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Title: Book-Plates
Author: Hardy, William J.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Book-Plates" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's Notes: Two letters had macrons above them in the orginal
these have been marked as: [=i] and [=m].

A carot ^ before bracketed letters indicated that the letter or letters
were superscripted in the orginal: Hon^{ble}.]



By W. J. Hardy, F.S.A.



    Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd.

    _First Edition published 1893 as Vol._ II. _of 'Books about Books.'_


HAVING vindicated in my introductory chapter the practice of collecting
book-plates from the charge of flagrant immorality, I do not think it
necessary to spend many words in demonstrating that it is in every way a
worthy and reasonable pursuit, and one which fully deserves to be made
the subject of a special treatise in a series of _Books about Books_. If
need were, the Editor of the series, who asked me to write this little
hand-book, would perhaps kindly accept his share of responsibility, but
in the face of the existence of a flourishing 'Ex Libris' Society, the
importance of the book-plate as an object of collection may almost be
taken as axiomatic. My own interest in this particular hobby is of long
standing, and happily the appearance, when my manuscript was already at
the printer's, of Mr. Egerton Castle's pleasantly written and profusely
illustrated work on _English Book-Plates_ has relieved me of the dreaded
necessity of writing an additional chapter on those modern examples, in
treating of which neither my knowledge nor my enthusiasm would have
equalled his.

The desire to possess a book-plate of one's own is in itself commendable
enough, for in fixing the first copy into the first book the owner may
surely be assumed to have registered a vow that he or she at least will
not join the great army of book-persecutors--men and women who cannot
touch a volume without maltreating it, and who, though they are often
ready to describe the removal of a book-plate, even from a worthless
volume, as an act of vandalism, do infinitely more harm to books in
general by their ruthless handling of them. No doubt, also, the decay of
interest in heraldry, which is mainly responsible for the eccentricities
of modern 'fancy' examples, has taken from us the temptation to commit
certain sins which were at one time attractive. Our ancestors, for
instance, may sometimes have outraged the susceptibilities of the
heralds by using as book-plates coats-of-arms to which they had no
title. Yet their offence against the College of Arms was trivial when
compared with the outrage upon common-sense committed by the mystical
young man of to-day, who designs, or has designed for him, an
'emblematic' book-plate, or a 'symbolic' book-plate, or a 'theoretic'
book-plate, in which the emblem, or the symbol, or the theory, is far
too mystical for any ordinary comprehension, and needs, in fact, a
lengthy explanation, which, however, I am bound to confess, is always
very willingly given by either owner or designer, if asked for.

It is, perhaps, needless to say that I am very far from including all
modern book-plates under this condemnation. The names of the
artists--Sir John Millais, Mr. Stacy Marks, Randolph Caldecott, Mr.
Walter Crane, Miss Kate Greenaway, and others--who have found time to
design, some of them only one, some quite a considerable number of
really interesting marks of ownership, suffice to rescue modern
book-plates from entire discredit. Here and there, too, a little-known
artist, like the late Mr. Winter of Norwich, has produced a singularly
fine plate. Above all, the strikingly beautiful work of Mr. Sherborn, as
seen in the book-plates of the Duke of Westminster, in that of Mr.
William Robinson, and in many other fine examples, forms a refreshing
oasis in the desert of wild eccentricity. But the most ardent admirer of
modern book-plates cannot pretend that amid the multiplicity of recent
examples any school or style is observable, and as I have aimed at
giving in this little hand-book an historic sketch, however
unpretentious, of the different styles adopted in designing book-plates
from their first introduction, I hope I may be excused for not having
attempted to trace their history beyond the early years of the present
century, after which no distinctive style can be said to exist.

As I have said elsewhere, it has been no part of my object in writing my
book to advocate indiscriminate collecting. But for those who are
already collectors I have one word of advice on the subject of the
arrangement of their treasures. Some enthusiasts advocate a
chronological arrangement, others a genealogical, others a
topographical: and the advocates of each theory paste down their
specimens in scrap-books or other volumes in adherence to their own
views. Now there is a great deal to be said in favour of each of these
classifications: so much, indeed, that no system is perfect which does
not admit of a collection being arranged according to one plan to-day
and another tomorrow--_i.e._ no arrangement is satisfactory which is
necessarily permanent. Let each specimen be lightly, yet firmly, fixed
on a separate sheet of cardboard or stout paper, of sufficient size to
take the largest book-plates commonly met with. These cards or sheets
may be kept, a hundred or a hundred and fifty together, in portfolios or
boxes, which should be distinctly numbered. Each card or sheet should
also be paged and bear the number of the portfolio to which it belongs.
The collector can by this means ascertain, when he pleases, if all his
portfolios contain their proper number of cards or sheets, and he can
arrange his specimens according to the particular point of interest in
his collection which from time to time he may desire to illustrate. In
addition to this, the system of single cards has obvious advantages for
the purpose of minute study and comparison.

In conclusion, it only remains for me to express my warm thanks to Lord
De Tabley and to Mr. A. W. Franks, C.B.; to the former for allowing me
to make use, without oft-repeated acknowledgment, of the matter
contained in his _Guide to the Study of Book-Plates_, a second, and much
amplified edition of which we may hope will, before long, make its
appearance; to the latter, not only for constant advice and assistance,
but also for the loan from his collection of nearly all the book-plates
with reproductions of which this volume is illustrated.

                                                         W. J. H.


Preface to the Second Edition

A FEW words are, perhaps, needed by way of introduction to the present
revised and enlarged edition of this work. Some slips of my own have
been rectified, and there has been added a considerable amount of
additional information, brought to light since 1893; for much of this I
am indebted to the researches of Mr. Egerton Castle, Mr. Charles Dexter
Allen, Miss Norna Labouchere, and Mr. Walter Hamilton, as well as to Mr.
Fincham and various other contributors to the pages of the _Ex Libris

During the three years that have elapsed since the first publication of
my book, the ranks of those taking an intelligent interest in
book-plates have been largely increased; yet they have suffered some
serious losses, and foremost amongst these must be placed the death of
Lord De Tabley. That he died ere the completion of the promised new
edition of his _Guide to the Study of Book-Plates_ is a matter of
sincere regret to every student of the subject; all we can now hope for
is that Sir Wollaston Franks--the one man really capable of bringing out
a new edition of Lord De Tabley's book--will some day undertake the

As before, I have again to express my sincere gratitude to a great
number of collectors for the kindly help they have given me; and I must
not pass without special thanks the kindness of Mr. Everard Green,
F.S.A., Rouge Dragon, for allowing me to illustrate this preface with
his own book-plate, designed and engraved for him by Mr. George W. Eve;
it is in every way an excellent specimen of modern work in book-plates,
being both appropriate and artistic, and, above all, rational.

                                                         W. J. H.
    ST. ALBANS, 1896.



  INTRODUCTORY,                                               1


  'STYLES' IN ENGLISH BOOK-PLATES,                           48

  ALLEGORY IN ENGLISH BOOK-PLATES,                           72

  ENGLISH 'PICTURE' BOOK-PLATES,                             98

  GERMAN BOOK-PLATES,                                       114


  AMERICAN BOOK-PLATES,                                     150

  STUDY,                                                    162

  PERSONAL PARTICULARS ON BOOK-PLATES,                      178

  LADIES' BOOK-PLATES,                                      186


  ODDS AND ENDS,                                            216

  INDEX,                                                    231

List of Illustrations of Book-Plates

  RICHARD TOWNELEY, 1702,                         _Frontispiece_


  EVERARD GREEN, ROUGE DRAGON. By G. W. Eve,                  x


  I. SIR THOMAS ISHAM. By Loggan,                             9

  II. FRANCIS DE MALHERBE,                                   25

  III. SIR NICHOLAS BACON,                                   27

  IV. SIR THOMAS TRESHAM, 1585,                              29

  V. GORE. By Burghers,                                      35

  VI. MARRIOTT. By Faithorne,                                37

  VII. ST. ALBANS GRAMMAR SCHOOL,                            41

  VIII. CHARLES JAMES FOX,                                   45

  IX. THOMAS KNATCHBULL, 1702,                               51

  X. SIR THOMAS HARE, 1734,                                  61

  XI. JAMES BRACKSTONE, 1751,                                63

  XII. BISHOP OF KILMORE, 1774,                              67

  XIII. BIRNIE OF BROOMHILL,                                 71

  XIV. GIFT BY GEORGE I. TO CAMBRIDGE, 1715,                 77

  XV. GEORGE LAMBART. By Hogarth,                            80

  XVI. JOHN WILTSHIRE,                                       83

  XVII. DR. WILLIAM OLIVER,                                  85

  XVIII. DR. THOMAS DRUMMOND. By Sir R. Strange,             89

  XIX. LADY BESSBOROUGH. By Bartolozzi,                      93

  XX. WILLIAM HEWER, 1699,                                  101


  XXII. SOUTHEY. By Bewick,                                 111


  XXIV. EBNER. By Albert Dürer. 1516,                       119

  XXV. PAULUS SPERATUS,                                     123

  XXVI. 'È BIBLIOTHECA WOOGIANA,'                           129

  XXVII. ELECTORAL LIBRARY OF BAVARIA, 1618,                133

  XXVIII. CHARLES DE SALES,                                 139

  XXIX. AMADEUS LULIN. By B. Picart, 1722,                  145

  XXX. MICHAEL LILIENTHAL,                                  165

  XXXI. DAVID GARRICK,                                      169

  XXXII. LADY BATH, 1671,                                   187


  XXXIV. FRANCES ANNE HOARE,                                197

  XXXV. BISHOP HACKET. By Faithorne (Portrait),             201

  XXXVI. SIR CHRISTOPHER MUSGRAVE,                          205

  XXXVII. FRANCIS CARINGTON, 1738,                          207

  XXXVIII. BENJAMIN ADAMSON, 1746,                          209

  XXXIX. WILLIAM OLIVER, 1751,                              211

  XL. SAMUEL PEPYS. By R. White (Portrait),                 217

  XLI. FRANCIS PERRAULT (Portrait),                         219

  XLII. ROBERT BLOOMFIELD, 1815,                            229




BOOK-PLATE collecting, at least in this country, is a thing of
yesterday. On the Continent, particularly in France, it attracted
attention sufficiently serious to induce the publication, in 1874, of a
monograph on French book-plates by M. Poulet Malassis, which in the next
year obtained the honours of a second edition. In England, prior to
1880, we had no work devoted to the study; but, in that year, the
Honourable J. Leicester Warren--afterwards Lord De Tabley--published _A
Guide to the Study of Book-Plates (Ex Libris)_. How little was then
generally known about these marks of ownership is shown by the allusions
to them--very few in number--that find place in the pages of such
publications as _The Gentleman's Magazine_ or _Notes and Queries_: for
that reason, the skilful handling of the subject by the late Lord De
Tabley, and his zeal in compiling the treatise, are all the more

One of the most useful works which has yet appeared in the journal of
the _Ex Libris_ Society--a society intended to promote the study of
book-plates--is a compilation by Mr. H. W. Fincham and Mr. J. Roberts
Brown, _A Bibliography of Book-Plates_, arranged chronologically. A
glance at this compilation emphasises the truth of the statement, just
made, as to the scantiness of recorded information on book-plates prior
to the year 1880; it also shows what a great deal about them has been
written since.

Writing to _Notes and Queries_ in 1877, Dr. Jackson Howard, whose
collection is now one of the largest in England, says that he began
collecting forty years before that date, and that the nucleus of his own
collection was one made by a Miss Jenkins at Bath in 1820. It is
probably, therefore, to this lady that we should attribute the honour of
being the first collector of book-plates, for their own sake. No doubt
the collector of engravings admitted into his portfolios book-plates
worthy a place there as interesting engravings, for stray examples are
often found in such collections as that formed in the seventeenth
century by John Bagford, the biblioclast, which is now in the British
Museum. No doubt, too, heraldic painters or plate engravers collected
book-plates as specimens of heraldry, but this was not collecting them
as book-plates--viz. as illustrations of the custom of placing marks of
ownership in books, which, I take it, was evidently Miss Jenkins's

Still, though little was written on the subject of book-plates prior to
1880, it by no means follows that for some years before that date there
had not been a considerable number of persons who took an interest in
the subject. The fact is, that the book-plate collector of earlier days
was wiser in his generation than are those of his kind to-day. He kept
his 'hobby' to himself, and was thus enabled to indulge it economically.
My father had a small collection; and I can well remember how, as a boy,
I used to help him to add to it. We used to go to a shop in a dingy
street, leading off Oxford Street, and there select from a large
clothes-basket as many book-plates as were new to our collection. The
price was one penny a piece,--new or old, dated or undated, English or
foreign, that of Bishop Burnet, or David Garrick, or Mr. Jones, or Mr.
Brown,--all alike, a penny a piece; and I have no doubt, though I do not
remember the fact, there was the usual 'reduction on taking a quantity.'
I think this shop was almost the only one in London where you could buy
book-plates at all. Well, those days are past now; and, whilst we regret
them, because book-plate collecting is no longer an economical pursuit,
we cannot allow our regret to be unmingled with satisfaction. The
would-be collector of to-day can, if he pleases, know something about
the collection he is undertaking; he can tell when he meets with a good
specimen; he knows the points which render any particular book-plate
interesting; and he can, at least approximately, affix a date to each
example he obtains.

As to the morality of book-plate collecting, I suppose something ought
to be said here. There is but one objection to it, but that is,
undoubtedly, a serious one: taking a book-plate out of a book means the
possible disfigurement and injury of the volume from which it is taken;
yet, for the purpose of study and comparison, the removal is a distinct
advantage. To confess this seems, at first sight, to bring collecting at
all under a sweeping condemnation; and such, indeed, would be the case,
were it not for the fact that damage to, or even the actual destruction
of, very many books is really a matter of no consequence whatever.
Book-plates are found quite as often in the worthless literary
productions of our ancestors as in the worthy; and it is puerile to
cavil over the removal of a book-plate from a binding which holds
together material by the destruction of which the world would certainly
not be the poorer. So much for the book-plates in valueless books. As
regards those in valuable or interesting ones, it is certainly unwise to
remove them at all. This is a golden rule which cannot be too forcibly
impressed upon collectors and booksellers. The case does not occur very
often; and when it does, the book itself, with the book-plate in it, can
be easily fetched and placed beside the 'collection' when needed for
comparison. It may happen that the book-plate in this valuable book is
interesting from the fact that it belonged to some man of note, or that
it is unique; if so, we have only a further reason against taking it out
of the volume. The value of a very early book-plate, when preserved in
the volume in which it is discovered, is lessened almost to a vanishing
point if separated from that volume. Pasted into a book as a mark of
ownership, it is an undoubted book-plate; whereas, if taken out and
fastened into a collection of book-plates, it at once loses the proof of
its original use, so essential to its value and so material to the
student of book-plates.

On the other hand, as I have said, there is no harm in removing, from
some uninteresting and valueless volume, the book-plate of a famous man.
Everybody knows that Bishop Burnet or David Garrick had plenty of what
they themselves regarded as 'rubbish' in their libraries; so that
Burnet's book-plate in an actually valueless volume does not prove that
the Bishop's shrewd eye ever scanned its pages, or that his episcopal
hand ever held it. Besides, I know as a fact that it is a not uncommon
trick for the possessor of the book-plate of some famous man to affix
that book-plate in a worthless volume, and then offer the whole for sale
at a price much higher than would be asked or obtained for the
book-plate itself, though the value of the book may be _nil_!

Without quarrelling with the name book-plate,--as applied to the marks
of ownership pasted into books,--and without wasting time with
discussion of suggestions for a better one, it may be admitted that the
word is not altogether happily chosen. It perhaps suggests to the mind
of the 'uninitiated' an illustration in a book rather than a mark of
possession. But then at the present day there are not many 'uninitiated'
amongst either buyers or sellers of books and prints, so that the
inappropriateness of the name need not concern us.

As to its antiquity, that is doubtful; but probably one of the earliest
instances of its use, in print, occurs in 1791, when John Ireland
published the first two volumes of his _Hogarth Illustrated_. In this
work he says that the works of Callot were probably Hogarth's first
models, and 'shop bills and _book-plates_ his first performances.'
Again, in 1798, Ireland refers to the 'book-plate' for Lambert the
herald-painter, which Hogarth had executed. In 1823, a certain 'C. S.
B.,' writing in the pages of the _Gentleman's Magazine_, refers to what
'are generally called' book-plates. His letter was suggested by an
article--a review of Thomas Moule's _Bibliotheca Heraldica_--in the
previous number of the magazine, the writer of which was evidently not
familiar with the term book-plate as we now apply it, for he calls
book-plates 'plates of arms.' We shall see, later on, that this is quite
an inappropriate name; some of the most interesting and the most
beautiful book-plates have nothing armorial about them.

On the Continent, the term _ex libris_ is generally applied to
book-plates. This is, perhaps, even less appropriate than book-plate. It
is taken from the two first words of the inscription on a great many
book-plates, when the inscription is written in Latin--_e.g._ 'ex libris
Johannis Stearne, S.T.P. Episcopi Clogherensis.' A moment's reflection
will show that this inscription is not intended as a declaration by the
book-plate (should it ever become severed from the book in which it was
fastened) that it came out of a book belonging to Bishop Stearne; but
that it is a declaration by the _book_ in which the book-plate is found
pasted, that that particular book is from amongst the books of a
particular library, and ought to be restored to it. It would be as
rational to call book-plates '_libri_,' because the inscription on them
often begins--as in a very famous German book-plate--'_Liber Bilibaldi
Pirckheimer_.' It may, indeed, be laid down as a general rule, that
whatever the sentiment expressed on a book-plate, it is clearly intended
to be uttered by the book in which the book-plate is fixed, not by the
book-plate itself.

There are but two instances, quoted by Lord De Tabley, of the
inscription directly referring to the _book-plate_. Both are foreign,
and date about the middle of the last century. One is _Symbolum
Bibliothecæ_ of John Bernard Nack, a citizen and merchant of
Frankfort;[2] and the other, _Insigne Librorum_, etc., quoted from the
work of M. Poulet Malassis. Lord De Tabley thinks that the _Symbolum_ of
Herr Nack is simply a trade card; but he founds this conclusion on the
supposition that Herr Nack was a book-dealer, and that the scene
depicted on his book-plate was, in fact, his shop. In my opinion, we
have in this book-plate a representation of a portion of Herr Nack's
library, in which Minerva(?) is seated, using the books thereof. A
gentleman in eighteenth century dress, who may, likely enough, be Herr
Nack himself, addresses himself to the goddess, and explains--as he
points to the outer scene, which shows us ships and merchandise--that,
whilst following his trade as a merchant, he still has time to devote
some attention to literature. In any case, these and the few other
instances there may be of the inscription referring to the book-plate
and not to the book, seem hardly sufficient to make _ex libris_ a good
name for book-plates in general.

Our ancestors, of degrees more remote than grandfather, do not appear to
have referred to book-plates at all, so we are unable to learn by what
name they would have called them. Pepys, in 1668, speaks of going to his
'plate-maker's,' and there spending 'an hour about contriving' his
'little plate' for his books. This 'little plate' still exists, and is a
characteristic one; it shows us the initials 'S. P.,' with two anchors
and ropes entwined. But we shall speak again of this, and Sam's other
book-plates, later on.


David Loggan, a German born, and an engraver of some note, has, in
writing to Sir Thomas Isham in 1676, a no more concise name for Isham's
book-plate than 'a print of your cote of arms.' Loggan, as a return for
many favours, had sent Sir Thomas a book-plate designed and executed
by himself. 'Sir,' he says, in the covering letter, 'I send you hier a
Print of your Cote of Armes. I have printed 200 wich I will send with
the plate by the next return, and bege the favor of your keind
excepttans of it as a small Niew yaers Gift or a aknowledgment in part
for all your favors. If anything in it be amies, I shall be glade to
mend it. I have taken the Heralds painter's derection in it; it is very
much used amongst persons of Quality to past ther Cotes of Armes befor
ther bookes instade of wreithing ther Names.'

The 'Heralds painter' was, unfortunately, wrong in his treatment of the
Isham 'coat,' and so Loggan's work, artistic as it might be, could not
be acceptable to Sir Thomas, to whom a mistake in the family escutcheon
was no light matter. This he evidently told David, who, a few days
after, writes to him again:--

'I ame sorry that the Cote is wronge; I have taken the herald's
derection in it, but the Foole did give it wrong. . . . The altering of
the plate will be very trubelsom, and therfor you will be presented with
a newe one, wich shall be don without falt, and that very sudenly. And
if you plase, Sir, to give thies plate and the prints to your Brothers,
it will serve for them.'

These Isham book-plates are really very beautiful pieces of work. A
reproduction of one of them may be seen on the foregoing page. This is
evidently the one first executed, the omission of the mark of
baronetcy--the 'bloody hand of Ulster'--and the helmet of an esquire
instead of a knight or baronet clearly constituting the blunder into
which Loggan had fallen. By the kindness of Sir Charles Isham, the
present baronet, I have been enabled to see a copy of the corrected
design sent by Loggan, which is in all respects accurate. This was doing
duty as a book-plate in a volume in which it had evidently been placed
at the time it was received by Sir Thomas.

Nicholas Carew, afterwards Sir Nicholas Carew, Baronet, records in his
accounts, on the 19th February 1707, a payment for his book-plate, which
is dated in that year, as follows:--'For coat of arms impressing, 1_l._
1_s._ 6_d._;' and a few months later is a payment 'For 300 armes, 7_s._

'The mark of my books,' is the phrase which Andrew Lumisden applies to
the book-plate engraved for him by his brother-in-law, Sir Robert
Strange, about the year 1746. The plate is an interesting one, and by an
interesting man, of whom we shall speak later on. Lumisden thought well
of it, and thus refers to the work in a letter written from Rouen, in
June 1748:--'I am very anxious to know if my brother continues his
resolution of coming to this country. If he does, I can luckily be of
use to him in the way of his business, from the acquaintance I have of a
very ingenious person, professor of the Academy of Design here . . . I
show'd him, a few days ago, _the mark of my books_, from which he
entertains a high notion of Robie's abilities.'

There is a curious advertisement, quoted by Thomas Moule in his
_Bibliotheca Heraldica_, of a certain Joseph Barber, a Newcastle-on-Tyne
'bookseller, music and copper-plate publisher,' who, in 1742, resided in
'Humble's Buildings.' In that year he engraved the 'Equestrian Statue of
King James [II.],' which once stood in the Sandhill Market. If a
moment's digression be allowed, the history of this statue is worth
telling. On 16th March 1685, the Town Council voted £800 for the
erection of 'a figure of His Majesty in a Roman habit, on a capering
horse, in copper, as big as the figure of His Majesty, King Charles I.,
at Charing Crosse, on a pedestal of black marble.' A certain Mr. William
Larson executed it; Sir Christopher Wren expressed his approval, and
everybody was very pleased, for a year or two. But popular feeling soon
changed in Newcastle, as elsewhere, and the prevalence of sentiments
which threw the king off his throne threw his metal representation into
the Tyne, where it rested till fished out to be melted down and used to
make a set of church bells. The drawing of the luckless statue was safe
in the keeping of Sir Hans Sloane; and from this, Barber made his
engraving, which he sold for 5s. The fact that in 1742, three years
before the second Scotch rebellion, this Newcastle printseller found it
worth while to issue the engraving at all, is not without political
significance. With his engraving, Barber issued two large plates of the
arms of all the subscribers to it, each coat of arms being 1-3/4 inches
in length, and 1-1/4 inches in breadth; and a few years later, it seems
to have occurred to him that he might turn an honest penny by cutting up
these large sheets of the subscribers' arms, so that each coat of arms
became a separate plate. Having done this, he issued an advertisement to
the subscribers, in which he sets forth that he is 'the sole proprietor
of each of their plates,' and is willing to part with it, to the lady or
gentleman whose arms are engraved thereon, 'together with one hundred
prints of it on a good paper,' for the modest sum of half-a-crown. These
plates, suggests Mr. Barber, might be advantageously used as what we now
call book-plates, and he continues: 'The design of this proposal is a
useful and necessary embellishment, and a remedy against losing books by
lending, or having them stolen; by pasting one print on the inside of
the cover of each book, you have the owner's name, coat of arms, and
place of abode; a thing so useful and the charge so easy, 'tis hoped
will meet with encouragement. To have a plate engraved will cost 10_s._

From all which it may be inferred that Mr. Joseph Barber thought--or
wanted other people to think--that the idea of using a book-plate was
his own. Newcastle people, in 1743, must have been very unobservant of
the habits of their neighbours if they believed Mr. Barber; for the
fashion of using a book-plate--which in England came in some forty years
before--was by that time general throughout the country. That some of
the subscribers accepted the offer, and got their 'hundred plates on a
good paper' for half-a-crown, is demonstrated by the existence of copies
of the plates published with the 'equestrian statue,' being still found
in books, doing duty as book-plates. Very poor productions they are,
reflecting but slight credit on the designer or engraver. But what
Joseph lacked in art, he atoned for in enterprise; we see this in his
ingenious way of getting rid of his old copper-plates, and the
postscript to his advertisement demonstrates the fact even more plainly,
for on a day near at hand, the advertisement tells us, was to be fought,
at a neighbouring cock-pit, 'a Welsh main,' and the prize was to be
nothing less than one of the advertiser's engravings, 'a pretty piece of
work, worthy the observation of the curious.' If the term book-plate had
been known in Barber's day, it would probably have found its way into
his advertisement, which is clumsy from the want of a word to express
the very thing he is advertising.

William Stephens, who engraved a good many book-plates in his time,
could find no better expression than 'print of your arms' to describe
the 800 book-plates which, for half-a-guinea, he sent to Dr. Samuel
Kerrich, the Shakespearian student, in 1754.

Horace Walpole, again, would, I think, have used the phrase 'book-plate'
had he known it. In his _Catalogue of Engravers_--the edition of
1771--he speaks of George Vertue having engraved 'a plate to put in Lady
Oxford's books'; and in his _Anecdotes of Painting_, he refers to the
'plate' which Hogarth 'used for his books.' One of his own
book-plates--that engraved soon after 1791--Walpole describes as his
'seal': _Sigillum Horatii Comitis de Orford_; but this phrase is, I
think, used simply because the book-plate itself is the representation
of a mediæval seal. Bartolozzi--giving, in 1796, a receipt for a
book-plate which he had just completed--refers to it as a 'ticket-plate'
(see p. 94); but he was a foreigner, and may not have known the English
name for such things, for we have seen that, some five years before,
Ireland refers to Hogarth's 'book-plate.' Charles James Fox, in a note,
dated at Leicester on 2nd August 1801, speaks of the 'book-plate' of his
great-great-grandfather, Sir Stephen Fox.

But, though the phrase 'book-plate' may have been occasionally used at
the close of the last century and the beginning of the present, it was
then by no means widely used; and although the writer quoted on page 6
refers in 1823 to what are 'generally called' book-plates, William Wadd,
in 1827, can find no direct term by which to refer to these marks of
ownership. Speaking in _Mems., Maxims, and Memoirs_, he says: 'In the
Library of the Royal College of Surgeons, there are many volumes,
formerly the property of the celebrated Douglas, having his arms
embellished with various kinds of surgical instruments, which was by no
means an uncommon practice, as in the Library of the College of
Physicians there are many examples of volumes where the former possessor
has not only blazoned his own arms, but borrowed the arms of the
college and super-added supporters, as Apollo, Mercury, Æsculapius, and
his daughter Hygeia.'

Lord Byron, too, did not, I fancy, know the word 'book-plate' in its
now-used sense; writing to a fair admirer, who had apparently designed
one of these for him, he says: 'I received the arms, my dear Miss ----,
and am very much obliged to you for the trouble you have taken. It is
impossible I should have any fault to find with them. The sight of the
drawing gives me great pleasure for a double reason: in the first place
they will ornament my books, and in the next they convince me that you
have not entirely forgot me.'[3]

So the term book-plate is only a century old, and the fashion of
collecting book-plates much more modern still; but the use of
book-plates is really of respectable antiquity, and is a matter on which
we may now appropriately speak. Whether, in the first instance, the use
of book-plates was suggested by a desire to commemorate a gift, or as a
mark of ownership, seems to be a matter on which a variety of opinions
exist. Some of the earliest mechanically produced book-plates are
certainly commemorative of gifts (see p. 114); but I think we must
accept as book-plates, to all intents and purposes, the six fourteenth
century examples mentioned by Herr Warnecke in his _Die Deutschen
Bücherzeichen_, an excellent work on German book-plates. These are
heraldic coloured drawings on the parchment leaves of Italian
manuscripts, which also bear an inscription of possession by the
particular individuals whose arms are represented.

But, of course, the real necessity for book-plates, whatever may have
been their original use, began when the printing-press gave to the world
not two nor three, but a hundred or more copies of a particular book.
Then it was that the different owners needed to distinguish their
respective copies of a work; for the professional book-borrower, who
would gladly have retained the manuscript volume lent to him by an
unsuspecting friend, could he have done so without his crime being
detected, doubtless saw in the multitude of copies a greater opportunity
of carrying out his nefarious designs. The existence of book-plates is,
therefore, largely due to the literary enthusiast who amasses a library
by retaining volumes received on loan; the inscriptions on some of the
earlier book-plates prove this to be so.

The earliest printed book-plates are certainly German, and there is
little doubt that some of these are nearly contemporary with the very
early printed books on the oak covers of which they may still be found
pasted. By the commencement of the sixteenth century book-plates were
frequently fine examples of the wood-engraver's art. Albert Dürer
himself designed book-plates; and of these, one of the most elaborate
and the best known is that of his friend Bilibald Pirckheimer, the
Nuremberg jurist, whose portrait he engraved on copper in 1524. The
book-plate is still earlier.

England can now--thanks to recent investigations--claim the second place
in the chronological sequence of countries in which book-plates have
been used. Cardinal Wolsey's book-plate (see p. 24) is probably not
later in date than 1525. France can boast of a book-plate dated in 1574;
Sweden of one dated in the following year, and Switzerland of one in
1607; Italy in 1623: in other European countries, dated examples do not
appear, nor does the practice of using book-plates seem to have been
adopted until considerably later.

In concluding this opening chapter, let me say a word about the position
in a book in which a book-plate should be looked for. The usual place
was certainly on the front cover of a volume; sometimes another copy of
the same plate was fastened to the back cover; and sometimes--as in
Pirckheimer's case, just noticed, and in that of Samuel Pepys (see p.
216)--the same person would use a different book-plate at the back of
the volume to that used at the front. Another plan, less frequent, but
by no means uncommon, was to insert the book-plate on the title-page,
often on the back of it; and another, to fasten the book-plate into the
volume, by pasting its right-hand margin about a quarter of an inch on
to the title-page, so that the book-plate would fold over and face it.
This is a plan that leads to a book-plate being most easily overlooked.

Collectors should also note that, in many instances, book-plates are
found in a variety of sizes; this should certainly be borne in mind
when setting aside any particular specimen as a duplicate. In the
present day, most people are content to have a book-plate small enough
to go into a volume of any size; its dwarfed appearance on the cover of
a full-sized folio is no eyesore to them, or, if it is, the pleasure of
economy makes them bear with it. But in days gone by it was--especially
in Germany--certainly otherwise. The possession of a large library would
necessitate, in the owner's mind, the possession of a number of
differently sized book-plates, in order to get one which would neither
look too small in the largest volume, nor be too large for the smallest!
Some of the most noble foreign examples, rich in detail and bold in
general effect, are those that belonged to men who liked to have for
their folios a book-plate of proportionate size. There are no very large
English book-plates, but plenty of library owners in this country had
two or three different sized book-plates, and the late Sir William
Stirling-Maxwell boasted of over a hundred varieties!


[1] Among the late Sir Bernard Burke's papers there was discovered a
collection of book-plates said to have been formed in Ireland in the
middle of the last century; but there is nothing to show that the
collection was formed as a collection of book-plates _qua_ book-plates.

[2] There are two varieties of this book-plate.

[3] Moore, vol. i. p. 87.



IN a short paper, which in 1882 I contributed to the _Antiquarian
Magazine and Bibliographer_, I wrote this passage:--'It is difficult to
believe that the general use of book-plates should have been a hundred
and fifty years in reaching this country from the Continent; and yet
there is rather more difference than that between the date on the
earliest-known German example (1516) and the time when English-dated
specimens appear at all plentifully. Surely the many English men of
letters who amassed large libraries in the sixteenth century, and the
first half of the seventeenth, must have possessed book-plates; and yet,
where are their book-plates now?

'Many, no doubt, have perished with the bindings to which they were
fastened, but some are doubtless still extant; and we may yet hope that,
when the interest in these labels becomes more widely diffused, more
than one or two specimens will be brought to light, bearing an engraved
date sufficiently early to dispel the idea that this country was a
century and a half behind its German neighbours in the general practice
of using book-plates.'

Mr. Daniel Parsons, who may be properly called the father of book-plate
literature,--his contribution, in 1837, to 'The Third Annual Report of
the Oxford University Archæological and Heraldic Society,' was certainly
the first paper on the subject that ever appeared,--commented on this
hope of mine in the number of the same magazine issued in the following
January, and was despondent as to evidence being forthcoming to prove
the early use of book-plates in England.

