Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Changing Bookplates: Multiple Bookplates of Famous People

This blog entry was inspired by Maureen E. Mulvihill from a recent ExLibris-L thread about Arthur M. Schlesinger's bookplate. She remembered seeing an earlier Schlesinger bookplate in 1983, and wondered if other famous people had changed their tastes in bookplates.

Lew Jaffe, the bookplatemaven, provided the multiple bookplates of five famous people, along with comments about their bookplates:

Stephen Vincent Benét and Kenneth Roberts both had bookplates when they were very young and changed them as adults

Clark Gable and Rockwell Kent changed bookplates as they changed wives.

Nelson Rockefeller must have gotten bored with his first bookplate and called his friend Pablo to design a new one.

Linde Brocato (Urbana, Il.), a scholar on Early Spanish Literatures, wrote:

The Picasso bookplate is like a sort of "Victor" that graduates of Salmanca write/paint on the walls when they graduate--whether this is particular to Salamanca (examples are from as early as the 16th c. I believe) or it's from some other model, I don't know.  There's an article in the Spanish wikipedia that says it originated in the 14th c. to celebrate achieving the doctorate:

The collector, bibliographer, and typographer, Mark Samuels Lasner, provided the images of Frederick Locker's bookplates from Madison C. Bates's book That Delightful Man: A Study of Frederick Locker, Cleveland, 1960.

The following multiple bookplates are from my own library:

Henry Blackwell, the New York bookbinder and Welsh scholar, had two bookplates, the top one engraved by Edwin D. French, and the bottom one by H.T. Sears.

He used the Sears bookplate to identify books in his Welsh Collection.

Henry Blackwell engraved a leather gift bookplate for a book he gave to one of his cousins.

Most people are familiar with the jester bookplate of the lyricist, Harry B. Smith, but how many have seen the bookplate fellow lyricist and illustrator, Gene Buck, engraved for him?

The renowned book collector, Paul Lemperly, used the bookplate below on some of his books.

For the books he wanted signed by their authors, he used this bookplate:

Luther Brewer's Leigh Hunt Glutton bookplate was not his first bookplate.

Underneath it in a book he formerly owned was this bookplate:

I didn't know that the English politician and writer, Augustine Birrell, had two bookplates.

Nor do I know which bookplate he had first.

I think I read somewhere that the book collector and author, Vincent Starrett, had four bookplates.

I have two of them.

The author and bibliophile, John Carter, had two different bookplates.  He had another that included his wife's name as well.

Mary Hyde, the author, scholar, and book collector, had a toad bookplate which she used before she got married.

She and her first husband, Donald Hyde, used four bookplates with different color backgrounds.  John Overholt, Assistant Curator of the Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson at Harvard, remembers reading somewhere that each color denoted the season a particular book was acquired.

Have you any Changing Bookplates to display?

Please contact me if you wish to contribute additional bookplates.


Linde said...

Lovely display! and an interesting topic. Thanks for including my comments on the Spanish "Víctor" -- I'll see if I can find out anything more on it.

All the best,
Dr. Linde Brocato

Jerry Morris said...

I am posting this for Maureen E. Mulvihill:

Many thanks to Jerry Morris in Florida, Lew Jaffe in Philadelphia, and Linde Brocato in Illinois for developing my idea, posted on ExLibris-L, concerning the research potential of changes to bookplates by book owners and collectors. From their own impressive collection of bookplates, Jerry and Lew assembled some interesting (and handsome) sets of changed bookplates from the libraries of Donald & Mary Hyde, Clark Gable, Nelson Rockefeller, et al. Linde Brocato contributed useful historical information on the origin of the design (circa 14thC Spanish, possibly) which Picasso lent to Rockefeller's plate.

So, well done ~ a productive collaboration, all around.


MEM / Maureen E. Mulvihill, PhD
Brooklyn, NY; Princeton Research Forum, NJ.

Maureen E. Mulvihill's Ephelia website

Ed Tully said...

If you haven't already, you might be interested in seeing the bookplate of Edgar Rice Burroughs. You can find it at the wikipedia biography on him.

Jerry Morris said...

I'm familiar with Burroughs's Tarzan bookplate, but did he have multiple bookplates? If so, I'll include them on this blog post.