Monday, 31 December 2007

Lord Dover

George James Welborne Agar-Ellis, PC, FSA, FRS, 1st Baron Dover (1797-1833)

He was the son of Henry Welbore Ellis, 2nd Viscount Clifden of Gowran and Lady Caroline Spencer daughter of Sir George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Caroline Russell.
He married Lady Georgiana Howard, daughter of Sir George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle and Lady Georgiana Dorothy Cavendish.

He was a Whig M.P. from 1818-1826 and from 1830 and 1831 and supported Canning's motion in 1822 for a bill to relieve the disabilities of Roman Catholic peers. He was a trustee of the British Museum and a founder of the National Gallery.

F 9784 [1814]
Arms: quarterly: 1 and 4, argent on a cross sable five crescents argent; 2 and 3, azure a lion rampant argent.
Crest: a demi-lion rampant.
Supporters: Dexter, a greyhound collarded, the collar charged with three crescents; sinister a lion, with a crest.
Motto: Non hæc sine numine

Lord Dover used 2 other bookplates (F9782, F9783) and another, bearing his title of Lord Dover (after 1831) with Ellis, quartering Agar, impalling Howard (F9775). He also used superlibris stamped on the binding covers of his books see, Binding stamp of George Agar-Ellis, Baron Dover

Duke of Gordon

Cosmo George Gordon, KT, 3rd Duke of Gordon and 6th Marquess of Huntly (1721-1752)

Arms: Quarterly: 1st azure, three boars’ heads couped or, Gordon; 2nd or, three lions’ heads erased gules, langued azure, Badenoch; 3rd or, three crescents within a double tressure flory counter-flory gules, Seton; 4th azure, three cinquefoils argent, Fraser.
F1225 – attributes it with doubts

He was the son of General Alexander Gordon, (c. 1678– 1728), Earl of Enzie, 5th Marquess of Huntly & 2nd Duke of Gordon and Lady Henrietta Mordaunt, dau. of General Charles Mordaunt, 3rd Earl of Peterborough.
He married Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of Sir William Gordon, 2nd Earl of Aberdeen by his 2nd. wife Lady Susan Murray.
His grandfather George, 1st Duke of Gordon despite having given allegiance to William of Orange was always suspected of professing sympathies for the legitimate Stuart exiled King and was prosecuted till his death in the reign of George I.
His father, the 2nd Duke, travelled vastly in Europe and was a close friend of Cosimo III Medici, Grand-Duke of Tuscany. He joined the Jacobite uprising of 1715 commanding a cavalry unit under General Mar but then submitted to the government and was imprisoned for a short period.
The 3rd. Duke refused to join the Jacobite Rising of 1745, unlike his younger brother Lord Lewis Gordon who took an active part in it saving the honour of the Family. But this standing made him being created a Knight of the Order of the Thistle and being elected a representative peer for Scotland (1747-1752). See, however, mentioning the possibility of the Duke having secretly supportted the Jacobites.
The titles of Lord Gordon of Badenoch, Earl of Enzie and Marquess of Huntly were created by King James I on 17th April 1599, on behalf of George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly. His eldest son George Gordon, 2nd Marquess (1592-1649) was a royalist and was beheaded at Edinburgh by order of the Scots Parliament.
The latter’s grandson the 4th Marquess was created Duke of Gordon after the Restoration by Charles II on November 1684 in recognition for the family’s support during and after the Civil War. An uncle of the 4th Marquess, Charles Gordon had also been created Earl of Aboyne in 1661.
See, Clan Gordon

Sources: Historic Earls and Earldoms of Scotland - Chapter III - Earldom and Earls of Huntly
Debrett’s Peerage, Barotenage & Knightage, London, 1904

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Bt. Abercromby of Birkenbog

Sir Robert Abercromby (1784 – 1855), 5th Bt. Abercromby of Birkenbog

Arms: Abercromby quartering Ogilvy
Crest: a falcon rising belled proper
Supporters: Two greyhounds argent, collared gules
Mottos: Petit alta / Mercy is my desire
F 51

He was the son of Sir George Abercromby of Birkenbog, 4th Bt. and Hon. Jane Ogilvy and married Lady Elizabeth Stephenson Douglas, daughter of Samuel Douglas.
A M.P. for Banffshire (1812-1818) succeeded to the title on 1831.
Seat: Forglen House, Banffshire, Scotland.


Thursday, 27 December 2007

Thomas Boultbee Parkyns

Thomas Boultbee Parkyns (died 1833, Italy)

Crest: on a wreath argent and sable a pine apple braunche verte, the aple in his proper couller mantled gules, double argente.
Warwick 145 Strand
F 22776
He used another bookplate F 22774, an armorial shield on a mantle.

