Showing posts with label Ex Libris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ex Libris. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Presidential Jell-o Shots

What's more American than jell-o except Presidential profiles in red and blue jell-o? Artist Henry Hargreaves recently released this infographic of Presidential portraits with red/blue indicators of their political divide. In addition to the red and blue colors of the Republicans and Democrats, the key also indicates that left-facing presidents served one term only (Obama is right-facing mind you), the smaller silver stars indicate they died in office and the jell-o splatters signal their assassination.
     If you are hosting an election night party, consider preparing one of these sort of presidential strawberry or blueberry gelatinous desserts to your guests. For a real crowd-pleaser, just add a little vodka or tequila to the mix and you've got jell-o shots for the entire crowd.
     Hargreaves may also be familiar to you as the character who created the blackletter Bacon Alphabet, and the amazing toasted icons—white bread portraits of the rich and famous. I smell a food theme here. Hmmm...jell-o shots with toasted blackletter crudites?
     Best way to learn more about Henry Hargreaves is to watch this space. A big hat tip to Cool Hunting for an earlier report on his story. Meanwhile, make your vote count today!  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mayflower Power, Part 2

In my earlier research on the late 19th C horticulturist John Lewis Childs (1856-1921), I came across a few of his illustrated bookplates in a collection at the Harold T. Clark Library in Cleveland. An astute library volunteer by the name of Rebecca Molton-de-Greeff had discovered a collection of Childs' books on ornithology and noticed they each had a different bookplate attached with hand-lettered and hand-painted images of birds. Her research lead her to Childs colorful career as "a successful businessman and politician whose love of nature influenced both his business and leisure pursuits".
      As I mentioned in my previous post, Childs began the first seed catalog business in the US and published The Mayflower magazine which were both widely distributed. He also had one of the finest private ornithology libraries in the US which included Audubon's rare Birds of America. Molton-de-Greeff's research also lead her to the blog of Lew Jaffee, who is a self-confessed bookplate junkie. He has 3 of Childs' scarce bookplates in his own collection: they contain a flower, and insect and a frog seen here. Jaffee speculated that the artists Childs hired to illustrate his colorful seed catalogs were likely responsible for the bookplate illustrations as well. His assumption was also confirmed by a contact at the Floral Park Historical Society on Long Island where Childs' seed and bulb business first began. Although this bookplate artist is long forgotten, they claimed there were many artists employed by Childs over the years, including one who lived on-site to help publicize his botanical merchandise.
      These unnamed illustrators and letterers were some of the first and finest commercial artists in the US. When Childs created one of the very first publishing empires in NY, he likely provided these gifted artists their first start at a career. (I give Childs credit for recognizing and encouraging their talents too.) I suspect many were untrained, but may have been influenced by sign makers, printers and typesetters of the day. The late 19th century was truly the golden age of typography and printing in the US and I do wish there was more of a public record of these amazing artists who helped make it so. I am however, very grateful for the beautiful archive of some of their work seen below. This and more are now included in the incredible digital archive of the Smithsonian

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paul Rand Goes Goth

Paul Rand's bookplate from a copy of Das Buch der Werkzeichen by Imre Reiner. Found in the Flickrstream of Katranpress. A short post today, but I encourage you to check out the great book designs of Kat Ran Press and their especially wonderful post on postage stamp designs by type designers. BTW, I admit I took a little liberty to tone down the vibrancy of this bookplate. The unnaturally bright yellow was hurting my eyes. ; ) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fashionplates For Books

Now if I had some fashionable bookplates like these from Mac and Ninny, instead of my casually dressed yellow postnotes tacked on the front boards, I might never have to think twice about my books finding their way home from borrowers.
      Just launched in January in the UK, the duo at Mac and Ninny Paper Company hope to find wider distribution in the US and elsewhere soon. The left and right brains behind M and N are Tony and Victoria Jarratt. Tony creates the lovely illustrations and package designs while Victoria manages the day-to-day operations from their location in Cheltenham. Together they have launched over 60 different bookplate designs and labels which come nicely packaged in colorful paper folders. These handsome bookplates will dress up any cookbook, gardening book, children's book, and more. Available soon here if you are in Boston, and elsewhere in the UK; or maybe in your neighborhood soon.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fashion Plates for Rare Books

Flickr continues to amaze me. Some fine images frequently turn up there. Recently I came upon The Penn Libraries wonderful and historic collection of rare books. They have documented thousands of images from many of these fine books which span over 5 centuries. I've handpicked some of my favorite bookplates from some of their collections. Above is one I find especially intriguing. It is a German anagram bookplate circa 1840 designed by Karl Emich Leiningen-Westerburg for Abraham Emanuel Fröhlich (Froehlich), 1796-1865. The notation further explains how the shading of L I C H has some significance (I presume to the pronunciation). Anagrams were far more experimental than most of your typical mid-19th century bookplates which is why this one appeals to me so greatly I guess. Below is a beautiful engraving (undated) of a monogrammed bookplate with the initials M L C. 

This Ex Libris is unidentified.  
This is a beautiful monogram and marbled endpaper, but also unidentified.

Ex Libris for writer and scholar Giovanni de Bizzaro, 1782-1833. Great name!
Bookplate of French book collector Tobie-Gustave Herpin, 1820?-1900.

I included this 1804 label as a beautiful copperplate engraving example of hand-rendered script. It records the purchase by Ludwig Friedrich, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, of Carl Gerhard von Ketelhodt's library of 16,000 volumes. 
This monogrammed bookplate is unidentified. My guess is it is French, based upon another French book with similar endpapers. 

This bookplate makes me smile. It's unidentified. Just a mermaid with a mirror, and a comb, and Mason. 
Stamped Ex Libris Victoris Aemilii Tiranti. No date or positive ID.
Bookplate with the interlocking initials of Gilbert Mainssonnat. Undated.