Thursday 2 June 2011

Review - The Bookplate Journal Vol.9 No.1 (Spring 2011)

Spring 2011 cover of the Bookplate Journal
Published biannually by the The Bookplate Society, The Bookplate Journal is a must for anyone interested in the history and collecting of ex libris.  Additionally it presents fascinating material for historians, artists, designers, and bibliophiles, not to mention just about anyone with a keen interest in books and ephemera. Recently I was able to spend an enjoyable morning reading through the latest issue.

Softcover and perfect bound, the full colour covers of The Bookplate Journal immediately gives readers a good indication of the many interesting entries awaiting inside.  The Spring 2011 issue does not disappoint, using its 73 pages to the fullest.  Of the four articles presented, I most enjoyed W.E. Butler's examination of the Ex Libris of Peter Stephen Du Ponceau (a fantastic oil portrait of him is reproduced on the back cover).  Born in France and destined to later become a notable character in the events surrounding the American Revolution, Du Ponceau was also a central participant in the early development of the American legal system as well as the creation of the American Philosophical Society library.  Other articles include examinations of Matthias Darly and the Macaroni Print Shop, the library and bookplate of Sir Richard Francis Burton, as well as an interesting investigation into the relationship between two British bookplates.  Of the many research notes included, I found Bryan Welch's short piece on an association copy belonging to the infamous Soviet Double Agents Guy Burgess and Kim Philby simply fascinating.  Last but not least, the journal includes a great review of the 2010 FISAE Congress held in Istanbul, Turkey, written by Peter Ford.

Well researched and written, and wonderfully illustrated throughout, The Bookplate Journal presents a welcome addition to any collector's or bibliophile's library.  More details on how to get your own copy of The Bookplate Journal, or better yet become a member of the bookplate society, may be found at The Bookplate Society website.

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