Well, in that I expressed the belief that investigation would bring to
light a number of sixteenth and seventeenth century _dated_ book-plates,
I was perhaps wrong--early English dated book-plates have not been found
in anything approaching plenty; but I was also wrong in suggesting that
proof of the early use of book-plates in this country could only be
proved by dated examples; the existence of examples which, from internal
evidence, are proved to be of early date is really equally valuable; and
as these have certainly come to light in considerable numbers, I think a
good case has been made out on behalf of our fellow-countrymen.

I do not pretend that early English book-plates are so plentiful as
those of Germany. Some individual specimens are known to exist; but
there are very few that are recorded as existing in more than a few
collections, and some are unique. From some cause or other, early
English book-plates are a rarity; and I propose, therefore, to speak
individually of the majority of them,--that is to say, of those
executed prior to the close of the seventeenth century.

But before doing this, let me say a word as to the date at which the
colours intended to be shown on the shield of arms were first
represented by lines or points. For instance, perpendicular lines from
the top to the bottom of the shield, thus:


to express _gules_--red.

A number of small dots or points, thus:


to express _or_--gold; and so on.

To whom may be attached the credit of inventing this useful system,
matters little; what we are now interested in--for the purpose of
considering the approximate dates of book-plates--is the time at which
it was first employed in heraldic engravings. Mr. Walter Hamilton, in
the pages of the _Ex Libris Journal_, realises the importance of the
subject. He speaks of the work by Father Silvester Petra-Sancta,
published at Rome in 1638, in which the proposal is advocated, and
refers to M. Henri Bouchot's allusion to a work by Vulsson de la
Colombière, written in 1639, which advocates the system.

That, at an earlier date, lines running all in one direction were used
only as shading, is shown over and over again. Take, for instance, the
book-plate of Francis de Malherbe (reproduced over leaf), which, as the
owner died in 1628, was engraved, probably, soon after the opening of
the century. In this case we have a statement by De Malherbe that his
arms are 'D'argent à six roses de gueules, et des hermines de sable sans
nombre,'--a description obviously inaccurate. De Malherbe was a poet,
and could no more be expected to describe a coat of arms than 'Garter'
could be expected to write a poem. The proper blazoning of his family
arms is: ermine, six roses gules. But, according to the lines depicted
on his book-plate, the 'field' would be _azure_: clearly, in this case,
the lines mean nothing at all.

The late Mr. J. E. Bailey points out that in the 1562, 1568, and 1576
editions of Gerard Legh's _Accedens of Armory_, sable (black) is
expressed, as it would be now, by horizontal and perpendicular lines
crossing each other; whilst the other colours are represented by the
initials of their names. It is possible that this form of expressing
sable may be merely the result of an attempt on the part of the engraver
to produce as dark a tint as possible to represent it. In Vincent's
_Discovery of Brooke's Errors_, 1622, such lines are certainly used as
shading, or to distinguish colour from white; but, as shown from his
verbal description of the arms he represents, these lines are used
without any system whatever, perpendicular lines sometimes representing
gules, and sometimes azure. Again, in the second edition of Guillim's
_Display_, 1632, lines are used to denote the darker colours, though
they are used without system. But in 1654, we find, in Bysshe's heraldic
tracts, gules, azure, sable, and the rest expressed in the now orthodox
manner, and an explanatory plate showing what colours are represented by
the respective dots or lines, a conclusive proof of the novelty of the
system in England. I think the reader will see, as he proceeds, that
this has been a useful digression.


We have said that the earliest English book-plate yet come to light is
Cardinal Wolsey's. This is not a printed book-plate at all, but a
carefully drawn sketch of the Cardinal's arms, with supporters, and
surmounted by a Cardinal's hat, the whole coloured by hand. How many of
these book-plates the Cardinal possessed, we do not know; but that
this--the only example known--is undoubtedly a book-plate, is proved
from the fact that it may now be seen in a folio volume which once
belonged to Wolsey, and subsequently to his royal master. It bears no
date, and may have been designed any time after the minister's elevation
to the cardinalate in September 1514. It is a splendid affair in every
way, and gorgeously coloured. The shield of arms rests on a platform
(gold), the front of which is red, ornamented with an arabesque pattern,
also red; pillars on the platform support a canopy, ornamented as the
front of the platform, with the addition of Tudor roses; over the shield
is the Cardinal's hat, and above that again the holy dove descends. The
shield is supported by two dingy-looking griffins, whose wings and heads
are red, and whose beaks, claws, and tail-tips are gold; the background
is blue.


Next in date, after Wolsey's book-plate, comes that which was, I
believe, engraved at least contemporaneously with the date upon it,
1574, to place in the volumes given in that year by Sir Nicholas Bacon
to the University of Cambridge. Bacon died five years after this date;
he is familiar to us all as 'the father of his country and of Sir
Francis Bacon.' This book-plate is engraved on wood; like Wolsey's, it
is found coloured, but it is also--amongst the odds and ends in the
Bagford Collection--found uncoloured, and without the inscription which
records the gift to Cambridge. A facsimile of that in the Bagford
Collection appears opposite: can it be the book-plate of Bacon himself,
to which, on the copies used for the books that he gave to Cambridge,
was added the donatory inscription? A close comparison shows that both
shields of arms are struck from the same block. The arms shown are Bacon
quartering Quaplode. The variety of this book-plate which bears the
inscription belongs to what are termed 'gift' or 'legacy' book-plates,
the dates on which--as they refer to the date of the 'gift' or 'legacy'
commemorated--are considered _earlier_ than the engraving. In the case
of 'legacy' book-plates they may often be so, but they are not, I think,
in many cases of 'gift' book-plates. For instance, if (as from the
Bagford example seems probable) this was Bacon's own book-plate, the
date upon it, 1574, may even be many years _later_ than the time at
which it was made for him. That the date on one of these 'gift'
book-plates must be, within a very short space of time, the date of its
engraving, will be shown presently when I come to speak of that
recording a donation made by Lady Bath.


The next English book-plate which bears upon it an engraved date is that
of Sir Thomas Tresham. On this the inscription reads 'June 29, 1585,'
which no doubt refers to the date of engraving, or, probably, to the
date at which the design for the engraving was finished by the artist.
As a work of art it is poor, but its interest as a book-plate to
collectors is not lessened on that account. Tresham was knighted by
Queen Elizabeth ten years before the date of his book-plate. We know not
much of him, save what Fuller tells us that he was famous for 'his skill
in buildings.' One of his sons, Sir Francis, was involved in the
Gunpowder Plot, and another, Sir Lewis, was made a baronet in 1611.

These three examples are all the sixteenth century English dated
book-plates yet brought to light. Those in the seventeenth century are
far more numerous. We find one bearing the date '1613,' which was
prepared to place in the volumes given, in that year, by William
Willmer, a Northamptonshire squire, to his college library. The
inscription on it reads: 'Sydney Sussex Colledge--Ex dono Wilhelmi
Willmer de Sywell in Com. Northamtoniæ, Armigeri, quondam pentionarii in
ista Domi (_sic_), viz. in Anno Dñi 1599; sed dedit in Ano Dñi 1613.'
The book-plate is clearly early, and shows us fine bold heraldic work.
In style it nearly resembles the Bacon plate, and that of Sir Thomas
Tresham; but the mantling here descends to the base of the shield. The
Willmer plate is in Dr. Howard's Collection; a reproduction of it is
given in Mr. Griggs's _Examples of Armorial Book-Plates_.

Early in the reign of Charles I. may be placed a very beautiful example
of heraldic engraving, which Sir Wollaston Franks satisfactorily assigns
to a certain John Talbot of Thorneton, who died in 1659. It is inscribed
'Coll. Talbott,' and this John Talbot is called 'Colonellus ex parte
Regis'; the quarterings are those of the families of Ferrers, Bellars,
and Arderne.

In strange contrast to this fine work is the wood block book-plate of
'William Courtenay of Treemer, in the county of Cornwall, Esquire,'
who, in 1632, inherited the Treemer estate. We may note that, not only
is this book-plate, like all those yet described, free from any
indication of lines or dots to express the colours in the armorial
bearings, but below the shield is given a verbal blazon of the coat: 'He
beareth _or_, 3 Torteauxes.'

This seems to be the place to speak of a very puzzling pair of
engravings, which certainly appear to have been used as book-plates,
dated in 1630. They represent the armorial bearings of Sir Edward
Dering. One of these book-plates which I take to be the earlier, shows a
less number of quarterings, and contains no indication of a really
systematic expression of the metals and tinctures in the arms; but the
other and later example does. The same date appears upon each. The
second of the two plates occurs bound up in a volume of the Harleian
Collection of MSS.; and 'Mr. Humphrey Wanly, library-keeper to Robert
and Edward, Earls of Oxford,' in his description of the specimen in the
Harleian Collection, calls it 'A printed cut of the Arms or Atchievement
of Sir Edward Dering, Baronet, dated A.D. 1630, with a fanciful motto in
misshapen Saxon characters; but by the hatching of the arms in order to
show the colours, according to the way found out by Sir Edward Bysshe, I
guess that it is not so old.'

Now, the Harleian volume, in which this engraving occurs, is a copy,
written in 1645-46, of the Heralds' Visitation of Kent in 1619; and in a
later, but certainly seventeenth century, handwriting, is a description
of the numerous quarterings as they appear on the engraving; so that,
whilst rejecting the claim of this variety of the plate to be an
engraving of 1630, we may, I think, accept it as at least an early
example of the indication of the colours and tinctures by lines and
dots. As for the first of the two varieties, I do not see why it should
not be as early as the date upon it; there was no particular reason in
selecting that date; for I do not find that it refers to any special
event in Sir Edward's life. A writer to _Notes and Queries_, in 1851,
states that there were several 'loose copies' of the plate--which
variety, he does not say--in the Surrenden Collection, and Dr. Howard
saw it 'inserted' in several folio volumes of that collection, when it
was disposed of by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson. Very good facsimiles of
these book-plates have been given by Dr. Howard in his _Miscellanea
Genealogica et Heraldica_.

Another early instance of the expression of the metals and tinctures
occurs in the book-plate of Lord-Keeper Lyttelton, a plate which derives
additional interest from the fact of its being the work of William
Marshall, the famous frontispiece engraver. Sir Edward Lyttelton, the
owner of the book-plate, was made Lord-Keeper in 1641, under the title
of Baron Lyttelton of Mounslow. This book-plate, which shows us the arms
of Lyttelton of Frankley, was evidently engraved before Sir Edward's
elevation to the peerage. The book-plate, which is the earliest English
example bearing an engraver's signature, may be dated about 1640.

We know from the arms on dedication plates, and the like, that the
expression of colours on shields did not become at all general for many
years after 1640. Take, for instance, Hollar's cuts of arms in the
illustrations to Dugdale's _Monasticon_, or his _History of St. Paul's_.
Thus, we must not date every book-plate we find, on which the colours
are not shown in the new fashion, as before 1640. The small and
unpretentious book-plate of John Marsham of Whom's Place, near Cuxton,
in Kent, is an illustration of this. A representation of it is given by
Mr. Griggs in his _Facsimiles_. Marsham was made a baronet in 1663; so
the plate is earlier than that, but as it is exactly in the style of the
dedicatory plates in the works just noticed, we may place it somewhere
about 1655. It is perhaps by Hollar. Likely enough, other examples will
come to light.

After the Restoration, the number of English book-plates perceptibly
increases, though we must remember that the active supporters of
Cromwell did not object to a little heraldic display--there was a fair
amount of heraldic work one way and another, executed both with pen and
pencil, during the twelve years that the king was kept off his throne.
Two of the earliest post-Restoration book-plates are those of Sir Edward
Bysshe and his brother-in-law, John Greene. Sir Edward Bysshe became
Garter King-at-Arms, and John Greene was of Navestock, Essex. Both are
curious oblong plates, having fancifully shaped shields surrounded by
palm branches, and held up by ribbons. There is no crest shown in
either. They are evidently by the same artist, which, as Bysshe and
Greene were brothers-in-law, is perhaps natural. A somewhat similar,
though plainer, form of ornamentation surrounds the shields on two other
anonymous book-plates, one bearing the arms of Southwell, and the other
those of Eynes or Haynes.


Thomas Gore of Alderton, Wilts, the author of _Catalogus de Re
Heraldicâ_, is a man who might be expected to use a book-plate, and he
did. Three varieties are known. The first, which dates about 1660,
though a more elaborate piece of work than those last described, is
somewhat similar in style, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say
dissimilar to the style in which other book-plates prior to the
Restoration were designed. Whoever engraved this plate for Gore also
engraved the arms of Edward Waterhouse--most probably the engraving was
intended for Waterhouse's book-plate--which appear as a frontispiece to
his _Discourse and Defence of Arms and Armory_, 1660. In his second
book-plate Gore called to his aid the foreigner's art, employing Michael
Burghers, a Dutch artist, who had recently come from Holland and settled
at Oxford. Michael produced the book-plate figured opposite, which
introduces some rather wild allegory, singularly plain cupids seated on
the backs of flying eagles. Perhaps Gore did not care for this
allegory,--allegory seems never to have been popular with English
book-plate owners (see Chapter IV.),--and for his third plate went to an
Englishman, and to a no less eminent one than William Faithorne. The
famous portrait-engraver produced as beautiful and bold a book-plate in
the Simple Armorial style as could well be: the peculiar 'depth' of his
touch is apparent here and in his other book-plates, of which there are


It is interesting to note that Faithorne reverts to the pre-Restoration
style, and improves upon it. The mantling is much richer than that shown
in earlier examples in the same style, and it more completely surrounds
the shield. To Faithorne may be assigned two other magnificent
book-plates, that of Sir George Hungerford of Cadenham (anonymous), and
the one here reproduced of a member of the family of Marriott of
Whitchurch, Warwickshire, and Alscot and Preston, Gloucestershire.[4]
The Hungerford book-plate is noteworthy. The name of Sir George
Hungerford, its possessor, does not occur in any list of baronets, yet
he evidently considered himself to possess that dignity, as the 'bloody
hand of Ulster' figures on his arms. Dugdale, too, in speaking of Sir
George's marriage, refers to him as 'baronet.' Faithorne also produced a
book-plate to commemorate a gift of books made by Bishop Hacket, who
died in 1670--it is particularly curious as showing us the Bishop's
portrait. I shall speak of it later on, under the heading 'Portrait
Book-Plates' (pp. 216-220); such plates are comparatively few in number.

Dated, and most probably engraved, in the following year, 1671, is
another 'gift' book-plate, prepared to place in books presented by the
then Countess-Dowager of Bath. The inscription reads: 'Ex dono Rachel
Comitissæ Bathon: Dotariæ An: Dom. MDCLXXI.' This lady was born in 1613;
she was a daughter of Francis Fane, first Earl of Westmoreland, and
became the wife of Henry Bourchier, Earl of Bath, who died in 1654; and
soon afterwards of Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, who died in
1674; she herself dying in 1680. There is no reason to doubt the date on
this book-plate, 1671, though, at first sight, it may look a little
suspicious. True, she had become the wife of the Earl of Middlesex (a
title only dating from 1622) in 1654, and was still his wife in 1671;
but she had apparently little reason to be proud of him or his title,
for he left her and made hay of her fortune, spending it to use the
words of a contemporary letter,[5] 'in play and rioting.' We cannot,
therefore, feel much surprised at her desire to pass by her former title
which would give her rank at court as the widow of an Earl whose
creation was hard on a century earlier. 'Our cousin, Lady Bath,' writes
Lady Newport, in April 1661, 'hath got her place of being Lady Bath
again; it cost her 1,200_l_ . . . her Lord is very angry at her changing
her title; he says it is an affront to him.' That is why she calls
herself, on the book-plate under notice, Countess-Dowager of Bath in
1671. A curious feature about the book-plate is, that it does not seem
to have been prepared to place in books included in one particular gift
to a particular person or institution, but rather to have been the
outcome of my lady's fancy to place such a remembrance of herself in any
volume she gave away at that or at any subsequent date. The Countess
also used a book-stamp of the same design as the _ex libris_, but
without the inscription.

Whilst speaking on the subject of gift book-plates, reference may
appropriately be made to a curious woodcut used as a book-plate by the
St. Albans Grammar School, which is figured opposite the next page. It
is a quaint bit of, no doubt, local work, and, as pointed out to me by
the Rev. F. Willcox, the headmaster, during a long and dusty hunt,
occurs only in the volumes given to the school by Sir Samuel Grimston.
The plate shows us a combination of the arms of the city of St. Albans
and the motto of the Bacon family, adopted by the Grimstons.

I have no doubt that, if a thorough investigation of the too often
neglected libraries of our old foundation grammar schools were made,
other early and curious book-plates might be discovered.

Between 1670 and 1680 quite a number of book-plates were designed,
evidently by the same man. The work is feeble, but it is very distinct.
The most interesting of these book-plates, from its possessor, is that
of Samuel Pepys. Altogether, I know of eight examples: Charles Pitfield,
Sir Robert Southwell, William Wharton, Sir Henry Hunloke, Samuel Pepys,
Justinian Pagit, Walter Chetwynd, and Randolph Egerton.

A point of interest about them all is that, as well as expressing
heraldically the blazon of the different shields, they also indicate
with an initial letter the colour intended to be shown: 'a' for argent,
'g' for gules, and so on. The initial of the heraldic term is used in
every case except that of 'azure,' when 'b' for blue is used; 'a,' as we
have seen, standing for argent.

Though they differ in the arrangement of the mantling, there can be
little doubt that all these book-plates are by the same hand, and that
whoever engraved the plates in Blome's _Gwilim_, engraved these also.

The book-plate of 'Fettiplace Nott,' which bears the date 1694, is a
fair type of the book-plate that was in use in England for the next
twenty years; indeed, these might all be the work of half a dozen


I have not yet mentioned a very numerous and very uninteresting class of
early English book-plates--I mean those which are nothing more than
'name-tickets'--the owner's name and date printed within a border more
or less ornate. These occur quite early in the seventeenth century, and
run all through it. Of course, it may be that the owner is an
interesting person, and then his or her name-ticket becomes interesting
by reflection, but in themselves these tickets are merely dull. Of
English Armorial plates, I have referred in detail to the majority of
those bearing an engraved date--when that date is not obviously
misleading--prior to the year 1698. I have also spoken of several,
though by no means all, of the undated examples, which have been proved
to belong to the seventeenth century. To this second list a patient
working out of the internal evidence on early-looking, but undated,
book-plates would, no doubt, add very considerably; and the
illustrations, verbal and otherwise, that I have given may, I hope, be
sufficient to indicate the kind of book-plates that are worth such

I have used the date 1698 as a stopping-point, because from that year we
have dated examples of English book-plates, yearly, down to the
commencement of the present century. Here let me say a word on the
subject of dated book-plates generally. The date is certainly an
advantage, especially when it clearly refers to the date of the
engraving, and not, as we have seen it sometimes does, to an event in
the owner's career; but I cannot understand why the 'market value' of a
book-plate should be enhanced to such an extent as it is by the presence
on that book-plate of an engraved date. There are probably few
book-plates which do not bear some mark by which an approximate date can
be safely affixed to them, and the study of these marks is a very
desirable undertaking. The great value of a printed date on a book-plate
is that one can see from it the style of decoration in vogue at a
particular period, and thus obtain the means for arranging,
chronologically, undated examples. For there were during certain years
certain marked styles of decoration adopted by book-plate engravers; but
of these I propose to speak later on under the heading of 'Styles.'

Let me also mention _misleading_ dates on book-plates, and for this
purpose it will be sufficient if I take principally the examples cited
by Mr. J. Paul Rylands, F.S.A., in his Notes on Lancashire and Cheshire
examples. The date on Sir William St. Quintin's book-plate, 1641, is
that at which the baronetcy was created; the book-plate was engraved in
the last century. Sir Francis Fust's book-plate, one remarkable for its
size and ugliness, is inscribed 'S^{r} Francis Fust of Hill Court in the
county of Gloucester, Baronet, created 21st August 1662, the 14 year of
King Charles 2d.' Now this plate cannot be earlier than 1728, the year
in which the first 'Sir Francis' succeeded to the baronetcy. Here,
however, the context of words, 'created 21st August 1662,' renders the
inscription less likely to mislead people into supposing that 1662 was
the year in which the plate was executed. In other instances we have not
this help.

The date 1669, on the book-plate of Gilbert Nicholson of Balrath, merely
refers to the date at which Gilbert acquired his Irish estates; the
example itself must be later than 1722, as the same copper was employed
for it as that on which the book-plate of Thomas Carter, dated in that
year, had been engraved. Again, some collectors hold, and have
maintained in print, that the book-plate of Sir Robert Clayton, of which
we must speak again hereafter, was not really engraved in 1679--the date
which appears upon it. 1679 is the year in which Sir Robert was Lord
Mayor of London, and it is thought probable that the book-plate was
engraved later--perhaps in the early years of the eighteenth century,
when, as we have seen, the fashion of having a book-plate was so
prevalent--and that Sir Robert placed the date 1679 upon it in order to
commemorate the date of his mayoralty. For my part, I see no particular
reason for holding this view; the style in which the plate is executed
does not seem to me contradictory to the date upon it. Still, as the
doubt exists, it is better to mention it.

Attention has been called to a book-plate of 'David Paynter of Dale
Castle, Pembrokeshire, 1679,' which is probably nearly a century later.
The book-plate of 'William Twemlow of Hatherton, Cheshire, Esquire,
1686,' was engraved for a Mr. William Twemlow, who died in 1843.


On the other hand, there are certain book-plates which were engraved
earlier than the dates which appear upon some impressions of them. The
book-plate of the statesman Charles James Fox (see opposite) is one
instance of this. It is inscribed 'The Hon^{ble} Charles James Fox,' and
was used by the great statesman, but the plate was engraved in 1702--as
its style suggests--for his half-uncle, and the inscription, before its
alteration, read:--'Charles Fox of the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields,
Esq., 1702.'

There is a large book-plate, shown by its style to have been engraved in
the early years of the eighteenth century, but which is inscribed
'Martin Stapylton, Esq. of Myton, in the county of York, A.D. 1817.' The
book-plate was evidently engraved for Sir Bryan Stapylton, who died in
1727. The Martin Stapylton who altered and used it was one Martin
Bree--nephew of the last baronet, who died in 1817--who succeeded to his
uncle's property, but not to his baronetcy; hence he was not justified
in leaving the helmet of a knight or baronet upon it; he removed the
'bloody hand of Ulster' from the shield, but the mistake in the helmet
does not seem to have struck him. On a small variety of this book-plate,
the inscription on which is similarly altered, the 'bloody hand'

Again, the book-plate of 'S^{r} Will^{m} Robinson, Baronett, of Newby,
in the county of York, 1702,' was altered--by turning the '0' into a
'6'--into 1762, and was used by his grandson; that inscribed 'John
Peachey, 1782,' designed in the Chippendale style, is quite twenty years
earlier; and that of 'Fr. Dickens Armig. 1795,' was certainly engraved
half a century before.

During the ten or twelve years immediately following the year 1698, the
number of English dated book-plates is exceedingly large. Taking the
list printed for private distribution by Sir Wollaston Franks in 1887,
we find sixteen examples in 1698; seven in 1699; fifteen in 1700;
sixteen in 1701; forty-four in 1702; fifty-eight in 1703; twenty-seven
in 1704; and many, but not so many, in the succeeding years.
Something--what, I have failed to discover--must have given a stimulus
to the fashion of using book-plates just at the close of the seventeenth
and opening of the eighteenth century; and not only to using them, but
also to putting a date on those used. It is a fact that it is more rare
to find book-plates engraved in this particular style without dates than
with them.

The fashion of 'dating,' as a rule, went out about the year 1714, about
the time at which, as we shall see, a new 'style' in book-plates became
generally adopted. Anonymous book-plates are rare after this date,
though, both in England and on the Continent, they were, in early times,
certainly common--a fact which bears silent testimony to the much
greater intimacy which people in the good old days had with their
neighbours' armorial bearings. The coat of arms of a man of position was
almost as well known to those dwelling about him as were the features of
his face; and if a volume, having within it an Armorial book-plate,
happened to be found in wrongful custody, the finder might recognise the
heraldry of the owner, even if he could not read the inscription
recording that ownership.

So much for the early use of book-plates in England. In the next chapter
I propose to say something about the leading styles of decoration
employed by their designers.


[4] There are two sizes of this book-plate.

[5] Report by the Historical MSS. Commission on the papers of the Duke
of Rutland.



LORD DE TABLEY has given us names for nearly all the styles met with in
English book-plates, and it is perhaps better to accept these
descriptions in the present work, adding to them another--'Simple
Armorial'--for the earliest plates, and, indeed, for the great majority
of those anterior to 1720.

It is not only in book-plates that we see this style adopted: it is used
in almost every representation of shields of arms in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, be it on a memorial brass, in sculpture, or on a
stained glass window. The style is simple and effective. The shield,
nearly always symmetrical, is surmounted by a helmet, on which is the
wreath and crest. From the helmet is outspread more or less voluminous
mantling. In the earlier examples this terminates, generally in tassels,
before reaching the base of the shield. In later examples its heavy
folds descend quite to the base, and often ascend upwards from the
helmet to the level of the top of the crest. Below the shield is a
narrow scroll for the motto, which is not always given, and at the
bottom of all is a bracket (on which the owner's name is inscribed),
having indented edges. Occasionally, but not often, the mantling,
instead of being foliated, hangs from the helmet in stiff folds at the
back of the shield, its upper corners being tied up and tasselled. The
book-plate of Thomas Knatchbull, dated in 1702 (shown on p. 51), is a
very fair, though not a very early, example of this style. In some
instances the shield is placed on one side--its right hand upper corner
being thus brought to the centre of the helmet. The Simple Armorial
style was, roughly speaking, not much used after 1720.

Besides the book-plates described in the foregoing chapter, nearly all
of which belong to the 'Armorial' style, there are sundry others worthy
of particular observation, should the reader meet with them. There is,
for instance, the book-plate of 'The Right Hon^{ble} James, Earl of
Derby, Lord of Man and ye Isles, 1702'; the grandson of _the_ James,
seventh Earl, who suffered for his loyalty, and of the gallant Charlotte
Trémouille. This is a large and very striking book-plate in every way;
its size makes possible the introduction of some fine bold work, which
is rendered even more effective by the fact that the arms portrayed are
simply those of Stanley; so that there is no crowding in of quarterings.
The decoration is that common to the book-plates of peers, or of other
persons entitled to use supporters at the time: the mantling spreads
from the helmet, and terminates at the heads of the supporters; these
stand upon the motto-scroll. There is a smaller variety of this
book-plate--one of the ordinary size--which is not so pleasing. When
Earl James died, in 1736, the Earldom of Derby devolved on his kinsman,
Sir Edward Stanley, Bart., whose book-plate, larger and finer than that
just described, is really a very beautiful piece of work in the Jacobean
style; the arms are Stanley impaling Hesketh, and the size of the
book-plate is 6-5/8 × 5-1/4 in.

Similar examples of large-sized book-plates are furnished by those of
'The Honourable Iames Brydges of Wilton Castle, in Hereford Shere'
(where the effect is somewhat marred by the number of quarterings
displayed); 'Sir William Brownlowe of Belton, in the County of Lincoln,
Baronet, 1698,' and his wife 'Dame Alice Brownlowe;' Lord Roos and his
wife, Lady Roos; 'Paul Jodrell of Duffield, in y^{e} County of Derby,
Esq^{r}, Clerk of y^{e} Hon^{ble} House of Commons'--a particularly bold
piece of work; and 'S^{r} John Wentworth of North Elmeshall, in the West
Rideing of Yorkshire, Baronet.' It is probable that all these, and other
large-sized English book-plates, also exist, or existed, in the ordinary
size (see pp. 18, 19). The largest English book-plate, and one which,
from its unusual size, is certain to attract attention, is that of
'Simon Scroope of Danby-super-Yore, in com. Ebor., Esq., 1698'; here,
too, much of the good effect is lost by the number of quarterings (no
less than twenty-seven) introduced upon the shield.


I referred, at the close of the previous chapter, to the large number of
English book-plates engraved during the last two years of the
seventeenth century and first ten of the eighteenth. The great majority
of these book-plates are in the 'Simple Armorial' style, and there is
upon these a very great similarity in the way in which that style is
represented; indeed, they may well have been, all of them, the work of
less than a dozen artists. Any distinctive feature that exists is to be
found in the treatment of the mantling. For instance: it is finely cut
on the book-plates of Nicholas Penny, Lord Cornwallis, Lord Roos, and
'John Sayer of Hounslow, in the County of Midd., Esq^{r},' all dated in
1700; on the Sayer plate the inscription is enclosed in a Jacobean
scroll; it is heavy, and stiffly cut in the book-plates of James
Bengough, Richard Newdigate, Sir William Hustler, and John Godfrey, all
dated in 1702; it is leaflike and graceful on the book-plates of William
Thompson and Francis Columbine, dated in 1708, and of Thomas Rowney,
dated in 1713, whilst the book-plate of 'Gostlet Harington of
Marshfield, in the Coun. of Glocester, Gent., 1706,' is unique, the
mantling being cut like strawberry leaves. There is a peculiar effect
produced by the way in which this example is printed, and the lettering
of the inscription is also unusual.

There is one of these book-plates which the reader should notice from
the peculiar arrangement of the decorative accessories, occasioned by
the fact that the owner was both a spiritual and temporal peer. I refer
to that of 'Nathanael Crewe, Lord Bishop of Durham and Baron Crewe of
Stene, 1703.' Here the mantling springs from the helmet, rises to the
level of the crest, and terminates at the heads of the supporters; a
baron's coronet appears instead of a mitre, and behind the shield are a
crozier and sword in saltire, the decoration of the head of the crozier
being so like the form of the mantling that it seems, at first sight, to
be part of it.

The 'Jacobean' style is far more ornate than that last mentioned, and
the book-plate of 'John Reilly of the Middle Temple, Esqr.,' is a fair
example of the best kind of Jacobean work. The escutcheon is raised on
an elaborate and richly-carved Jacobean sideboard; mantling is still
there, but it is curtailed, and seems almost resting on the top of the
sideboard, on either side of which are columns, given in high relief; on
each is carved a perpendicular festoon of leaves. Below the shield,
crouched on the ledge of the sideboard, are two eagles with expanded
wings; each holds in its beak one end of the ribbon which ties into a
bunch the corners of a fringed cloth bearing the inscription already
quoted; below the eagles, inverted cornucopiæ pour out books upon the
floor on which the sideboard stands.

This plate may probably be dated very early in the eighteenth century,
or even late in the seventeenth, since it is recorded that John Reilly's
signature, with the date '1679,' occurs in a book in which it is
fastened. To whichever date it belongs, the Simple Armorial style was
then in general use,--that is to say, so far as the book-plates of
private individuals are concerned. These, as we have just seen, nearly
all bear a helmet, varying according to the owner's social rank, and
from that falls the mantling, more or less elaborate. But if we look at
the book-plates, dated in or about the year 1700, of certain colleges at
Oxford or Cambridge, at ladies' book-plates of the same period,--none of
which, of course, display a helmet,--and at some others in which the
arms are given in an oval, we see that the blank on either side of the
shield (consequent upon the absence of the helmet from which the
mantling would fall) is supplied by work distinctly Jacobean. Lord De
Tabley, whose descriptions in justification of the names he has bestowed
upon the several styles we shall not hesitate to quote in this chapter,
thus describes this work:--

'To supply this void in decoration, a distinct frame was placed round
the escutcheons, and this framework was ornamented with ribbons, palm
branches, or festoons.

'The prominent or high-relief portions of this frame were not set close
to the edges of the escutcheons, but between it and them; an interval of
flat-patterned surface nearly always intervened, in which, as upon a
wall, the actual shield was embedded. This we shall call the lining of
the armorial frame; and we shall find this lining is usually imbricated
with a pattern of fish-scales, one upon another, or diapered into
lattice-work. The scale-covered or latticed interval of lining is the
characteristic of the style. . . . Another step in the external
decoration was to add a bracket, distinct from the frame, upon which the
shield, in its frame, was supposed to rest. This bracket naturally
initiated the decorative art and surface arrangement of the

As a rule, too, an escallop-shell forms the centre of the bracket in
Jacobean book-plates. In some instances it is placed in the centre
below, but more usually in the centre above; and then in the centre
below we have the head of some mythical and uninviting monster. Either
as quasi-supporters on the ledges of the bracket, right and left, or on
the side ledges of the shield, if the bracket is amalgamated with the
frame, are 'things' selected from the following miscellaneous
collection--lions; cherubs, male and female; term-figures; busts of
fairies, with butterfly wings; angels, generally engaged in
trumpet-blowing, etc.

The student should notice this escallop-shell, because we shall see it
introduced into the style of decoration that succeeded the
Jacobean--there it became a shelly border rather than a distinct shell.

On the whole, then, the usual ornamentation of a Jacobean book-plate
renders it easily recognisable. The decoration is stiff and
conventional, displays more solidity than grace, and altogether seems
less appropriate to a book-plate than the heavy rolls of mantling,
which, as we have seen, surrounded the shield during the prevalence of
the preceding style. As for the title 'Jacobean' which has been bestowed
upon it, it should be explained that the reference is rather to the
style of decoration in vogue in the days of James II. than to anything
in the days of James I. Lord De Tabley has pointed out that, as compared
with the woodwork preserved in churches of the latter half of the
seventeenth century, and as compared with the mouldings on monuments of
the same period, a practical identity of decoration cannot fail to
strike the antiquary, and his choice of the name 'Jacobean' for this
class of book-plates is thus abundantly justified.