The son of Sir Thomas Parkyns, 3rd. Baronet (1728-1806) and his third wife Jane Boultbee.
Married 1819 Charlotte Mary Smith, dau. of George Smith of Edwalton, co. Nottingham. His elder brother Col. Thomas Boothby Parkyns was MP for Leicester and in 1795 was made Baron Rancliffe.
His great-grandfather Sir Thomas Parkyns, married to Anne Cressy was made a baronet by Charles II in 1681 in reward of his father's loyalty to the Royal cause in the Civil War.

His eldest son Sir Thomas George Augustus PARKYNS (1820-1895) succeeded his cousin as 5th Bt.

Bunny Hall

Earl of Chesterfield

Sir Philip Dormer Stanhope, PC, KG (1694 - 1773), 4th Earl of Chesterfield (cr. 1628)
4th Baron Stanhope of Shelford, co. Nottingham

Suc. in 1726
Arms: Stanhope
Motto: A Deo et Rege

There are two bookplates with the Stanhope arms with a Garter on a mantle, the first (above) with supporters and the second (see below) without supporters.

The first bookplate might be F 27861 and the second F 27859.

He was the son of Philip Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Chesterfield and Lady Elizabeth Saville daughter of of George Saville, 1st Marquess of Halifax and Gertrude Pierrepont. The title came from his great-grandmother Katherine Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield (1609–1667) the faithful companion of Princess Mary, The Princess Royal, Princess of Orange, and Countess of Nassau, eldest daughter of King Charles I and mother of William of Orange, later king William III of England.
He married Petronilla Melusina von der Schulenburg, Countess of Walsingham, daughter of George I, King of Great Britain and Ermengarde Melusina Baronin von der Schulenberg, on 14 May 1733, without issue.
Lord Chesterfield was a Whig Member of Parliament for St. Germans between 1715 and 1722 and for Lostwithiel between 1722 and May 1723, Ambassador to Holland (1728-32) and Lord Steward of the of Household (1730-33). A member of the Cabinet in 1744 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1745.
He wrote «Letters of Philip Dormer, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, To His Godson and Successor».
His only son Philip Stanhope (1732 – 1768), Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Dresden predeceased him without legitimate issue and he was succeeded in the title by his kinsman Philip Stanhope, KG.

Sir Philip Stanhope, PC, KG, FSA, FRS, 5th Earl of Chesterfield (1755-1805) was the son of Arthur Charles Stanhope and Margaret Headlam and succeeded also to the title of 5th Baron Stanhope of Shelford. He was Ambassador to Spain (1784 – 1787), and Master of the Horse between 1798 and 1804.
Chesterfield Mss.

Earls of Lauderdale

The bookplate might have belonged to the 4th or to his brother the 5th Earl of Lauderdale, we are not certain and the Frank’s Catalogue does not help.

Richard Maitland, PC, 4th Earl of Lauderdale (1653 – 1695)

Arms: Maitland quartering Lauder

He was the eldest son of Charles Maitland, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale and Lady Elizabeth Lauder and the nephew of the famous John Maitlnad, second Earl, and Duke of Lauderdale a faithful supporter of king Charles II.
From 3 April 1680 he was Lord Justice Clerk, but in 1684 he was deprived of that office, on account of suspected communications with his father-in-law, Argyll, who had escaped in 1681 to Holland.
Richard, Lord Maitland, was present at the Battle of the Boyne on the side of King, July 1, 1690, after which he retired to Limerick and subsequently went to the exiled Court of James II at St.Germains. The following year he succeeded to the Earldom of Lauderdale, but was outlawed by the Court of Justiciary on 23 July 1694.
The 4th Earl of Lauderdale married, 1 July 1678, Anne (d. 1734) daughter of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll. They left no issue and the Earldom passed to Richard's brother, John Lauder or Maitland, 5th Earl of Lauderdale.
According to one source «the Earl was also a collector of books, and possessed one of the choicest libraries of his time».

John Maitland, 5th Earl of Lauderdale, 1st Baronet, (1655 - 1710)

Son of Charles Maitland, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale and Lady Elizabeth Lauder, succeeded his elder brother Richard Maitland, 4th Earl of Lauderdale in the Earldom in 1695.
On obtaining the Barony of Haltoun assumed the surname and designation of Lauder of Haltoun in lieu of Maitland of Ravelrig.
Active supporter of the «Glorious Rvolution» in 1688 rose to Privy Counsellor and supported the Union of Parliamentsn 1696.
About 1680 Sir John married Margaret (c1662 - 1742), daughter of Alexander Cunningham, 10th Earl of Glencairn.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Earl of Rosebery

Archibald Philip Primrose, KG, PC, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929)

Prime Minister (1894-1895) succeeded William Gladstone in office.

He was the son of Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1809 – 1851), a Scottish Liberal politician, and Lady Catherine Stanhope, the daughter of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl Stanhope and grandson of Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery.

He married the rich heiress Hannah Rothschild, only daughter of the Jewish banker Baron Mayer de Rothschild.

