Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bookplate Odds and Ends

THE CLOCK IS TICKING-Don't Procrastinate

 I find it hard to believe that 2018 will be the start of my eleventh year as a blogger.
 To celebrate the occasion a new contest has begun.

The rules are simple.

Submit a caption for the S.O.S. bookplate.
Only one entry per person

All entries must be received in 2017

The  winner will receive a limited edition , hardbound professionally published book with all my 2017 blog postings

Send your entries to
Jeffrey Price sent me this framed bookplate of the notable science fiction writer 
Harlan Ellison       -Very Impressive
Artists' Market Inc.
163 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851 USA


Dear Lew.
I hope you are having a happy holiday season.

I received a neat volume about this artist. I thought this plate in particular was fun and that I might share a photo.

A New Bookplate by Andy English

Dear Lew,

Thank you so much for letting me know! It’s my honor to share this bookplate on your blog. 
This bookplate is a fairy theme bookplate, its size is 90mm in height by 60mm in width. The content is a man on the grassland, looking up at the flying island Laputa. Laputa was adapted from the book Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. The bottom of the island is flat from Swift's original book, but I think it is too drab, so I advised Andy to design a huge propeller instead of the flat bottom. The Laputa's buildings were adapted from Russian's traditional Church buildings which I like it very much.
There is a lovely classic pooh beside the man who is looking at the Laputa, and a reindeer on the right side, because in the concept of role design, the man is my avatar. I like Children's illustrated books very much, both E.H. Shepard's pooh and the reindeer in the "Snow Queen" from Edmund Dulac's Andersen Fairy are my favorites. I also placed a fairy blowing the wind in the sky and a windmill on the right of the grassland so as to make the content  richer.

Kind regards,


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

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Bookplate Contest

New Contest

 I find it hard to believe that 2018 will be the start of my eleventh year as a blogger.
 To celebrate the occasion a new contest has begun.

The rules are simple.

Submit a caption for the S.O.S. bookplate.
Only one entry per person
All entries must be received in 2017

The  winner will receive a limited edition , hardbound professionally published book with all my 2017 blog postings

Send your entries to

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Judaica Bookplates for exchange or sale

My preference is to trade and add to my collection.  Selling prices are included for those of you who have no duplicates and wish to build a collection. Priority postage in the U.S. is $6.65

The Isaac Mendez Bookplate is no Longer Available
Marcus Nathan Adler   $30.00

 Marcus Nathan Adler (1837-1911) was involved in scholarly activities such as writing, editing, and translating. For instance, in 1907 his critical text, translation, and commentary of Benjamin of Tudela's important medieval manuscript, The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, was published
Elkan Nathan Adler      $35.00

Elkan Nathan Adler (24 July 1861 in St Luke's, London – 15 September 1946 in London) was an English author, lawyer, historian, and collector of Jewish books and manuscripts. Adler's father was Nathan Marcus AdlerChief Rabbi of the British Empire. He traveled extensively and built an enormous library, particularly of old Jewish documents. Adler was among the first to explore the documents stored in the Cairo Genizah, being in fact the first European to enter it. During his visits to Cairo in 1888 and 1895 Adler collected and brought over 25,000 Genizah manuscript fragments back to England.
Jacobi Solis Cohen      $35.00

Jacob da Silva Solis Cohen, Philadelphia otolaryngologist, was born in New York on 28 February 1838. He married Miriam Binswanger on 10 February 1874; they had nine children. Cohen died in Philadelphia on 22 December 1927. Cohen received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1860. He served a brief residency at the Pennsylvania Hospital, then held several positions as a surgeon during the Civil War. He opened his private practice in Philadelphia in 1866 and began to concentrate on diseases of the throat and chest. In 1867, he performed the first successful American laryngotomy for removal of a cancerous growth; he also performed the first closed-field laryngotomy in 1892. In 1867 he assumed the post of Lecturer in Electrotherapeutics at Jefferson Medical College, then became Lecturer in Laryngoscopy and Diseases of the Chest in 1869. He also helped to found the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine and became Professor of Diseases of the Throat and Chest there. In 1890-1891, an honorary professorship in laryngology was created for Cohen at Jefferson. He published several works including, Diseases of the throat (1872) and the revised edition, Diseases of the throat and nasal passages (1879). Cohen also helped to establish the American Laryngological Association and was its President (1880-1882). He was elected to fellowship in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1871.

Solomon Lowenstein  $30.00

Leah Mishkin                  $30.00
Chicago Librarian and bookplate collector

Issac Mendes                $125.00  NO LONGER AVAILABLE
This is the earliest known dated English bookplate (1746)
Engraved by Benjamin Levi

Elieser Shindler  $30.00
I do not know anything about the owner

Isaac Smith          $30.00

Temple Emanu-El  San Francisco   $30.00

Bookplate with menorah and Torah $30.00
I do not know anything about the owner

10/28/2017 More Duplicates listed for possible  exchange

 The Bookplate Directly Above is closely trimmed on the left side

Sunday, November 12, 2017

This Week in Bookplates 11/12/2017

 Mystery Bookplates

I have received several  inquiries  about bookplates I do not recognize.
If you have information about any of these bookplates please share it with us.
Send your responses to


I recently purchased this set as American bindings.
 Are you familiar with this book plate, which appears in all 3 volumes?
The set belonged to Alexander Barret, who was a wealthy tobacco merchant..
Did he use any other bookplates ?

