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

Send your submissions to

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.

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.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Odds and Ends

And the winner is :

I want to thank all the people who  entered the 10th anniversary contest. It was not easy selecting the best of the best.
The winner is Don Hobbs. His submission was:
How Can I Buy Books? I Can't Afford Pants

I finally started listing bookplates on Ebay after a very long pause.
My goal is to list 25 plates by the end of the day on Monday April 10th.
Right now I have about 16 items listed and you can see them by going to 
this link.

A longer post will be sent out later in the week.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Contest Reminder

Reminder The 10th anniversary Bookplatejunkie contest will be ending soon

The contest is very simple .

 Create a caption about the image shown above 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

I 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

What is the significance of the acanthus leaves?
The symbolism and meaning associated with the Acanthus is that of enduring life, and the plant is traditionally displayed at funerary celebrations. In Christianity the thorny leaves represent pain, sin and punishment. Acanthus symbolizes immortality in Mediterranean countries.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Goodbye Dear Friend

Richard Schimmelpfeng (July 13,1929-March 16,2017)

Richard Schimmelfeng was a gentleman in every sense of the word.
He was much more than a mentor  and a passionate collector of many things including  bookplates, glass paperweights and children's literature.He was one of the most centered people I have ever met .He gladly shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with friends and colleagues 
Have a safe journey Richard, you will be missed.

Lew Jaffe
March 26,2017

The Passing of Richard H. Schimmelpfeng

It would be difficult to find someone more dedicated to the UConn Library’s Archives  and; Special Collections than Richard Schimmelpfeng. Perhaps it is because of the solid foundation he built beginning with the Special Collections Department after his arrival in 1966. But more likely it is because of his dedication to the collections after his retirement in 1992. Mr. Schimmelpfeng began volunteering in the Archives the day after his retirement and was a daily staple until his recent illness a few months ago. In a March, 2005 article he stated “I intend to continue as a volunteer until either I fall over, am dragged out, or told to quit,” he quips. “I figure I’ve got about 15 more years to go.” We estimate that he worked more than 15,000 volunteer hours over 20+ years. As Norman D. Stevens, Emeritus Director of the UConn Library says in his obituary below, “his fifty years of service to the University of Connecticut is perhaps unsurpassed.”
Our sadness is beyond words. We will truly miss his knowledge and dedication, but mostly the smile he brought us every day.
Richard H. Schimmelpfeng(7/13/1929-3/16/2017)
The son of Harold W. and Rose Schimmelpfeng, Richard was predeceased by his brother Harold W., Jr. and is survived by his niece, Margaret R. Lilly, and nephew, William J. Reynolds, and five grandnieces and nephews.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, with a triple major in English literature, history, and modern languages, and, in 1955, of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Library Science. He began his library career as a cataloger, rising to the head of the department, at Washington University in Saint Louis.
In 1966 he joined the staff of the University of Connecticut Libraries to protect and preserve the library’s rare and unusual books and manuscript collections. He had become head of a somewhat larger and more formal Special Collections Department by the time he retired in 1992. The day after his retirement he began working as a volunteer in what had become the Archives and Special Collections Department, where he served as its principal cataloger until early 2017. His fifty years of service to the University of Connecticut is perhaps unsurpassed.
During the course of his official appointment he oversaw an enormous growth of special and unusual archives, books, and other printed materials in a wide variety of fields. His own interest in collecting in many areas, led to the creation of a number of specialized collections including bookplates – he was an active member of the American Association of Book Plate Collectors and Designers – and the limited edition publications of major book designers.
He was especially adept at giving his employees, including students, support and encouragement. That led, for example, to the establishment of one of the country’s strongest collections of Alternative Press materials that continues to grow as it documents the growth and development of the counter-culture movement that began in the late 1960’s and early 1970s. It also resulted in the publication of a multi-volume annotated edition of the manuscript materials of the noted American poet Charles Olson.
He and his father shared an interest in collecting hand blown glass paperweights that Richard continued throughout his life. He was an active member of the New England Paperweight Association. Shortly before his death a few recent purchases joined The Schimmelpfeng Collection of Contemporary Glass Paperweight at the New Bedford Museum of Glass. His love of the visual arts extended to illustrated children’s books and he was an active participant of the American Book Collectors of Children’s Books (ABCs). He delighted in dressing up for a number of years as Clifford the Big Red Dog to entertain children and their parents at the annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair at UConn.
For many years he used his specialized knowledge of books to assist the Mansfield Public Library in identifying and pricing items donated to their regular book sales. He was himself an avid reader who especially enjoyed detective stories.
He was also the Librarian and a member of the Executive Council of the Mansfield Historical Society from 1992 through 2016. He had begun his service to the MHS in 1982 when he indexed their scrapbook collection.
Richard’s love of the visual arts and music contributed to his enjoyment of concerts and programs at UConn and his active support of those programs including the donation of visual materials to the Benton Museum of Art.
In the fall of 2017 the Homer Babbidge Library at UConn will host an exhibit Glass Animals presented by the New Bedford Museum of Glass that will include a significant number of important pieces for which he had provided the funding. During that exhibit there will be a program to honor Richard and recognize his generous support of the University and the Mansfield community.
Colleagues and friends may post a note on the guest book for his obituary at, or may wish to share with one another their reminisces of Richard through e-mails, cards, phone calls as well as small gatherings and/or postings on social media.
Norman D. Stevens
March 12, 2017

