Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This just in.......E.D. French plates and package from Europe!

Man I sure do love getting home from work these days just so I can run to the mailbox and see what new and exciting package is waiting for me!  Over the last 4-5  days I received 2 new packages from Lew Jaffe.  Package #1 was my first batch of E.D. French bookplates.  And wow, these are way more impressive in person that on the computer monitor.  This man is truly the top dog as far as I am concerned.  Here are the images of my first round of French plates:


Thanks a million Lew!!!

My other package last week was from an eBay action.  Another Kobliha and a Hans Nubner.  Here they are:

That's all the energy I have for right now!  The next update will include 3 American masters!

Have a great day y'all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A few finds from the antiquarian bookbinder

It's been a day or two since my last post so I thought I'd share a few things.  As previously mentioned, a trip to my Friendly Neighborhood Bookbinder was succesful indeed.  Over 70 pieces obtained with a few hidden gems.  My favorites are included here.  The Geller Loeb plate is already on its way to Lew Jaffe in exchange for a plate to be named later (my first trade ever)!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

As if collecting bookplates wasn't enough.........

.........now I am hooked on creating my own bookplates.  I am most attracted to woodblock cuts and lino cuts as I am not very artistic and these are very forgiving.  I recently completed the imagery portion of my first ever bookplate (for my own library).  I have yet to do the lettering portion but I must say that I am well-pleased with the proof of the main image.

Here he is in all his glory!  I will post final version once completed!  This was a heckuva lot of fun and not too terrible difficult....just nerve-wracking!

Back from the mountains!

My family and I had a wonderful time camping this weekend at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Mountain City, GA.  It's always so nice to get away from home for a while and soak up the beauty that God provides us!

An exciting end to my trip is what you, Gentle Reader, will find most intriguing!  I finally made my first contact with an antiquarian bookbinder in North Georgia.  I stopped by their workshop on my way back home.  Interestingly enough, I found out about them through one of their eBay auctions.  I ended up winning the auction this weekend so it was only fitting that I stop by, pay for the auction, and make new friends.  While in their workshop I was presented with a large envelope containing somewhere between 50-70 various items, mostly bookplates!  I am completely overwhelemed by the amount of work that I will now have to do just to figure out what I have purchased.......but that is part of the fun, right?

Additionally I received a large package on Friday from one of my new-found collector friends!  I have a lot of tough choices to make in order to decide what to buy out of this massive amount of stuff.  I'd say there are safely 140 armorials and 10 Konupek pieces!  Maybe I'll just take the whole enchilada?!?  That would make my friend happy, I think!

I also have some tough decisions to make in regards to multiple E.D. French plates that were offered to me late last week too.  That decision will be made tomorrow!

Right now I have to clear my mind over Thanksgiving so that I can get ready to start researching all of the new bookplates that have recently made it to my desk.  Photos of the most interesting items will be coming soon as well as a list of duplicate items that I will be available for trade!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holy Luftpost Batman! Is that an airmail package from Germany?

Yep, that's right!  A very nice package from Mr. Claus Wittal of  http://www.exlibriscw.de/ in Germany arrived today.  At least 10 or 12 new plates from some top notch European classics like Konupek, Hodek, and Kobliha!  These are all fabulous pieces from the early 1920s or so!  No time to scan and post them all tonight but they will be made available for your viewing please very soon!  Here is one sneak peak though!

Man, what a great day this was!

Oh, and I highly recommend checking out Mr. Wittals' selection.  Lots of great stuff at what I deemed to be fair prices!  Again, his website is http://www.exlibriscw.de/.

Monday, November 15, 2010

4th, 5th, & 6th bookplates!

OK, so this is a follow-up to my first ever post.  On November 5th I was volunteering at a charity golf even here in town.  The clubhouse had a selection of old books in the clubhouse.  Well, now that I am an official addict it is impossible for me to walk past an old book with out looking inside.  Trust me, I have tried to just walk past but after 3 or 4 steps past the book I start getting the shakes and cold chills.  It is much more pleasant on the body, soul, and mind to just open the book and see what treasure may be inside.  Well, I opened one of the books and Lo & Behold there she was, a beautiful armorial plate.  After some finagling I was able to take possession of said bookplate.  Here she is:

Of course the second rush after finding a plate is doing the research.  Turns out this plate is from a quasi-famous, if not utterly interesting, gentleman.  Here's the skinny:

Owner:           Francis Culling & Emily Blanch Carr-Gomm
Artist:             Harry Soane, SC (London)
Date:              1878-1901
Size:               4 1/8 x 3 1/16
Style:             Armorial
Details:          Taken from an 1848 copy of Scott's Poetical Works "Minstrelsy" Vol. 2.  Research showed that Francis Culling was b. 1834 in England.  He married Emily Blanche in 1878 and they lived in inherited Manor of Rotherite.  Carr-Gomm died in 1901. Therefore it is safe to assume that this Ex Libris was used between 1878 & 1901.  Mr. Carr-Gomm was a Sheriff of Buckinghamshire (per The London Gazette dated Tuesday, November 15, 1892) and was instrumental in helping the infamous "Elephant Man" receive proper care in an English hospital.  In fact, he is portrayed by John Gielgud in the 1980 film "Elephant Man".  
He also published a few books with the “Handbook of The Administrators of Great Britain During The 19th Century (published 1901) being chief among them.
All in all it sounds like the Mr. Carr-Gomm was a good gentleman who cared about a good many things.
The famous Harry Soane SC, London was the engraver as the plate is signed.  He was popular in late 1800s and is credited with many other plates during this time frame. 
What a fun plate to find find!
I also wanted to take this time to thank two people who have been instrumental in guiding me down this most dangerous of path of bookplate collecting.