Examples of Jacobean book-plates are numerous in most English
collections, for the style continued long in fashion; indeed, it lasted,
in more or less purity, down to 1745, or even later, and I think it
quite likely that some of the evidently early undated examples may
really have been executed during the last quarter of the seventeenth
century. The similarity, to which we have just alluded, between the
ornamentation shown upon Jacobean book-plates and that displayed in
ecclesiastical decoration of the time of Charles the Second as well as
James the Second, makes it very probable that this is so.

The few book-plates which are known to have been designed or executed by
Hogarth (see p. 79) are in the Jacobean style; but, with the exception
of that eminent artist and George Vertue, the men who worked upon
Jacobean book-plates were not distinguished engravers. Nevertheless,
some of their productions are distinctly good, though the decoration
was, perhaps, too often overdone. The touch, in many, suggests that the
artist was accustomed to engrave on gold or silver plate. This is
notably the case in the book-plate of 'Charles Barlow, Esq., of Emmanuel
College, Cambridge,' engraved in, or immediately after, 1730. This
book-plate is worthy of observation, should the reader meet with it, as
a particularly exaggerated example of the Jacobean style: the framework
seems scarcely able to support the decorative accessories with which it
is laden, and which include representations of birds, beasts, mythical
figures, stony flowers in festoons or baskets, heads, shells, and what

The earliest dated Jacobean example is that of 'William Fitz Gerald,
Lord Bishop of Clonfert,' which is inscribed '1698.' Here the escutcheon
is of the 'Simple Armorial' shape, but set in a Jacobean framework,
decorated with leafy sprays, and surmounted by a mitre, the ribbons of
which terminate in tassels. Next we have the book-plates of five
Cambridge Colleges,--Jesus, Pembroke, Queens', St. John's, and Trinity
Hall; all bear the same engraved date--1700. These, and many like them
dated in subsequent years, are no doubt the work of one man: the design
consists of an escutcheon, on which are the College arms, set in a
finely-drawn, scale-patterned frame, bedecked with hawk-bells, ribbons,
wreaths, and sprays of flowers. Other College plates--except that of New
College, Oxford, which is 'Simple Armorial' in its style--are Jacobean.

In 1701 comes the book-plate of Dame Anna Margaretta Mason. Here the
lozenge, in which she bears her arms, appears with decoration very
similar to that just described, though slightly more elaborate. In 1703
the book-plate of Philip Lynch shows how similar decoration is bestowed
upon an oval escutcheon; whilst, in 1713, the book-plate of Henry, Duke
of Kent, furnishes an early dated example of the introduction of the
bracket, which is, as we have seen, a leading feature in Jacobean

This is really a remarkably fine book-plate. The escutcheon, indented in
a somewhat peculiar fashion, is surrounded by the Garter, and fastened
to the front of the bracket, a highly ornamented piece of work, on which
stand the two supporters. Above is the ducal coronet; below, in an
oblong Jacobean frame, is the inscription. The family of Grey, Dukes of
Kent, is prolific in book-plates; that, dated five years later, of
'Mary, Countess of Harrold,' daughter-in-law to Henry, Duke of Kent, is
a more elaborate, though less finely executed, piece of Jacobean work.
Her arms, and those of her husband, appear side by side in separate oval
shields; angels hold aloft an earl's coronet over both, while below,
between the shields, is the head of a cherub, whose wings are arranged
as a collar.

Other conspicuous Jacobean book-plates are those of Ellerker Bradshaw;
Dr. Philip Bisse, Bishop of St. David's; Richard Massie of Coddington,
Cheshire; 'James Hustler,' 1730; 'Sir Thomas Hare, Baronet, of Stow
Hall, in Norfolk,' dated in 1734 (see p. 61); 'Francis Winnington, of
Lincoln's Inn, Esq.,' dated in 1732; 'Saml. Goodford of ye Inner Temple,
Esq.,' dated in 1737; 'John Robinson, M.D.,' dated in 1742; 'St.
Thomas's Hospital Library;' and 'Lucius Henry Hibbins, of Gray's Inne,

A little before, and a little after, 1720 there was a fashion in English
book-plates, which may almost be called a style: it was to place the
shield of arms in a medallion, the background of which is shaded.
Beneath, is the owner's name and description. The term 'Tombstone Style'
might not sound an agreeable designation for these book-plates, but it
would be very accurate; for, really, there is a strong likeness between
them and the monumental slabs placed over deceased persons, whose social
status rendered them eligible for interment in positions where they
would be walked over by future generations of church-goers. We may
mention three such book-plates: Edward Haistwell, dated in 1718, Sir
John Rushout and John Lethieullier, Remembrancer of the City.

So far the shape of the shield used has been perfectly symmetrical. We
now come to speak of the third style adopted by English book-plate
designers, the leading feature of which is an absence of symmetry. This
style has been christened 'Chippendale'; and when its characteristics
have been described, and the leading features in Chippendale furniture
remembered, we shall see the appropriateness of the name.

'The mark and stamp of a Chippendale _ex libris_,' says Lord De Tabley,
'is a frilling or border of open shell-work, set close up to the rounded
outer margin of the escutcheon, and, with breaks, more or less enclosing
it. This seems to be a modification of the scallop shell, so normal at
the base either of frame or bracket on a Jacobean plate. It is, in fact,
a border imitating the pectinated curves and grooves on the margins of a
scallop-shell. Outside this succeed various furniture-like limbs and
flourishes, eminently resembling the triumphs of ornate upholstery which
Chippendale about this time brought into vogue.' The helmet and mantling
are quite exceptional in book-plates of this style, except in examples
which were probably designed and executed by Scotch artists.


Although it was not until 1754 that Chippendale published, in folio,
_The Gentleman's and Cabinetmaker's Director_, 'being a large Collection
of the most useful Designs of Household Furniture in the most
fashionable taste, with 160 Plates of elegant designed Furniture,' there
was probably by that time a good deal of Chippendale furniture already
in the market, and we are therefore not surprised to find a book-plate
designed in the Chippendale style, dated in 1714--that of 'East
Apthorpe.' True, the style there shown is not at all 'advanced,' yet
there are decided indications of it, and for that reason it deserves
attention. Although the shield is shell-shaped and ornamented with
flowers, yet there are upon the plate indications of a horizontally-hatched
Jacobean lining to the frame. We may, I think, consider this one of the
earliest attempts at designing a Chippendale book-plate.


The style improved during the next ten or fifteen years, and then began
to deteriorate. As an escutcheon, the shell-shaped or non-symmetrical
shield is unnatural and even ugly, but it lends itself to an artistic
treatment which the previous styles in English book-plates certainly did
not. For example, flowers--of which there are always many in this style
of book-plate--can be represented as in nature; roses blossom on sprays
or branches, instead of being woven closely together in conventional
festoons, lilies are left to droop their heads, whilst bunches of
grasses or leaves are bound so loosely together that they forfeit
nothing of their natural elegance. Allegoric figures also find place in
Chippendale book-plates, but they are of a much more attractive kind
than those displayed in the Jacobean plates. Cupids or nymphs are
sometimes really graceful bits of drawing when depicted in the better
specimens of the style of which we are now speaking. The book-plate of
'James Brackstone, Citizen of London,' dated in 1751--figured opposite
this page--is as good a specimen of a pure Chippendale book-plate as
could be found; whilst that of John Ord of Lincoln Inn, dated ten
years later, betrays some signs of a decadence which soon afterwards
became general.

'The fashion,' as Lord De Tabley remarks, 'began to be vulgarised in the
hands of weak designers, who bestowed floral embellishments upon the
framework of the shields, without any moderation whatever, endeavouring
by a crowded decoration to mask the real weakness and poverty of their
powers of design.' As a consequence, we have in the later Chippendale
book-plates, those, say, from 1760 to 1780 or 1785, some very terrible
productions. Shell-work and flowers are retained, but they are regarded
as inadequate, and cherubs, dragons, 'nymphs in kilted petticoats,'
sheep, cattle, trees, fruit, fruit-baskets, portions of buildings,
fountains, books, implements of husbandry, and a host of other
miscellaneous objects appear as decorations. Indeed, it is wonderful
what a strange medley a designer in the later days of Chippendaleism
could produce for a customer willing to pay for it!

We may as well here point out a few interesting examples of English
book-plates designed in the Chippendale style. A prolific worker in it
was J. Skinner of Bath (see pp. 81-86; 203-212), who followed the
excellent plan of dating nearly all his work, which should, therefore,
be carefully observed when met with. In one of his book-plates, that
which, in 1743, he produced for 'Charles Delafaye, Esq., of Wichbury,
Wilts.' it is curious to note with what evident diffidence the designer
uses the graceful sprays of natural flowers in ornamenting the shelly
shield. Yet in another book-plate, that of Benjamin Hatley Foote,
engraved in the same year, the anonymous artist uses these ornaments
without hesitation, and produces a book-plate which might have been
engraved many years later. Two very noticeable examples are also
supplied by the fully developed Chippendale book-plates of Richard
Caryer and Joseph Pocklington. In each the crest is placed on a
miniature representation of the shield, which contains the arms. Of the
debased Chippendale book-plates, of which we have had to speak, it is
hard to select examples for particular reference, for they are sadly
numerous, and seem to vie with each other in ugliness and vulgarity; the
prize may, however, be claimed by 'C. Eve', who, conscious, perhaps, of
the atrocity he was committing in using such a book-plate, makes an
attempt at disguising his name. To describe his plate is nearly
impossible; suffice it to say that, built on to the frame are sundry
stages on which a variety of pastoral scenes are depicted, and that any
beauties which the floral embellishments might in themselves possess are
effectually obliterated by overcrowding.

Before Chippendaleism had died out, another marked style in English
book-plates had already come in, and was getting to be generally
adopted. We will call this the 'Wreath and Ribbon' or 'Festoon' style,
and probably one of the earliest examples of it is that figured
opposite, which shows us the book-plate of George Lewis Jones, Bishop of
Kilmore, dated in 1774. There is a good deal of grace in these 'Wreath
and Ribbon' book-plates. The shield is again symmetrical, and of a shape
that a shield might possibly be; the flowers and leaves that decorate it
are for the most part still left free and unconfined, and even when
woven into festoons they are somewhat less conventional than those which
compose the festoons of the Jacobean period. These festoons, and a
labyrinth of floating ribbons, were intended to compensate for the loss
of the shelly border and its adjuncts of the 'Chippendale' style.

Just in the same way as the Chippendale book-plates very closely
resembled in their decoration the furniture with which Chippendale
filled the fashionable drawing-rooms of his time, so in their turn those
designed in what we have christened the 'Wreath and Ribbon' style very
closely resembled the decoration which Thomas Sheraton suggested for
contemporary furniture. This the reader may see for himself, if he will
turn to Sheraton's work, _The Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer's Drawing


I do not know that there are many examples of the 'Wreath and Ribbon'
book-plates which call for special attention. Though several are pretty,
there is a strong family likeness between all. Perhaps the most
conspicuous is that of 'John Symons, Esq^{r}.' In this, prettily drawn
cherubs, descending from the sky, hold the corners of a mantle, which
surrounds the shield. The book-plates of 'Sir Thomas Banks I'Anson, of
Corfe Castle, Dorset'; of the 'Rev. George Pollen'; and of 'John
Holcombe, New Cross,' are useful for comparison, on account of the
engraved dates which they bear--1783, 1787, and 1799 respectively;
whilst that of 'Robert Surtees, Mainsforth,' is interesting both from
its possessor, the historian of Durham, who was also its designer, and
from its unusual hatched background.

By degrees the festoons of flowers and entanglement of ribbons were
discarded, and the shield, similarly shaped, appeared destitute of
ornamentation. The helmet was omitted, and the 'wreath' on which the
crest should properly rest was placed, in a meaningless way, the
fraction of an inch above the upper line of the shield, and entirely
without support. After this, quite early in the nineteenth century, and
during its first fifteen or twenty years, there came into fashion a
design in English book-plates which we may term the 'Celestial' style.
In this the shield is depicted as suspended in mid-air, with a
background of sky or clouds, or else resting upon a cloud-built bank. It
gave the designer very slight opportunity for the display of artistic
taste; had it done so, the opportunity would probably have been
neglected, for the designers and engravers of book-plates in this style
were men of whom the world at large knows nothing. The shield, in
book-plates of the time of which I am now speaking, was entirely
without ornament, and of this shape--


The helmet was seldom introduced, so that the crest was placed in the
same absurd position as that just described. The shield figured above is
a fair specimen of that in vogue between 1810 and 1830. From the latter
date to within a few years ago, the arms, in the majority of English
book-plates, were represented in a more ornate shield. The helmet was
reintroduced, and from it fell a slight mantling, somewhat similar to
that which appears in our earliest examples. It is hardly necessary to
indicate any particular specimens designed in these last-mentioned

Before closing this chapter, I ought, perhaps, to say a word about
Scotch and Irish book-plates. It cannot be said that in these there was
ever a style distinctively national. The style fashionable in England at
a particular time was also fashionable in Scotland and in Ireland; yet
there is a perceptible difference in the way in which its details were
carried out, especially in Scotland. In Edinburgh there were several
book-plate engravers, and their work possesses a characteristic
touch;[6] the 'Simple Armorial' style is rendered much more stiffly, and
the shield is often round. 'Jacobean' book-plates are very uncommon, but
the 'Chippendales' are an odd mixture of that style as we know it in
England and the 'Jacobean.' The presence of a helmet and mantling in a
'Chippendale' book-plate engraved in Scotland is not unusual, and the
shield is always very soberly placed. I do not know of a 'Library
Interior' plate that hails from north of the Tweed; but, if one ever be
discovered, depend upon it no Cupids will frolic there. A few Scotch
book-plates are, perhaps, emblematic; that is, display emblems of the
possessor's art or trade. Dr. John Bosworth's, in which are figured the
staff of Æsculapius, a cock, a serpent, and an owl, is an instance of
this; but allegory is almost unknown. No mythological figures sit among
the floral decorations of Scotch Chippendale book-plates, as they do so
frequently in later Chippendale work in England. The only instance that
I can call to mind of the introduction of figures at all into the
decoration of a Scotch book-plate, is that of 'Birnie of Broomhill'
(_circa_ 1715), reproduced opposite, and in this the figures are sombre
enough,--two ministers of 'the kirk' kneeling at their desks. Irish
book-plates have even less individuality than Scotch, and are chiefly
recognisable by the coarseness of their work, and their dark printing.



[6] A list of some Scottish book-plate engravers, compiled by Mr. J.
Orr, is printed in the _Ex Libris Journal_, ii. p. 41.



IN the last chapter I spoke of the leading styles followed in designing
English book-plates, in, as far as possible, chronological sequence,
though the reader will have noticed that such styles overlapped each
other, often by a considerable number of years. Concurrently with these
distinct styles, or with nearly all of them, there are to be found many
English book-plates which may be appropriately called 'picture'
book-plates, and which may themselves be divided into two classes: those
which, quite apart from the heraldry upon them, show things unreal, or
combinations of things real and unreal; and those which, apart from the
heraldry, show things wholly real. Let us speak, first, of the former of
these divisions--'Allegoric' book-plates we will call them.

The collector will soon discover that in England allegory formed at no
period, except, perhaps, in the days of Bartolozzi and Sherwin, a really
national style in book-plates, but rather an occasional fancy indulged
in by a particular individual here and there. Whilst in France
book-plates on which was displayed allegory, and the wildest allegory,
were actually abundant, in England they are decidedly rare; and it is
indeed interesting to see how our English artists set to work when
called upon to design them.

So far as I am aware, the earliest example of an English Allegoric
book-plate as yet brought to light, is that of Thomas Gore of Alderton,
which is fully described on p. 34. This may be dated somewhere about
1675, and was, as the signature shows us, the work of a Dutch artist,
Michael Burghers; so that we may, perhaps, regard the allegory upon it
rather as the outcome of Michael's brain than the carrying out of
instructions given him by a Wiltshire squire!

The date of the next English book-plate I have noticed, in which
allegory is introduced, is also the work of a foreigner,--a
Frenchman,--Louis du Guernier, who, at the age of thirty, came over from
Paris in 1708, and who died here in 1716. Soon after his arrival he
executed a book-plate, decidedly foreign in appearance, for Lady
Cairnes, wife of Sir Alexander Cairnes of Monaghan. The Cairnes arms,
impaling Gould, are on a round shield in a scaly frame; this is placed
on steps, at the back of which is classical masonry. The shield is kept
from falling by three cupids,--two seated and one standing,--whilst two
flying ones hold aloft a ribbon bearing the owner's name, thus: 'Lady
Elizabeth Cairnes.' She was a sister of Sir Nathaniel Gould, so that her
description on the book-plate as 'Lady' is clearly wrong; she should
have been called 'Dame.' The error arose, most likely, from the
engraver's imperfect knowledge of English titles,--a very general
stumbling-block to foreigners. The book-plate is an exceedingly pretty
piece of work. There is some of the Jacobean scale work used in it which
English engravers were beginning to introduce into their designs; but
the employment of allegory is certainly the most striking feature it
possesses. I do not know of any other book-plates executed by Louis du
Guernier while in England, and probably the people of this country were
not yet quite prepared to confide--as Lord De Tabley puts it--their
family escutcheons 'to the care of Minerva or the Delian Phoebus

But though Michael Burghers's somewhat unbeautiful allegory may not have
pleased Thomas Gore or his other English clients in 1675, nor the
prettier allegory of Louis du Guernier have generally commended itself
to people in this country in 1710, allegory, if not in the work of these
artists, was bound sooner or later to come into fashion on English
book-plates, seeing that it was, and for long had been, fashionable
across the Channel. There have been few outbreaks of disease on the
Continent that have not infected this country,--at all events, slightly.
The foreigners whom the foreign king, on his arrival in England in 1688,
brought with him engendered foreign ways and foreign fashions at Court,
and these ways and fashions were in turn adopted by people who did not
go to Court, and that is how allegory crept into the book-plates of the
rank and file of Englishmen.

The first English engraver, born and bred, to execute an Allegoric
book-plate was John Pine, himself a man of letters, and one with whose
features Hogarth has made us familiar. In 1736 he was employed to design
and engrave a book-plate to place in the thirty thousand volumes of
Bishop Moore's library, which George I. had bought, in 1715, to present
to the University of Cambridge, but which were not suitably housed till
1734. No doubt Pine was fully impressed with the munificence of the
gift,--a mass of volumes which the heavy-headed king would have never
opened had he kept, and never understood had he opened them. His task
was to design a book-plate commensurate with the royal munificence, and
he probably considered he had been equal to the occasion when he
produced what we see opposite the next page. Lord De Tabley's words so
accurately describe this pompous production, that I will quote them:--

'The design represents a vast structure, rather like an ormolu
chimney-piece clock, of which the arms of the University of Cambridge,
in a plain, solid frame, represent the face. Behind this towers up a
vast pyramid, on which the brick work is distinctly marked. As dexter
supporter stands Phoebus Apollo in person, reaching out a wreath. A
clouded sun rays out behind him. At his feet are deposited samples of
the book collection of late so munificently bestowed. As sinister
supporter sits Minerva with helm and spear and Gorgon-headed shield. Her
feet are wrapt in cloud. In the centre of the bracket, beneath these
gods, is inserted a medallion portrait of royal George, reading round
its exergue, _Georgius D.G., MAG. BR. FR. ET HIB. REX F.D._ This is
flanked by a laurel and a palm branch.' Pine--who had submitted proofs
of this book-plate before August 1736, for at that date he offers to
make George's portrait more accurate--engraved four sizes of this plate.
The design is similar in three, but in the fourth, and smallest, the
artist evidently felt that, in so limited a space, he could not do
justice to Apollo and Minerva, and discreetly omitted them. He signs
this smallest plate in full, 'J. Pine, Sculp.'

There may now be seen at Cambridge, in many of the books which George I.
presented, book-plates which at first sight appear to be modern
impressions from Pine's plates, but, on examination, prove to be copies,
though not exact copies, of Pine's work, and on these the signature is
'J. B.' The late Mr. Henry Bradshaw discovered that these copies were
the work of John Baldrey, a Cambridge engraver, at the close of the last
century. At the time that he was working for the University, a large
number of the volumes given by George I. required re-binding, and, as
Pine's plates were worn out or lost, Baldrey was commissioned to execute
a copy of the earlier design, in order to supply a book-plate for the
re-bound volumes.


Very soon after the 'Munificentia Regia' to Cambridge in 1715, the
loyalty of Oxford to the 'illustrious House of Hanover' was seriously
doubted, and the King sent a squadron of horse into the city, whereupon
an Oxford 'varsity wit composed the following epigram:--

    'The King, observing with judicious eyes,
     The state of both his Universities,
     To one he sends a regiment;--For why?
     That _learned_ body wanted _loyalty_;
     To th' other books he gave, as well discerning
     How much that _loyal_ body wanted _learning_.'

Which drew from a champion of Cambridge the reply:--

    'The King to Oxford sent his troop of horse,
     For Tories own no _argument_ but _force_;
     With equal care, to Cambridge books he sent,
     For Whigs allow no _force_ but _argument_.'

Though much later in date than the design just noticed, it may be as
well to mention here another book-plate--also 'Allegoric'--which, was
engraved by John Pine. This was executed by him from a drawing by
Gravelot, for Dr. John Burton, about the year 1740. It shows us the
interior of a library, presumably the doctor's, with a couple of cupids
supporting a shield bearing the Burton arms. This design, which was
subsequently appropriated by 'Wadham Wyndham, Esq.,' as his
book-plate,[7] is a very 'slight' affair after the Cambridge plate; but
Pine no doubt possessed a fitting sense of the difference to be observed
in designing a book-plate for a mere Doctor of Divinity and in
commemorating the gift of a royal donor.

After John Pine, the next designers of English book-plates in the
Allegoric style are both famous men,--William Hogarth and George Vertue.
We will speak of the works of the greater man first: they consist of two
undoubted book-plates and of a few more possible ones, and were executed
quite at the outset of Hogarth's career, say, about 1720. The first is
described as done for the books of John Holland, herald painter. Minerva
is seen seated among cupids, four in number, with her hand placed upon a
shield bearing the family arms. The chief interest in Hogarth's other
undoubted book-plate--that of George Lambart, the landscape painter, one
of Hogarth's convivial crew--lies in the female figures, which sit right
and left of the shield. It is figured over leaf, from the copy in Sir
Wollaston Franks's collection, which is the only original example known
to exist--other copies are from the plates in Ireland's work, and bear
his initials. The collector is cautioned against certain plates signed
'W. H.,' which have been attributed to Hogarth, but are in reality the
work of William Hibbart, a Bath engraver, working about the middle of
the eighteenth century.


Turning now to the work of George Vertue in designing English Allegoric
book-plates, we come to a very beautiful and very interesting example,
which was probably engraved in, or very soon after, 1730--the book-plate
of Henrietta, Countess of Oxford. I have already called attention to
this engraving in speaking of old-time allusions to book-plates (p. 14),
and do not here intend to do more than make passing reference to it,
since I have spoken fully of it later on in what I have to say about
'ladies'' book-plates (pp. 186-199). It is only mentioned now in order
to give a reference to it in its proper chronological position.

We have now to travel for some distance along the road of time before
coming to another example of allegory on an English book-plate.

We find it, in 1740, on a plate which one J. Skinner engraved from a
design by 'T. Ross.' This is really a very beautiful book-plate, as its
reproduction (p. 83) shows. A shield--the shape and ornamentation of
which is Chippendale--bearing the Wiltshire arms, is placed upon a
platform and against a cippus, or small monumental column; Shakespeare
stands on the right, and listens, with a pleased expression, to the
music of a rustic piper, whose head appears at the back of the cippus,
whilst, on the left, Pope weighs the eloquence of an orator, whose head
and upraised hand also appear from behind the cippus. A medallion of
Augustus is on a pedestal above. Lying on the platform are a globe and
books and many emblems of the painter's and musician's arts, and amongst
these sits Cupid thinking, perhaps, with which he will play next, and
holding the end of a ribbon inscribed: 'John Wiltshire, Bath, 1740.' The
design is certainly original, and makes us interested as to the identity
of the owner.

It is quite possible that we have here not only an interesting
book-plate, but the book-plate of an interesting man. When Gainsborough,
the painter, moved to Bath in 1760 he found that the 'Pickford' of the
day, who had the carrying trade of the Bath road, was no ordinary
carrier, but a man of taste and culture, and ready to do anything he
could to help art and artists. He was a certain John Wiltshire, and
before Gainsborough had been long a resident at Bath he was Wiltshire's
fast friend, and in the enjoyment of a very tangible proof of
friendship: for Wiltshire carried to London, _gratis_, every picture
that Gainsborough needed to send thither. Not a penny would he take for
carriage. 'No, no,' he would say, when the painter's modesty led him to
protest against such generosity, 'I admire painting too much for that.'
No doubt he did, and it must be said that, in return for his goodness,
Gainsborough gave him many a charming bit of work on which to feast his
eyes. Let us hope we have before us the book-plate of this 'kind of
worthy man,' as Allan Cunningham called him, who loved Gainsborough and
admired his works.


Of course the plate is twenty years earlier than the commencement of
Gainsborough's residence at Bath and of his friendship with Wiltshire;
but what of that? Wiltshire had been, likely enough, a lover of things
beautiful and the owner of books, long before; there is no necessity for
imagining that his was a sudden conversion to a self-sacrificing love
for art, produced by intimacy with Gainsborough.

Another interesting English book-plate, in which allegory plays a part,
is that, also by J. Skinner, of William Oliver,[8] doctor of medicine,
philanthropist, and inventor of biscuits. It is, judging from the form
of the engraver's signature, of about the same date as the Wiltshire
book-plate. The shield, bearing the Oliver coat-of-arms, rests upon a
platform on which stand two figures, as in the example last described;
but instead of these figures being representative of the drama and of
literature, they are an ancient and a modern medical practitioner: the
former, perhaps, even the god of medicine himself. This was quite
appropriate, for Oliver, though a man of cultured tastes in varied walks
of life, and one who might have appropriately committed the care of his
family escutcheon to the allegoric representatives of many arts, was
first and foremost a doctor of medicine. The modern doctor is arrayed in
cap and gown, and stands on the left of the shield, with hand
outstretched towards his fellow of old time. Below the platform, on a
triangle, is a club, around which the serpent of Æsculapius entwines


Oliver's life lasted for hard on seventy years--1695 to 1764; after
settling at Bath and commencing practice, his rise to fame was
remarkable for its rapidity, and, as quite early in his career he busied
himself with hospital building, hospital management, and other good
works, he soon made for himself a number of enemies amongst his
fellow-practitioners less capable and less energetic than himself. As a
physician and philanthropist he is now forgotten; as the inventor of a
biscuit he is remembered--for the 'Bath Oliver' still holds its own
against the multitude of modern competitors, and is still--so the makers
say--prepared from Dr. Oliver's original receipt. That receipt he
confided, when on his death-bed, to his coachman, giving him £100 in
money and ten sacks of the finest flour wherewith to continue the
production of the then already popular biscuits. With the money the
coachman opened a shop in Green Street, Bath, and so got together a
comfortable fortune. Of Skinner, to whom we owe these two plates, we
shall have more to say presently (pp. 203-212), in referring to the
engravers of English book-plates.

Ten years after the Wiltshire plate comes our next distinctly Allegoric
book-plate, engraved by a second-rate engraver for 'John Duick.' I have
not seen this plate, but Lord De Tabley, whose word-pictures are always
good, thus describes it:--'Apollo with a broad ray effect round his
head, playing the lyre to the nine Muses, who are grouped around him;
the musical ones also assist in the concert with various instruments.
Below are clouds, above them appear the abrupt cliffs of Helicon, with
Pegasus launching himself into the air therefrom; the fountain
Hippocrene, tapped by his galloping hoofs, descends the cliff-side in a

Allegory also appears in the two book-plates engraved by Sir Robert
Strange about the middle of the eighteenth century; those of his
brother-in-law, Andrew Lumisden, secretary to Prince Charlie, and of a
Dr. Thomas Drummond. The circumstances under which the former was
engraved have been already referred to (p. 11). It is a sombre
book-plate, showing us, before a dark background, a slab with a bust at
either end; 'Cupid' plays on the ground before the centre of the slab;
the Lumisden arms are on a shield that lies in the left-hand corner; and
a heavy curtain hangs over the upper part of the design, which is signed
'_R. Strange, sculpt._'

Dr. Drummond's book-plate (see p. 89) is a less heavy, but not so
finished a production, and is drawn by T. Wale: Aurora soars at the top
of the design, and with her left hand pulls aside a curtain, thus
disclosing a view of the doctor's library. In the centre is placed a
table covered with cloth, except at the right-hand corner; here the
drapery is raised so as to display the ornate workmanship of the
table-leg. On the cloth are a number of books, some music, and a flute;
before the table a globe, and, leaning against that, a violoncello. The
general decoration of the room is classical, and busts and statues are
introduced, though not with sufficient detail to be recognisable. In
Aurora's right hand is a flaming torch, held in dangerous proximity to
the curtain.

After the date of these two plates comes another long interval--twenty
years or so--before we reach the next truly Allegoric book-plate
designed in England. We then find a decidedly graceful piece of work. A
hooded Sibyl, seated at the foot of a pyramid, peruses attentively an
open volume. She leans her cheek upon her right hand, whilst the left
rests upon the book. A caduceus, against which rests a shield of arms,
lies at her feet. The whole is contained in an oval wreath of berried
laurel. Below is written: 'E libris Joh[=i]s Currer de Kildwick, Arm.'
This book-plate was afterwards altered for 'Danson Richardson Currer, de
Gledston, Ar[=m],' and an inferior copy was used by a certain R. H.
Alexander Bennet; this is a much commoner book-plate than the Currer--in
either form.


Of much the same date is the far less graceful representation of
allegory, which appears on the book-plate of 'T. Gascoigne, Parlington,
in Yorkshire.' Here we have a representation of what, we must presume,
is the interior of the Parlington Library; but neither 'T. Gascoigne,'
nor yet any other eighteenth century Yorkshire gentleman, is tasting the
sweets of his literary collection; the library is tenanted by a couple
of mythological females, of such substantial forms that Lord De Tabley
thinks they must represent two Yorkshire damsels masquerading, one as a
muse and the other as Apollo. The muse writes down either notes or words
from Apollo's dictation. Columns support the roof of the library, and in
a niche in the wall stands a small statue of Minerva. If Mr. Gascoigne
obtained the services of some Yorkshire relatives to stand as models for
the figures on his book-plate, he probably did so when they were in town
for the season, for the work is signed by a Bond Street engraver.

About the year 1775, English Allegoric book-plates became more numerous,
and the allegory upon them assumes a grace in conception and execution
not before known. Cipriani, Bartolozzi, and his pupil Sherwin, were
showing Englishmen how allegory could be represented on book-plates
without being clumsy and ridiculous, and the lesser artists were
imitating their work with more or less success.

One of Bartolozzi's earliest book-plates was executed for Sir Foster
Cunliffe, Bart., the descendant of a very famous Liverpool merchant. The
Cunliffe arms appear in mid-air, resting upon a bank of clouds; two
exquisitely drawn cherubs support the shield, over which is folded
drapery. The cherub on the dexter side is seated, and holds a caduceus
in his right hand. The one on the sinister side is furnished with two
trumpets, and is blowing that in his left hand. On a medallion above the
shield is the Cunliffe crest, with the motto _Fideliter_. The plate,
which was afterwards altered for Sir Robert H. Cunliffe, Bart., is, in
all probability, Cipriani's design, for that artist signs his name as
designer of an almost similar book-plate for Jean Tommins, which was
engraved by Ford several years before. A very coarse imitation of the
design was also used by Thomas Anson of Shughborough, who intrusted the
imitation to Yates.

Sir Foster Cunliffe was a grandson of Foster Cunliffe, King Charles the
Second's godson, the Liverpool merchant, who, according to Foster's
_Lancashire Families_, 'became not only the first man in Liverpool, but
was supposed to have a more extended commerce than any merchant in the
kingdom, and declined all solicitations that he should represent
Liverpool in Parliament.'

The remarkably large example of Bartolozzi's work which has often been
described as the book-plate of George III., does not appear ever to have
been used as such. In the previous edition of this book I alluded to it
(at p. 67) as, possibly, a gift to the King, in which, at the expense of
utility, Bartolozzi sought to display his gratitude to, and admiration
for, the sovereign, under whom he had come to reside; it does not,
however, seem that Bartolozzi intended the engraving for a book-plate at
all, but designed it for the title-page of a folio volume, issued in
1792, which contained engravings of thirty-six statesmen of the reign of
Henry VIII., from drawings by Holbein. I will give a short description
of the engraving in question, so that it may be more easily recognised
by the collector, if offered to him as a book-plate. It shows us the
arms of England, as borne by George III., prior to the Union with
Ireland, upheld in mid-air by three inhabitants of the skies. Above the
shield a fourth celestial being is flying, and at the same time holding
aloft His Majesty's crown. On the left side of the plate is the figure
of Fame, who, on a long trumpet placed to her lips, is evidently giving
a sonorous blast. This is perhaps the most uncomfortable part of the
design, for the whole weight of this somewhat massive young lady is upon
the shield, which we have said is in mid-air, and only supported by
three cherubs, whose united muscular powers strike one as totally
inadequate to bear the burden imposed upon them.


