in Berlin. He contributed many engravings to Nazi era publications and designed Hitler’s exlibris in 1934. In post-war Magdeburg he was an art teacher and his output was principally of wood-engravings. See Walter von Zur Westen, Zu Knabe’s Exlibris Adolf Hitler, Exlibris/Buchkunst und angewandte Graphik, 1934, p. 32; Willy Knabe, Blätter für Buchkunst Exlibris und Gebrauchsgraphik, n.5 – 1965, list of exlibris, pp. 130-32; Deutsche Exlibris Geselleschaft Jahrbuch 2011. Readers will find numerous online references to the fate of Hitler’s books bearing his bookplate.

5/16/2016 Comments from a reader and my response 

Hi Lew, Whether one is a fan of Mr. Trump,or is repulsed by him, the  juxtaposition of Trump and Hitler is absurd.

Dear Phillip,
If one focuses on what Hitler did to the Jews and others  you are correct.
On the other hand, Hitler was a charismatic leader who came into power at a time of monumental social and financial instability offering false hope to a gullible group of people.
In that regard the juxtaposition  makes good sense to me.

6/12/2016 Comments submitted by Anthony Pincott

I think you have taken the unauthorised “Trump” arms as used for Trump Park Avenue’

And look up “heraldry of trump” at Google images to find the amended version.

Caption 1:
Trump (noun): A thing of small value; (verb): To deceive, to cheat.
Trumpery (noun and adjective): Deceit, fraud, imposture, trickery.

Caption 2:
A double or triple chevron is the mark of a non-commissioned officer. 
Let him stay that way.


An Interesting Link

Here is another resource  about bookplates and porcelain
The Bookplate Journal.
 An issue in which  20 pages and the back cover are devoted to an article by Paul Latcham entitled “Bookplates and Armorial Porcelain” [New Series, September 2008, Vol 6 No 2], available to non-members of The Bookplate Society at £14 plus postage from the editor, Peter Youatt [email: ]. This article includes a full list of the bookplates believed to have been used as patterns for armorial services

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bookplate Exhibit and Sale in Norwalk Connecticut

Ex Libris Collaborations and Other Personal Prints
By Jeffrey Price

For over 100 years almost everyone who loved books had their own personal prints created to identify their library and exchange with their literate friends.
These “Personal Prints” represent unique collaborations between artists and their patrons or collectors. Albert Einstein had a small print designed to identify books from his library and also as a personal artwork to be presented to his colleagues and friends.
 J. F. K. and Jackie Kennedy had their personal prints designed by Tiffany, while artists ranging from M. C. Escher to Maxfield Parrish created intimate artworks that reflected the artists’ styles as well as the interests and personality of their patrons.
This exhibition is one of the first opportunities to see prints such as these in a gallery setting, beautifully framed and available for ownership by a new generation of collectors.

The exhibition will be free and ongoing during Artists’ Market hours of  Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm, with special late hours on Thursday when the gallery is open until 8pm. Parking is free. For more information contact Jeffrey Price at 203-846-2550

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bookplates of Richard Wagener

I attended several book shows in New York City recently  and was pleased to meet with Richard and Cathy Wagener .For those of you unfamiliar with Richard Wagener here is some biographical information taken directly from his website.

Richard Wagener grew up in southern California spending a lot of time 

with his grandfather in remote parts of the desert and up in the Sierra. 

Early art classes introduced him to Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne. 

After school activities included selling the evening newspapers at the 

Disney studios where he met many of the illustrators and animators.

Richard has an undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego 

and a graduate degree from Art Center College of Design. He has been 

engraving wood for over thirty years and his work has been in a number 

of fine press editions, most notably with Peter Koch in Berkeley and the 

Book Club of California. In 2006 Richard established his own imprint 

Mixolydian Editions to publish his own fine press editions of his work. He 

has collaborated with David Pascoe of Nawakum Press, Santa 

Rosa, California on two fine press books, one of which earned them the 

2016 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. Richard was 

also awarded the Oscar Lewis Award for contributions to the book arts. 

