Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bookplate Art

Bookplates are becoming an old-fashioned art form, I suppose, but I love them as much as I love books.

I have made two different bookplates for my own collection. The one on the right is the first one, made during high school. It’s the coat of arms of my ancestral Scottish clan, the Mackays. They were both drawn in scratchboard, my favorite medium in high school and college.


The cornucopia for image connoisseurs, called “Dark Roasted Blend,” has an inspiring collection of bookplate or “ex libris” art, some funny, some macabre, some poetic, some extravagant.

13 comments:

Jacob Collins said...

Hi Jim,

It seems that we're related, sort of. My wife is descended from the Mackay clan on her dad's side.

Jacob

Random York said...

Jim, I enjoy your blog so very much- thank you for the work you put into it! - John

mordicai said...

I've had bookplate & embossing urges myself, but I can't bring myself to do it! A combination of not wanting to embark on the huge project of tagging all my books & the irrational desire not to "hurt" them.

Steve said...

I love bookplates, too. Last year I found a wonderful Rockwell Kent bookplate for a reasonable price on eBay. One tiny mat and postcard frame later and we have a small masterpiece on the wall.

JohnB said...

I think most book collectors have a fascination with bookplates and I'm no different. It's always a nice surprise to open a book purchased online and find a bookplate or several inside. It not only makes it more personal, but as your link shows, some are beautiful little works of art.

Steve said...

Now that I've looked at the Dark Roasted Blend link (great stuff!) I'd venture to guess the executioner bookplate is one of Rockwell Kent's.

Erik Bongers said...

Never tried scratchboard (scrapeboard?) before, but I love the graphic effect. Will try it one day.

stevec said...

You might also like this

Ex Libris Museum
http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~exlibris/index.html

Don't miss the gallery. Just click on any name, you can't go wrong.

My Pen Name said...

"on the isle of skye my name is mackay (mc-kie)
when i walk down broadway my name is mackay (mac-kay) '

Heh. I like bookplates, but i always thought they ruined books. I hate finding them in old used books i have bought they make me feel like they're not mine.

On the other hand, I wish had put them in the books i have lent to people how have never returned them as a reminder :)

Modern Girl Style said...

You blog is so fabulous! I just caught up with several of your posts and I'm so excited about your new book! Thanks for keep me inspired to write & draw!

China Blue Rockett said...

I didn't know you could do this with scratchboard! I love the stuff; though I haven't experimented much with it. Gotta look into these bookplates; I love your James&Jeanette piece especially. How do you tend to make these, from scratchboard to realization?

Stephen Crotts said...

Any suggestions on how to print and apply bookplates in an archival fashion? Thanks.

James Gurney said...

Stephen, I had them printed on acid-free gummed stock, the kind you activate with water, and they've been very stable.