In 1796, Bartolozzi, then a Royal Academician, executed his most
beautiful book-plate. It is inscribed 'H. F. Bessborough,' and was made
for Lady Henrietta Frances Spencer, who, in 1780, married Frederick,
third Earl of Bessborough. The design shows us a Roman interior with an
exquisitely drawn Venus, seated, and holding in her left hand--which is
uplifted--a burning human heart, and in her right, a dove. Behind her is
a vase of flowers. The other inmates of the room are two cupids, who
hold above the goddess a long scarf bearing Lady Bessborough's name. The
design is Cipriani's. Besides his signature and that of the engraver,
there is also on the book-plate, 'Published Dec. 30, 1796, by F.
Bartolozzi.' It will be remembered that in 1735 Hogarth, by his own
exertions on behalf of his brother artists, managed to get an Act
through Parliament--a body that then probably cared little for art or
artists--by which designers and engravers obtained a copyright in their
own works; and it is a singular testimony to the popularity of
Bartolozzi's work, that on so trivial a work as a book-plate it was
found necessary to adopt this formula of publication. By the kindness of
the Hon. Gerald Ponsonby, I am enabled to state that Bartolozzi's
receipt for this 'ticket plate,' as he calls it, bears as its date the
29th December 1796, the day before the date of 'publication.' It is
noteworthy that Bartolozzi received £20 for his work. The book-plate is
given on the previous page.

Quite distinct from this 'joyous' book-plate is another, executed by the
same artist for a Spanish lady, which we may class as English, since it
was no doubt engraved by him in England. Isabel de Menezes, the lady for
whom this book-plate was designed, was, as she tells us on it, in the
seventy-first year of her age. Allegoric figures disporting themselves
in youthful frolic would, perhaps, have been out of keeping on the
book-plate of a lady at that sombre time of life, and so the designer
has run to the other extreme. Gloominess predominates in this
book-plate. A partly ruined square-built tomb is erected on a promontory
above the sea; briars and other creepers have grown round it and had
covered it, till the kneeling female figure drew them down in order to
place upon the tomb a commemorative inscription. Beside the figure is a
Cupid, who points to the newly-cut words. It has been thought that this
may have been designed for a visiting card; it is quite in the fashion
of such things at the date, and it is likely enough that Isabel de
Menezes used the plate both as a card and as a mark of ownership for
her books.

There are, besides those described, a number of English book-plates
which in style much resemble Bartolozzi's work. If they are his, they
probably date before 1796, for the adoption of the publication formula,
before noticed, makes it improbable that he executed any work, whilst in
England, that he did not thus protect. After his departure from this
country, he produced, from a drawing by Signeira, a book-plate for Sir
Thomas Gage, Bart., of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk. In this, a female figure
sits upon a stone, against which is a plain shield bearing the Gage
arms. The plate is signed 'Bartolozzi, Lisbon, 1805.' There is a
distinct resemblance in this book-plate to that which was engraved,
either in 1786 or 1787, for Richard Hoare, eldest son of the Lord Mayor
of London. He was created a baronet in the former year, and died in the
latter. In this we have a seated female, classically draped, who rests
her left elbow on a cippus, on which is engraved a shield bearing the
arms of Hoare. Richard Hoare married the heiress of Stourhead, and his
son was Sir Richard Colt Hoare, the famous antiquary and author. The
date at which this plate must have been executed, 1786 or 1787, does not
allow the absence of the engraver's name and formula of publication to
tell against the work being Bartolozzi's; his fame was not then so
great, and he found it less necessary to protect his engravings from
piracy (see p. 197).

Beautiful as are Bartolozzi's book-plates, it cannot be said that his
capabilities as a designer or an engraver are demonstrated in these;
works of a larger kind showed forth his talents far more.

So, then, allegory at length came to be almost popular with English
book-plate owners, and various lesser artists--Henshaw, Roe, Pollard,
and some others--produced it in imitation of Bartolozzi, with only
indifferent success. But before ending this chapter, we must say
something about the book-plate work of Bartolozzi's chief English pupil,
John Keys Sherwin. In 1773, the year after he gained the Royal Academy's
gold medal for drawing, he executed an extremely pretty Allegoric
book-plate for John Mitford of Pitt's Hill. It represents an infant
Neptune, with his trident, seated on a large shell, which is upon the
back of a sea-horse. Young Neptune's drapery forms a graceful canopy,
and he supports in his right hand a small shell, which displays the
Mitford arms and crest. A dolphin, spouting water in fountain-like
sprays, swims by his side. There are two states of this plate, one
having the arms incorrectly shaded: both are signed by Sherwin.

In closing our remarks on English book-plates, designed after this
fashion, notice--though only a passing one, for it is spoken of fully
later on--must be taken of the charming book-plate which Agnes Berry
designed in 1793 for her friend Mrs. Damer. I mention it here only to
associate it in the reader's mind with 'Allegoric' book-plates.

So much for allegory on English book-plates. It is to the credit of
Englishmen that Allegoric work did not become popular until something
really artistic in this particular style was produced, and that, even
before that time, allegory never ran quite so wild on English
book-plates as it did on foreign examples. M. Poulet Malassis assures us
that into one French book-plate of the last century were crowded the
whole _personnel_ of Olympus!


[7] The design has been more recently used by Thomas Gainsford.

[8] William Oliver's plate from _Bibliographica_, vol. ii. p. 434.



IN turning now to consider English book-plates which show us, apart from
the heraldry upon them, things wholly real, we find much that is
interesting. First, we have 'Portrait' book-plates, those which, either
combined with heraldry or entirely without it, show us the features of
the owner of the volume. There are but few of such book-plates, but they
are so interesting that we shall speak of them by themselves later on
(pp. 216-220); they are common to all periods, and the fashion of using
them has increased lately.

Then we have book-plates in which books themselves--book piles or book
shelves--are the predominating feature in the design; with these, Sir
Arthur Vicars, in the pages of the _Ex Libris Journal_, has dealt
exhaustively. Though the book-plates which show us library interiors
would seem naturally to come into this class of examples, I have been
forced to except the majority of them, and to speak of them in the
previous chapter, as being in nearly every case at least tinged with
allegory. Even in the _sanctum_ of a doctor of divinity, Cupid frolics
about as happy, and as busy, as in a maiden's boudoir. Still there are a
few 'Library Interiors' entirely free from allegory. Take, for instance,
the book-plate of Sir Robert Cunliffe. Here we have the interior of a
library with a window to the right. Every ornament is thoroughly
'Chippendale' in character; the legs of the table, the cartouche (which
contains the name), the shield, and the woodwork surrounding the window.
On the table is a globe, upon a stand, the supports of which terminate
in Chippendale scrolls, an inkstand with a pen on it, and two books, one
closed, and the other open. There are numbers of books confusedly
disposed on the shelves, the ceiling of the room is plain, and there is
only a plain line for a cornice. The arms occupy the centre of the
plate, and appear to be suspended in mid-air, the foot of one of the
scrolls only resting on the table.

Again, the book-plates of 'The Manchester Subscription Library,' 'The
Manchester Circulating Library,' and 'The Rochdale Circulating Library'
all show interiors of libraries, but free from allegoric inmates. These
three book-plates are nearly identical. There are shelves of books at
the sides, a tiled floor, a table in the foreground, a panelled ceiling
with a cornice; and, at the end of the room, perhaps a passage. There is
a round arch containing a window of three lights, the centre one having
a round top. The general appearance of the room is classical Very
similar is the book-plate of the Liverpool Library. Here we have a
complicated Chippendale bookcase, with ten columns upon square bases,
and ornamental capitals of no particular style. The shelves are filled
with books, and the two central divisions of the bookcase are all
cupboards. In the centre of the case, among Chippendale scrolls, is the
crest of the town, and below the central division of the bookcase are
the words 'Liverpool Library' in two lines. Below the whole is a large
cartouche, in the same style as the rest of the plate, inscribed,
'Allowed for reading . . . . days. Forfeiture, . . . d. per day.' Mr.
J. Paul Rylands, in his interesting _Notes on Book-Plates_, tells us
that this library, now the Lyceum, was founded on the 1st of May 1758;
the book-plate was, no doubt, engraved soon afterwards, as all the
ornamentation introduced is certainly 'Chippendale.' So, too, is that on
the book-plate engraved by John Pine in 1750, which the Benchers of
Gray's Inn used for their volumes. Here a shell-shaped shield, bearing
the arms of the 'Learned and Honourable Society,' is apparently fastened
on to a background of book-shelves filled with books. So much for the
'Library Interiors.' The arrangement of the volumes in the other
book-plates in which books form the chief feature of decoration, is
generally like that shown opposite in the book-plate of William Hewer, a
Commissioner of the Navy, and the friend and secretary of Samuel Pepys.
How the scroll, on which are either the owner's arms or his name, is
supported, is not clear.


The book-plate of Sir Philip Sydenham, dated 1699, when he was, as he
tells us, twenty-three years of age, offers another interesting example
of the Book-Pile design; Sir Philip shows us his coat of arms on the
face of the scroll, on the lower roll of which, in very small letters,
is written the inscription. Apparently neither this nor any of his other
book-plates completely satisfied him, for during the remaining forty
years of his life he had more than half-a-dozen different plates
designed, and nearly all of these are found in various 'states.' There
are, Mr. Fincham tells me, some sixteen varieties of Sir Philip's
book-plate; many of his books are now in Sion College Library. In the
book-plate of White Kennett, who filled the See of Peterborough from
1718 to 1728, we see how the emblems of episcopacy are treated when
introduced into book-plates of this type. White Kennett had other
book-plates; the rarest and earliest, engraved when he was at college,
is in the 'Simple Armorial' style. These 'Book-Pile' plates appear at
intervals down to the close of the century, and the style has been
recently revived by book-plate designers; it is simple and certainly
appropriate. The approximate date of each example may be generally
gathered from the shape of the shield containing the arms, or the style
of decoration around it.

We have yet to speak of by far the most numerous class of those English
book-plates, which may be properly brought into our second division of
'Picture' book-plates--I mean the examples which represent upon them a
landscape, either real or imaginary. The real landscapes represented
have, of course, some direct reference to the plate; being a view,
either of the owner's house, his park, his parish church, his town or
village, of some particular spot in the immediate vicinity of his
residence, or of some incident connected with his career or
occupation--be it business, profession, or pleasure. For instance,
Horace Walpole, in one of his book-plates, shows us a view of his
'Palace of Varieties' at Strawberry Hill (see p. 106). Again, Thomas
Gosden, the angler sportsman and collector of angling literature,
introduces into his book-plate all sorts of angling and sporting gear,
even to a capacious whisky flask. 'The Hon^{ble} Robert Henry Southwell,
Lieut. 1st Regiment of Horse, 1767,' flanks his shield with various
kinds of military weapons and trophies; whilst 'Captain William Locker,
Royal Navy,' shows us the swelling bosom of a man-of-war 'foretop
gallant' sail, on which is figured his coat of arms.

We will speak first of those book-plates on which the landscape is real,
and we will call them 'View' plates. Probably the earliest of these is
the very interesting one (see p. 105), which was engraved by Mynde about
1770 for the Library of the Public Record Office, then in the Tower of
London; here we have a remarkably faithful representation of the
historic building. The date at which the Tower book-plate was probably
engraved adds to its interest. Plates in this style hardly appear at all
before 1778 or 1780, and do not become common till five or six years

The book-plate of 'Peter Muilman of King S^{t.}, London, and Kirby Hall,
Castle Hedingham, Essex,' is one which, I think, may be classed among
'View' plates, since the ruins depicted on it have certainly the
appearance of having been sketched from the remains of some feudal
stronghold, perhaps from Castle Hedingham itself. In front of the ruins
is a wooded lawn, on which two robust cupids are wrestling for the
Muilman escutcheon. Kirby Hall is not shown: no doubt this was a
comfortable Georgian house round the corner, where Peter and his family
spent their summer holidays away from the bustle and smoke of King
Street. Presumably, the ruins of the castle were left standing in the
park for ornament's sake, to give a tone of feudalism to the Muilman
domain, whose owner, save by his book-plate, is not known to fame. The
plate was engraved by Terry of Paternoster Row, probably about 1775, so
that this again is an early example of its kind.


Among other notable specimens of these 'View' book-plates may be
mentioned that which Pye, a Birmingham engraver, executed for 'T. W.
Greene' of Lichfield. Here we have an oval-shaped shield, bearing the
arms of Greene, resting against a tree-stump. In the distance is a
river, and Lichfield Cathedral. Later on, Pye engraved a very similar
book-plate for another Lichfield man--an attorney named Nicholson, who
went to live at Stockport. This shows Nicholson's residence on the
margin of a sheet of water. The arms rest against a shattered oak-tree.
A local view--one of Darlington--also appears on the book-plate of
George Allen, who describes himself as of that town.

Collectors are wont to reckon as the most interesting example of a view
book-plate the vignette of Horace Walpole's house at Strawberry Hill,
with his arms hanging on a shield from a withered tree. Mr. Wheatley,
however, who is inclined to attribute the design to Walpole's friend,
Bentley, has suggested (_Bibliographica_, vol. iii. p. 88) that the
vignette was never used as a book-plate, but was exclusively reserved as
a kind of printer's device for the adornment of the books printed at the
Strawberry Hill Press. Sir Wollaston Franks has four varieties of the
vignette, one engraved on wood and three on copper; and I have certainly
seen at least one of them doing duty as a book-plate, but whether
rightfully or not it is impossible to say.

Modern examples of View book-plates were, till quite recently, rare. One
of the quaintest is furnished by that used by the late Dr. Kendrick of
Warrington, and engraved for him in 1855; here we have a view of the
doctor's town as it was in 1783 and a picture of a 'loyal Warrington
Volunteer' of 1798. Quite a useful historical print!

Now let me say a word about the Picture book-plates on which the
landscape is a fancy one. Prominent amongst these is that of 'Gilbert
Wakefield,' which shows us a pretty scene: a stag stoops to drink from a
rivulet that trickles through a wood. Very much later in date is a
charming vignette, representing a rock, over which a stream of water
trickles and sparkles as it falls into a pool below. Ferns and flags
grow in the pool. The book-plate belonged to Joseph Priestley, and on
that account we mention it after Wakefield's. Priestley was quite as
bitter a Dissenter and as ardent a controversialist as Gilbert
Wakefield, though it is more as a man of science that most people
remember him. His name is so intimately associated with Birmingham
politics at the time of the French Revolution, that the fact of his
book-plate being engraved by a Birmingham man--it is signed 'Allen sct.
Birming^{m}'--becomes the more interesting, and enables us to assign the
engraving to a marked period in the owner's life--the time when his
friendship with Lord Shelburne began to cool, and when, settling down at
Birmingham, he began work on his _History of the Corruptions of
Christianity_. James Yates, who edited Priestley's collected works, used
the same book-plate, after altering the name upon it.

Another delightfully rural scene is depicted on the book-plate of 'John
Hews Bransby.' His motto reads, _Breve et irreparabile tempus_; and he
shows a rustic landscape, in which the figures represented have
evidently learnt the truth of the assertion. The sower scatters seed,
the ploughboy is engaged with his team,--all are making the most of
their time, yet there is no sign of hurry or bustle. The day is fine,
but clouds hover in the sky. On the left, a cottage nestles in the
trees, and the smoke from its chimney tells of the housewife within
preparing a meal for those who are earning it by their labour without.

So much for landscapes having direct reference to the book-plates on
which they appear. Often, however, the landscape is purely a fancy one,
as that on the book-plate of Gregory Louis Way. A river flows through
fields, and beside it sits an armour-coated knight, who is either
wearied with the fight, or bowed down by the fickleness of his lady. His
shield rests beside him, and on it are depicted the arms of Way. The
moon sheds upon the scene what light she is able, but the sky is
overcast and stormy.

I must not close this chapter without reference to the book-plates
produced by Thomas Bewick, many of which are familiar enough--as
examples of Bewick's art--to those who know little about book-plates,
and do not collect them. His are certainly for the most part 'Landscape'
plates; but I do not know whether to class them with these examples of
'View' book-plates, or with those which I have christened 'Fancy
Landscapes.' They were chiefly engraved for northern book-owners, but
one can hardly say that the particular bit of scenery on each--though,
doubtless, in most cases drawn from nature--has any special
applicability to the owner. I will therefore speak here of Bewick's
book-plates as forming a class by themselves. His first was prepared for
Thomas Bell, and is dated 1797, so that it is inaccurate to speak of
Bewick as the originator of the Landscape style in book-plates; he found
the style already followed by many engravers, and his taste and skill
brought it to perfection. The Bell plate is not uncommon, as the books
for which it was engraved were sold in 1860. It shows, in the foreground
of a landscape, an oval shield, inscribed 'T. Bell, 1797,' and resting
against a decayed tree. In the distance are trees, and above them rises
the tower of St. Nicholas's Church, in Newcastle--a favourite object
with Bewick. It is also introduced by Ralph Beilby into the book-plate
of Brand, the antiquary.

Out of the hundred or so book-plates designed or engraved by Bewick, it
is difficult to know which to select for comment; but from the interest
which attaches to its owner, that of Robert Southey (figured on p. 111)
suggests itself. Here we have a rock, thickly crowned with shrubbery,
from which a stream of water falls into a brook below. Against the face
of the rock leans an armorial shield, bearing the Southey arms--a
chevron between three crosses crosslet. On the ground to the right of
the shield, and in contact with it, is the helmet, supporting on a
wreath the crest--an arm vested and couped at the elbow, holding in the
hand a crossed crosslet. Across the sinister chief corner of the shield,
and trailing thence to the ground, is thrown the riband bearing the
motto _In labore quies_. The date of the book-plate is probably about

Not only Newcastle itself, but the whole line of country along the river
thence to Tynemouth, seems to have been Bewick's sketching ground, and
many of his sketches he used for book-plates. Jarrow and Tynemouth
itself were particularly favourite spots. Of the latter place his views
were mostly taken from the sea, and afford us delightful pictures of
water, shipping, and the ruins of Tynemouth Priory. The book-plate of
'Charles Charlton, M.D.,' is one of these.


A great many of the ordinary bits of landscape which Bewick used for
book-plates he afterwards utilised as tailpieces for various books
illustrated by him. The book-plate of the 'Rev. H. Cotes, Vicar of
Bedlington, 1802,' which shows us the reverend gentleman busily engaged
in fishing, doubtless a favourite sport with him, is an instance of this
diverted use; but in this case we know the history of the plate. Mr.
Cotes had practically edited the artist's second volume of _British
Birds_, and, as a slight return, Bewick prepared for him the book-plate
in question; but, owing to a subsequent quarrel, the artist never gave
the parson the block, turning it instead to his own account.

There are a great many more copper-plate book-plates by Bewick than is
generally supposed. One of the most elaborate is that of 'Buddle
Atkinson,' which represents a bubbling trout-stream, into which an
angler casts his line: in the foreground is a crest enclosed in a
shield. Other copper-plate work by Bewick is found in the book-plates of
'Edward Moises, A.M.'--a shield of arms, with books, pens, artists'
tools of all kinds, and musical instruments; 'James Charlton' and 'A.
Clapham'--Tyneside scenes; 'J. H. Affleck, Newcastle-upon-Tyne'--a
shield of arms, in the midst of flowers and foliage; 'Tho^{s} Carr,
Newcastle'--a spring of water flowing from a rock; and some few others.

Examples of the more unusual designs in Bewick's book-plates, _i.e._
those in which scenery is not depicted, are found in the book-plates of
'John Anderson, St. Petersburgh'--a sportsman on horseback, which was
afterwards utilised as a vignette in _British Birds_; 'Mr. Bigges'--a
figure of liberty; 'Alex^{r} Doeg, shipbuilder'--a just-completed ship,
still standing on the stocks; and several others, which simply show the
shield of arms and owner's name.

One reason why Bewick was so successful as an engraver of book-plates
lay in the fact that his ability was most conspicuous in a small design.
The work of such men as Hogarth or Bartolozzi seems cramped when it
appears on the small scale which alone a book-plate can admit; but with
Bewick, the smaller the size of the scene he desired to represent, the
greater was his skill in introducing into it both originality and



I HAVE said that the use of book-plates, whether as commemorative of
gifts or as marks of ownership, originated in Germany. Here, well before
the close of the fifteenth century, we find at least three undoubted
book-plates, examples of which have survived until the present day, and
have recently been discovered fulfilling the function for which they
were originally intended.

Fastened to the cover of an old Latin vocabulary was discovered the most
ancient of these book-plates. It is printed from a wood-block, and is
rough in execution. It shows us a hedgehog carrying a flower in its
mouth, trampling over fallen leaves; above is the inscription, '_Hans
Igler, das dich ein igel kuss_.'


Following, in point of date, closely after this curious book-plate,
comes a small woodcut, representing an angel who holds a shield, on
which is displayed a black ox, with a ring passed through its nose--the
arms of the Brandenburg family. A written inscription beneath it states
that the book for which it was intended, and in which it was found,
belonged to Hildebrande Brandenburg of Biberach, who presented it to
the Carthusian monastery of Buxheim, of which he was a monk. This
book-plate, which is rudely coloured, is struck off on scraps of paper,
printed on one side; a curious illustration of the then scarcity of that
material. Oddly enough, another very early book-plate--probably of
almost the same date as the last--was also found in a book which
belonged to the same monastery, and which had been given to it by
Wilhelm von Zell. This book-plate also is anonymous; but the volumes
that contained it, as in the last case, bear a written inscription,
recording the fact that they belonged to the monastery in question, and
were the gift of the person whose arms are figured in the book-plate

From the fact that two of the three known fifteenth century book-plates
are connected with the monastery at Buxheim, it would seem as if the use
of a book-plate commended itself to the librarian of that monastery, who
commemorated the gifts of volumes by a book-plate bearing the donor's

In the sixteenth century, German book-plates became numerous, and of
their beauty there can be no doubt. There is a difficulty, however, in
accepting many of the early armorial woodcuts which one finds; and it is
this: Suppose the example is no longer doing duty in a volume as a
book-plate, there is really no means of being assured that the cut of
arms is a book-plate at all; for very many of these plates are void of
any inscription, save perhaps a text or motto. Some of these
book-plates are probably the work, or from the design, of Albert Dürer.
He certainly produced some undoubted examples; the earliest, actually
dated, in 1516. This is the Ebner book-plate (see p. 119). The
inscription on this leaves us in no doubt as to its intended use: 'Liber
Hieronimi Ebner, 1516.'

Eight years after completing the Ebner plate, Dürer engraved on copper a
Portrait plate of Bilibald Pirckheimer, a Nuremberg jurist of some note,
who became councillor to Maximilian I., and was the owner of a library,
whose subsequent history has been told in 'Books about Books' by Mr.
Elton in his _Great Book Collectors_. Now this Portrait plate, which is
dated 1524, was undoubtedly used by Pirckheimer as his book-plate. There
are plenty of known instances in which it may be still found fastened in
at the end of a volume. Whether or not it was intended for any other
purpose than that which I have here mentioned, we cannot say, for it
bears no inscription expressing its use. However--very possibly at the
same date--Dürer designed for Pirckheimer what was, without doubt,
intended for a book-plate, since it bears the inscription, 'Liber
Bilibaldi Pirckheimer.' This is, in many instances, found on the front
cover of volumes which also contain the book-plate last described
fastened on the back cover.

It is a very striking book-plate. A strangely large helmet, on which is
placed an equally large crest, surmounts a pair of shields. The dexter
one bears the arms of Pirckheimer--a _birke_ or birch-tree; whilst the
sinister bears those of his wife, Margretha Rieterin--a crowned mermaid
with two tails, each of which she holds in her hands. Pirckheimer's arms
show the curious punning heraldry of the time, the _birke_ being, no
doubt, a playful allusion to the jurist's name. Clasping the helmet are
two angels. On either side of the shield is a large cornucopia
apparently filled with grapes and vine leaves, and amongst these stands
a smaller angel holding one end of a heavy festoon, the other end of
which is fastened to a ram's head, the centre of the design. Angels,
apparently at play, are also represented below the shield. Examples of
this plate are not uncommon in English collections, many of
Pirckheimer's books having passed into the Library of the Royal Society,
and some of these having been sold as duplicates, when they were bought
up by collectors for the sake of the book-plate. Sir Wollaston Franks
points out to me that there is yet a third variety of Pirckheimer's
book-plate, which is signed 'J. B. 1529,' and is not the work of Dürer.


The book-plate of Hector Pömer, provost of the Church of St. Laurence at
Nuremberg, dated in 1525, is also ascribed to Dürer, though it is signed
with the initials 'R. A.' This signature is probably that of the artist
who cut the design upon wood, for it is now maintained that Dürer
himself only made the drawings for the woodcuts known as his; the
mechanical operation of cutting being handed over to assistants. The
Pömer plate is the earliest dated book-plate which bears a signature
either of the designer or the engraver.

The size of this really fine example of early wood-engraving is 13
inches by 9. On the principal shield in the design we have what are no
doubt the arms of the monastery, the gridiron of St. Laurence,
quartering those of Pömer. The gridiron is on the first and fourth
quarters, whilst the second and third contain what is heraldically
described as _per bend sable (?) and argent, three bendlets of the
first_. We say 'sable,' because the dark mass which the artist has here
shown is probably meant to represent this, but any dark colour may have
been intended, as I have already endeavoured to show (see p. 23). These
last arms are very probably Pömer's, for, in one of the small shields
which appear in each of the four corners of the design, they occur
again--the other three shields being most likely filled with arms
quartered by the Pömer family. The helmet surmounting the principal
shield is without wreath, and the crest is a demi-nun. The motto, 'To
the pure all things are pure,' is given, as in other of Dürer's
book-plates, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. In charge of the shield stands
St. Laurence himself, dressed in a monk's garb, and holding in his right
hand the instrument of his martyrdom, and in his left the palm of
martyrdom. The nimbus appears around his head. The beauty of the design
is apparent at the first glance, and it becomes more apparent as we
look into it.

Dr. Hector Pömer was the last Prior of the Abbey of St. Laurence in
Nuremberg. To him Erasmus gave a copy of his edition of the works of St.
Ambrose, issued from Froben's press. That very copy is in the possession
of the Rev. H. W. Pereira, and in each of the two thick volumes in which
the work is contained is Pömer's book-plate. One is struck with the
exquisite detail and treatment; as Mr. Pereira says, in describing the
plate, the expression and figure of St. Laurence is full of sweetness
and tender pathos.

The list of 'Armories' by Dürer, as printed by Bartsch in vol. vii. of
the _Peintre-Graveur_, gives us some twenty examples, any of which may
have been used as book-plates. Some idea as to whether or not an early
armorial plate is really a book-plate may, however, be gained by taking
its measurement. A very large engraving should be regarded with
suspicion, though not necessarily rejected as a book-plate on account of
its size. Sir Wollaston Franks possesses a magnificent book-plate,
measuring no less than 14 × 10 inches, which is at this moment still
fulfilling its original functions. This is certainly the largest example
yet discovered. It has been known to collectors for some time in what
was believed to be a perfect state, but the copy just mentioned shows
that what was thought to be the whole was in reality only a portion of
the design, since it lacked the elaborate framework, which is richly
embellished with weapons and ensigns, as well as with musical
instruments of every description. This book-plate belonged to Count
Maximilian Louis Breiner, a distinguished official of the Emperor of
Austria in Lombardy. A striking feature in it is the introduction, above
the arms of the owner of the plate, of those of Austria, surmounted by
the imperial crown, supported by a couple of cherubs. Both the design
and engraving are the work of Giuseppe Petrarca, who probably produced
them during the closing years of the seventeenth century.


Quite in a distinct style from the other German book-plates mentioned is
that figured opposite, which may be dated about the year 1530. It is
interesting from its owner, one Paulus Speratus, an ardent preacher of
the Lutheran doctrine at Augsburg, Württemberg, Salzburg, and Vienna,
and afterwards Bishop of Pomerania, who proved himself ready to undergo
suffering in the cause he imagined to be right. He was born in 1484, and
died in 1554. The shading in the arms is very peculiar, expressing as it
does, on the first and fourth divisions of the shield, _argent_ and
_vert_ at a period, as we have seen, long anterior to the use of lines
or dots to express the metals or tinctures in heraldry. An explanation
is no doubt to be found in the fact that the artist only intended to
represent some light colour in the shaded parts, in the same way as in
the second and third divisions of the shield he desired in the thickly
inked parts to represent _sable_. The book-plate is now preserved in a
copy of the Psalms translated into Russian by Francis Skorina, and
printed at Wilna about the year 1525. The peculiar inscription on this
book-plate is referred to on p. 166.

We have spoken somewhat fully about these early examples of German
book-plates, because, both from the fact that they are the earliest
known to us, and that several of them are the designs of Albert Dürer,
they have a very special interest. Space precludes the possibility of
alluding in detail to later German examples, though they are, many of
them, exceedingly beautiful specimens of the engraver's art, as indeed
they may well be considering the men who engraved them--Lucas Cranach,
Jost Amman, Hans Troschel, Wolffgang Kilian of Augsburg, and the uncle
and nephew Giles and Joseph Sadeler.

Let me, however, speak very tersely of a few examples of the productions
of these artists, in order that the reader's attention may be attracted
should he come across a specimen of their work.

Two woodcuts by Lucas Cranach have certainly been used as book-plates,
though not designed by the artist as such, for they both appear among
other cuts in a work illustrated by him. Sir Wollaston Franks possesses
both varieties. In one, we have a half-length figure of St. Paul. He is
seated, and reading a book, the lines of which he follows with his
finger. His head is surrounded with the nimbus, whilst a shaggy beard
nearly covers the face. The right hand holds a double sword with the
points upwards; beneath this is the shield of the Elector of Saxony.
Above the upper line of the plate is an inscription, showing that it was
intended to mark the volumes belonging to the 'preachership'
('Predicatur') at Oringen. The other woodcut by Cranach is very similar
in design, but the figure represented is that of St. Peter, and it bears
the inscription 'Stadt Orngau.'

It is worth remarking that in one instance at least, on removing the
book-plate portraying St. Paul, a smaller hand-drawn book-plate was
found, which consisted of a shield half red and half white, and upon it
a key, placed in pale, countercharged. There is no inscription on this
book-plate, nor is there any margin shown--the paper being cut close to
the design.

Jost Amman is another German artist who leaves us in a difficulty as to
deciding as to which of his many armorial engravings were really
intended for book-plates. One undoubted book-plate by him, however,
exists, and this was designed for a member of the Nuremberg family of
Holzschuher--'Wooden shoes.' Wooden shoes, or sabots, appear as charges
on the shield, and afford another example of the punning heraldry which
was then fashionable in Germany. This is a fine book-plate, engraved on
copper, and signed 'J. A.'; its size, 7-3/4 × 6-1/8 inches. The shield
is supported by two angels and a lion.

Hans Sibmacher or Siebmacher was another Nuremberg engraver; he worked
there quite at the close of the sixteenth century and in the early years
of the seventeenth. He also executed a book-plate for a member of the
Holzschuher family. This is a more elaborate piece of work than Amman's,
though smaller (4-1/2 × 3-3/8 inches). Its characteristic feature is a
closely-woven wreath of leaves, with clusters of fruit and ornaments
introduced at intervals. Seated on this wreath, at the top of the
design, are two reading cherubs clothed in 'nature unadorned.' Below the
design is an oblong and indented bracket.

Hans Troschel's work as a book-plate engraver is illustrated by the
book-plate of yet another Nuremberg man--John William Kress of
Kressenstain, dated in 1619. In this we are shown a shield set in an
oval wreath of leaf-work. The helmet which surmounts it displays some
elaborate work; finely-cut mantling extends itself from this on the
right side and on the left; and above is a cornet, which encircles the
crest. The whole is enclosed in a circle of leaves and berries, somewhat
similar to that just described in speaking of Sibmacher's work; but
outside this, at each of the four corners of the plate, are small
shields surmounted by helmets and crests, and containing the arms of the
four families from which he immediately descended, their names being
given. Nestling amongst the mantling on the left side of the design is a
distinct shield, on which are depicted the arms of Susanna Koler, wife
of the owner of the book-plate.

Wolffgang Kilian (born 1581, died 1662) was an Augsburg man, and the
book-plate which bears his signature and the date, 1635, is that of an
Augsburg church dignitary--Sebastian Myller, suffragan-bishop of
Adramytteum, and Canon of Augsburg. In its ornamentation it bears some
resemblance to an English Jacobean book-plate. Above the shield is the
head of a cherub, on which the episcopal mitre is made to rest in a
somewhat comical manner; the cherub's wings protrude over the top of,
and into, the shield. The inscription is contained in an oval band;
outside this is an oval leaf-wreath, and outside this again an indented
frame. Wolffgang was a younger brother of the more noted Lucas Kilian.
Both brothers studied at Venice, and were pupils of their stepfather,
Dominick Custos, who was himself a designer of book-plates.