He currently lives and works in northern California.

Check List Of Bookplates By Richard Wagener

Boston Book Congress 2000

James M.Goode

James P.Keenan 1994

Gregory Krisilas

Steven Sharafian

Cathy Wagener

Richard Wagener

A Mystery Bookplate

Every so often I go to a  dumpy bookstore in Philadelphia where I have only found two excellent bookplates in twenty years. A third one was found last week.
I know nothing about the owner of the plate nor the artist.
Here is an enlargement of his (her) cypher. At first I thought it said E Fry but on closer examination I now believe it is E Fay.
Does any one out there have any information about the owner or the artist ?

An Old Mystery Solved

I remember exactly when I purchased this bookplate. It was in 2000 at the Boston Book Congress.I've written about it in the past because it made no sense to me.

Now the mystery is solved

See you next Week.
4/26    Comments received from readers
Hi Lew
When I first saw Richard Wagener's bookplate of an emu, my first thought was that he must be an Australian to be using the iconic flightless bird (not much smaller than an ostrich), but now realise that he isn't!
Best wishes
Andrew Peake

Cannot find a bookplate example, or that monogram, but could this be by Clark Fay?

Hope that helps! - Mike

Friday, April 01, 2016

Ô Canada

I rarely write about Canada so I am  pleased to talk about some Canadian related topics today.  The University Of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library  has placed a portion of their bookplate collection on Flickr.

Here is a link:

New Flickr Set: Canadian bookplates

Ex-Libris of Mary Frances Holgate
The Fisher Library possesses an extensive bookplate collection dating from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, referencing prominent figures and institutions in Canadian history. Reaching across Canada as well as the United Kingdom, the ex-libris collection comprises a wide range of owners. Provenance for some bookplates include prime ministers, military commanders, universities, libraries, private businesses and journalistic groups. The collection also offers a wide range of styles, representing a great variety in bookplate artistry. Some of the styles consist of armorial, pictorial, printed, emblematic, and hand-written bookplates. Many ex-libris have extraordinary artwork by notable artists like J.E.H. MacDonald and Francis Adams, while others possess witty rhymes, elegant mottos and family crests.

 These are just a sampling of the collection as there are more than 1,000 bookplates are available in the library’s physical collection.
Student intern Selin Kahramanoglu was responsible for preparing the finding aid for the collection and for curating the set of images on Flickr.

Fellow Bookplate collector Warren Baker has a new PDF catalog of Historical Canadian Documents, autographs and ephemera
I am unable to reproduce PDF images on this blog .
Here is Warren's contact information to obtain a copy of the catalog.

Warren Baker P.O. Box 844, Station B Montreal, Quebec H3B 3B0 

Tel. (514) 482-3070


Here is a link to a Canadian bookplate blog by Andrew Godefroy which has not been updated for quite some time .

In My own collection of notable people I have several Canadian bookplates

Dr.Frederick Grant Banting
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC was a Canadian medical scientist, physician, painter and Nobel laureate noted as the first person to use insulin on humans.

William Maxwell Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook)
William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, PC, ONB, was an Anglo-Canadian business tycoon, politician, newspaper proprietor and writer who was an influential figure in British society of the first half of the 20th century

Saul Bellow

Thomas B. Costain
 was a Canadian journalist who became a best-selling author of historical novels at the age of 57
Stephen Leacock
Stephen P. H Butler Leacock, FRSC was a Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. Between the years 1910 and 1925, he was the most widely read English-speaking author in the world

If you have any interesting Canadian bookplates in 

your collection please send  a scan to me 

and it will be added to this posting.


Fellow collector Beau Williamson sent the following 


"I so rarely find good bookplates in the wild, mostly relying on dealers to expand my collection, so I was very happy to pick up this one (attached) in a book about hawks. The owner of the plate was a University (of Toronto) professor who specialized in Native American subjects. Stanley Harrod is a favorite designer of mine, though his plates are not always of the highest artistic quality."

I'm always looking for Canadian plates. I have maybe 20 or 30 in my collection. This is one of my favorite though.