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Sunday, February 12, 2012

There are two circles, a lower case o and a numeral 0 but no X, but read on

I have two exceptional American bookplates and associated ephemera in the collection.
I think I enjoy the material more because the envelope, the note and the two bookplates were enclosed and sent (with a request for a swap) to A W MacKenzie, Ohio USA in 1912.
So all the elements are still intact.

I have many unanswered questions but have managed to find some detail on the owner, the engraver and have made some awkward leaps of faith in suggesting the designer of the bookplates . . . I stand to be corrected.
The central motif shows a teaching slate with portion of the contents lost. It seems to me that the parchment has been stretched and pinned on all sides, was Rebecca Margaret Kearsley a teacher? [ I have since found out from Lew in the States hat she was a musician. ]  What sort of background did she have? The WMGS shows that she graced the earth from 1866–1940, she married Elmer L. White on the 17th August 1886, gave birth to Margaret Sarah White on 24th Sept 1888 and had reverted back to a Miss when she penned the letter I have on 25th Feb 1912.

And what about her monogram with the proud bird holding a budding twig? It also features as a central motif on both bookplates . . .

Does the latin inscription have anything to tell us? (Inguibus et Rostro).

Which bookplate came first? Her use of her full name, R. M. Kearsley or just Margaret Kearsley . . . the engraver's name on the mono bookplate is A. N. Macdonald Fecit 1911. I've found another bookplate belong to William Corless Mills, engraved by Arthur Nelson Macdonald and designed by Thomas Ewing French - click here.
From the USA Library of Congress - 

Bookplate of American archaelogist and museum curator William Corless Mills (1860-1928). Print shows archaeological symbols, artifacts, and a skeleton. Zinc etching, chine-collé, designed by Thomas Ewing French (1871-194)

Another bookplate similar to the one above has been covered + many more by Lew Jaffe (the famous bookplate junkie) in a 2009 post of his - click here.

Lew emailed me that the engraver was Herman F. Hager of Detroit, thanks Lew! Then I looked at the handwritten note in pencil on the reverse, in A.W.'s hand all was revealed!

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