Of Giles Sadeler's work--the Count of Rosenberg's book-plate--I shall
speak directly (pp. 130, 131). An example of his nephew's engraving is
afforded by the book-plate of Ferdinand von Hagenau, dated in 1646.

In later times--the eighteenth century--other distinguished German
artists 'stooped' to book-plate engraving. Amongst them was Daniel
Nicholas Chodowiecki (the son of a Dantzig drug merchant), born in 1726.
Chodowiecki is best known as a book-illustrator, in which his great
knowledge of costume--at a period when the point was little
studied--stood him in good stead. His book-plates are probably few; only
four or five are known. One of the most elaborate in design is that of a
German doctor of medicine, dated in 1792, nine years before the artist's

In this example much of the sensational style of the generality of his
work manifests itself. 'The book-plate,' says Lord De Tabley, 'in its
motive reminds us much of those allegoric framed certificates of
membership which various sick clubs and benefit societies accord to
their members at the present day. In the foreground, Æsculapius is
pushing out a skeleton draped in a long white sheet, with a scythe
across its shoulder. The god is sturdily applying his serpent-twined
staff to the somewhat too solid back of the terrible phantom. Behind,
beneath a kind of pavilion, lies a sick person in bed; his hands are
upraised in silent thankfulness as he watches the prowess of the healing
deity.' The book-plate was engraved for Dr. C. S. Schintz. Besides this,
Chodowiecki engraved, about 1770, a book-plate for himself, and, about
ten years later, one for the French seminary at Berlin.


The book-plate of Dr. Schintz calls to mind a somewhat earlier German
example, engraved by Boetius from a design by Wernerin (whose signature
appears on some varieties of the plate), about the middle of the last
century. It is figured opposite, and is perhaps the most gloomy
book-plate that it ever entered into the mind of man to conceive. A
skeleton sits upon a coffin, or a coffin-shaped tomb, holding in his
right hand a pair of scales, and in his left a scythe; in the lighter
balance of the scales is a scroll, bearing the inscription, 'Dan. v. 25,
_Mene Tekel_'; in the background we see monuments, Lombardy poplars or
cypress-trees, and a distant landscape. This uninviting picture is
contained in a frame, inscribed, in a medallion above, 'E Bibliotheca
Woogiana,' and below, _Nominor â libra: libratus ne levis unquam
Inveniar, præsta pondere, Christe, tuo_,--a motto in which the owner
makes a play upon the derivation of his name from _wage_, the German for
a weight or balance, and asks the bestowal of divine weight on the day
of soul-weighing.

As compared with German book-plates, those of other countries are sadly
deficient in artistic composition. The former, particularly examples of
the seventeenth century, are ornate and well designed.

Take, for instance, the really magnificent book-plate of Peter Vok,
Ursinus, Count of Rosenberg, dated '1609.' It is engraved on copper, and
measures 10 inches by 6. In a central circular medallion, 3-2/3 inches
in diameter, is depicted the owner, arrayed in armour, and seated on a
richly caparisoned war-horse, plumed, and going at full speed across a
landscape of hillocks. On his breastplate is an escutcheon bearing his
arms; a knight's sword is in his hand. Round the margin of the medallion
runs a wreath of roses. Platforms come out on either side of the
medallion, and on each of these there stands a figure about 5 inches in
height; the one on the left is a female symbolical form, clad in flowing
drapery, and holding in one hand the cup of the Eucharist, and in the
other a cross. A somewhat similar figure stands on the right, holding in
her hand a tablet, inscribed _Verbum Domini manet in eternum_.

The medallion rests upon two bears--an allusion, of course, to the
family name of the owner, _Ursinus_--crouching between the two female
figures described. The face of the altar-like platform below is divided
into one central and two lateral compartments, of which the side ones
project forward. On the right lateral slab is an escutcheon, charged
simply with the Rosenberg rose; whilst on the left we see the family
arms, as on the breastplate, but surmounted with an ermine-faced crown.
On the central slab is a skull resting on two shin-bones.

Reaching across the upper portion of the design is an oblong tablet,
with indented shelly scroll-work edges, and a background border of large
full-blown roses, with thorny stems. With the inscription, which is
appropriately pompous, I need not trouble the reader; but I have thought
it worth while to give here (following Lord De Tabley's example, and
using sometimes his words) a very full verbal picture of this truly
magnificent book-plate, in order that the pitch of elaboration to which
a German book-plate can be carried may be understood. Suffice it to add
that this work of art was engraved by Giles Sadeler, the Antwerp-born
engraver, who, after studying in Italy, was invited by the Emperor
Rudolph II. to enter his service at Prague; in short, to become what he
styles himself in his signature to this book-plate--'Engraver to His
Imperial Majesty.'

Less elaborate, yet very beautifully engraved, are the book-plates used
in the Electoral Library of the Dukes of Bavaria at Munich. On one,
dated in 1618, the largest variety of which is 7 inches high and 5-1/2
broad, we have the arms of the Duchy enclosed by the collar of the
Golden Fleece. Winged Caryatides support the Electoral crown, whilst
below is an arabesqued platform, on which is the inscription: _Ex
Bibliotheca Serenissimorum Utriusque Bavariæ Ducum_, 1618. A smaller
variety of this plate is figured opposite. Some twenty years later, a
still larger and more ornate book-plate (10 × 7 inches) was designed for
use in the same library. Here the arms are in an oval frame, surrounded
by the Golden Fleece; on the right and left are inverted cornucopiæ, and
the crown is held aloft by four cherubs. All the book-plates of this
library exist in a great variety of design, and nearly all the varieties
are found in different sizes.


These examples are typical of many other German book-plates; the
conception of the design is excellent, and its working out is equally
good. In later times, the work on book-plates perhaps deteriorated,
because it fell, to a large extent, into inferior hands. Yet Germany
can show several very creditable examples in the eighteenth century.
Some of those which give the view of a library interior are decidedly
pleasing; they appear soon after the commencement of the century. The
libraries represented have usually one or more mythological inmates;
but, in one instance, the owner is in possession, and is seen hard at
work amongst his volumes.

In concluding this chapter, it may be noted that examples of
name-tickets are found in Germany as in other countries. Perhaps the
earliest is one (first noticed, I believe, by Mr. Weale) in a copy at
the Bodleian Library of a German Psalter printed at Augsburg in 1498.
This reads, 'Sum Magistri Georgii Mayrii Monacencis' [_i.e._ of Munich],
with the motto, 'Melius est pro veritate pati supplicium, quam pro
adulatione consequi beneficium.' The same inscription has been written
in ink on the title-page, with the added date 1513, and afterwards--no
doubt a few years later when the label was printed and placed in the
book--crossed through.

The most complete work on German book-plates that has yet made its
appearance is Herr Warnecke's _Die Deutschen Bücherzeichen_, Berlin,
1890; but a work properly classifying the different styles of German
book-plates, and affixing to these styles covering dates, has yet to be



FRANCE, so far as a generally descriptive account of her book-plates is
concerned, is certainly more fortunate than her neighbour Germany.
French book-plates received attention, in the shape of a capital work
upon them, before those of any other country were similarly honoured. M.
Poulet Malassis's _Les Ex libris Français_ made its first appearance in
1874, and bears evident testimony to the fact that the author had for
many years previously made an attentive study of his native book-plates.

Since the appearance of M. Poulet Malassis's work, book-plate collecting
in France, as well as in other countries, has been vigorously carried
on, and earlier examples of dated French book-plates than those then
known have come to light. The most ancient of these is one dated 1574
(the same year, it will be noted, as that of the plate of Sir Nicholas
Bacon), but it is simply typographical, having no kind of design
whatever. It reads: 'Ex bibliotheca Caroli Albosii E. Eduensis. Ex
labore quies.' No Armorial book-plate bearing an engraved date appears
in France until thirty-seven years later, when we, at last, meet with
that of Alexandre Bouchart, Vicomte de Blosséville, engraved by Léonard
Gaultier, and, in the copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale, dated 1611. A
variety of this book-plate, undated, unsigned, and probably not by the
same hand, exists in the collection of Sir Wollaston Franks. The field
in the Bouchart arms is gules, though the lines shown in the engraving
of the undated plate would, according to the present system, represent
it as azure (see remarks on this point at p. 22). After the Bouchart
book-plate, we have, in 1613, that of Melchior de la Vallée, Canon of
Nancy, given by M. Poulet Malassis as dated in 1611, and then, in 1644,
a roughly-executed anonymous book-plate signed 'Raigniauld Riomi, 1644.'
The arms are untinctured, and leaflike mantling falling from the helmet
surrounds the shield; there is no crest. Raigniauld--or, as the modern
spelling of the name is, Regnault--is not a known engraver. Riomi is an
old-fashioned town of Auvergne.

Other French book-plates of the seventeenth century, both dated and
undated, exist; but France is undeniably behind Germany both in the
number of her early book-plates and in their beauty; for instance, we do
not in France find those numerous book-plates of ecclesiastical
corporations which so much swell the list of early German examples. The
subject of French ecclesiastical book-plates has, indeed, received
special treatment from Father Ingold, himself a French ecclesiastic; and
he is compelled to admit that such book-plates are not numerous and not
ancient. The old way seems to have been for the monastic official in
charge of the convent library to inscribe each volume with some
appropriate inscription. These are in themselves interesting; but
book-plate lovers must regret the existence of the fashion. The earliest
French ecclesiastical book-plates belong to the middle of the eighteenth
century, and, like the 1574 example already noticed, they are mere
typographical labels, possessing little more artistic merit than is
usually displayed in a post-mark.

With regard, however, to the book-plates of ecclesiastical individuals,
the case is different; some of them engraved during the seventeenth
century are ambitious and interesting. A particularly quaint example is
found in the book-plate which an Annecy engraver, named Sinton, executed
for Charles de Sales, the energetic labourer in the cause of religion,
brother of St. Francis de Sales, and his successor in the Bishopric of
Annecy. Lord De Tabley thus describes the book-plate:--'The family arms
are shown in a shield, which appears very gigantic, in a frame of heavy
curves, which is set in the centre of a huge sideboard-like monumental
structure. On the top ledges of this, two full-grown, long-skirted
angels, seated right and left, uphold the episcopal hat (with its usual
knotted ropes and tassels) in air above the escutcheon.

'At the base of the structure, to the right, appears a figure of St.
Francis de Sales, seated, holding an olive branch in one hand, while
beneath his other arm is a profuse cluster of fruit. To the left, also
seated, is a portrait of St. Jane Frances De Chantal, holding a
palm-branch, also with fruit beneath her other arm. Each portrait is
realistic, and not in the least flattered. Between them is a medallion
bearing the crossed papal keys.'

The probable date of this very curious book-plate is 1642. It appears
earlier, but this may be accounted for by the fact that the work is
provincial. Students will do well to remember that provincially executed
book-plates, English or foreign, are often misleading in this respect.

There is a somewhat elaborate book-plate, engraved in several sizes, and
dated in 1692, which introduces the cardinal's hat, mitre, and crozier,
and which was prepared to place in the books given by Dr. Peter Daniel
Huet to the Paris Jesuits. Huet is himself an interesting figure in
French literature. In 1670 he was made tutor to the Dauphin, and whilst
so employed he assisted in bringing out the sixty-two volumes of
classics, specially prepared for his pupil, known as the _Delphin_
edition. He became Bishop of Avranches in 1689, but ten years after
resigned his see in order to devote the remainder of his life to
literature, which he did, completing amongst other voluminous works a
defence of the doctrine of Christianity.


It is from their possessors that French book-plates derive their chief
interest; and these possessors are for the most part persons who lived
at a late date. Amongst the few early celebrities is the soldier-poet of
France, Francis de Malherbe, of whom it has been said that he was as lax
in morals as he was rigid in his zeal for the purity of his native
language. His book-plate is figured at p. 25, and is interesting as
showing that no reliance can be placed on lines, apparently expressing
the colour of the shield in early Armorial book-plates (see pp. 21-22).
He died in 1628. The books containing this very pleasing book-plate
passed after De Malherbe's death to Vincent de Boyer, in whose family
they remained till the Revolution; after that they were dispersed.

Coming to later times, we find a charming book-plate, engraved by Le
Grand for the unfortunate Countess Dubarry. Her books were well chosen
and well bound, but they were few in number; hence her book-plate is
rare, but it may be seen in the library at Versailles, where most of her
books are preserved. Though she could not read, she seems to have felt
in duty bound to follow 'La Pompadour' in getting together a library to
amuse her royal master.

From the book-plate of the countess--a woman who, after aiding in the
general degradation of the French court, was willing to risk her life
for those whose downfall she had in a measure assisted in bringing
about--we may appropriately turn to that of Cardinal Maury; the
inscription on which reads: _Bibliothèque particulière de son Eminence
Mgr. le Cardinal Maury_. This book-plate calls to mind a famous figure
in the French Revolution,--a fervent preacher, the spokesman of his
fellow-clergy before those who were but little inclined to listen to
argument; the calm-minded man, who would turn round and give a witty
retort to a cry raised by the mob which followed through the streets of
Paris, clamouring for his blood.

The mention of these names leads one naturally to speak generally of
book-plates engraved about the time of the French Revolution,--a period
which is immortalised in a singular manner on French book-plates. M.
Poulet Malassis remarks that many a noble library owner took good care
to alter his book-plate in those troublesome times, and to replace the
coronet which had surmounted the family escutcheon by the Phrygian cap
of liberty. For instance, the Viscount de Borbon-Busset in 1793 changed
his Armorial book-plate to a simple inscription--in which he calls
himself 'Citoyen François'--surrounded by a leafy garland. The same
fashion is exemplified even in clerical examples. Father le Mercier in
his first book-plate displays the coronet which he either was, or at
least considered himself to be, entitled to bear; but between 1789 and
1792 we find a second example of his book-plate, with a simple
decorative finish to the top of the design in lieu of the coronet. At
that time there was in France, as Mr. Walter Hamilton puts it, 'an
awkward fashion of putting heads accustomed to coronets under the
falling knife of the guillotine.'

As far as the classifying of the leading styles in French book-plates
goes, M. Poulet Malassis does not really help us much; and we cannot but
hope that ere long some enterprising French collector will undertake the
task. There is certainly, as M. Poulet Malassis observes, a
resemblance--as the reader will see by turning back to the illustration
of De Malherbe's book-plate--between the style of the first French
book-plates and that of the first English; and it is noteworthy that the
style disappeared in both countries much at the same time. Again, French
book-plates of 1720-1730 bear distinct traces of what we have called
'Jacobean' work in speaking of English examples.

The French _Rococo_ book-plate is really analogous to our 'Chippendale.'
There is, however, a greater variety both of subject and treatment in
each French style than one finds in England.

Allegory is, as I stated in Chapter iv., more frequent and more wild in
French book-plates than in those of England. The follies of his own
countrymen in this respect are fully recognised by M. Poulet Malassis,
who, in most amusing style, deals with some of the more pronounced
examples; as for instance the rollicking allegory displayed in the
book-plate of M. Hénault, President of the French Academy. The date of
this remarkable production may be fixed at 1750; it is designed by
Boucher and engraved by Count de Caylus, and we see that Minerva has
honoured M. le Président by placing his family arms upon her shield.
Very wonderful, too, is the book-plate of the Abbé de Gricourt, whose
arms are borne heavenwards by a vast company of angels. This example,
which is approximately of the same date as the last, is the work of the
Abbé's brother, A. T. Ceys, who was himself an ecclesiastic. Often the
allegory displayed has allusion to the owner's business or his tastes,
as on that of M. Gueullette, a French novelist and dramatist of the
first half of the last century, the popularity of whose writings,
although those writings are numerous, has not outlived him. This
book-plate is the work of H. Becat, and is inscribed after the
Pirckheimer manner, 'Ex libris Thomæ Gueullette et Amicorum.' The family
arms are supported by an Italian harlequin, a Chinese mandarin, a
Cyclops holding an infant, and a Tartar. Now the presence of these
strange inhabitants of a book-plate is accounted for thus. Gueullette
wrote farces for the Paris stage, and he also wrote 'Contes Tartares'
and 'Les Aventures du Mandarin Fum Hoam.' Below the shield water pours
from a satyr's mouth into a basin containing a mermaid, and above soars
Cupid in clouds, bearing aloft a scroll and motto. This, says 'W. H.' in
the _Ex Libris Journal_, is probably one of the earliest book-plates on
which appear allegoric allusions to its owner's tastes and literary

The _Typical_ or _Personal_ book-plate is also found in France in that
of the Chevalier de Fleurieu, described by Mr. Egerton Castle. During
the _ancien régime_ he was a naval officer, who, whilst still low in the
service, was intrusted with the testing of various new marine
appliances. On the book-plate we get the bird's-eye view of an island,
on which are strewn the said marine appliances, and behind them stands
the Chevalier's coat of arms.

A recent writer on French book-plates, M. Henri Bouchot, goes so far as
to think a book-plate may be of service as exhibiting a man's character.
It may be so with regard to Frenchmen and French book-plates, but if
this principle of argument be applied to English book-plates, all I can
say is, that the possessors of English book-plates in the closing years
of the seventeenth century and the opening years of the eighteenth must
have been singularly alike in their personal characteristics!


The 'Library Interior' book-plate is found in France as early as 1718,
in an anonymous book-plate described by Mr. Walter Hamilton in the _Book
Worm_ for May 1892. It shows us, in the background of a library, two men
working a printing-press. In the foreground are five little winged
cupids at play with books and mathematical instruments, whilst a female
figure, representing peace and plenty, appears seated on what Mr.
Hamilton conjectures to be a Pegasus. The engraving is by Bernard
Picart, an eminent engraver, who, though a Frenchman by birth, settled
at Amsterdam in 1710 (he died in 1733) and was evidently much influenced
by the then prevailing style in Dutch art. He executed another very
beautiful 'Library Interior' plate (figured opposite) for Amadeus
Lulin, a Savoyard. Here we have the interior of a French library of the
period, with a curved roof. At the end of the room is a window and
beneath this a Louis XV. table. In the foreground the same cupids 'play
with books,' which, by the way, they are treating exceedingly badly.
Caryatides at the sides form a frame for the plate. On the breast of one
is a sun; the other holds a heart. A globe surmounts each. The arms are
shown in the centre of the design at the top.

Other examples of French book-plates of this kind are found quite late
in the century, and any one who feels specially interested in the
subject of these, and indeed of 'Library Interior' book-plates as a
whole, will do well to study Sir Arthur Vicars's valuable treatise and
lists in the pages of the _Ex Libris Journal_.

About the book-plates of countries other than Germany and France there
is not very much to be said. Sweden has given us an insight into its
native book-plates.[9] Herr Carlander tells us that the earliest date on
a Swedish book-plate is 1595, which occurs on that belonging to Thure
Bielke, a senator who, having mixed himself up in political strife, lost
his head by a stroke of the executioner's axe five years later. Senator
Bielke was evidently far in advance of his fellow-countrymen as regards
such matters; for no other dated Swedish book-plate occurs for a
considerable number of years. In the eighteenth century, however,
Swedish book-plates became much more numerous, and some of the more
prominent native engravers appear to have worked upon them, producing a
few singularly fine examples in the _Rococo_ style; library interiors
also appear occasionally on Swedish book-plates. One of the most
interesting late examples of book-plates of this country is that of King
Charles XIII. On this we have the royal arms of Sweden, surmounted by
the collar and cross of the order of the Seraphim, and the king's motto,
'Folkets wäl mint hogsta lag'--'The people's weal my highest law.' I
imagine that this book-plate may be placed at the close of the last
century. Charles died in 1818.

Swiss book-plates are numerous and early. The first dated example occurs
in 1607. Their general style is not pleasing, since it presents a
stiffness and awkwardness in the arrangement of the decoration. Italian
book-plates, again, possess few remarkable features. Perhaps their
leading characteristic is the extreme coldness of their engravers'
touch. One of these engravers was, however, a famous man, whose work
deserves more than passing mention. I mean Raphael Morghen, the
Florentine artist, who died in 1833, and who is said to have been able
to engrave a plate when he was only twelve years old. It is curious to
turn from his large engravings of the chief works in the gallery at
Florence, to the unusually small work which enables us to reckon him
here among the engravers of book-plates. This is a representation of
the arms of the Duke of Cassano Serra, framed in a shelly frame,
somewhat 'Chippendale' in appearance, but with the stiff, heavy
'Jacobean' wreath clinging closely to it. In a scroll which winds in and
out of this wreath is the inscription: 'Il Duca Cassano Serra'; it is
signed 'R. Morghen f[ecit].'

A careful investigation of the Vatican and other Italian libraries would
probably lead to the discovery of some more papal book-plates. Sir
Wollaston Franks tells me that amongst his numerous engravings of the
papal arms, there is only one which he feels sure was ever used as a
book-plate. The late Sir George Dasent, in _Notes and Queries_,[10]
describes what he considers the book-plate of Maffeo Barberini, Urban
VIII.; but he does not tell us what leads him to the belief that the
engraving is really a book-plate.

About Spanish book-plates not much is yet known, and it seems likely
that the majority of examples usually classed as Spanish were designed
and executed in Flanders. The family of Bouttats--the original Bouttats
had, says Walpole, twenty sons, of whom twelve became engravers--executed
some of these book-plates. Amongst their work is one which Lord De
Tabley styles 'a gloomy yet striking heraldic study'; it is signed 'P.
B. Bouttats, sculp.,' and was probably engraved about the middle of the
seventeenth century. It shows us the arms of a bishop surmounted by a
plumed helmet, above which again is a bishop's hat, with pendent ropes
and tassels; beneath is the motto: 'Por la Leÿ Bezerra ÿ por el Rëy.' A
particularly fine example of Flemish heraldic art is furnished by the
book-plate engraved and signed by J. Harrewyn, of Brussels, and dated
1723; the inscription gives us quite a biographical sketch: 'Messire
Charles Bonaventure, Comte vander Noot, Baron de Schoonhoven et de Mares
&c^{a}; Conseiller de sa Ma^{te} Imp^{le} et Cath^{e} au souverain
Conseil de Brabant par patante du 9 Mars 1713, Reçu aux Etats nobles de
Brabant, fils de Messire Rogier Wouthier, en son vivant Baron de Carloo
&c^{a}; et deputez ordinaire au dit corps de la noblesse des Etats de
Brabant, et de Dame Anne Louÿse vander Gracht, née Baronne de Vrempde et
d'Olmen, &c^{a}.'

Our knowledge of Russian or Polish book-plates is chiefly derived from
the illustrations shown in Monsieur S. J. Siennicki's work, entitled
_Les Elzevirs de la Bibliothèque de L'Université Impériale de Varsovie_.
Here we have some examples of the book-plates both of distinguished
laymen and ecclesiastics. The probability is that none are of an early
date, and they are certainly not conspicuous as works of art. The
Russian style is perhaps the more distinct, though in many respects
resembling the French, especially that shown in the more pronounced
examples of the Louis XV. epoch.


[9] _Svenska Bibliotek och Ex Libris antecknigar af C. M. Carlander, med
84 illustrationer._ Stockholm, 1889, and Supplement, 1891.

[10] Sixth series, vol. i. p. 2.



WHATEVER an American collects, he collects well: he works with a will
and energy that loosens his purse-strings in a manner which makes the
acquisition of valuable specimens a comparatively easy matter. It is
well, therefore, that book-plate collecting has found its way over the
Atlantic, and that there is now a goodly body of American book-plate
collectors who are giving the requisite amount of attention to American
examples, and who are not keeping to themselves the result of their
labours. In the first edition of this book I wrote: 'No doubt, ten years
hence, we shall know a great deal more about American book-plates'; and
already the appearance of Mr. Charles Dexter Allen's[11] interesting and
carefully composed account of them has enabled me materially to improve
this chapter, which I have devoted to them.

The majority of book-plates which bear upon them American addresses,
especially those belonging to the Southern States, many of which appear
with the opening of the eighteenth century, are, without doubt, the work
of engravers in the then mother-country.[12] The library owners of
Virginia sent to England for these book-plates, or their sons ordered
them there, whilst paying the orthodox visit to one of the universities,
and brought them home, either for their own use or for the use of their
fathers. The northern book-plates, though much later, are mostly the
work of artists born and bred, or at least settled, in America.

Foremost in interest and earliest in date of these American
address-plates is that of William Penn, on which he styles himself
'Proprietor of Pensylvania.' This is designed in the ordinary 'Simple
Armorial' style then common in England, and is dated in 1702. It is
therefore subsequent to Penn's last visit to his 'plantation,' and
cannot have been the work of an engraver on that side of the Atlantic.
After his death, the inscription on this book-plate was altered, for his
son's use, to 'Thomas Penn of Stoke Pogeis, in the county of Bucks,
first proprietor of Pensilvania (_sic_).' The expression 'first' must
here be evidently read as 'chief' or 'principal.' The fact of this
alteration is important for collectors to note, as copies of William
Penn's book-plate are frequently offered for sale, which--they are
palpably recent impressions--are said to be struck from the original
plate; a statement which, from the fact mentioned, may be at once

Next in point of date is a much more ornate book-plate, the inscription
on which reads: 'William Byrd of Westover, in Virginia, Esquire.' It is
an elaborate piece of work, excellently engraved in the style of the
majority of English book-plates of 1720 or thereabouts, 'Simple
Armorial,' but with indications of Jacobean decoration. William Byrd was
born in Virginia, 28th March 1694; he was sent to England to be
educated, and returned to his native country, having his mind 'stored
with useful information to adorn its annals, his manners cultivated in
royal Courts,' and with this book-plate, as a mark of his devotion to

The famous Westover mansion, which may to-day be viewed from the James
River, two hours' sail below Richmond, was for long the viceregal Court
of Virginia. It was erected about the year 1678, by William Byrd, who
left England when very young, and was father to his namesake, whose
book-plate has just been described, the author of the famous _Westover
Manuscripts_, compiled in 1732-33.

Some five years before the probable date of the Byrd book-plate, we have
note of that belonging to 'Robert Elliston, gent., Comptrol^{r} of His
Majestie's Customs of New York in America MDCCXXV.' This book-plate is
quite 'Jacobean' in style, and was no doubt executed in England, and
sent out to the colony. It is too fine a piece of work to be the
production of any colonial engraver of that date.

But the interest attaching to book-plates bearing upon them American
addresses, and used by residents in America, is obviously not so great
as that awakened by examples which were also actually produced in
America,--examples which at once give us an insight into the state of
the engraver's art, and of the artistic feeling then existing there.

The earliest of these is the book-plate of the 'Rev. John Williams,'
first minister of Deerfield, Mass., dated in 1679. The next, in 1704,
that of Thomas Prince, an American born and bred, who graduated from
Harvard College in 1707, and paid his first visit to England in 1709, so
that his book-plate may be taken as genuinely American. In design it
resembles dozens of English examples,--a rough woodcut border of
national emblems, within which is the inscription, 'Thomæ Prince Liber,
Anno Domini, 1704'; the sequence of the words in the inscription, the
reader will notice, being somewhat unusual. The Prince Library was
bequeathed to a Society, which became known as 'the New England
Library,' and which itself had a similar label prepared recording the
gift. A part of the collection is now in the Boston Public Library.

But these two examples stand by themselves; it is not until the middle
of the eighteenth century that any number of book-plates of American
execution are found; after that, there are a really considerable
quantity. Their style is not particularly distinctive; it is at first
either Jacobean or 'Chippendale,' or a combination of the two styles;
later, the 'wreath and ribbon,' and landscape and pictorial styles are
introduced and treated much as in England. In execution, American
book-plates are perhaps a trifle coarse. The more prominent of their
engravers seem to have been--Hurd, Dawkins, Anderson, Johnson,
Callendar, Doolittle, the Mavericks, Revere, and Turner. Revere is the
best known; he was a picture engraver of some merit; but for the most
part the names quoted are those of men of little artistic reputation.
Nathaniel Hurd was probably the earliest of these engravers, and not the
worst. He was born at Boston in 1729, the son of an American, who was a
goldsmith in that town. Nathaniel was his father's apprentice; he
devoted himself to working on copper, and so naturally would turn his
attention to book-plates. Probably the earliest example, signed by him
as 'N. H.,' and dated in 1749, was designed for Thomas Dering. This is
the earliest signed and dated American book-plate yet brought to light;
Hurd was barely twenty when he produced it. As a seal and book-plate
engraver he worked hard and well; he died in 1777. One of his most
original book-plates is that of Harvard College. A curiously short and
wide shield, bearing the college arms, is encircled by a band bearing
the inscription, 'Sigill. Coll. Harvard. Cantab. Nov. Angl. 1650.'
Outside this circle are two leaf sprays, tied at the base and nearly
meeting at the top. Both in conception and execution this is a very
peculiar book-plate. The Dering plate, on the other hand, is interesting
as showing how exactly the style of the mother-country at that period
was copied in America. Here we have a pure 'Chippendale' book-plate of
an unpronounced type.

Henry Dawkins (who began life by designing metal buttons) had been for a
long time resident in America, when, in 1754, he engraved the book-plate
of 'John Burnet of New York.' Like the Dering plate, Burnet's is
interesting, and for the same reason; it is 'Chippendale,' but
distinctly _later_ Chippendale, with cupids and other figures
introduced. Dawkins was found guilty of counterfeiting, and begged to be
hanged rather than suffer the imprisonment to which he had been
condemned. Whether or not his request was granted we do not know.

That the heraldry on some of these American book-plates should be
startling, is only to be expected. Take, for instance, the very
interesting book-plate of Robert Dinwiddie, Deputy-Governor of Virginia
from 1751-58, which was probably engraved a few years before the earlier
date. Here we have the shield divided fesse-fashion, and in the upper
and lower divisions landscapes,--the first introducing an Indian archer
shooting at a stag, and the lower a fort or castle with a ship at sea
sailing towards it. Dinwiddie was a good servant to the English Crown
both in Barbadoes and Virginia, and is said, like most successful people
of his day, to be descended from an ancient family, though his immediate
ancestors were Glasgow merchants. We are, however, not asked to believe,
and we should not, if we were, that the arms are more ancient than
Governor Dinwiddie himself, or that they _originated_ elsewhere than in
his mercantile brain, though they may have been legally _granted_ by the
Scotch College of Arms. The plate looks 'Scotch'--it is 'Chippendale,'
and, I suspect, was engraved in the mother-country by a Scotch engraver.
We may date it about 1750.

There are, of course, some American book-plates specially interesting
from their possessors, and foremost amongst them is that of George
Washington. For its description I cannot do better than quote Mr. Allen:
'The arms are displayed upon a shield of the usual shell-like form, and
the sprays and rose-branches of this style [Chippendale] are used in the
ornamentation of the sides of the escutcheon. The motto, _Exitus acta
probat_, is given upon its ribbon at the base of the shield, and the
name is engraved, in script, on the bracket at the bottom of the design.
In general appearance the plate is like scores of Chippendale plates of
the period.' I am sorry to take, somewhat, from the interest which
attaches to this book-plate, by saying that, as I look more closely into
it and study the details of its ornamentation and its execution, I am
convinced it was engraved in England and not in America; it must
therefore be of an earlier date than that attributed to it. I do not
think it is subsequent to 1760. Of course there is a forgery of this
plate, though it was prepared, not because of the value of the
book-plate, but to sell a number of books which were said to have
belonged to George Washington himself, and to have been captured in
Virginia. The fraud was, however, discovered. No doubt these forgeries
are now palmed off as the great man's book-plate. Mr. Lichtenstein's
words about the real book-plate and the sham are therefore important:--

'Original examples are noticeable for their sharp black impressions on
dampened plate paper of a buff colour mellowed by age. Those of the
imitation are printed from a plate which has the appearance of having
seen considerable wear; besides being printed on a dry paper of a thin
quality, and a bluish colour; by its modern appearance it is easily
recognised, the engraving of the name being poorly done.'

I do not know if a series of 'Presidents'' book-plates could be shown to
exist, but Washington's successor, John Adams, certainly used one,
introducing into it a certain number of national emblems. The American
eagle with outspread wings overshadows the whole design.

Of American women, in the early days of independence, only one is known
to have used a book-plate. This lady was Elizabeth Græme, the youngest
child of Dr. Thomas Græme, member of the Provincial Council, and in
other ways a distinguished and wealthy citizen, who owned Græme Park, an
estate lying some twenty miles from Philadelphia. Elizabeth was born in
1737. At seventeen she was engaged to be married, but her engagement was
suddenly--why, we learn not--broken off. To divert her mind, she set to
work to translate _Télémaque_. She carried out the task, but it was
never published, and lies to-day, as she wrote it, in the Philadelphia
Museum. Her next engagement was to a man ten years her junior--a Mr.
Ferguson; him she married, but, her husband taking the Crown's part,
they separated. By the time of her death, in 1801, she had grown needy,
despite the fact that she received money from her literary productions,
which were numerous. Though evidently a staunch Republican, she was the
bearer of the famous letter from the Rev. Jacob Duché to Washington, in
which the writer begged his correspondent to return 'to his allegiance
to the King.' The book-plate, which is, in every way, curious and
interesting, is Armorial.

