Sunday, 20 November 2011

A Review of The Bookplate Journal - March 2009

Reproduction of The Studio 1898-9
After delays caused by circumstances very much beyond their control, The Bookplate Society was ver pleased to be able to finally publish and deliver to their membership the long overdue March 2009 edition of the Bookplate Journal.  I am very pleased to report that it was well worth the wait.

Britain's Ex Libris Society was founded in 1891 during a period when interest in both design and collecting was steadily on the rise in Europe and North America.  One of its members, Gleeson White, founded and edited a journal named The Studio in 1893, and as a regular contributor still several years later he oversaw the production of a special issue in the winter of 1898-9 that examined modern bookplates and their designers.  This issue of the journal has reproduced the section on British bookplates in its entirety.

If you're an admirer of the Art Nouveau period then obtaining a copy of this issue is a must.  Beyond the biographies and catalogues the issue has reproduced nearly a hundred bookplate images from several of the leading designers of the period.  Whether your interest is books, history, at, form, or design, the issue offers a rewarding package of information for both collectors and general readers alike.  In addition to the reproductions, the issue contains a detailed catalogue and bibliography of White's writings, as well as other ancillary information relevant to the subject at hand.  All in all, this has been one of the most enjoyable issues of the The Bookplate Journal I've read so far and I highly recommend it to everyone interested in the hobby.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Bookplate Society News

October 2011 Supplement
The fall/winter edition of the Bookplate Society Newsletter (October 2011 supplement) arrived this past week containing the results of auction 63 as well as the latest offerings for Auction 64, a total of 170 lots.  As usual the auction contains a number of interesting lots including a small collection of plates by J.A.C. Harrison, engraved on copper, and offered for sale by the artist's grandson.  If you wish to reference some of the ex libris being offered, please see Brian North Lee's book on Harrison, also offered for sale by the Bookplate Society.  Other lots include bookplates by artist Leo Wyatt, as well as a good mix of British and American ex libris.  Additionally, at the back end of the newsletter is a advertisement by a collector seeking two elusive bookplates for his collection.  Apparently, cost is not a problem if you happen to have them, so I encourage you to go looking through your swap pile, you might have a treasure in there waiting for you.  Such is the interest and intrigue surrounding bookplate collecting!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hunting books and bookplates in Port Perry Ontario

Port Perry by Lake Scugog
Considering how late in the year it's getting, we've been having exceptionally fine weather these past few weekends.  This means more opportunity to remain outdoors longer, and as such, I'm taking every chance to get out on the road and visit the many interesting bookshops and libraries nearby.  One of my recent trips took me down the road to a place called Port Perry, a picturesque community located on the edge of a man-made lake named Scugog.

Port Perry is a great place to spend the afternoon, and after lunch at a great little Italian place I headed across the road to a book store named The Grenadier.

This place is a military book lovers dream come true.  In fact I suspect it is the kind of place many of my friends secretly wish they could turn their homes into.  Located in Port Perry's old War Memorial Library, The Grenadier stocks thousands of military history books covering every period and every possible subject.  

The Grenadier - books and militaria
I made sure to get here early in the day as I knew I would easily spend a few hours wandering through the stacks.  I've been collecting books since childhood and have built a pretty comprehensive library, so I tend to be looking for the rare and obscure items that have so far eluded my attention.  Even so, I found many items here, including a few things I'd be hunting for some time.   The man in charge was very knowledgable and helpful, and I was also pleased to see that the prices were more than reasonable.  Needless to say I walked out later that afternoon with a good little pile of new old books.

Where to begin??

On this trip one of my best finds of the day was a near mint set of the 2 volume official history of the North-West Mounted Police, 1873-1893, by John Peter Turner, published in 1950.  My existing set, which I found in a yard sale some years ago, was in terrible condition so I was pleased to find a replacement for such a great price.  In addition, I picked up a couple of other military history volumes as well as a few cheaper items carrying interesting bookplates.  I'll share these finds in a subsequent post.