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Friday, May 17, 2013

ExLibris plates from Saint John's

(this never seems to happen to me ...)
I've reported on previous occasions on the "manna experience"--finding something in the rare book room and asking "what is it?"

As always, click on any picture to see it enlarged or to see a gallery of the pictures in this article.
Getting into the spirit of the subject ...

Today's "manna" comes from a single box that was last organized in 1994.  This box contains a collection of book plates or ex libris from the the time of the last turn of the century (i.e., circa 1890-1910).  Twenty years ago the plates were listed and partially identified.  More recently (last year), an intern at HMML expanded the information for many of the plates; however, there remains much to learn about the artists and the owners for whom these plates were created.  Here is a small gallery of images from the more than 1500 bookplates in the Saint John's bookplate collection.

Some of the plates are rather romantically "medieval" in character:

"Buecher-Sammlung Karl Anklam."

"Ex libris Kurt Th. Friedlaender."

Some are humorous:

"Maria Wertheimber."

"Akademischer Gesang-Verein Muenchen."

Some are outright satirical:

Caricature of Beethoven by L. Brunet.

Caricature of Liszt by L. Brunet.

Some are very modern:

"Ex libris Philipp Vock."

Some are playful:

"Ex libris Dr. Iosef Klueber."

Some are even "monastic" (at least in spirit):
"Ex libris Philipp Treier."

The Bookplate Collection is now in the process of moving from the book collections to the art collection under Arca Artium.  There it will fit in well with the broad holdings of printed works from the 15th to 20th centuries, and can provide further evidence of turn-of-the-century taste and art.

The librarian speaks ...