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No. 431, September 5, 2010

Ex Libris Sherlock Holmes
By Don Hobbs

The earliest know use of a bookplate date backs to 1300 B.C. in Egypt. The current form came into use in the middle Ages.  The first printed bookplates were German and date to the 15th century.  My wife has become a blogoholic and sent me a link to a website dedicated to bookplates.
is the link to Bookplate Junkies. There is access to their archives going back to blogs posted in 2006. The blog is weekly and features insight into the world of bookplates. So far, I have not seen anything in the archives related to Sherlock Holmes.

The most recent blog features Katherine C. Bartholomew (1907-1992), Bookplate Designer. There are many fine examples of her works. A link is provided to a site that keeps up-to-date records of know bookplates designed by Ms. Bartholomew.  If anyone fines one that has previously been unknown, they can send a scan of the bookplate to an email address and the archives can updated their records.

Sherlockian have been creating Sherlockian related bookplates just about, as long as they have been playing the game. Some Sherlockians, such as Vincent Starrett, included his bookplate into the headstone of his grave. Others like John Bennett Shaw show a bookshelf with the title of many books mixed alongside title of Sherlock Holmes books. Tom Simmons, retire Executive Editor of The Dallas Morning News, designed a Sherlockian character peering at a single volume through a lens.

In 1992, Silent Books published a volume titled Sherlockian Bookplates. W. E. Butler edits this small book and presents examples from many of the late, great Sherlockians. The book’s cover is a reproduction of Stanley Mackenzie’s bookplate. This example is from an original drawing acquired by Mackenzie in the late 1950’s by Gordon Hogg done as a tailpiece for a poem that ran in The London Mystery Magazine in 1949.  This is fun addition to any Sherlockian collection. I recently picked up a copy of this book translated into Russian.

There have been plenty of universal bookplates with a Sherlockian motif. When the Quality Paperback Club was still around, they designed and gave away to new members a packet of Sherlock Holmes bookplate. I also bought a watch with the same Sherlock Holmes caricature on its face. Linda Finch designed a nice commercial bookplate featuring Holmes in the mid 1970’s. This is just another area of Sherlocking that needs exploring and this will expand the knowledge base.

Happy Collecting!!

Vincent Starrett Bookplate

Vincent Starrett Grave in Chicago.

John Bennett Shaw Bookplate

Tom & Jean Simmons bookplate

Don Hobbs bookplate

From the Quality Paperback Club

Designed by Linda Finch, 1975.

All examples are from my collection.

Archives for
2002 to 2008

Archives for 2009

Past 2009 Columns

January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! A Sherlockian Potpourri

January 10, 2010
Sherlockian Nirvana

January 17, 2010
Sherlocking in New York City 2010

January 24, 2010
The Forgetful Sherlockian

January 31, 2010
Barcelona October 2010

February 7, 2010
Sherlocking in Southern California

February 14, 2010
Sherlocking in the Sun

February 21, 2010
The Don Hobbs Olympics

February 28, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

March 6, 2010
Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation

March 14, 2010
Lake Sherlockbegon Revisited

March 21, 2010

March 28, 2010
Spring At Last

April 4, 2010
Another One Bites The Dust

April 11, 2010
The New Sherlock Holmes

April 18, 2010
Adventures of a Maniac Collector

April 25, 2010
More Sherlockian Potpourri

May 2, 2010
Sherlock Holmes: The Melodrama

May 9, 2010
Sherlocking in the Pacific Northwest

May 16, 2010
Sherlockian Ramblings

May 23, 2010
Marriage, Sherlock Holmes and Logic

May 30, 2010
Foreign Accent Syndrome

June 6, 2010
Sherlocking With Les Klinger

June 13, 2010
The God of the Hive -- A Review

June 20, 2010
Sherlock Takes A Back Seat

June 27, 2010
The Manga Sherlock Holmes

July 4, 2010
Sherlock Is Still In The Back Seat

July 11, 2010
Tough Decisions

July 18, 2010
The Signs of the Four

July 25, 2010
Sherlocking in San Luis Obispo, California

August 1, 2010
The No Fog Countries Meeting

August 8, 2010
Sherlocking at The Spirits of Sherlock Holmes

August 15, 2010
The Crucifer of Blood

August 22, 2010
Sherlocking with John Farrell

August 29, 2010
A Thing That The Dutch Know More About

September 5, 2010
Ex Libris Sherlock Holmes