Posts Tagged ‘Bookplates’

Bookplate Mania strikes again!

Monday, May 14th, 2012

With trembling hands, I eagerly opened the cardboard 9 X 12 envelope from Belgium.

I knew what it as soon as it arrived in the mail: my bookplates, trophies of  my ebay shopping spree some time ago.  I wrote about it here, describing the thousands of bookplates available on ebay, as I discovered the whole, hidden cult of bookplate collecting, which I’ve also described here and here and here.

I made my impulsive purchases, about half a dozen of them,  from the etchings and linocuts and paintings.  I’ve included three in this post.

They were even better than I was expecting, and I can expect a lot. On the two larger bookplates featured here, the soft paper bears the indentation of the copper plate as it was pushed into the paper.

The mysterious cat protecting the mouse is a hand-coloured etching by Russian artist Yuori Smirnov … and why is the bow-tied feline wrapping the rodent in a fur coat?  And why does the mouse look happy about it?  It’s on ecru-colored paper, signed by the artist with the date, 2008, and marking it the 17th imprint out of a total 50.  (An elegant embossing with a lobster is near the signature.) The plate size is 110 x 122 mm, on a sheet that’s about 7 x 8″.

The haunting image above is entitled “Requiem.” (Do bookplates have titles? Well, this one does). The copperplate etching was created by another Russian artist, Yurij Lyukshin, who hand-painted it afterward with brown, ochre, and slate hues.  Who is the mummied figure, and who are the four mourning women?  And why are ladders nearby, and a bird? It is signed dramatically (as you can see) in Cyrillic, with the date ’03.  It’s the 38th imprint out of a total 100.  The soft, fine paper with the deckled edge is slightly yellow – about an 144 x 197 mm plate impression on an 8 X 10″ sheet.  (Yes, yes, I know the photograph is tilted…)

And I couldn’t sign out of my ebay splurge without adding this Saint Christopher, since I was born on his feast day. The linocut is signed by the Romanian artist Alexander Radulescu with the date 1989, and its the 17th of 100.

Now here’s the deal.  The patron saint of travelers was about two-and-a-half bucks. “Requiem” was $6.46, and the cat went for $7.81 (I actually had a competing bidder on that one.)

All pretty good prices for original artwork.  I doubt you could find better if you bought the prints qua prints at an art auction.

Try your own hand on ebay, here. Go on, I dare you.