First off, BIG THANKS to Mr. Lew Jaffe for a wonderful gift received in the mail on November 13th.  2 very nice bookplates and a good looking business card to boot.  They are featured below! 
Color plate by Dusan Janousek (probably 1970s); Initials plate by Elly de Koster (1986) 

Mr. Jaffe has spent more than his fair share of time answering loads of questions from me.  And the bad thing is, I ain't even close to done with questions.....but I'm gonna give him a few days to recuperate from his bookplate hunting trip before bombarding him again.  Thanks Mr Jaffe!

Secondly I'd like to thank Mr. Luigi Bergomi for also being patient with me and my million questions.  I am thankful that Mr. Bergomi is taking time to put a selection of plates together for me to look at for purchasing.  His sage advise is definitely helping to get me focused and on the right track!  I look forward to receiving that early Christmas Gift in the mail soon!  THANKS Mr. Bergomi.

If anyone else out there has extra plates that want to consider selling please contact me and I will provide you with a list of what I am looking for!
I'll be adding a few more odds and ends later this week.  Until next time, Happy Plate Hunting!

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Bookplate Blog Post!

I will volunteer to start this meeting.  Hi, my name is Brian and I am a "Bookplate Addict"!

Every year or so I seem to find a way to get myself involved in another new hobby.  But when I step back and boil each hobby down to its base form it always has something to do with art.  This time around I have been bitten by what I call the "Pocket-Size Print" bug.  About 3 weeks ago I was surfing eBay for Japanese Woodblock prints.  I love Asian culture and have a few around the house already but felt it was time to treat myself to a new graphic image.  Well, in my searching I stumbles on a beautiful little piece by some Czech dude named Jan Konupek.  I was so intrigued by this image that I started researching this man named Konupek.  To my great surprise I learned of not only Konupek but of Kobliha, VĂ¡chal, Hodek, and on and on and on.  After I stopped drooling on my desk it struck me that these bookplates were basically "pocket size prints", many of a limited number, many over 75 years old, and gosh I just have to get some!

And so it started!

After more research on not only Czech artists but American artists as well I found that one could select 3-4 artists or 3-4 styles or 3-4 subject matters.  That person could have one heck of a good time searching books for just what they wanted.  I decided to give it a go!

My wife and I went up to Atlanta last week for business and I took the occasion to drag her into two dusty ol' antique bookstores.  The first stop was at Atlanta Vintage Books (http://www.atlantavintagebooks.com/).  Super nice folks who tolerated me digging through their stuff.  I was amazed at how many covers I opened only to find really nice bookplates (some of which were even discussed in Charles Dexter Allen's book entitled "American Book-Plates: A Guide To Their Study with Examples".  The problem was that nearly all of these books were in the $50-200 dollar range.  Still it was a pleasant surprise to see so many "famous pocket-size prints" in person.  I did finally manage to find 2 books with nice plates that were affordable.

Here was the first.  Richard Hughes Armorial.  My research on Richard Hughes indicates that this was the famous British author. 

Taken from Wikipedia:
"Richard Arthur Warren Hughes OBE (19 April 1900 – 28 April 1976) was a British writer of poems, short stories, novels and plays."
My guess is that the bookplate was used from early 20s through his death.  If anyone can offer additional details I would love to hear them!
The next bookplate found at Atlanta Vintage Books was a neat little pictorial plate as shown below.  The only thing I can find on Ms. McRae right now is that she was probably a prominent lady in Atlanta in the early part of the 1800s.  She has a horticultural award given in her name as we all as an endowment in her name by the The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.  Dated 1924.  The plate, however, was engraved by a well-known artists named Ralph Fletcher Seymour.

                                                            Taken from Wikipedia:

"Ralph Fletcher Seymour (18 March 1876 – 1 January 1966) was an American artist, author, and publisher of the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.[1][2] Though long based in Chicago, he was also noted for his work in the American Southwest; he studied, wrote about, and portrayed the Native American cultures of the region." 
Our second stop in Atlanta was a nice little store called Books Again (http://www.booksagain.net//).  We were running out of time so we made this a quick stop.  The owner helped me dig through a few racks and we actually came up with several plates but most were of no interest to me.  I was about to walk out when he said "Hey, here is one more".  I opend the cover and BAM.....there was one heckuva nice armorial plate.  This unsigned engraving (again, any help here will be MOST appreciated) was for Baron Marcus Rosenkrantz.  Here is what I have learned about the Good Baron:  Armorial bookplate - based on my research about the Baron (he is a Danish noble) this plate is somewhere between his birth in 1871 and his death in 1933.  My guess is that it is 1890 or so.  Very beautiful.  I wish I knew who engraved it.  Any guesses?  He was living in Virginia (USA) at the time.
Well, my first "hunting trip" was filled with a lot of learning and 3 nice bookplates to boot!  Stay tuned for my next post where I will show off my 4th bookplate!