Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An abbreviated history of the bookplate

Gorgeous Emma Toedteberg bookplate

Between the late 15th and 19th centuries, books were expensive, prestigious luxury items. They were generally bound in leather and printed in gilt. It was a pretty big deal to own one. So naturally, a mark of ownership was necessary. The wealthy book owner would commission bookplates which were prints that they could paste inside the front cover.


The Latin phrase "ex libris" was common in early bookplates, which typically featured monochromatic shields of arms of the individual or institutional owners and sometimes contained warnings of fate that would befall book thieves.

Did you know that the one and only Paul Revere made his living as a copperplate printer and engraved colonial bookplates? I didn't until today.


Source


Here's a terrific video, titled Ex Libris: Bookplates from the Libraries of the Rich and Famous in which historian and former Curator of the Smithsonian, James Goode takes us on a guided tour of his bookplate collection.



Hope your day is going great.
Talk to you soon,
Angela







11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Right?! Me either. Thanks a million for coming by, Juju.

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  2. Interesting stuff! I guess they used to take them more seriously than the flimsy paper bookplates I used when I was a kid...haha.

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    1. I know, some of them are absolutely stunning.

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  3. Very very cool stuff! Thanks for sharing this :)

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Jennifer. Thanks so much for coming by, and I hope your reading slump is getting better.

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  4. I agree with the others! Interesting and definitely a unique blog post! Cool!

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    1. Thanks so much, Rebecca! I love your pictorial tour of the Boston Public Library.

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  5. Very interesting! I had no idea about all of that! Thanks for sharing! :D

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    1. You're very welcome, Andrea. Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  6. I just learned something new! I had no idea about any of this. Thanks for sharing this. :)

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