An interesting point about American book-plates--which illustrates a
distinctive feature in social life there--is the existence of a large
number belonging to Friendly Societies, Mutual Improvement Societies,
and institutions akin to them; for the books forming the libraries of
these bodies contain some of the most curious and characteristic
American book-plates. Amongst the number may be mentioned those of the
New York Society Library, the Farmington Library, the Hasty Pudding
Society and the Porcellian Club in Harvard College, the Linonian Society
and the Brothers of Unity in Yale, and the Social Friends in Dartmouth

None of these are particularly early, indeed the majority must be dated
after the establishment of independence, but they are well worthy of
study. Allegory runs wild in the book-plates--there are three mentioned
by Mr. Dexter Allen--of the first-named Society, and Minerva is
prominent in all. Let me endeavour to describe two, both the work of
Maverick. In one she hands a volume of the Society's Library to an
Indian, whose attitude in receiving it suggests that he had never seen a
book before; in which case its contents cannot have done him much good.
In the other she has just descended from Olympus, entered the library,
and seized a volume from the book-shelf, which she presents to an
apparently more appreciative red-skin. I say appreciative, for in return
he hands the goddess his tomahawk. Minerva with a tomahawk! Can anything
be more delightfully absurd?

One might go on with many pages of these descriptions, but enough has
been said to show the burlesque spirit in which allegory is treated,
doubtless quite unintentionally, on American Society book-plates. In
that fact lies much of their interest. More happy in conception and
execution is the homelier design appearing on the book-plate of the
Village Library in Farmington, which, if not a beautiful piece of
engraving, is at least free from grotesqueness.

'In this,' says Mr. Allen, 'we see the interior of a room in which a
young lady patron of the library is storing her mind with those choice
axioms which, if put in practice, far exceed the attractiveness of mere
personal beauty; so says the couplet beneath the picture:--

    'Beauties in vain, their pretty eyes may roll;
     Charms strike the sense, but merit wins the soul.

A writer in the _Ex Libris Journal_ points out that, after the
Revolution, till about the year 1810, there were scarcely any American
armorial book-plates. Perhaps one of the earliest is that of 'Samuel
Elam, Rhode Island,' which appears to have been engraved about 1800. It
is 'Pictorial' in style, and shows a shield, bearing arms, resting
against a tree-stump, with a landscape background. The majority of
American book-plate possessors, from 1810 until the fashion of using a
book-plate became common some little time back, seem to have been
members of the legal profession.

During the last few years many American book-plates have been as wild
and meaningless in design as the majority of those recently produced in
England; although, as Mr. Allen's illustrations show us, a few truly
artistic and appropriate examples have appeared. One modern book-plate
from across the Atlantic is sure to attract English eyes; for the
owner's works are read as eagerly, and appreciated as fully, here as in
the States,--I mean that of 'Oliver Wendell Holmes.' This, too, is
appropriate for the man, consisting simply of a motto-scroll, on which
is written _Per Ampliora ad Altiora_, and a nautilus--'the ship of
pearl,' as he calls it; 'the venturous bark that flings

    'On the sweet summer winds its purpled wings
     In gulfs enchanted where the siren sings,
     And coral reefs lie bare,
     Where the cold sea maids rise to sun their streaming hair.'


[11] _American Book-Plates._ By Charles Dexter Allen. Bell and Son,

[12] The same remark applies to other book-plates bearing colonial
addresses, such as that of 'Isaac Royall, Esq., of Antigua.'

[13] It may be remarked as curious that William Penn does not, on his
book-plate, impale the arms of Hannah Callowhill, to whom he was married
in 1695.



I PROPOSE now to speak about the inscriptions on book-plates, and I will
divide them as follows:--(1) Sentiments in condemnation of book-stealing
or book-spoiling; (2) sentiments in praise of books or of study; and (3)
personal particulars of the owner of the book-plate, which last class
shall receive attention in a separate chapter. In all three cases
illustrations may be appropriately drawn both from English and foreign

Let me begin by calling the reader's attention to the fact, which I
commented upon in my first chapter, that in nearly all inscriptions on
book-plates it is the volume in which the book-plate is placed, and not
the book-plate itself, that is spokesman. Take the inscription on one of
the earliest examples: 'Liber Bilibaldi Pirckheimer, Sibi et amicis.'
Bilibald Pirckheimer's book for himself and his friends! Here is an
amiable intention; but the plan did not work, and we do not find the
sentiment often repeated. In the good jurist's day printed books were
not numerous, and they were costly. Then might a man be reasonably
regarded as a dog in the manger, who shut the door of his bookcase
against those anxious to benefit by the work of the printing-press; then
mankind at large had not demonstrated the fact that general morality
does not extend to returning borrowed books. Hence, I say, it was that
on this early book-plate we have the expression 'Sibi et amicis.'

School-boys--and I dare say, if one could only learn the truth in such
matters, school-girls too--have a habit of inscribing their school-books
with verses, denouncing in decidedly forcible language the school-fellow
who steals--_i.e._ borrows and forgets to return--any particular volume,
and at the end of these verses is depicted a gallows from which hangs
the lifeless body of the thief. When did school-boys first thus protect
their possessions? Few school-books survive for use by many successive
generations, so we have no means of answering the question
satisfactorily; but in a book--not a school-book--published in 1540,
there are written (so a correspondent of _Notes and Queries_ informs
us), in writing more than three centuries old, these lines below the
owner's signature:--

    'My Master's name above you se,
     Take heede therefore you steale not mee;
     For if you doe, without delay
     Your necke . . . for me shall pay.
     Looke doune below and you shal see
     The picture of the gallowstree;
     Take heede therefore of thys in time,
     Lest on this tree you highly clime.'
         [Drawing of the gallows.]

So the school-boy's doggerel is at least founded on an ancient model,
which we have quoted, though not actually appearing on a book-plate,
because it was clearly intended to do duty as one.

Of exactly the same date is a very pompous declaration, on a German
book-plate, of a donor's intention that certain volumes given by him
should remain for ever in the library to which they are presented. The
owner of the book-plate was John Faber, Bishop of Vienna, who died in
1541, and who, in the previous year, presented his books to the College
of St. Nicholas in that city. Here is a translation given by Lord De
Tabley, in which mark how in kingly fashion the bishop refers to himself
as 'we':--

'This book was bought by us, Dr. John Faber, Bishop of Vienna, and
assistant in the Government of the New State, both as councillor and
confessor to the most glorious, clement, and pious Ferdinand, King of
the Romans, Hungary, and Bohemia, and Archduke of Austria. And since,
indeed, that money (which purchased this volume) did not arise from the
revenues and properties of our diocese, but from our own most honest
labours in other directions. And therefore it is free to us to give or
bequeath the book to whomsoever we please. We accordingly present it to
our College of St. Nicholas. And we ordain that this volume shall remain
there for ever for the use of the students, according to our order and
decree. Done in our Episcopal Court at Vienna, on the first day of
September in the year of Grace 1540.'


Dr. Faber was famous for his orthodoxy and his fervour in enforcing it;
so much so, that he earned for himself the title _Malleus hereticorum_.
He does not trust himself to express his opinion of the too eager
student who should take to himself a volume from amongst these books;
which is perhaps well.

More polite than the English verses of 1540, and therefore not half so
serviceable, are those printed on an actual book-plate, by which Andrew
Hedio, a Königsberg professor of philosophy, who lived about the middle
of the seventeenth century, sought to insure the safe return to his
library of any volume which was out on loan. The arms of Hedio--the head
and shoulders of an old bearded man in a fish-tailed nightcap--appear on
the book-plate, and below, supposed to be spoken by the volume, are
Latin verses, which in free translation may be rendered:--

    'By him who bought me for his own,
     I'm lent for reading leaf by leaf;
     If honest, you'll return the loan,
     If you retain me, you're a thief.'

If you turn back to p. 123 and look at the book-plate of Speratus, you
will see that he had expressed very much this sentiment more than a
century before.

It is not till the beginning of the eighteenth century that we find any
decided expression of possession on an English book-plate. Then it
occurs on that of John Reilly (described on p. 53). At the very bottom
of the design is printed: 'Clamabunt omnes te, liber, esse meum.' Here
you see it is John Reilly himself and not his book that speaks. It is a
mild and decidedly gentlemanly way of expressing ownership, free from
threats for not returning the volume; indeed, hardly contemplating the
possibility of so dishonest an act.

About the same date as Reilly's book-plate is a very graceful German
one, executed for Michael Lilienthal (figured on p. 165). It shows us a
group of growing lilies, around which bees are hovering or tasting their
sweetness, and below--

    'Use the book, but let no one misuse it;
     The bee does not stain the lilies, but only touches them.'

From this graceful book-plate and the pleasantry of its inscription, we
turn to a heavy declamatory sentence, devised, _circa_ 1730, by the
librarian of the Benedictine monastery of Wessenbrun, in Bavaria, for
the books in his charge to speak when a theft had been actually
committed or was in contemplation: 'I am the rightful possession of the
Cloister of Wessenbrun. Ho there! Restore me to my master, so right

Sherlock Willis, whose book-plate--a decided 'Chippendale'--is dated in
1756, flies to Scripture for his aid against immoral borrowers, and
places on his book-plate the familiar quotation from the 37th Psalm:
'The ungodly borroweth, and payeth not again.' Various other English
book-plates bear the same quotation, or some other taken from the Bible.
On that in use at the Parochial Library of Tadcaster, which shows us St.
John in the isle of Patmos receiving from the angel the book which he
was to eat, we read: 'Accipe librum et devora illum' (Rev. x. 9); advice
which it was not, we may presume, intended that the borrower should
follow literally.

There is something very businesslike and to the point about the
inscription on the book-plate of Charles Ferdinand Hommeau, which is
dated six years after that of Sherlock Willis. The inscription reads in
translation: 'If you do not return the loan within fourteen days, or do
not keep it carefully, on another occasion [when you ask to borrow it or
some other book] I shall say I have not got it.' So M. Hommeau will not
mind telling a lie to protect his library; and what is more, does not
mind telling the world of his intention to do so. Truly he was an honest

David Garrick (whose book-plate is figured opposite) selected as an
appropriate quotation for his book-plate the following, taken from the
fourth volume of _Menagiana_:--'La première chose qu'on doit faire quand
on a emprunté un livre, c'est de le lire afin de pouvoir le rendre
plutôt.' Very good advice, no doubt; but I wonder if 'Davy' was careful
enough to confine his loans to those who would follow it? This reminds
me of a very nicely put passage of Lord De Tabley's, _à propos_ of the
subject of book-borrowing in general:--


'Now this batch of mottoes raises the point, whether valuable books
should be lent to persons who treat volumes like coal scuttles; who
perpetrate such atrocities as moistening their thumbs to turn a page
over; who hold a fine binding before a roaring fire? who, _horribile
dictu_, read at breakfast, and use, as a book-marker, the butter-knife.
Ought Garrick to have lent the cream of his Shakespeare quartos to
slovenly and mole-eyed Samuel Johnson? We think emphatically not! Many
full-grown folks have no more idea of handling a book than has a

So far the 'caveats' on book-plates have been either original
compositions or quotations, specially selected by the owner; but, as
time went on, people did not trouble to compose their own verses or
inscriptions, or to hunt up appropriate quotations. The same lines or
words appear fastened beneath, or printed upon, the book-plates of many
different persons; in the latter case the book-plate is generally little
more than a name ticket. Here is one, composed early in this century,
which could be bought of C. Talbot, at 174 Tooley Street, and on it the
purchaser could write his name before affixing it in his volumes:--

                     'THIS BOOK
                      BELONGS TO
             .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
            If thou art borrowed by a friend,
              Right welcome shall he be
            To read, to study, not to lend,
              But to return to me.

            Not that imparted knowledge doth
              Diminish learning's store;
            But Books, I find, if often lent,
              Return to me no more.

            Read slowly, Pause frequently,
                Think seriously,
            Keep cleanly, return duly,
    With the corners of the leaves not turned down.'

Of about the same date is another little effusion, which clearly does
not contemplate the purchaser being the possessor of a _unique_ volume,
or of one for any cause irreplaceable, if lost:--


      .    .    .    .    .    .    .   .    .    .

    Neither blemish this book, nor the leaves double down,
    Nor lend it to each idle friend in the town;
    Return it when read, or, if lost, please supply
    Another as good to the mind and the eye.'

In these last quoted examples are certainly many stipulations, but they
are as nought when compared with what we find on the book-plate of the
Cavalier Francesco Vargas Macciucca, who was in the habit of pasting on
the fly-leaf of the book, opposite his book-plate, _fifteen_ rules,
written in Latin, to be observed by those who borrowed books from his
library. If he enforced them, he can have been seldom troubled with a

On the face of them,--since most of them have a blank space left for the
owner's name, etc.,--these poetic or prosaic threats against
book-stealers and the ill-usage of books do not pretend to be the
compositions of those that used them. Jones or Brown went to the nearest
stationer or bookseller, and purchased his admonitions all ready
composed. But even after the introduction of ready-made admonitions, we
find the man of independent mind rebelling against saving his library
from spoliation by anybody's words save his own. Such a person was Mr.
Charles Clark, of Great Totham Hall, near Witham, in Essex, who can at
least claim originality for his composition, which, if lengthy, has
occasional gleams of humour. Here it is:--

             A READER

  As all, my friend, through wily knaves, full often suffer wrongs,
  Forget not, pray, when it you've read, to whom this book belongs.
  Than one Charles Clark, of Totham Hall, none to 't a right hath better,
  A _wight_, that same, more _read_ than some in the lore of old _black_
  And as C. C. in _Essex_ dwells--a shire at which all laugh--
  His books must sure less fit seem drest, if they're not bound in
  Care take, my friend, this book you ne'er with grease or dirt besmear
  While none but awkward _puppies_ will continue to "dog's-ear" it!
  And o'er my books, when book-"worms" "grub," I'd have them understand,
  No marks the margin must de-_face_ from any busy "_hand_"!
  Marks, as re-marks, in books of Clark's, whene'er some critic spy
  It always him so _waspish_ makes though they're but on the _fly_-leaves!
  Yes, if so they're used, he'd not de-_fer_ to _deal_ a fate most meet--
  He'd have the soiler of his _quires_ do penance in a _sheet_!
  The Ettrick _Hogg_--ne'er deem'd a _bore_--his candid mind revealing,
  Declares, to beg a _copy_ now's a mere pre-_text_ for stealing!
  So, as some knave to grant the loan of this my book may wish me,
  I thus my book-_plate_ here display lest some such _fry_ should _dish_
  But hold!--though I again declare with-holding I'll not brook,
  And "a _sea_ of trouble" still shall take to bring book-worms to "book."
                                                              'C. C.'

A certain Cheshire clergyman, who died not very long since, sought
euphony in a string of commands to intending borrowers, which he had
printed on his book-plate; 'Borrow bravely; Keep carefully; Peruse
patiently; Return righteously.' What a pity he did not spell 'carefully'
with a 'k' whilst he was about it!

The Plymouth architect and author, George Wightwick, or, as he evidently
pronounced it, _Witick_, used to affix in his books:--

    'To whomsoever this book I _lend_
      I _give_ one word--no more;
    They who to _borrow_ condescend
      Should graciously _restore_.
    And whosoe'er this book should find
      (Be't trunk-maker or critick),
    I'll thank him if he'll bear in mind
      That it is mine,
                 GEORGE WIGHTWICK.'

See, too, how a certain Mr. Charles Woodward protected, or thought he
protected, the volumes which good nature may have prompted him to lend.
His plate shows an opened volume, on one page of which is written:
'Narrative--promising to send me home at the appointed time. Finis.'
Evidently Mr. Woodward, like the honest liar before mentioned, was not a
man to lend his volumes for an indefinite period.

Having quoted various recent English examples of this kind, we are in
duty bound to cite some from other component parts of the United

Under the name 'H. Macdonald' we find:

    'Tear not, nor soil not;
     Read all, but spoil not.'

      'A good book is a good friend; he who would injure the
      one deserves not the respect of the other.'

There is something almost pathetic in the exclamation which Mr. John
Marks makes his volumes utter: 'Gentle reader, take me home; I belong to
John Marks, 20 Cook Street, Cork'; and then the evil-minded borrower is
reminded of the scriptural condemnation of his kind by reference to
'Psalm xxxvii. ver. 21.' Before this comes--


    Neither a borrower or a lender be,
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
            True for you, Mr. Shakespeare!


    Of all books and chattels that ever I lent,
    I never got back five-and-twenty per cent.
                      Fac, my Bredern!'

We may presume from this that Mr. John Marks tried to be funny, and from
his composition getting into print he may flatter himself that he

One more example of these warnings to borrowers and we have done with
the subject. Lord De Tabley fixes the date of it as 1820, but surely it
must be the composition of some eleventh century reprobate, who on his
death-bed richly endowed a neighbouring monastery, and threatened any
one who should ever disturb his endowment. The words appear on the
book-plate of O. M[oore], and they read in translation: 'If any one
steals this book, and with furtive hand carries it off, let him go to
the foul waves of Acheron, never to return.'

Now, let us look at some of the eulogies of books or of study which are
found on book-plates. These do not appear until a much later date. The
text on Pirckheimer's book-plate, '_The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom_,' can hardly be called one in praise of study,
though it is a wholesome truth that should be borne in mind by every
student. Indeed, we have to pass over more than two centuries after the
invention of book-plates before one which, in the inscription upon it,
yields an example of the kind now under consideration. This appears at
last in 1697, in a sentiment expressed by an Austrian lawyer, John
Seyringer by name. Here it is:

    'He that would learn without the aid of books
     Draws water in a sieve from running brooks.'

We have again to pass over many years for our next example. Peter de
Maridat, who was, he tells us, a senator in the Great Council of Louis
XIV. of France, used for a book-plate, which may therefore be dated
before 1715, the figure of a negro, who stands with one hand resting on
a shield of arms, and holds in the other a pair of scales. The arms on
the shield are azure, a cross argent, and below is written:

    'Inde cruce hinc trutina armatus regique deoque
       Milito, Disco meis hæc duo nempe libris,'

which may be construed: 'Armed on one side with the cross [the cross on
the shield], and on the other with the pair of scales, I fight for my
king and for my God. These two things I indeed learn from my books,'
_libris_; but _libris_ may also be translated 'balances,' and herein is
the pun!

Taking them chronologically, our next examples are on English
book-plates; one is dated 1730, and the other evidently belongs to the
same period. On the first, the Rev. John Lloyd writes: 'Animus si æquus,
quod petis hic est'; and on the other, Thomas Robinson, a Fellow of
Merton, quotes from Cicero: 'Delectant domi non impediunt foris.'
Perhaps 'Herbert Jacob, Esq. of St. Stephen's, in Kent,' had a generally
troublesome wife, who did not penetrate the sacred region of his
library; however it may have been, he placed on his book-plate, _circa_
1740: 'Otium cum libris,' a sentiment expressed in a great variety of
ways on later book-plates.

Some ten years later than the last example is the book-plate of a German
cleric, Gottfried Balthazar Scharff, Archdeacon of Schweidnitz, a town
in Prussian Silesia, on which his books are praised in some not
ungraceful verses; in these the owner asks divine help in understanding
aright the teaching of his volumes.

On the Flemish book-plate of Lewis Bosch (spoken of elsewhere in this
volume, p. 218), we read beneath the representation of the prelate's
library, in which he is shown hard at work among his books: 'A hunt in
such a forest never wearies.' The allusion to a forest of books recalls
the motto on the much later English book-plate of Mary Berry. On this is
depicted a wild strawberry plant, its fruit half hidden by leaves, and
below is written, 'Inter folia fructus.' Probably Miss Berry, besides
alluding to the fruit of knowledge which she found amongst the leaves of
her books, intended a mild play upon the strawberry and her own family

Besides these, a host of further mottoes in praise of books or about
books are to be met with. Some recommend the collection of as large a
library as possible; others point out that the mind is distracted by a
multitude of books; some advocate the careful handling of a volume, even
at the expense of not getting so well acquainted with its contents;
whilst others tell us that well-thumbed books are monuments of the
owner's industry and constant study. Nor are the consoling powers of
books forgotten. On a very pretty rustic vignette, executed by Bonner
after Bewick, 'W. B. Chorley of Liverpool' has the words: 'My books, the
silent friends of joy and woe.'



HOW much more communicative, in the matter of personal particulars, are
some people, upon their book-plate, than others! What a contrast, for
instance, between the inscription on Walpole's book-plate--'Mr. Horatio
Walpole'--and that on one of Pepys's, on which he styles himself
'Esquire,' and states that he is of Brampton in Huntingtonshire,
'Secretary of the Admiralty of his Mat^{y} King Charles the Second,' and
'Descended of y^{e} ancient family of Pepys of Cottenham in

Of course Sam Pepys was a vain man--that we all know; but the difference
between the two inscriptions has more to do with the fashion of the time
than with the characteristics of the two men. In enlarging on his
pedigree, social position, and secretaryship to the Admiralty, Pepys was
only following the custom of his day. There are many examples of similar
inscriptions on book-plates contemporary with Pepys's:--'Charles
Pitfeild of Hoxton, in the Parish of St. Leonards, Shoreditch, in
Middlesex, Esq^{r.,} descended of the ancient family of the Pitfeilds of
Symsbury in Dorsetshire, and is now married to Winifred, one of the
daughters and Coeheyrs of John Adderley, of Coton in Stafordshire,
Esq^{r.}' And again:--'S^{r}. Henry Hunloke of Wingerworth, in
Derbyshire, Bart. In y^{e} escocheon of pretence is y^{e} Armes of
Katherine his Lady, who was sole daughter and heyre of Francis Tyrwhit
of Kettleby, in Lincolnshire, Esq^{e}, y^{e} last of y^{e} Eldest branch
of y^{t} great and ancient family.' Equally proud of his ancestry is
'Thomas Windham of Sale in Devonshire, Esq^{r.,} one of the Grooms of
his Majesties Bed-chamber, third son of S^{r} Edmund Windham of
Cathanger in Somersetshire, Kt., Marshall of his Majesties most
Hon^{ble} household,' who concludes the inscription on his book-plate by
telling us that he was 'lineally descended from the antient family of
the Windhams of Crown-Thorpe, in the County of Norfolk.'

But this habit of expressing pride in ancestry, though it became less
frequent, certainly survived Pepys's time. Mr. J. Paul Rylands, F.S.A.,
has a copy of the _Eikon Basilike_, printed in 1649, on the title-page
of which is written, 'Dan. Mercator.' Within the book is an armorial
book-plate engraved in the Jacobean style, and, since it belonged to a
man born in 1640, one of the early examples of that style. The owner was
the eminent mathematician, Nicholas Mercator, who was born at Holstein,
and afterwards settled in England, where his mathematical ability was
recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Nicholas
was proud of his ancestors' efforts in the cause of Protestantism, and
also wished his English friends to be aware of them; he therefore
inscribes his book-plate, 'Nicholas Mercator, a Descendant of the
Kauffmans of Prague, in Bohemia, Coadjutors with Luther in the

On the Continent, lengthy eulogies of ancestors are common, and they
commence at an early date. Here is one, which is also a sigh for the
purity of nobility in ages past. It is uttered, in 1565, by John Giles
Knöringen, who writes, below his shield of arms, given in colour:--

    'These are the famed insignia of my sires,
       Which in their proper colour you may see;
     Not bribes, as is the fashion in these days,
       But virtue, raised them to nobility.'

It is, however, most frequently in an enumeration of his offices or
degrees that the owner of a book-plate allows himself to get wordy. Let
us take, for instance, the already mentioned book-plate of Sir Edward
Dering (see pp. 31, 32), which bears date 1630, and displays a shield of
twenty coats of arms; it has a proportionately impressive description of
Sir Edward's many offices--Lieutenant of Dover Castle, Vice-Chancellor,
and Vice-Admiral of the Cinque Ports, etc. Sir Robert Southwell, Knight,
tells us that he is 'one of the Clerkes attending His Majesty King
Charles the Second in his most Honourable Privy Councell, etc.'

William Wharton, who was killed in a duel, in 1689, calls himself
'fourth son to the Right Honourable Philip Lord Wharton of Wharton, in
Westmoreland, by Ann, Daughter to William Carr, of Fernihast, in
Scotland, Esq^{r.,} one of the Groome (_sic_) of the Bedchamber to King
James'; whilst Randolph Egerton, in the inscription on his book-plate,
recalls the time when the unhappy Duke of Monmouth was yet a trusted
officer in the royal army: 'Randolph Egerton of Betley, in Staford
Shire, Esquire, Lieutenant of his Majestyes own Troop of Guard, under
the comand of his Grace James Duke of Monmouth, etc.'

The book-plates of Thomas, Earl of Wentworth, contain a curiously
lengthy enumeration of the offices enjoyed by that distinguished soldier
and diplomatist, who, at a critical time, steered his country through a
great many difficulties. The first is dated in 1698, and on it the owner
describes himself as 'The Right Honourable Thomas Wentworth, Baron of
Raby, and Colonell of his Maiesties owne Royall Reg^{mt} of Dragoons,
1698.' In 1703 Wentworth was sent as envoy to Berlin, and two years
later was advanced to the post of ambassador. On this appointment he had
a second book-plate engraved, bearing the following inscription:--'His
Excellency The R^{t} Hon^{ble} Tho. Wentworth, Lord Raby, Peer of
England, Coll^{o} of her Ma^{tys} Royal Reg^{t} of Dragoons, Lieu^{t}
General of all her Ma^{tys} Forces & her Ma^{tys} Embassador Extra^{ry}
to y^{e} King of Prussia, 1705;'--size 4 × 3. On the face of it, this is
foreign work, and the expression 'Peer of England' could hardly have
been put on it by an English engraver.

Wentworth's later diplomatic post has been made famous by Swift's
allusion to it, in reference to his being associated with Mat Prior.
'Wentworth,' says the Dean, 'is as proud as hell, and how he will bear
one of Prior's mean birth on an equal character with him I know not.'
Proud as hell, was he? Well, he certainly was proud of his advance in
title and his many high offices, all of which he sets out in his third
and last book-plate, also, I think, foreign work, dated in 1712. Here is
the inscription: 'His Excellency the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of
Strafford, Viscount Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, and of
Stainborough, Baron of Raby, Newmarch, and Oversley, Her Majesty's
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the States General of
y^{e} United Provinces, and also at the Congress of Utrecht; Colonel of
Her Majesty's own Royal Regiment of Dragoons, Lieutenant-General of all
Her Forces; First Lord of the Admiraltry (_sic_) of Great Britain and
Ireland; one of the Lords of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy
Council; and Knight of the Most Noble Order of y^{e} Garter.' On the
accession of George I., an attempt was made to impeach this busy Lord,
but it failed, and he retired into private life for the rest of his
days. His memoirs, published a few years back by Mr. Cartwright, F.S.A.,
give an excellent picture of life at the time he lived.

Some book-plate owners, not boastful of their titles, let us into their
confidences as to their place of birth, age, and the like. The German
book-plate, dated in 1618, of John Vennitzer, a knife-smith or cutler by
trade, tells us that he was born at Nuremberg, at 22 minutes past 5 in
the afternoon on the 14th day of May, 1565. Vennitzer made money by his
trade, and founded the Library of St. Lawrence in his native city;
perhaps the date on the book-plate is that of the foundation of the
library. No doubt, as Lord De Tabley remarks, the cutler conscientiously
believed that the condition of his whole life depended on the particular
moment at which he entered the world; for he was probably well versed in
the mysteries of horoscopy.

'John Collet' makes us really quite familiar with all his relations, and
with his own religious feelings. His book-plate--it is only a printed
label--reads: 'Johannes Collet filius Thomæ Collet. Pater Thomæ,
Gulielmi, ac Johannis, omnium superstes. Natus quarto junii, 1633.
Denasciturus quando Deo visum fuerit; interim hujus proprietarius John
(_sic_) Collet.'

Even more obliging is 'Thomas Tertius Okey, medicinæ Professor, 1697.'
He was, he tells us, 'great grandson to William Okey (usually cal'd
Okely) of Church Norton, betwixt Gloucester and Tewxsbury, gentelman;
grandson to Thomas Primus Okey of Church Norton, the Devizes and
Taunton, Professor of Theology; eldest son to Thomas Secundus Okey, of
the Devizes and London, Professor of Physick, and father to Thomas
Quartus Okey, of London, gentelman. The above mentioned Thomas Tertius
Okey, Professor of Physick, now liveth in London near the Bodys of his
deceased relations.' Before such details as these, even John Collet
seems reticent.

Sir Philip Sydenham--whose peculiarities in the matter of book-plates
are elsewhere commented upon--in one of his first examples, dated in
1699, tells us his age: 'Sir Philip Sydenham, Bart., of Brympton in
Somerset, and M.A. of the University of Cambridge, Æta. Suæ 23.' Richard
Towneley in 1702 does the same. The inscription on his book-plate reads,
as we see by the frontispiece:

    'Ex libris Bibliothecæ Domesticæ Richardi Towneley de
     Towneley In Agro Lancastrensi Armigeri Anno {Ætatis: 73
                                                 {Domini: 1702.'

One cannot help wondering why Mr. Towneley--the owner, and in a great
part the collector, of the vast library with which the family name is
connected--should have waited till he was seventy-three years of age to
have a book-plate engraved. Some of the volumes in that library had a
curious stamp in silver of the Towneley arms, with the date 1603 on
their bindings, but there does not seem to have been an earlier
book-plate. Richard Towneley died at York in 1707. Besides being an
astronomer and a mathematician, he was a keen antiquary; and Thoresby,
the historian of Leeds, tells us of the pride with which he showed him a
wondrous and just completed pedigree of the Towneley family, on the
occasion of their meeting during the year in which the book-plate was

'John Fenwick of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Attorney at Law,' leaves us in
ignorance as to his age at the time his book-plate was engraved, because
he does not date it; but he states that he was 'born at Hexham, 14th
April 1787,' and 'married at Alnwick, 9th June 1814.'

One lady--and only one--lets us into what, with those of her sex, is
usually a secret. Isabel de Menezes inscribes her book-plate by
Bartolozzi (see p. 94), 'Ætatis 71 anno 1798.'

I have given, in this chapter, no foreign examples of book-plates on
which minute personal particulars appear; but some of the examples of
which I have spoken elsewhere--notably the Flemish book-plate of Count
vander Noot--will show that they exist.



THERE seem to be really several good and logical reasons why we should
separate, for consideration by themselves, the book-plates which have
been used by ladies. To mention two: there are certain differences (such
as the shape of the shield in which the arms are borne) which, by the
rigid laws of heraldry, ought to appear on these book-plates when
belonging to a maid or widow; moreover, ladies' book-plates, though
sometimes mere printed labels, are generally more fanciful in design
than the majority of those owned by the sterner sex.

The whole subject of ladies' book-plates has been so exhaustively
treated by Miss Norna Labouchere that it need not take up much space in
the present chapter. When, however, in this work, Miss Labouchere asks
where are book-plates of the English feminine bibliophiles of the
fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries--Dame Juliana Berners,
Margaret Roper, Lady Jane Grey, Mary Stuart, and the ladies of Little
Gidding--the answer, I am afraid, is: they had none. Had they possessed
them, they would, in this book-plate-spying age, have been discovered.

[Illustration: LADY BATH'S BOOK-PLATE.]

But, be it said to the credit of the ladies, some of the earliest
dated English book-plates belonged to them. It is true these are merely
name-tickets, such as that of Elizabeth Pindar, 1608, in the Bagford
Collection, kindly pointed out to me by Mr. W. Y. Fletcher; but the fact
of their existence deserves notice, because it shows the readiness of
the fair sex to lay hold of a new fashion; and having a book-plate in
the early years of the seventeenth century was a new fashion, at least
in England.

The first Armorial ladies' book-plate is that of the Countess-Dowager of
Bath, already very fully described. I will only add that readers who
refer back to what I have said about her matrimonial arrangements
(_vide_ p. 38), will see that she is heraldically accurate in not
bearing her arms in a lozenge. The laws of heraldry do not allow ladies,
while married, to place their arms in lozenge-shaped shields; and this
fact enables some feminine book-plate owners to demonstrate the
possession of a virtue which women are often taxed with
lacking--economy. Ladies frequently made the same designs do duty as
their own book-plates which had served for their husbands. But,
according to Miss Labouchere, the husband sometimes used his wife's
book-plate; for the book-plates--identical, save for the
inscriptions--of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, Lord and Lady Roos,
and some others, show, on examination, that the words indicative of
ownership by the lady have been erased, and over-engraved by those
indicative of possession by her lord.

The lozenge really looks very well on a book-plate; and lends itself
readily to the decoration usually bestowed upon it. Take, for instance,
that of Dame Anne Margaretta Mason, dated in 1701. Her maiden name was
Long, and the shield shows us Mason impaling Long. Lady Mason's is a
fair sample of a lady's book-plate of that date. The arms are contained
in a lozenge, set in a Jacobean frame, which is lined with scale work,
and adorned with ribbons and leafy sprays. There is no motto-scroll, but
the name bracket comes up close to the base of the design (see also p.