Regards, Steve

Hi Lew,

I hope all is well with you!

Thank you for your kind responses to my previous emails. Might I lean on your bookplate expertise again? Do you have any suggestions on identifying the RGS associated with this bookplate? Thanks for any tips you might suggest!



Note From Lew
I have been experimenting with Google's image search, in which you match your bookplate  image against  thousands of Google images. It is somewhat like facial  recognition software.  
I tried it with Gina's bookplate and was unsuccessful. You might wish to experiment with your own mystery bookplates.
Let me know if  it works for you.

Two Mystery Bookplates in my own collection.

The diameter of this small circular bookplate is two CM   ( 0.7874016  in.)
It was part of a European collection I purchased several months ago.
At first I thought it might be a letterhead crest but it has glue on the verso.
I suspect it might be a royal plate ,

11/17/2017 Thank you Bill, for your help.

Dear Lew,
  I have checked the new edition of Khudolei, and it is not there; Bogomolov is more difficult to verify, but it does not appear there under the initials, if they are in fact Cyrillic. They could be, and would transliterate as "V.S.".  

Does anyone out there recognize this Judaica plate ?

!2/13/2017 Thank you Michael for your help.

Dear Lew,
your last fine blog shows an unidentified circular bookplate, crayon lithography, showing the Hebraising Latin letter initials "BL".
This bookplate was made for Bob Luza, a physician and book collector in Amsterdam  (1893-1980).
Luza had a wide interest, i.e. emblem books, incunabula, travel, and topography, says bookseller
A.L. van Gendt, who offered examples of Luza' famous book collection.
The library of Bob Luza was sold in an auction on December 15th-16th, 1981.
Unfortunately I do not know anything about the artist.
Michael Kunze,
Dortmund, Germany

Annie E, French

Several weeks ago I wrote about this Annie E.French plate and requested images of other plates  she made.

This message was recently sent to me .

Dear Sir,

I came upon your website earlier today and saw you had purchased a bookplate by Annie French and were interested if there were any others. It so happens that Annie French designed a bookplate for my grandfather, Ion Smeaton Munro. He fought in the First World War and then was a writer and journalist. He died in 1971 and, sadly I don’t remember him. I think they were friends as we also have a couple of pictures beautifully painted by her.

The plate is beautiful I think. The crest bottom left is the Munro family crest, which includes the words ‘Dread God’ that can just be seen.

Best wishes,
Fiona Phillipson

Here are some original Annie E. French drawings from the  the Phillipson collection.

See you next week,

Sunday, November 05, 2017

The Devil Made Me Do It

 Some of you may remember the American comedian Flip Wilson whose tag line was
The Devil Made Me  Do It.

I though about him when I started writing 
this blog posting about Devils and Satyrs. 

My first satyr bookplate was sent  by Jacques Vallee in 2001
"Jacques Fabrice Vallée (French: [vale]; born September 24, 1939) is a computer scientist, author, ufologist and former astronomer currently residing in San FranciscoCalifornia.
In mainstream science, Vallée co-developed the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA and worked at SRI International on the network information center for the ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet. Vallée is also an important figure in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), first noted for a defense of the scientific legitimacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and later for promoting the interdimensional hypothesis".
Mr. Vallee  wrote  that his bookplate was designed around  an illustration from The Circus of Dr. Lao
He thought it was appropriate for a library of the paranormal, the innocent girl representing science 
and the satyr .the forces of nature.
Note sent by Samuel Chambliss 111
S. Pritikin - Several bookplates in my collection were designed by S. Pritikin including the one illustrated.below.
 All were for men of the cloth.
 Don't do a Google search for more information unless you are  interested in weight loss

The bookplate shown above is a serigraph done in 1991 by Hara Yoshiaki

This Rev. Peterson bookplate was designed by Bessie  Pease Gutmann

The Jane F. Peters plate was designed by Charles Henry Carter

If you have any devil bookplates you would like added to this
blog posting send a scan to

Some Ephemeral Devil Items

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Odds and Ends

 Occasionally I examine  the page views for this blog by   country .
This is an analysis of the last thirty days.Surprisingly the U.K. is much lower than usual and I have no idea why the French readership has dramatically increased.
China is not shown because of its pissing contest with Google.

United States
United Kingdom
United Arab Emirates

From the why  did I  buy this bookplate collection

I spotted this bookplate in  Indiana Bookplates by Esther Griffin White.
It is also mentioned here.

