|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.
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,