Ex Libris – The Art Of the Bookplate

“A Book Is A New Adventure” – bookplate

I own quite a few books and, despite my indecisiveness, I’ll eventually get around to designing something for them. I also found a book on the subject of bookplates, which included plenty of beautiful examples from the libraries of both famous and not-so-famous persons. These days one can find entire blogs and websites entirely devoted to bookplates, so I won’t attempt to go on too much about them. I just thought I’d raise the subject because of a passing interest in them and thought perhaps others in the typosphere had an interest as well.

So does anyone out there have a collection of books for which you’ve had bookplates designed? Perhaps you’ve designed your own bookplates?

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11 thoughts on “Ex Libris – The Art Of the Bookplate

  1. I have a few bookplates that I purchased back in the 1980s. I never installed them due to indecision on which books deserved them the most. As for making them, I have zero artistic talent.

      • I was a founding staff member at the first Borders Store in Australia and I, too, mourned the demise of this chain. I think they lost their way a little here in Australia and over-extended themselves when they started selling too much non-book related items, but that’s another story. Their range of titles (I was the Genre Fiction Supervisor) was staggering.
        Nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to find an actual bricks-and-mortar store that carries a decent range of anything.

        Nice bookplates, Buster. That first one with the boy reading under a tree is wonderful!

      • Yeah, I really miss Borders. I practically grew up in a library, having spent all my weekends and summer days there, and I think that’s what’s made me enjoy bookstores so much.

  2. I am very interested in the Nelson Eddy bookplate. Was this from Mr. Eddy’s library or is it a sample or reproduction. Lovely site.

      • Thanks for the tip, I received a pristine used copy of the Keenan book from Barnes & Noble online. Great find (especially at the bargain price of $1.99!) However, the Nelson Eddy bookplate is not contained in this book, so the hunt continued. I believe I located this bookplate which is listed in another book on bookplates, “Rockwell Kent: The Art of the Bookplate” by Don Roberts. The Eddy bookplate was apparently originally designed by the Kent in Philadelphia but the buyer (be it Eddy or the person who was commissioning it for Eddy) balked at the $250.00 price tag (this was 1936 when that represented about a quarter of a years salary for the average American). So they had a knock-off done for about $100 less. Very interesting stuff, can’t thank you enough for leading me own this path!

    • Unfortunately, I’ve still not gotten around to creating one. I think part of my problem is not knowing what to include in it, i.e., whether to simply make it generically ornamental or whether to make it a personal statement, or whether to make it whimsical or serious. Perhaps I need to create more than one.

      Anyway, thanks for visiting!

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