Indeed it may be said that the Jacobean style of ornamentation is that
best suited to ladies' book-plates, especially when the arms are
depicted on a lozenge-shaped shield. The book-plate of the 'Hon. Anne
North,' by Simon Gribelin, is another instance to prove this. I do not
think that Chippendale decoration suits them at all, and, in the use of
ornaments of that style, Englishwomen were as immoderate as Englishmen.
Lady Lombe's book-plate, designed in the later days of Chippendalism, is
quite appalling from its over-ornamentation. The wreath of ribbon, or
festoon, style of the close of the last century is more suitable for
ladies' book-plates, and some very charming examples are known; equally
suitable, it seems to me, would have been the picture or landscape
style--the style in which, at the close of the last century, Bewick, and
some few other English artists, were working with conspicuous success,
and it seems strange that the ladies of Great Britain did not adopt it
more extensively.

When we come to modern times we find ladies have run as wild as their
lords over book-plates; there is the same peculiarity, the same
mysticism, the same inappropriateness for book-plates in the designs of
many book-plates of _fin de siècle_ English ladies. The few really
artistic and appropriate book-plates stand out in marked contrast in
Miss Labouchere's excellent little book, and amongst them may be noted
Lady Mayo's, designed in 1894 by Mr. Anning Bell, which shows us a
musician and a songstress within a frame composed of spring flowers and
the national emblem of Ireland.

But let us go back a little in date, and look at a ladies' book-plate
designed in the Allegoric style; what more striking example could be
found than that furnished by George Vertue's charming piece of work
engraved for Lady Oxford?


It represents the interior of the library either at Brampton or Welbeck,
probably the latter, which was Lady Oxford's own inheritance. Through a
doorway, flanked by Corinthian columns, the curtain in front of which is
drawn back, we obtain a view of a country house standing back in a
well-kept park; a river crossed by a three-arched bridge meanders
through this. But it is the occupants of the room that call for most
attention. The prominent figure is that of Minerva, who has laid aside
her arms, and stands sandalled and helmeted. She is busily engaged in
instructing six cupids, who appear to be industriously following her
injunctions. One of these is painting in oils, with an easel before
him and a palette on his thumb; the goddess with her left hand points
out some defect in his work, and apparently explains how it may be
remedied. Another cupid plays the harp; two more sit on the frame of the
design, weaving flowing festoons; another, also on the frame, near a
celestial globe, copies the picture of a flute-playing satyr which a
sixth cupid holds in position.

On the frame which surrounds the picture sit two figures--one of which
is Mercury, with caduceus and winged hat--who act as supporters to a
medallion bearing Lady Oxford's monogram; above is an urn, and from the
sides fall bunches of grapes. Below the design is engraved 'Henrietta
Cavendish Holles, Oxford and Mortimer. Given me by'--and then the
donor's name and last two figures of the date, filled in by Lady Oxford

Lady Oxford was the sole heiress of John Holles, last Duke of Newcastle
of the Holles family, and was the wife of Edward, second Earl of Oxford,
son of Queen Anne's minister, and the continuator and completor of the
Harleian collections. Vertue's love of studying all kinds of antiquities
brought him, at an early date, into contact with Lord Oxford, who proved
one of his warmest patrons. The artist himself speaks of 'the Earl's
generous and unparalleled encouragement of my undertakings.' Harley
would take his friend with him on his various 'hunting' tours in
England, getting him to sketch the numerous objects of interest that
they came across. No wonder that the Earl's death, in 1741, was a heavy
loss, in every way, to George Vertue.

It is noteworthy that there is no trace of heraldry in this remarkable
book-plate. Book-plates free from anything armorial were not the rule in
England in 1730, and Vertue was certainly proficient in heraldic
engraving, or ought to have been so, since his earliest task in life was
engraving coats of arms on plate, and his second engagement was with
Michael Vandergucht, who, we know, executed a good deal of armorial
work. It is probable, therefore, that the idea of the book-plate was
Lady Oxford's own.

From this delightful specimen of a lady's book-plate in which heraldry
is entirely absent, we may appropriately turn our attention to two
examples which combine heraldry with a fanciful design--the book-plates
of Lady Pomfret and the Honourable Mrs. Damer. The first of these is
that which 'S. W.,' probably Samuel Wale, the Royal Academician,
engraved for 'The R^{t} Hon^{ble} Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys, Countess of
Pomfret, Lady of the Bed-chamber to Queen Caroline,' and is a very
unusual piece of work, both in shape, design, and heraldry. There is a
clear indication of 'Chippendaleism' about the shield and sprays of
flowers and leaves, which is certainly curious in view of what we must
consider the approximate date of the book-plate; but the arms are in a
Jacobean frame, which stands in a garden. On one side we have a cupid
bearing aloft the lady's family crest, and on the other the husband's
crest and helmet, situated just within the opening of a tent. Lady
Pomfret was the granddaughter of James II.'s infamous Lord Chancellor.
She married Lord Pomfret in 1720, and was Lady of the Bed-chamber to
Queen Caroline from 1713 to 1737, so that we are enabled to fix the date
of this plate within seventeen years, indeed, probably within four
years, for she had a less ambitious, and no doubt earlier, book-plate
engraved for her, which bears the date 1733.

As might be expected, the book-plate of 'Selina, Countess of
Huntingdon,' forms a striking contrast to that last described. Here we
have a plain representation of a coat of arms in a lozenge, and
supported in the orthodox manner. No cupids or other vanities intrude
themselves into this sombre and coarsely executed work, which may be
dated, after the owner became a widow, in 1746, and therefore, after her
'call'--which is, I believe, the correct expression for a sudden
conversion to the form of religion she embraced.

Probably of about the same date as Lady Huntingdon's book-plate is that
of another famous woman of her day, Lady Betty Germain, about whom Swift
has plenty to say in his _Journal to Stella_. On this book-plate a
somewhat funereal effect is produced by the dark background, against
which is the lozenge containing the arms Berkeley impaling Germain; but
the ornamentation of the lozenge, of the name-scroll, and of the frame
enclosing the design, is light and elegant. Poor Lady Betty! she had a
good deal to live down: her girlhood had not been so moral as it might
have been, and the Duchess of Marlborough did her best to make her
friend's misfortunes as public as possible. But for all that, Elizabeth
Berkeley made a good match in point of money, marrying--as his second
wife--Sir John Germain, a soldier of fortune and repute. He left her a
widow in 1718, with Drayton as her home and a vast fortune. Her
widowhood lasted very nearly fifty years, during which she gave away
large sums in charity, as well as spending them on amassing curios:
these, in 1763, Walpole went to look at, and admired.

But we have been digressing, and have not yet spoken about the second of
the two book-plates just now mentioned, that of the Hon. Mrs. Damer,
which, in design and execution, certainly surpasses any ladies'
book-plate yet noticed; it is really a beautiful picture. First let me
speak of Mrs. Damer and her surroundings; her book-plate becomes the
more interesting as we call these to mind. The daughter of Field-Marshal
Henry Seymour Conway, she made for herself, at an early age, a name,
both in England and Italy, as an accomplished sculptress. From
infancy--she was born in 1749--she was the pet of Horace Walpole, and
throughout her life his intimate friend, living, after her husband's[14]
suicide, close to him at Strawberry Hill, which he bequeathed to her by
his will, and where, by the way, the work of her artistic fingers might
be seen in profusion. Friends of herself and of Walpole were Robert
Berry and his daughters Mary and Agnes--'my twin wives,' Walpole calls
them. Mrs. Damer's book-plate is the work of the latter of these two
ladies--Walpole's 'sweet lamb, Agnes.' It shows us a kneeling female
figure, pointing to a newly-cut inscription on a block of stone, 'Anna
Damer';[15] above is a shield bearing the arms of Damer, with those of
Seymour-Conway on an escutcheon of pretence, and on the right and left
of this are elegantly drawn dogs. The work was engraved by Francis
Legat, and is dated '1793.' Miss Mary Berry's book-plate has been
already spoken of (p. 177).

As an illustration to this chapter on ladies' book-plates, I have taken
one which is both artistic and interesting, from the fact that it shows
us--in the figure contemplating the bust--what is presumably a picture
of the owner. I fear, however, that proof of its authenticity as a
likeness sufficient to allow of its incorporation as a 'Portrait'
book-plate (see pp. 216-220) will not be forthcoming; but whether it is
one or not, it is certainly a pleasing book-plate. Frances Anne Acland,
the owner, was born in 1736, became the wife of Richard Hoare of Barne
Elms in 1761 and thus stepmother to Richard Colt Hoare, the future
antiquary and the historian of Wiltshire; she died in the year 1800, and
was buried at Beckenham.


But all that has been said, so far, concerns the book-plates of English
women. Foreign dames of various nationalities, and our feminine
cousins across the Atlantic (see p. 150), have made a very generous use
of these marks of book-possession. French women of the eighteenth
century have, as the reader of Miss Labouchere's interesting pages on
this part of her subject will see, for the most part, used book-stamps,
many of the most beautiful French bindings gaining an additional
interest and beauty from the coats of arms of their fair owners
impressed upon them. There are, however, a fairly large number of
book-plates known which have belonged to French women, or, at all
events, to women resident in France, and amongst them one to which
attaches pathetic interest from the tragic fate of its owner. I mean
that of the Princesse de Lamballe, who fell a victim to her attachment
to the reigning house of France during the revolting massacres of 1792.

There are such things as 'joint' book-plates--book-plates which have
belonged both to husbands and wives. We meet with some such in England,
though not at a very early date; but in Germany they exist as far back
as 1605. In England the first example, only a printed label, is in
1737--'Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Anne Pain.' Examples of this dual ownership
occur frequently in modern book-plates.

For other points of interest in and about ladies' book-plates the reader
must consult Miss Labouchere's work; all I will do, in concluding my
remarks upon them, is to say that--as might perhaps be expected--in
phrases of book-possession ladies are even more outspoken than
gentlemen; few, however, are so much so as Lady Dorothy Nevill, who
protects her books with the words 'stolen from' placed before her name:
surely she can be no more troubled by borrowers than was the Cavalier
Macciucca (_vide_ p. 171).


[14] She married, in 1767, the Hon. John Damer, a son of Lord Milton.

[15] A variety of this book-plate exists on which the inscription reads:
'Anna Seymour-Damer.'



WILLIAM MARSHALL heads our list of engravers of English book-plates. We
know of but one specimen of his work, but it is exceedingly fine--the
anonymous plate of the Lyttelton family, described on p. 32. Marshall's
works are dated between 1591 and 1646. Next after him comes the
well-known engraver of portraits, William Faithorne (b. 1633; d. 1691),
whose Portrait book-plate of Bishop Hacket is figured opposite. David
Loggan, the engraver of the Isham book-plates in 1676, is the artist
next on our roll. How many book-plates he designed and engraved I do not
know, but there are two or three early English examples which, in their
arrangement and touch, resemble somewhat closely his work for Isham.


About this same date Michael Burghers was engraving book-plates in
England; he appears to have left Holland in 1672, and to have settled in
Oxford. The earliest book-plate of his that I have seen is that of
Thomas Gore, already described; perhaps he found the allegory with which
he embellished it was not popular with Englishmen, and his other
book-plates--we know of two or three--are in the 'Simple Armorial' style
usual in English book-plates of the period. Lord De Tabley suggests that
Christopher Sartorius, who worked at Nuremberg between 1674 and 1737,
may be connected with the James Sartor who signed a fine English
'Jacobean' book-plate at the opening of the eighteenth century; of this
James we know nothing except this piece of work, which is certainly
good. After Sartor comes John Pine, whose pompous book-plate, engraved
about the year 1736, to commemorate George I.'s gift of books to the
University of Cambridge, has been described and figured (p. 75). He was
born in 1690, and died in 1756. His engravings of the Tapestry in the
House of Commons became so popular, that he was the subject of a special
Act of Parliament securing to him the emoluments arising from the sale
of the work. Pine, as we have seen, engraved other book-plates later on
in the century.

Michael Vandergucht, the famous Antwerp engraver, was also working in
England before the close of the seventeenth century, but his first
book-plate is dated in 1716. This was engraved for Sir William Fleming,
of Rydal, and is in many respects a striking piece of work. The style is
quite English of the period: heavy mantling descends to the base of the
shield; but the inscription--'The Paternal Arms of Sir William Fleming
of Rydal in the county of Westmoreland, Baronet,' with a description of
the heraldry--savours much of being the work of a foreigner. It should
be mentioned of this artist that he was pupil of one of the many Boutats
who were active as engravers of foreign book-plates. He (Vandergucht)
died in Bloomsbury in 1725.

After him we may appropriately mention his principal pupil--George
Vertue. His most conspicuous book-plate is certainly that of Lady
Oxford, which is already familiar to the reader.

Simon Gribelin is well known as a book-illustrator, and finds frequent
mention by Walpole. He was born at Blois in 1661, came to England when
nineteen, and worked here till his death in 1733. Perhaps the earliest
book-plate he engraved is that of Sir Philip Sydenham, which shows us
the shield and crest encircled with snakes and other ornaments,--a
book-plate decidedly foreign in appearance, though Gribelin must have
been nearly twenty years in England when it was engraved. He did two
other book-plates for Sir Philip. He also engraved some of the Parochial
Library plates described later on (pp. 225-227), and some others.


Though 'J. Skinner'[16] (see pp. 81-86), an engraver who worked at Bath,
does not find mention in any dictionary of engravers, yet he deserves
notice from the student of book-plates for the great quantity of his
work in that field--nearly all dated, and some really very excellent. Of
Skinner, Lord De Tabley writes:--'I would gladly learn some biographical
details'; but he failed to find any, and I have been equally
unfortunate. At the British Museum there is no Bath newspaper or
directory sufficiently early to contain either an advertisement by
Skinner or a mention of his place of residence; in the _Bath Directory_
of 1812 the name is represented by two grocers, a publican, a gardener,
and one private resident--a Miss Skinner who lived at 3 St. James's
Parade. Sir Wollaston Franks tells me that, amongst the engravers who
vouched for the perfection of _Sympson's New Book of Cypher_--'the most
perfect and neatest drawn of any performance of the kind hitherto
extant'--was one Jacob Skinner, and it is very likely this was our
friend the engraver of book-plates, who laboured at Bath from 1739 to
1753. He worked in three successive styles of English book-plate
engraving--the Armorial, the Jacobean, and the Chippendale; a fact which
renders his plates of special interest to collectors, since it enables
them to see how the same hand treats the succeeding styles when fully
developed, and during their gradual change from one style into the
other. His earliest dated book-plate that we know is that for the
library of Sir Christopher Musgrave (figured opposite), and the next,
five years later, that of 'John Conyers of Walthamstow in Essex, Esq.'
Here the ornamentation is quite Jacobean; the shield is oval, with
wing-like excrescences at the top and on either side--that at the top
forming a background to the helmet which supports the crest. Next year
(1738) Skinner produced the book-plate of 'Francis Carington, Esq., of
Wotton, Warwickshire'--in appearance even earlier than that of Musgrave.
Some of this early appearance is perhaps due to an absence of indication
of the tinctures on the shield--a habit which, as we shall presently
see, Skinner followed in one or two other instances. A slight mantling
falls from an esquire's helmet and descends a little way down the shield
till it joins the Jacobean scroll-work, and the owner's name and
description are upon a fringed cloth. But the feature to note in this
book-plate is the monogrammatic form of the engraver's signature:
'[Illustration: JS symbol].' It is the first time he uses it, and in his
subsequent dated work he appears always to have adopted some similar
form, this being the most frequent:--'[Illustration: JS symbol]kin^{r}.'


I have spoken of J. Skinner as a Bath engraver, but the reader will
observe that none of the book-owners, whose book-plates by him I have as
yet named, are specially connected with Bath, and on none has the
engraver mentioned it as his place of residence; but insomuch as
then--in the palmy days of the reign of King Nash--all roads led to
Bath, it is probable that, at the fashionable season, the Cumberland
baronet, as well as the Essex and Warwickshire squires, found his way
thither, and followed the fashion by having a book-plate engraved, just
as he would follow it, during his sojourn in the ancient city, by
squandering his time and injuring his digestion with late hours and a
surfeit of generally unwholesome gaiety. The next dated book-plate by
Skinner bears this out; on this, engraved in 1739, he gives Bath as his
place of abode; but this book-plate is that of Francis Massy of Rixton,
Lancashire; it is similar in design to the Carington just mentioned and

But earlier in style than any of Skinner's work yet mentioned is the
book-plate of 'William Hillary, M.D.,' dated in 1743; here the mantling
descends nearly to the base of the shield, quite in the 'Armorial'
style. This seems to be his latest work in early fashion. In 1741 he had
designed a book-plate for 'John William Fuhr,' in which there are clear
indications of Chippendale ornamentation. This is indeed a transitional
book-plate; it has a Jacobean shield, which the artist has adorned with
Chippendale ornament; the tinctures are only partially expressed and the
shield remains symmetrical, though the floral sprays and shell-work give
it, at first sight, the appearance of not being so. Identical, almost,
with this book-plate is that done by Skinner for 'Henry Pennant,' and
dated in 1742; and like it, but weaker, is that of 'Tho^{s.} Haviland,
Bath,' dated in the same year.


Skinner's next book-plates are those of 'Charles Delafaye, Esq., of
Wichbury, Wilts' (1743); 'Johnson Robinson' (1744); 'John Hughes of
Brecon, Esq^{re.}'; and 'Benja: Adamson' (1745); 'Hen. Toye Bridgeman,
Esq., of Princknash, Gloucestershire' (1746); 'Henry Walters, Esq.,' and
'John Wodroofe' (1747), and 'Tho^{s.} Fitzherbert, Esq.,' (1749). All
these last-named book-plates are much on a level as regards artistic
merit, and that level is not a high one; Benjamin Adamson's book-plate,
figured on p. 209, is a fair example of it, though it is not so good as
the Bridgeman book-plate of the same year. In 1750, however, we find a
more noteworthy specimen of Skinner's work in the book-plate of 'Francis
Fleming.' There is a Scotch look about this, which suggests that the
owner, and not the engraver, was responsible for its design; the shield
is oddly shaped and is on a medallion, whilst musical instruments of
various kinds are figured beneath; Sir Wollaston Franks points out to me
that the Fleming coat of arms here represented is borne only by the
family of the Earls of Wigtown. The same year (1750) Skinner did an
ordinary Chippendale book-plate for Dr. Robert Gusthart, whose name
appears in the _Bath Guide_ as a doctor in practice there in 1773.

In 1751 Skinner engraved a pleasing Chippendale book-plate for William
Oliver, a son of his more famous namesake, whose book-plate, also by
Skinner, has been already described in these pages (p. 85). Young
Oliver's plate shows a remarkable fineness of touch, and is altogether
in very good taste--not over-ornamented. Two years later we have the
latest known example of Skinner's work: the book-plate of 'The Rev^{d}
I. Dobson, A.M.,' which is coarse in execution, and suggests that the
artist's skill as an engraver was diminishing.


Of the twenty-two known book-plates by Skinner only two are undated,
Dr. Oliver's, already described (p. 85), and that of Sir John Smyth,
Bart., LL.D. This last he must have executed early in his career. The
shield bearing the arms stands upon a platform, and is Jacobean in shape
and ornamentation; the background is shaded. Clumsily drawn and clumsily
posed female figures, partly draped, stand upon bracket-like
excrescences that spring from the shield, whilst cupids recline below it
and hold it aloft.

What happened to Skinner after 1753 I have failed to discover. He is
certainly an interesting person from a book-plate collector's point of
view, and it is to be hoped something more about him may some day be
brought to light. In considering his identity it is worth remembering
that a little after his disappearance, viz. in 1755, another West of
England engraver named Skinner--Matthew Skinner of Exeter, is found
working on book-plates. He signs three examples, all designed in the
Chippendale style--'Jean Eli Jaquéri de Moudon en Suisse, Né en 1732';
'S^{r} Edm^{d} Thomas, Bart.,' and 'Peregrine Fra^{s} Thorne.' The two
first are ordinary Chippendale examples, but in the third many
implements of the soldier's art are introduced.

Another very prolific engraver of book-plates--unknown except in that
capacity--was 'Robert Mountaine.' His book-plates are frequently dated,
but the dates are placed in the most obscure positions, and in the
smallest of figures, so it needs a careful study of the engravings to
discover them. He laboured wholly in the Chippendale style; his touch
is peculiar, and his treatment graceful. Roughly speaking, he worked
from 1740 to 1755. His signature varies--sometimes it is 'R.M.,'
sometimes 'Mountaine.'

The following are a few of his book-plates:--

    Henry Bowles.
    W. Harrison, D.D., Fellow of C. C. C. Oxon.
    R. C. Cobbe.
    S. J. Collins.
    C. Blackstone.
    Ed. Gore, Kiddington, Oxon.
    John Duthy.
    John Hoadly, LL.D. [This is Dr. Hoadly, the versatile
        author of oratorios and comedies.]
    Sophia Penn.
    Jos. Portal.
    C. S. Powlet, Itchen.
    Geo. Powlet, Esq.
    John Sturgis.

A list of nearly sixty book-plates by Mountaine is given in the _Ex
Libris Journal_, ii. p. 46.

Hogarth's book-plates have been already described in this volume. The
'W. H.' who signs certain examples, once wrongly ascribed to Hogarth,
was a certain William Hibbart, who, like Skinner, was a Bath artist, and
etched portraits after the manner of Worlidge. Lord De Tabley mentions
that Worlidge himself executed a book-plate--that of the Honourable
Henrietta Knight--which he signs in full. Worlidge was certainly a
distinguished engraver; his etchings after Rembrandt are excellent and
highly prized. He died in 1766.

The work of Sir Robert Strange as a book-plate engraver has been already
referred to. Both Lumisden's and Dr. Drummond's book-plates were
probably executed after Strange's departure from England, and therefore
after 1745. His continental visit was rendered necessary, or at least
expedient, by the manner in which he had identified himself with the
Stuart cause during the then recent troubles. He had joined the Jacobite
Life-Guards, and employed his artistic ability in designing pay-notes
for the Jacobite soldiers. After studying some time in Paris under Le
Bas, he returned to England, where he remained till 1760. He then went
back to the Continent, where his ability was freely appreciated, and
where he was loaded with decorations at Rome and Florence. England at
length recognised his merit, and in 1787 the King conferred upon him a
knighthood, which he lived for five years to enjoy. His devotion to the
House of Stuart never altered; the inscription beneath one of his most
celebrated portraits reads 'Charles James Edward Stuart, _called_ the
Young Pretender.'

After the days of Strange, an innumerable number of artists sign their
names to English book-plates; yet, with three exceptions, the names of
none are known to fame till we come to those of a comparatively recent
date. The exceptions are Francis Bartolozzi, John Keys Sherwin, and
Thomas Bewick. Bartolozzi, the man of whom Sir Robert Strange displayed
such ill-concealed jealousy, began to work in England about four years
after the accession of George III., though it was some years before his
worth was appreciated by the people with whom he came to reside. None of
his book-plates belong to a date prior to 1770 or 1780. He removed to
Lisbon in 1802 to take charge of the National Academy, and while there,
it will be remembered, engraved an Englishman's book-plate in 1805 (see
p. 95). His death took place at Lisbon in 1815. Sherwin was born in
poverty, and, owing largely to his own folly, died in it, after having
at one time amassed a considerable sum of money. He was a pupil of
Bartolozzi, gained the Royal Academy gold medal in 1772, and was
appointed Engraver to the King in or about 1785. His book-plate work is
referred to at p. 72.

Thomas Bewick, who, as we have seen (pp. 108-13), was the most prolific
of any English engraver of book-plates, was born at Cherry Burn, in
Northumberland, in 1753, and died in 1828. The incidents in his history
are too well known to need repetition here, and his work upon
book-plates has been already mentioned. It may be, however, noticed that
his earliest book-plate is dated in 1797, the year in which he published
the first volume of his _British Birds_.


[16] See Article in _Bibliographica_, vol. ii. p. 422.



ODDS and ends! The compiler of a volume of this sort is sure to find
plenty of these,--scraps worth putting in somewhere, yet not coming
precisely under any particular head. In the first place, 'Portrait'
book-plates claim attention. We have seen that they exist, but, alas!
that they are so few; for, to any reasonable person, members of the
Heralds' College, of course, excepted, a man's features are certainly
more interesting than his armorial bearings. In England, Sam. Pepys
adopted the style, which was not then unknown on the Continent.
Pirckheimer perhaps originated it, by placing, as I have already said, a
portrait of himself at the end of the volumes, which contained his now
familiar book-plate by Dürer on the front cover; and there are many
other early foreign examples. One of the most conspicuous is the
bust-portrait of John Vennitzer, of Nuremberg, engraved by Pfann, and
dated in 1618, to which I have already alluded (p. 140). Pepys used to
place the small variety of his portrait book-plate--that figured
opposite--at the commencement of many of his books, and that showing his
interwoven initials ('the little plate for my books') at the end. Both
his portrait book-plates are by White. I have failed to find any
allusion in his _Diary_ to the engraving of these book-plates, though,
as we have seen, he refers to the preparation of another (see p. 8). He
very likely took the idea of a 'Portrait' book-plate from that which
Faithorne, either in or soon after 1670, prepared to place in the
volumes left by good Bishop Hacket to Cambridge (see p. 201).


It is possible that we have a portrait in the figure on the book-plate,
already noticed, of Louis Bosch, a clergyman of Tamise, near Antwerp;
but the head is too small to afford an interesting likeness. The priest
sits at a table in his study, the walls of which are lined with volumes,
and beneath him is written in Latin: 'A hunt in such a forest never
wearies,'--the 'forest being,' as Lord De Tabley observes, 'the rows and
ranks of his reverence's books.' In France the 'Portrait' book-plate is
not uncommon; that of a French clergyman, Francis Perrault, figured
opposite, is a nice piece of work, and bears the date 1764; but
portraits, possibly or indeed probably, of the owners occur on French
book-plates at an earlier date. In Italy there is an example in 1760,
the book-plate of Filippo Linarti.


An instance of the use of the 'Portrait' book-plate in England during
the last century is afforded by that of 'Jacobus Gibbs, Architectus,
1736,' which is found in the architectural books bequeathed by the
possessor to the Radcliffe Library at Oxford, a building which he
designed. James Gibbs was born at Aberdeen in 1674, but came south early
in his career, and Londoners may see examples of his work in the
churches of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. Mary le Strand. He also
built the Senate House at Cambridge. He died in 1754. On his book-plate,
which is oblong in shape and might well form the head-piece to a
preface, the portrait appears in a medallion, surrounded by shell and
scroll-work. The engraver, who signs his initials B. B., was Bernard
Baron, a Frenchman, who came to England in 1736 and engraved Hogarth's
portrait of Gibbs.

The resuscitator of 'Portrait' book-plates in England in recent times
was the late Mr. Thoms. That veteran antiquary tells, in a letter to the
_Athenæum_, how he came to use, as a book-plate, a photograph of himself
taken by Dr. Diamond in the very early days of photography. Beneath this
he placed an inscription setting forth that the volume in which it was
fastened was for the use of himself and his friends--a repetition of the
sentiment on one of the Pirckheimer book-plates, 'Sibi et amicis.' We do
not, of course, know how far Pirckheimer meant what he said; but we do
know, any of us who ever asked the loan of a volume from Mr. Thoms, that
the sentiment was by him really meant. No worthy book-borrower ever met
with refusal from that ever courteous literary enthusiast.

After considering 'Portrait' book-plates, the collector may turn his
attention to the study of the book-plates that have belonged to
interesting men. I have spoken of many of these in reaching this point
in my volume, but to the names already mentioned may be added some more:
Charles, Earl of Dorset and Middlesex, who, as Lord Buckhurst, was a
prominent figure at the dull court of Dutch William, saved Dryden from
ruin and introduced Mat Prior to society. Then there is Robert
Harley--great minister, great statesman, and underminer of the Whig
power; founder of the collection of books and manuscripts which now
bears his name. The inscription on his book-plate reads: 'Robert Harley
of Brampton Castle in the county of Hereford, Esq^{re}'; it is found in
two sizes--one for folio volumes, and another for those of smaller size.
Its date may be fixed at the very close of the seventeenth century.

Then we have the book-plate of Sir Thomas Hanmer, the Speaker, a bold
piece of work, in the 'Simple Armorial' style, dated 1707. Hanmer was
born in 1676, so that his book-plate was executed when he was in his
thirty-first year--that is, six years prior to his first entry of the
House of Commons, and probably before he had made much use of the
library with which his name was afterwards associated, when towards the
close of his life he ceased to be a man of politics and became a man of
letters. He died in 1746, leaving, completed, his edition of
Shakespeare's works in half a dozen volumes.

With the book-plate of Sir Thomas Hanmer we may, appropriately,
consider that of Sir Paul Methuen, the soldier and minister of Anne and
George I., with whom Hanmer must have been frequently brought in
contact. Methuen's book-plate is altogether more exceptional in style
than Hanmer's; the mantling, after being blown about by a strong wind,
ends regularly in tassels; curious creatures figure in the design, and
the bracket, on which rests the shield, is upheld by a male and a female

Methuen's book-plate was engraved about 1720. Five years later we find
that of John, Lord Boyle, who, though by means of the quarrel with his
father he was robbed of the Boyle library, had, whilst yet a young man,
a sufficient stock of volumes of his own to necessitate the use of a
distinguishing mark for them. His book-plate is by John Hulett, an
indifferent engraver.

Matthew Prior's book-plate now claims attention; indeed, if these
book-plates of celebrities were taken in strictly chronological order,
it should have been considered before that of Sir Paul Methuen. In style
it is early Jacobean, so that we may date it at, say, 1718, though there
is nothing in the inscription--'Matthew Prior, Esq.'--to show to what
particular period in the 'thin hollow-looked' man's life it belongs. But
it is tempting to place it at the close of his career as a diplomatist,
when he was settling down on the small country property that Harley had
bought for him, and was rich on the proceeds of the subscription to his
huge volume of _Occasional Poems_.

After Prior's book-plate we do not meet with another of a celebrity for
a considerable number of years. One appears at last in that
engraved--probably by a Scotch engraver, about the year 1740--for the
luckless Lord Lovat, who lost his head on Tower Hill after the second
Scotch rebellion. The inscription deserves consideration, because it is
characteristic of the man: 'The Right Honourable Simon Lord Fraser of
Lovat, Chief of the Ancient Clan of the Frasers, Governor of Inverness,'
etc. Mark the way in which he emphasises his headship of the clan! Can
he, in those early days, have heard whisperings of a story that he had
an elder brother who was in hiding lest the law should mete out to him
its penalty for murder? Anyhow, it is a fine bold book-plate, more in
the style of English book-plates of a dozen years earlier; a heavy
ermine-lined mantle of estate falls from the back of the helmet and
encloses both shield and supporters.

John Wilkes had three book-plates, and what is remarkable, they all make
display of the Wilkes armorial bearings. One would fancy that the great
demagogue would, at least in the decoration of the shield, display
bombs, kegs of gunpowder, Phrygian caps, or other emblems of the
manifestation and enjoyment of liberty; but it is not so. Lawrence
Sterne's book-plate is certainly more appropriate. Here we have the bust
of a young man, whom Lord de Tabley considers to be either Juvenal or
Martial, placed on a slab, on either side of which are closed volumes,
one inscribed, 'Alas! poor Yorick,' and the other, 'Tristram Shandy.' No
doubt this book-plate was engraved in or about the year 1761, when
Sterne had bought--as he told a correspondent--seven hundred books, 'dog
cheap, and many good,' which he was then busy arranging in the 'best
room at Coxwould.' Samuel Rogers's book-plate is in the 'wreath and
ribbon' style. William Cowper's is a little later, and shows us a plain
shield without the festoon-decoration. His must become a scarce
book-plate, for he had but few books--only 177 at his death, and the
book-plate does not appear in all; perhaps he began to insert it, but
was stopped by loss of reason. Mr. Bolton suggests that the book-plate
may be the work of Thomas Park, an engraver who, he reminds us, offered
to do anything for Cowper in the way of his art as a labour of love, so
much did he appreciate the poet's writings. Byron's book-plate, alluded
to elsewhere, is without one remarkable feature; whether or not it is
that sent him by the fair admirer already referred to (p. 16) one cannot
say. Thomas Carlyle's book-plate was engraved, in 1853, by H. P. Walker.