 In memory of a giant

I have known Richard Schimmelpfeng for almost twenty years. A native Midwesterner, Richard settled in Storrs, Connecticut, walking distance from the library at UConn, where he worked and volunteered for decades.

Our relationship consisted of long emails, the occasional phone call and a yearly get together extravaganza that became a classic: I used to spend my Thanksgiving long weekends in CT to celebrate at my in-laws house and the day after Thanksgiving Richard and I always made room in our agendas to spend the day together and share stories and anecdotes and a ton of prints, which exchanged hands at a very brisk pace.

Richard had been collecting for forty plus years, prioritizing European prints from the twentieth century and amassing a collection second to none (especially for the bookplate literature). He helped the American Bookplate society for decades and shed light  many lesser known artists and prints. His knowledge went way past bookplates: he was a true collector (paper weights, art, music among other things).

Richard did not like traveling and never attended bookplate congresses, the exception being the Boston one in 2000, but was nonetheless known within the ex libris world for his generosity, knowledge and availability.

I ended up acquiring the Schimmelpfeng collection. Over the last two years Richard and I arranged for the massive transfer of his boxes. The last one occurred three months ago between Christmas and New Year, with Richard’s health already declining. I am proud and grateful to have had such an opportunity and will do my best to keep his legacy and collection intact and look forward to writing about it in depth.

I will miss Richard . I think of him while browsing through boxes and coming across his unmistakable hand writing and artistic use of marbled papers. He was not only a librarian.a friend and  scholar but also a gifted teacher.

Luigi Bergomi
March 26,2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Bookplates of Willy Pogany

Fellow collector Yu Xingang sent me three  bookplates images by Willy Pogany and wondered if I knew anything about him. Although I have several bookplates he designed I really did know anything about the artist . I have begun a checklist of his bookplates. If you have any not shown in this blog posting please  send a scan to and your images will be added to the checklist.
"William Andrew ("Willy") Pogany (born Vilmos Andreas Pogány) (August 1882 – 30 July 1955) was a prolific Hungarian illustrator of children's books and others.  .] He is best known for his pen and ink drawings of myths and fables.] A large portion of Pogany's work is described as Art Nouveau. Pogany's artistic style is heavily fairy-tale orientated and often feature motifs of mythical animals such as nymphs and pixies."

The reason not much has been written about his bookplates is that he  was primarily  involved with book and magazine illustration and movie set design. Most of his bookplates were universal and were distributed by The Castle Co.Ltd.The only custom designed bookplate shown below was done for Anna May Wong

 Fania Marinoff was a Russian-born American actress.Wikipedia
BornMarch 20, 1890, Odessa, Ukraine
DiedNovember 17, 1971, Englewood, NJ
SpouseAnatole France (m. 1914–1964)

3/24.2017  Sent by Tom Boss

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

March Events

This newsletter was written by John Renjilian.