"The railroad executive, doctor, and book collector Frank
 Graef Darlington of Indianapolis, ordered a bookplate design from Frank
 S. Bowers, the famous cartoonist for the
Indianapolis News. Bowers crammed in references to all of 
Darlington’s passions (engineering, mining, MIT) and surrounded a 
leering skeleton with a python border. Darlington struggled with health 
issues most of his adult life (suffering a debilitating
 stroke at age thirty-seven) and apparently had a wry sense of his own 
mortality. A fellow bibliophile commented that this particular bookplate
 was appropriate for Darlington as it held a “hideous and inexplicable 

Email  from blog readers

Fellow Collector  Ben  Zeckel sent this email

Hi Lew,

I wonder if you might have any ideas on how to approach researching the identity of the plate attached - ex libris et musicis Dr. Norbert Rossa by Ludwig Hesshaimer 1933

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Note From Lew
Here is some information about the artist.

Can anyone out there identify Dr. Norbert Rossa ?
Please send your responses to 
Paul Cymrot a bookseller in Washington D.C. and Fredericksburg,Va, sent
the following emails
Good morning, 
I have stumbled onto your fascinating blog this morning while researching an early and interesting bookplate. I wonder if you might be able to help me learn a little bit more about it. 

It’s small and plain, about 2” x 2.5”, with decorative border, name and address.

The address is 266 Arch St, Philadelphia, which of course is an important central location, & just around the corner from Franklin’s print shop.

The book is in a copy of Jefferson’s Notes (London 1787) bound with the 1800 (Philadelphia-printed) appendix, printed by another Philadelphia printed, Samuel H. Smith.
Before long he sent additional information about Mr.Priestman   Priestman was an English merchant and resident of Baltimore. He is best remembered for amassing a remarkable library and for running afoul of the early US import regulations, resulting in a Supreme Court ruling (against him) and eventual pardon from President Thomas Jefferson.
In 1798 Priestman imported 219 watches from England, paid import tax in Baltimore, and then transported the watches the Philadelphia. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, he failed to report the watches to Philadelphia customs officials. Instead, he set up a stall to sell them -- right next door to the Custom House. Customs inspector Sharp Delany promptly seized them. Priestman sued for their return, but Pennsylvania courts and eventually the Supreme Court both ruled against him. Priestman continued to fight for the return of his watches, “Two hundred and three silver watches, three gold ditto, two enamelled ditto, two hunting ditto, and seven pinchback ditto…” (from Jan 22, 1798 report written by Sharp Delany, in American State Papers, volume 9) through the final years of the Adams administration. In so doing, he contributed money to Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans -- and in 1801, the same year Jefferson assumed the presidency -- Customs inspector Sharp Delany was fired, Priestman was pardoned, and Jefferson ordered the watches returned to him.
According to contemporary assessments, the watches were worth $3,385, which was a fortune at the time.
Priestman’s address (on the bookplate) is 266 Arch Street. The house still stands (there is a Starbucks there). It is at the corner of Arch and N. 3rd Street, directly across the street from Betsy Ross’s house & just around the corner from Benjamin Franklin’s house & printing press. 4.5 blocks to Independence Hall. It is a remarkably prominent location & its proximity to Franklin’s Press raises the question of whether the bookplate might have been printed there. Despite proximity to Franklin’s shop, it’s also worth noting that the Appendix was printed by Samuel H. Smith, another Philadelphia printer & particular friend of Thomas Jefferson. Since it was Smith who published the Appendix & likely bound the two together, it seems more likely that it was Smith who made the bookplate. I have not yet been able to find matching examples of either Smith or Franklin bookplates.
Other Priestman bookplates (mentioned in online listings) give his address at Market and 9th St, about 6 blocks from the Arch St address.
When the Federal Government moved from Philadelphia to Washington in 1800, Jefferson urged Smith to move with it & to set up a print shop in the new City. Smith agreed, and established one of Washington’s first newspapers, “The National Intelligencer.” Smith went on to publish Jefferson’s Parliamentary Manual in 1801. Then in 1813 he was appointed Commissioner of the Revenue and in 1814, briefly, the Secretary of the Treasury (under Madison).
Priestman died in 1830 and is buried at Christ Church in Philadelphia.
Priestman appears to have put together quite an impressive library - many of them are catalogued and identified in the collection of the American Philosophical Library, which bought a number of maps from Priestman in a famous 1831 sale. The correct Jefferson map is not mentioned among them.

Note from Lew

Thank you Paul -

I hope to visit your shop on my next trip to Washington

10/23/2017 I received this comment from Carmen Valentino
If Priestman died in 1830, then the 266 Arch St. address was elsewhere because I believe the street nubers in the city were changed at some point AFTER 1830. !!
Carmen D. V.

I recently purchased this bookplate by Annie French.

This is the only one I currently have in my own collection
 I would be most interested in obtaining anyother bookplates
she designed.