One might extend a list of celebrities who have used book-plates _ad
infinitum_; but there is no need to attempt that process here, though it
might be as well to point out that certain book-plates, inscribed with
the names of celebrities, which have induced collectors to speak of
them as the book-plates of these distinguished persons, cannot really
have been made for them. There is, for instance, an early Chippendale
book-plate inscribed 'William Wilberforce,' which is, or perhaps I
should say, used to be, constantly spoken of as the book-plate of the
famous man who was bold enough to suggest that England's colonies could
get on very well without the presence of slavery. Now this book-plate is
very little, if any, later than 1750, and the great emancipator was not
born till 1759; as a matter of fact it was probably engraved for his
grandfather, William Wilberforce of Hull. A great many specimens bear
his signature written at the top of the book-plate. Then, to give one
more instance, there is the book-plate inscribed 'Capt. Cook,' and in
this you are told to see the mark of ownership which the once popular
hero placed in the volumes that composed his library; but, so far as the
evidence of this book-plate goes, Captain Cook may never have had a
library at all. It bears arms highly appropriate to a navigator; but
they were not granted to the Cook family till 1785, and, as every reader
of travel knows, Captain Cook was murdered in 1779. In all probability
this book-plate was engraved for the navigator's son, James Cook, who,
in 1793, attained to the rank of commander in the Navy; 1793, be it
said, is--to judge from its style and decoration--about the date of the

Book-plates of English parish libraries and institutions deserve some
notice for several reasons. In these days, when enthusiasm for the
erection of free libraries is so great, it is curious to be reminded of
the past and long-forgotten efforts of our ancestors to civilise their
neighbours by the use of books. Gloomy affairs most of these 'parish'
libraries are now! You still sometimes find them locked in a damp
vestry, or in a country vicarage, where their existence is a secret to
the parishioners, and, indeed, to most other people. The book-plates of
some of them are interesting. There is a neat design in the Jacobean
style, which shows us the shield divided, and contains on the sinister
side two crossed keys, and on the dexter two crossed swords. This is
inscribed 'Swaffham Library. T. Dalton, F. Rayner, churchwardens, 1737.'
At least two designs for these parish book-plates are by Simon Gribelin.
In one, we have St. John in the isle of Patmos; and in the other, an
unidentifiable figure kneeling in prayer. To each the artist has placed
his initials, 'S. G.,' and both belong to about the same date--1723.

A great many of these parochial libraries were founded early in the last
century by Dr. Thomas Bray, during his lifetime, and by a body calling
themselves the 'Associates of Dr. Bray,' after his death. It was at
Bray's instance that the Act of 7 Anne, 'for the better Preservation of
Parochial Libraries,' was passed by Parliament. One of the earliest of
the foundations under it was in 1720.

It is probable that the 'Associates' issued book-plates for placing in
the volumes of the different libraries established; for there is, in
the design, a space left blank for the insertion, with pen and ink, of
the name of the particular library using the book-plate. These
book-plates generally bear texts or some appropriate words, such as,
'Accipe librum et devora illum' (Rev. x. 9), the scene depicted being
St. John, in the isle of Patmos, receiving the book from the angel; or
sometimes a reminder to the borrower that he needs to do more than
borrow the volume in order to profit by its contents, such as _Tolle,
Lege_, which appears on the book-plate of the parish library of Weobley!

Grotesque heraldry is not often met with in England on genuine
book-plates. We have seen that on many examples the decorative
accessories of the shield have a certain appropriateness to the owner;
besides this, the arms borne have frequently a direct reference to the
bearer's name. But grotesque heraldry, such as that which Hogarth was so
fond of designing, is certainly rare in engravings prepared for
book-plates. There is, however, one example of such heraldry on an
English book-plate, which is worth referring to--I mean the very
interesting example figured on p. 229. This belonged to the
shoemaker-poet, Robert Bloomfield, and certainly the arms upon it are
both grotesque and appropriate to the owner, since they commemorate his
only really successful literary effort, _The Farmer's Boy_. Look for a
moment at the details, for they repay inspection. A figure on cow-back
holding a shoe on the end of a stick, does duty as a crest, two
ploughmen act as supporters, whilst the bearings on the shield represent
every variety of agricultural implement, every occupant of a farm-yard
ordinarily met with, and various tools connected with the owner's craft;
besides, on the sinister half of the shield, is a cobbler in an attitude
suggestive of his having done full justice to a feast in honour of St.
Crispin--not conducted on total abstinence principles. The quarterings
also include three open volumes, and across the pages of one is printed
'Farmer's Boy.' The whole--even to its motto, 'A fig for the
Heralds'--is most characteristic of Bloomfield, and was engraved for
him, in 1813--ten years before his death--by a Cheapside engraver.


       *       *       *       *       *

With this gathering together of scraps and clippings I will bring my
volume to a close. Most of what I have said, and a very great deal
besides, is well known to the students of book-plates; but to them, I
fancy, this work is not intended to appeal. It is meant for the public
at large, to the majority of whom book-plates are unconsidered trifles.
To promote wholesale book-plate _collecting_ in albums and portfolios is
certainly not my intention. If it were, it would be a very undesirable
intention, for so far as it succeeded it would unquestionably lead to
the wholesale disfigurement and destruction of books, without regard to
their value. What I have aimed at is to awaken a wider interest in
book-plates, and a wider observation of them in their abiding places, by
those who either possess them already, or acquire them hereafter. If I
have succeeded in doing this, my work will, I am vain enough to believe,
be not altogether unsuccessful; for book-plates possess really an
artistic and general interest, which will be heightened the more our
stock of knowledge concerning them is increased.


  Adams, John, 157.
  Adamson, Benjamin, 208, 210.
  Adderley, John, 178.
  Adramytteum, Suffragan-Bishop of, 127.
  Æsculapius, represented on a book-plate, 84, 128.
  Affleck, J. H., 112.
  Allegory, in English book-plates, 34, 36, 72, 97, 190, 200.
  ----, wildness of on French book-plates, 142.
  ----, ---- on American book-plates, 159, 160.
  Allen, ---- 107.
  ---- Charles Dexter, 150, 156, 159, 160.
  ---- George, 106.
  American book-plates, 150-161.
  Amman, Jost, 124, 125, 126.
  Ancestry, pride in, expressed on book-plates, 179.
  Anderson, 154.
  ---- John, 112.
  Anson, Thomas, 91.
  Apthorpe, East, 60.
  'Armorial style,' the, 52.
  Atkinson, Buddle, 112.
  Avranches, Bishop of, 138.

  B., B., 220.
  Bacon, Sir Francis, 26.
  Bacon, Sir Nicholas, 26-28, 135.
  Bagford, John, his collections, 2, 26, 28, 188.
  Bailey, J. E., 23.
  Baldrey, John, 76.
  Barber, Joseph, 12-14.
  Barlow, Charles, 57.
  Baron, Bernard, 220.
  Barberini, Maffeo, 148.
  Bartolozzi, F., 15, 72, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 112, 214, 215.
  ---- his receipt for engraving Lady Bessborough's book-plate, 94.
  Bath, Countess-Dowager of, 28, 38, 39, 188.
  ---- Earl of, 38.
  ---- book-plate engravers at, 203-212.
  'Bath Oliver' biscuits, 86.
  Bavaria, Ducal, library of, at Munich, 132.
  Beaufort, Duke and Duchess of, 188.
  Beilby, Ralph, 109.
  Bell, Anning, 190.
  ---- Thomas, 109.
  Bengough, James, 52.
  Bennet, R. H. Alexander, 88.
  Bentley, engraver, 106.
  Berry, Agnes, 96, 196.
  ---- Mary, 177, 196.
  ---- Robert, 196.
  Bessborough, Earl of, 92.
  Bessborough, Lady, 92.
  Bewick, Thomas, 108-113, 177, 189, 214, 215.
  ---- book-plates engraved on copper by, 112.
  Bielke, Thure, 146.
  Bigges, Mr., 112.
  Birnie of Broomhill, 70.
  Bisse, Dr. Philip, 59.
  Blackstone, C., 213.
  Blazon, heraldic, method of representing, 22-24.
  ----, ---- expressed by initials, 40.
  ----, ---- verbal, 30.
  Bloomfield, Robert, 227-228.
  Blosséville, Viscomte de, 136.
  Boetius, 128.
  Bolton, William, 224.
  Bonner, engraver, 177.
  Book-plate, antiquity of the name, 6.
  ---- appropriateness of the name, 5.
  ---- collecting, early days of, 1-5.
  ---- ----, morality of, 54.
  ---- the largest English, 50.
  Book-plates, dates on, 42-47.
  ---- the earliest, 17.
  ---- ---- English, 18.
  ---- ---- French, 18
  ---- ---- Italian, 18.
  ---- ---- Swedish, 18.
  ---- ---- Swiss, 18.
  ---- early use of in England, 20-47.
  ---- necessity for the use of, 17.
  ---- sizes of, 19, 121.
  ---- where to be sought for in a volume, 18.
  ---- English, prominent engravers of, 200-215.
  ---- first used in Germany, 114.
  ---- of famous people, 221-228.
  Book-stealing or spoiling, condemned on book-plates, 162-175.
  Books represented in book-plates, 99-102.
  Borbon-Busset, Viscount de, 141.
  Bosch, Lewis, 177, 218.
  Boston Public Library, the, 153.
  Bosworth, Dr. John, 70.
  Bouchart, A., 136.
  Bouchot, Henri, 23, 144.
  Bouttats family, the, 148, 203.
  Bowles, Henry, 213.
  Boyle, John, Lord, 222.
  Brackstone, John, 62.
  Bradshaw, Henry, 76.
  Brampton, 190.
  Brand, the Antiquary, 109.
  Brandenburg family, arms of, 114.
  ---- Hildebrande, 114.
  Bransby, J. H., 107, 108.
  Bray, Dr. Thomas, 226.
  Bree, Martin, 46.
  Breiner, Count M. L., 122.
  Bridgeman, Henry Toye, 208, 210.
  Brownlowe, Dame Alice, 50.
  ---- Sir William, 50.
  Brydges, the Hon. James, 50.
  Burghers, Michael, 34, 73, 74, 200.
  Burke, Sir Bernard, 2, _note_.
  Burnet, Bishop, 3, 5.
  ---- John, 155.
  Burton, Dr. John, 78.
  Buxheim, 116.
  Byron, Lord, 16.
  Byrd, William, 152.
  Bysshe, Sir Edward, 31, 33.

  ---- Lady, 73.
  Callot, the works of, 6.
  Callowhill, Hannah, 152, _note_.
  Callendar, an American book-plate engraver, 154.
  Cambridge University, 26, 75.
  ---- George I.'s gift to, 75, 202.
  Carew, Sir Nicholas, 11.
  Carington, Francis, 206, 208.
  Carlander, Herr, 146.
  Carlyle, Thomas, 224.
  Carr, Anne, 181.
  ---- Thomas, 112.
  ---- William, 181.
  Cassano-Serra, Duke of, 148.
  Carter, Thomas, 43.
  Castle, Egerton, 143.
  ---- Hedingham, 104.
  Cartwright, J. J., 182.
  Caryer, Richard, 65.
  'Celestial' style, the, 68.
  Ceys, A. T., 143.
  Charles I., statue of, at Charing Cross, 12.
  Charles XIII., book-plate of, 147.
  'Charlie, Prince,' 87.
  Charlton, Charles, 110.
  Chetwynd, Walter, 40.
  Chinese Mandarin, figured on a book-plate, 143.
  Chippendale style, the, 59-65.
  Chodowiecki, D. N., 127.
  Chorley, W. B., 177.
  Cipriani, 90, 92.
  Clapham, A., 112.
  Clark, Charles, 172.
  Clayton, Sir Robert, 44.
  Clonfert, Bishop of, 57.
  Cobbe, R. C., 213.
  College book-plates, 54, 57.
  Collet, John, 183.
  ---- Thomas, 183.
  ---- William, 183.
  Collins, S. J., 213.
  Colonial book-plates, 151.
  Columbine, Francis, 52.
  Conway, Field-Marshal, 195.
  Conyers, John, 204.
  Cook, Captain, 225.
  ---- James, 225.
  Cornwallis, Lord, 52.
  Cotes, Rev. H., 110.
  Courtney, William, 30.
  Cowper, William, 214.
  Cranach, Lucas, 124, 125.
  Crewe, Nathanael, Bishop of Durham, 52.
  Cunliffe, Foster, 91.
  ---- Sir Foster, 90, 91.
  ---- Sir Robert H., 90, 99.
  Cunningham, Allan, 82.
  Currer, Danson Richardson, 88.
  ---- John, 88.
  Custos, Dominick, 127.

  DALTON, T., 226.
  Damer, Anne Seymour, 96, 193, 195, 196.
  ---- Hon. John, 195, _note_.
  Dawkins, Henry, 154.
  Darlington, view of, 106.
  Dartmouth College, 159.
  Dasent, Sir George, 148.
  Dates on book-plates, 42-47.
  De Fleurieu, Chevalier, 143.
  Delafaye, Charles, 64, 208.
  Delphin edition, the, 138.
  De La Colombière, Vulsson, 23.
  De La Vallée, Melchior, 136.
  De Malherbe, Francis, 23, 140, 142.
  De Maridat, Peter, 175.
  De Menezes, Isabel, 94, 185.
  Derby, James, Earl of, 49-50.
  Dering, Sir Edward, 31, 180.
  ---- Thomas, 154, 155.
  De Sales, Charles, 137.
  De Tabley, Lord, 1, 7, 48, 54, 60, 74, 75, 86, 88, 128, 131, 137, 148,
      164, 168, 174, 183, 202, 203, 213, 218, 224.
  Diamond, Dr., 220.
  Dickens, Fr., 46.
  Dinwiddie, Robert, 155, 156.
  Dobson, Rev. I., 210.
  Doctors of Medicine, represented on a book-plate, 84.
  Doeg, Alexander, 112.
  Doolittle, Amos, 154.
  Dorset and Middlesex, Charles, Earl of, 221.
  Douglas, Dr., 15.
  Drummond, Dr. Thomas, 87, 214.
  Dual ownership of book-plates, 198.
  Dubarry, Countess, 140.
  Duché, Rev. Jacob, 158.
  Du Guernier, Louis, 73, 74.
  Duick, John, 86.
  Dürer, Albert, 17, 117, 118, 121.
  Duthy, John, 213.

  Edinburgh, book-plate engravers at, 69.
  Egerton, Randolph, 40, 181.
  Elliston, Robert, 152.
  Elton, C. I., 117.
  Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 57.
  Erasmus, 121.
  Eve, C., 65.
  _Ex Libris_ Society, the, 1.
  ---- appropriateness of the words for book-plates, 6-8.
  Eynes or Haynes, 34.

  FABER, JOHN, Bishop of Vienna, 164.
  Faithorne, William, 36, 200, 218.
  'Farmer's Boy,' the, 227, 228.
  Farmington Library, the, 159, 160.
  Fenwick, John, 184, 185.
  'Festoon Style,' the, 65.
  Fincham, H. W., 2, 102.
  Fitzherbert, Thomas, 208.
  Fleming, Francis, 210.
  ---- Sir William, 202.
  Flemish book-plates, 148-149.
  Fletcher, W. Y., 188.
  Foote, Benjamin Hatley, 65.
  Ford, H., engraver, 90.
  Fox, Charles James, 15, 44-46.
  ---- Sir Stephen, 15.
  Franks, Sir A. Wollaston, 30, 46, 79, 106, 118, 121, 124, 136, 148,
      204, 210.
  French book-plates, 97, 135-146.
  ---- their chief interest, 138-139.
  ---- styles in, 141-142.
  ---- Revolution, effects of the, displayed on French book-plates, 141.
  Froben's press, 121.
  Fuhr, John William, 208.
  Fust, Sir Francis, 43.

  G., S., 226.
  Gage, Sir Thomas, 95.
  Gainsborough, anecdote of, 82.
  Garrick, David, 168-170.
  Gascoigne, T., 88, 90.
  Gaultier, Léonard, 136.
  George I., his gift to Cambridge University, 76, 202.
  George III., arms of, by Bartolozzi, 91.
  Germain, Lady Betty, 194.
  ---- Sir William, 194.
  German book-plates, 114-134.
  Gibbs, James, 218, 219.
  Gift book-plates, 26, 28, 30, 36, 38, 39.
  Godfrey, John, 52.
  Goodford, Samuel, 59.
  Gore, Edward, 213.
  ---- Thomas, 34, 73, 200.
  Gosden, Thomas, 103.
  Gould, Sir Nathaniel, 73.
  Græme, Elizabeth, 157-8.
  ---- Dr. Thomas, 157.
  Gravelot, 78.
  Gray's Inn Library, the, 100.
  Greene, John, 33.
  ---- T. W., 104.
  Gribelin, Simon, 189, 203, 226.
  Gricourt, Abbé de, 143.
  Grimston, Sir Samuel, 39.
  Grotesque heraldry on book-plates, 227.
  Gueullette, Thomas, 143.
  Gusthart, Dr. Robert, 210.

  H., W., 79, 143, 213.
  Hacket, Bishop, 36, 200, 218.
  Haistwell, Edward, 59.
  Hamilton, Walter, 22, 141, 144.
  Hanmer, Sir Thomas, 221.
  Hanover, House of, Oxford's suspected disloyalty to, 78.
  Hare, Sir Thomas, 59.
  Harington, Gostlet, 52.
  Harleian Collections, the, 192.
  Harley, Robert, 221, 222.
  Harrewyn, J., 149.
  Harrison, W., 213.
  Harrold, Countess of, 58.
  Harvard College, 153, 154, 159.
  Hasty Pudding Society, the, 159.
  Haviland, Thomas, 208.
  Haynes or Eynes, 34.
  Hedio, Andrew, 166.
  Hénault, M., 142.
  Henshaw, the engraver, 96.
  Hesketh family, arms of, 50.
  Hewer, William, 100.
  Hibbart, William, 79, 213.
  Hibbins, Lucius Henry, 59.
  Hillary, William, 208.
  Hoadly, Dr. John, 213.
  Hoare, arms of, 95.
  ---- Frances Ann, 196.
  ---- Richard, 95, 196.
  ---- Sir Richard Colt, 95, 196.
  Hogarth, William, 6, 14, 56, 75, 79, 92, 112, 213, 220, 227.
  Holbein, drawings by, 91.
  Holcombe, John, 68.
  Holland, John, 79.
  Hollar's armorial work, 33.
  Holles, Henrietta Cavendish, 192.
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 161.
  Holzschuher family, 125, 126.
  Hommeau, C. F., 168.
  Howard, Dr. Jackson, 2, 30, 32.
  Huet, Dr. P. D., 138.
  Hughes, John, 208.
  Hulett, John, 222.
  Hungerford, Sir George, 36.
  Hunloke, Sir Henry, 40.
  ---- Henry, 179.
  Huntingdon, Selina, Countess of, 194.
  Hurd, Nathaniel, 154.
  Hustler, James, 59.
  ---- Sir William, 52.

  I'ANSON, Sir T. B., 68.
  Ingold, Father, 136.
  Ireland, John, 6.
  Irish book-plates, 69-70.
  Isham, Sir Charles, 11.
  ---- Sir Thomas, 8-11, 200.
  Italian MSS., heraldic decoration of, 16.
  ---- book-plates, 147-8, 218.

  Jacobean style, the, 53-59.
  Jacobite Life-guards, the, 214.
  Jaquéri, Jean Eli, 212.
  James II., statue of, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 12.
  Jeffreys, Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pomfret, 193.
  Jenkins, Miss, 2.
  Jesus College, 57.
  Jodrell, Paul, 50.
  Johnson, engraver, 154.
  Jones, G. L., Bishop of Kilmore, 66.

  KENDRICK, DR., 106.
  Kennett, White, Bishop of Peterborough, 102.
  Kent, Henry, Duke of, 58.
  Kerrich, Dr. Samuel, 14.
  Kilian, Lucas, 127.
  ---- Wolffgang, 124, 127.
  Kilmore, Bishop of, 66.
  Kirby Hall, 104.
  Knatchbull, Thomas, 49.
  Knight, Hon. Henrietta, 213.
  Knöringen, John Giles, 180.
  Koler, Susanna, 127.
  Kressenstain, J. W., 126.

  LABOUCHERE, MISS NORNA, 186, 188, 190, 198.
  Ladies' book-plates, 186-199.
  Lamballe, Princess de, 198.
  Lambart, George, 6, 79.
  Landscape book-plates, 103.
  Larson, William, 12.
  Le Bas, engraver, 214.
  'Legacy' book-plates, 28.
  Legh, Gerard, 23.
  Le Grand, engraver, 140.
  Leicester Warren, Hon. J. B., _see_ De Tabley, Lord.
  Le Mercier, Father, 141.
  Lethieullier, John, 59.
  'Library Interiors,' 99, 100, 144, 146.
  Libraries, Public, 99.
  Lichfield Cathedral, view of, 106.
  Lilienthal, Michael, 167.
  Linarti, Filippo, 218.
  Liverpool Library, the, 99, 100.
  Lloyd, Rev. John, 176.
  Locker, Capt. William, 103.
  Loggan, David, 8-11, 200.
  Lombe, Lady, 189.
  Lovat, Lord, 223.
  Lulin, Amadeus, 146.
  Lumisden, Andrew, 11, 87, 214.
  Lynch, Philip, 58.
  Lyttelton book-plate, 200.
  ---- Sir Edward, 32.

  M., R., 213.
  Macciucca, Francesco Vargas, 171, 199.
  Macdonald, H., 174.
  Malassis, _see_ Poulet-Malassis.
  Manchester Circulating Library, the, 99.
  ---- Subscription Library, the, 99.
  Mantling, style of, 52.
  Marks, John, 174.
  Marlborough, Duchess of, 195.
  Marriott book-plate, the, 36.
  Marshall, William, 32, 200.
  Marsham, John, 33.
  Mason, Dame Anna Margaretta, 58, 189.
  Massie, Richard, 59.
  Massy, Francis, 208.
  Maury, Cardinal, 140.
  Mavericks, the, engravers, 154.
  Mayo, Lady, 190.
  Mercator, Daniel, 179.
  ---- Nicholas, 179, 180.
  Methuen, Sir Paul, 222.
  Middlesex, Lionel, Earl of, ill-treatment of his wife, by, 38.
  Minerva, presented with a tomahawk, 159.
  Mitford, John, 96.
  Moises, Edward, 112.
  Monmouth, James, Duke of, 181.
  Moore, Bishop, library of, 75.
  ---- O, 175.
  Morghen, Raphael, 147, 148.
  Mottoes, punning, 176.
  ---- repeated in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, 120.
  Moule, Thomas, 6, 12.
  Mountaine, Robert, 212-213.
  Muilman, Peter, 104.
  Musgrave, Sir Christopher, 204.
  Myller, Sebastian, 127.
  Mynde, H., 103.

  NACK, J. B., 7, 8.
  'Name Tickets,' 40, 134.
  ---- used in France, 135.
  ---- ---- Germany, 135.
  Nash, 'Beau,' 206.
  Neptune, figured on a book-plate, 96.
  Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 12.
  ---- St. Michael's Church, view of, 109.
  New College, Oxford, 58.
  Newdigate, Richard, 52.
  New England Library, the, 153.
  Newport, Lady, 38.
  New York Society Library, 159.
  Nevill, Lady Dorothy, 199.
  Nicholson, Gilbert, 43.
  Nicholson, ----, an attorney at Lichfield, 106.
  North, Hon. Anne, 189.
  Nott, Fettiplace, 40.
  Nuremberg, Library of St. Laurence at, 183.

  OKEY, family book-plate, 183.
  Oliver, Dr. William, 84, 86, 212.
  ---- William, 210.
  Ord, John, 64.
  Oringen, 125.
  Orr, J., 70, _note_.
  Oxford, Earl of, 192, 193.
  ---- Henrietta, Countess of, 14, 79, 81, 190, 193, 203.
  Oxford, suspected disloyalty of, to the House of Hanover, 78.

  Pain, Anne, 198.
  ---- Thomas, 198.
  Paper, its ancient scarcity, 116.
  Park, Thomas, 224.
  Parlington, library at, 88.
  Parochial Libraries, 167, 168, 203, 225, 226, 227.
  Parsons, Daniel, 21.
  Paynter, David, 44.
  Pembroke College, 57.
  Penn, Sophia, 213.
  ---- Thomas, 151.
  ---- William, 151, 152, _note_.
  Pennant, Henry, 208.
  Penny, Nicholas, 52.
  Pepys, Samuel, 8, 18, 40, 100, 178, 216-218.
  Pereira, Rev. H. W., 121.
  Perrault, Francis, 218.
  Personal particulars on book-plates, 178.
  Petrarca, Giuseppe, 122.

  Petra-Sancta, Father, his system of expressing metals and tinctures in
      heraldry, 23.
  Pfann, engraver, 216.
  Physicians, College of, 15.
  Picart, Bernard, 144.
  'Picture' book-plates, 98-113.
  Pindar, Elizabeth, 188.
  Pine, John, 75, 76, 78, 79, 100, 202.
  Pirckheimer, Bilibald, 7, 17, 18, 117, 118, 162, 175, 220.
  Pitfield, Charles, 40, 178.
  Pocklington, Joseph, 65.
  Polish book-plates, 149.
  Pollard, engraver, 96.
  Pollen, Rev. George, 68.
  Pömer, Hector, 118, 120, 121.
  Pomfret, Lady, 193, 194.
  Pompadour, La, 140.
  Ponsonby, Hon. Gerald, 94.
  Pope, figured on a book-plate, 81.
  Porcellian Club, the, 159.
  Portal, Joseph, 213.
  Portrait book-plates, 36, 98, 196, 200, 216-220.
  Poulet-Malassis, M., 1, 7, 97, 135, 136, 141, 142.
  Powlet, C. S., 213.
  ---- George, 213.
  Priestley, Joseph, 107.
  Prince Library, the, 153.
  ---- Thomas, 153.
  Prior, Matthew, 182, 222.
  Punning Heraldry, instances of, upon book-plates, 125.
  Pye, engraver, 104, 106.


  RABY, LORD, 181.
  Radcliffe Library, J. Gibbs's gift to, 218.
  Raigniauld, engraver, 136.
  Rayner, F., 226.
  Red-skins figured on book-plates, 159.
  Reilly, John, 53, 166, 167.
  Restoration, increase in number of book-plates, after the, 33.
  Revere, engraver, 154.
  Rieterin, Margretha, 118.
  Roberts-Brown, J., 2.
  Robinson, John, 59.
  ---- Johnson, 208.
  ---- Thomas, 176.
  ---- Sir William, 46.
  Rochdale Circulating Library, the, 99.
  'Rococo' style, the, 142, 147.
  Roe, engraver, 96.
  Rogers, Samuel, 224.
  Roos, Lady, 50, 188.
  ---- Lord, 50, 52.
  Rosenberg, Count of, 127, 130, 131.
  Ross, T., 81.
  Rowney, Thomas, 52.
  Royal Society, Library of, 118.
  Royall, Isaac, 151, _note_.
  Rushout, Sir John, 59.
  Russian book-plates, 149.
  Rylands, J. Paul, 43, 100, 179.

  SADELER, GILES, 124, 127, 132.
  ---- Joseph, 124.
  St. Albans Grammar School, 39.
  St. David's, Bishop of, 59.
  St. Frances de Sales, 137.
  St. John figured on a book-plate, 167, 226, 227.
  St. John's College, Camb., 57.
  St. Paul figured on a book-plate, 124, 125.
  St. Peter figured on a book-plate, 125.
  St. Quintin, Sir William, 43.
  St. Thomas's Hospital, 59.
  Sartor, James, 202.
  Sartorius, Christopher, 202.
  Sayer, John, 52.
  Scharff, Gottfried Balthazar, 176.
  Schintz, Dr. C. S., 128.
  Scotch book-plates, 69-70.
  ---- rebellion, the second, 12.
  Scripture, quoted in condemnation of book-stealing, 167.
  Scroope, Simon, 50.
  Seyringer, John, 175.
  Shakespeare represented on a book-plate, 81.
  Shelburne, Lord, his quarrel with Priestley, 107.
  Sheraton, Thomas, 66.
  Sherwin, John Keys, 72, 90, 96, 214, 215.
  Sibmacher, Hans, 126.
  Signeira, drawing by, 95.
  Sinton, engraving by, 137.
  Sion College Library, 102.
  Skeleton, one represented on a book-plate, 129.
  Skinner, J. [Jacob?], 64, 81, 84, 203-212.
  ---- Matthew, 212.
  Skorina, F., 124.
  Sloane, Sir Hans, 12.
  Smyth, Sir John, 212.
  Southey, Robert, 209-210.
  Southwell (anon.), 34.
  ---- Sir Robert, 40, 180.
  ---- Hon. R. H., 103.
  Spanish book-plates, 148.
  Speratus, Paulus, 122, 166.
  Stanley, Sir Edward, 50.
  Stapylton, Sir Bryan, 46.
  ---- Martin, 46.
  Stearne, Bishop John, 7.
  Stephens, William, 14.
  Sterne, Laurence, 223, 224.
  Stirling-Maxwell, Sir William, 19.
  Stourhead, 95.
  Strafford, Earl of, 182.
  Strange, Sir Robert, 11, 87, 214, 215.
  Strawberry Hill, 103, 106, 195.
  Study, praise of, on book-plate, 175-177.
  Sturgis, John, 213.
  Surgeons, College of, 15.
  Surtees, Robert, 68.
  Swaffham, parish library of, 226.
  Swedish book-plates, 146-147.
  Swift, Jonathan, 194.
  Swiss book-plates, 147.
  Sydenham, Sir Philip, 102, 184, 203.
  Sydney Sussex College, 30.
  Symons, John, 66.

  Talbot, Col. John, 30.
  ---- C., 170.
  Tapestry in the House of Commons, 202.
  Terry, engraver, 104.
  Thomas, Sir Edmund, 212.
  Thompson, William, 52.
  Thoms, Mr., 220.
  Thoresby, the historian of Leeds, 184.
  Thorne, Peregrine Francis, 212.
  Titles, English, a stumbling-block to foreigners, 74.
  'Tombstone Style,' the, 59.
  Tommins, Jean, 90.
  Tower of London, library of the Public Record Office in, 103, 104.
  Towneley, Richard, 184.
  Trémouille, Charlotte, Countess of Derby, 49.
  Tresham, Sir Francis, 28.
  ---- Sir Lewis, 28.
  ---- Sir Thomas, 28, 30.
  Trinity Hall, 57.
  Troschel, Hans, 124, 126.
  Turner, engraver, 154.
  Twemlow, William, 44.
  Tynemouth Priory, view of ruins of, 110.
  Tyneside, the, Bewick's sketching ground, 110-112.
  Tyrwhit, Francis, 179.

  URBAN VIII., book-plate of, 148.

  VANDERGUCHT, MICHAEL, 193, 202-203.
  Vander Noot, Count, 149, 185.
  Vennitzer, John, 183, 216.
  Venus figured on a book-plate, 92.
  Versailles, library at, 140.
  Vertue, George, 14, 56, 79, 192-193, 203.
  Vicars, Sir Arthur, 98, 146.
  Vienna, College of St. Nicholas at, 164.
  Von Hagenau, Ferdinand, 127.
  Von Zell, William, 116.

  Wakefield, Gilbert, 107.
  Wale, Samuel, 193.
  ---- T., 87.
  Walker, H. P., 224.
  Walpole, Horace, 14, 15, 103, 106, 178, 195, 196, 203.
  Walters, Henry, 208.
  Wanly, Humphrey, 31.
  Warnecke, Herr, 16.
  Warrington, local volunteers, picture of one, 107.
  Warrington, view of, 106.
  Washington, George, 156, 157, 158.
  Way, G. L., 108.
  Welbeck, 190.
  Wentworth, Sir John, 50.
  ---- Thomas, Earl of, 181, 182.
  Weobley Parish Library, 227.
  Wernerin, designer, 128.
  Wessenbrun, monastery of, 167.
  Westmoreland, Francis Fane, Earl of, 38.
  Wharton, Philip, Lord, 180.
  ---- William, 40, 180.
  Wheatley, Henry, 106.
  White, engraver, 218.
  Wightwick, George, 173.
  Wigtown, Earl of, 210.
  Wilberforce, William, 225.
  Wilkes, John, 223.
  Willcox, Rev. F., 39.
  William III., effect of his invasion upon English fashions, 74.
  Williams, Rev. John, 153.
  Willis, Sherlock, 167, 168.
  Willmer, William, 30.
  Wiltshire, John, 81, 82, 86.
  Windham, Sir Edmund, 179.
  ---- Thomas, 179.
  Winnington, Francis, 59.
  Wodroofe, John, 208.
  Wolsey, Cardinal, 18, 24.
  Woodward, Charles, 173.
  Worlidge, 213.
  'Wreath and Ribbon Style,' the, 65.
  Wren, Sir Christopher, 12.
  Wyndham, Wadham, 78.

  Yates, engraving by, 91.
  ---- James, 107.

    Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to her Majesty
    at the Edinburgh University Press

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page xv, "Bromhill" changed to "Broomhill" (BIRNIE OF BROOMHILL)

Page 144, "th" changed to "the" (perhaps the most gloomy)

Page 150, missing marker "1" added to footnote.

Page 184, the inscription on Sir Philip Sydenham's book was moved out of
the end of the paragraph to allow the

      {Ætatis: 73
      {Domini: 1702.'

to be lined up at the end as they are in the original text.

Page 184, "mathematican" changed to "mathematician" (astronomer and a

Page 195, "y" changed to "yet" (and have not yet)


Page 233, "Chadowiecki" changed to "Chodowiecki" and moved to new
alphabetical position (Chodowiecki, D. N., 127.)

Page 233, "Maridal" changed to "Maridat" (De Maridat, Peter)

Page 235, "Henault" changed to "Hénault" (Hénault, M.)

Page 235, "I'ANSON" changed to "I'ANSON" (I'ANSON, Sir T. B.)

Page 236, this text uses both Jaquéri in the text once and Jacquéri in
the index once. The index was changed to reflect what was in the text,
but the reader should be aware that the name appears both ways in other
texts and often with "Elie" instead of "Eli."

Page 235, "Kaler" changed to "Koler" and move to new alphabetical
position (Koler, Susanna)

Page 236, "Linasti" changed to "Linarti" (Linarti, Filippo)

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