John Renjilian
9 Old Hawleyville Road, Newtown, CT 06470
Phone: (203) 426-0864  
Antiquarian History, arts, domestic science; books, manuscipts, graphics & paper

Hold on tight, it's a busy month!

First up is the winter sale at Westport Library, 20 Jessup Rd, Westport, CT 06880. Saturday, March 4, 9 am-5 pm, March 5, 1-5 pm, March 6, 9 am-5 pm (everything half-price), March 7, 9 am-noon (contribution day). Mass market paperbacks Hardcover and trade paperback fiction and mysteries, Children's books, from infants to teens, Nonfiction hardcover: cooking, gardening, home & crafts, travel, history, biography, etc., DVDs and CDs, Vinyl LPs, Test preparation books, Jigsaw puzzles., 203-291-4800.

The next week begins Rare Book Week in NYC, opening with the ABAA Fair, 9-12 March, at the Park Ave Armory, 643 Park at 67th St, 10065. Opening night preview runs from 5-9, $50 includes one readmission, Friday 12-8, Saturday 12-7, Sunday 12-5; $25 each day, or $40 for the run. There will be over 200 American and international dealers there, and as always they will have magnificent items, with equivalent prices. But it's certainly an education, and dealers often do bring items within the range of ordinary collectors. The list of dealers and other information is at Sanford Smith runs the show for the ABAA, or 212-777-5218.

Two satellite fairs piggyback on the big show, and they are on separate days this year. Friday, 10 March will see the NYC Book and Ephemera Fair, at the Wallace Hall of St Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave at 83rd St, from 8AM to 7PM. A free shuttle service will run all day, beginning at 7.45, between Wallace Hall and the Armory. About 50 dealers as of now, $15 admission. The hall is well laid out and well lighted, and the dealers will have a wide variety in all price ranges. Don't miss this one, and bring coffee when you come, an 11 hour show should leave dealers bleary eyed! Forget the coffee, maybe that's better for negotiating! Marvin Getman's Impact Events Group runs the fair,, mgetman@antiqueandbookshows,com, or 781-862-4039.

Opening the next day, 11 March, will be the second satellite, the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera and Fine Press Fair, at the Church of St Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Ave at 66th St, 10065, 10-5, $15 admission. This show is across the street from the back of the Armory so no shuttle will be needed. About 35 antiquarian dealers on the list, in addition to a good selection of fine presses. Again well laid out, the fine press folks are in one section and the antiquarians in the main area. An excellent selection of both merchandise and prices here as well. Flamingo Eventz runs this one, or 603-509-2639.

if you make it through the weekend you have a week to prepare for Ephemera 37, 18-19 March, at the Hyatt Regency, 1800 Putnam Ave, Old Greenwich, CT 06870. 10-5 Saturday, 11-4 Sunday, $15 two day admission, $8 Sunday only. I haven't counted the dealers but it doesn't matter, the hall will be full and the goodies abounding. Not a book fair per se, there will still be many books present, and if you haven't yet discovered the pleasures of ephemera this would be a great place to start. The Ephemera Society holds their annual conference concurrently, with a full schedule of events beginning on Friday, you can check the list at   Marvin Getman's Impact Events Group runs this fair also,, mgetman@antiqueandbookshows,com, or 781-862-4039.

Finishing out the month will be Paper Town, at the newly renamed Boxborough Regency, 242 Adams Pl, Boxborough, MA 01709; exit28, I-495, 25 March, 9-3. Please note, this is the same building as always, if you found it once you can find it again, it has simply changed hands and been rechristened. This is a little bit of everything show, encouraging that approach and the participation of new venders by renting by the table, a much easier investment obstacle for a new dealer or for trying something new. $7 admission, you'll want to check the website closer to showtime for a list of dealers. Flamingo Eventz runs this one also, or 603-509-2639.

Don't know about you, but I'm tired, can't remember the last month with every weekend filled, and this one with multiples on the big weekend, all within reach rather than spreading across the geography. 

Enjoy the beginning of spring!

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

What is the significance of the acanthus leaves?
The symbolism and meaning associated with the Acanthus is that of enduring life, and the plant is traditionally displayed at funerary celebrations. In Christianity the thorny leaves represent pain, sin and punishment. Acanthus symbolizes immortality in Mediterranean countries.

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.