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Ex Libris Sherlock Holmes
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.
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.
All examples are from my collection.
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