Tuesday 7 June 2011

Review - The Bookplates and Badges of C.F.A. Voysey

Published by Antique Collector's Club 2011
Every year the The Bookplate Society offers its members a free book as part of the their annual subscription. Having just joined earlier this year I received a copy of, The Bookplates and Badges of C.F.A. Voysey: Architect and Designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement, authored by Karen Livingstone.

As one who already has an amateur interest in Art Deco and modernism design, I must say I was very pleased to receive this book.  Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941) was a very active player in Britain's turn of the century design movement, producing over the course of his long career countless meticulous designs both large and small.  He was an architect, a designer of furniture, as well as a creator of fixtures, patterns, logos, and crests.  In 1932, he compiled an album for himself, in which he included over 100 bookplate designs he had created.  It was this original album (pictured on p.46) that served as the foundation for Livingstone's book.

It is not often that authors or publishers do full justice to a subject, but at just over 300 pages of detailed history and full colour illustration there is no doubt that this was achieved in the creation of this book.  Livingstone first offers the reader a solid biography of Voysey as well as ample illustration of his diverse range of designs and creations.  This is then followed up with nearly 250 pages of full colour bookplate and badge illustrations and descriptions.  Cloth bound, fully indexed, and including a select bibliography, Livingstone has presented both art historians as well as collectors with a tremendous and very readable research reference for our private and public libraries.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

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