Arms: quarterly; 1 and 4, vert three primroses within a tressure flory counterflory, or (Primrose); 2 and 3, argent a lion rampant double queued sable (Cressy)
Source: Wikipedia - Earl of Rosebery
Seat: Dalmeny House

Joseph Neeld

Joseph Neeld (1784-1856)

The son of Joseph Neeld (1754-1828), a solicitor, and Mary Bond, dau. of John Bond and Susannah Rundle.
Heir of his great-uncle Philip Rundell, famous and wealthy jeweller. Bought the Manor of Grittleton, near Chippenham, in Wiltshire.
Married Lady Caroline Ashley Cooper, eldest daughter of the 6th Earl of Shaftesbury and sister of the 7th Earl, but separated and had no issue.
Left an illegitimate daughter Anne Maria.
MP for Chippenham (1830-1856), he was an amateur botanist, a philanthropist and had a good library and art collection.

Referred as a bookplate related with Portugal, although we have failed to find any connection.

Arms: per pale argent and azure a lion passant between three greyhound’s heads erased counterchanged.
Crest: on a mound vert a wolf’s head erased sable between two palm branches erect proper.
Motto: Nomen extendere factis
Sources: Engraved ex libris of Joseph Neeld on front pastedown see, in SCULTORI, Adamo. Michael Angelus Bonarotus pinxit. Adam Sculptor incidit. Rome, 1540 / 1550;

The Neeld Saga, from notes compiled by George W. Ingrams.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Earl Ferrers

Washington Sewallis Shirley, 9th Earl Ferrers (1822-1859)

He was the son of Robert William Shirley, Viscount Tamworth and grandson of Washington Shirley, 8th Earl Ferrers (1760-1842) .
He married Lady Augusta Annabella Chichester, daughter of Edward Chichester, 4th Marquess of Donegall and Amelia Spread Deane Grady.

Arms: 1 - paly of six or and azure, a quarter ermine (Shirley); 2 - vairy argent and sable, a quarter gules (Staunton); 3 - argent a fess gules in chief three torteaux (Devereux); 4 - vair or and gules (Ferrers); 5 - quarterly England and France within a bordure argent; 6 - argent two bars and in chief three mullets gules (Washington).
Crest: a Saracen’s head in profile, couped, proper, wreathed about the temples or and azure.

Motto: Honor virtutis premium
Supporters: dexter, a talbot ermine ducally gorged; sinister, a reindeer gules billettée or, charged on the shoulder with a horseshoe argent, and ducally gorged.

Warwick sc, 124 Regent Street

Staunton Harold Hall

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

11th Earl of Clanricarde

John Smith de Burgh, PC (Ireland), FRS, FSA, 11th Earl of Clanricarde (1720-1782)
9th Viscount Bourke of Clanmories, co. Mayo, 11th Baron of Dunkellin

Arms: or a cross gules, in the dexter canton a lion rampant sable.
Crest: a cat-a-mountain sejant guardant proper, plain collared and chained or.
Motto: Un Roy, un Foy , un Loy
Artist: W. Kibbart Sculp - 1750

He was the son of Michael Bourke, 10th Earl of Clanricarde and Anne Smith.
He married Hester Amelia Vincent, daughter of Sir Henry Vincent, 6th Bt. and Elizabeth Sherman.
Seat - Portumna Castle, County Galway, Ireland.

James Stuart-Wortley

Rt. Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley, PC, QC (1805 – 1881)

The youngest son of James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe, (1776 – 1845) and Lady Elizabeth Caroline Mary Crichton (1779–1856) and great-grandson of John Stuart, 3rd earl of Bute.

A barrister at the Inner Temple in 1831, he became a Queen's Counsel in 1841 and hold the office of Solicitor General for England and Wales under Lord Palmerston.
He married Jane Lawley, daughter of Lord Wenlock.

Arms: Wortley quartering Stuart impalling Lawley.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Rawdon-Hastings, Marquess of Hastings

Revised 18th December

Initially we attributed it as being the bookplate of Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings (1754-1826), 2nd Earl of Moira (s. 1793), Earl of Rawdon (cr. 1816), Baron Rawdon (cr. 1783). But, according to the Frank's Collection Catalogue it seems to be F14050, doubted as a bookplate.
On the other hand the Frank's Catalogue only mentions (F14049) as being the bookplate of the 4th Marquess, grandson of the 1st Marquess.

Henry Weysford Charles Plantagenet Rawdon-Hastings, 4th Marquess of Hastings (1842 - 1868) was the son of George Augustus Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings and Barbara Yelverton, Baroness Grey (of Ruthin) and married Lady Florence Cecilia Paget, daughter of Sir Henry Paget, 2nd Marquess of Anglesey and Henrietta Maria Bagot. He was also 9th Earl of Loudoun, 20th Lord Botreaux and suc. his mother as 21st Lord Grey, of Ruthin.

Motto: Trust Winneth Troth


5th Earl of Stamford

George Harry Grey, 5th Earl of Stamford (1737-1819)
s. 1768 and was created Earl of Warrington and Baron Delamer in 1796

Arms: per pale: first, quarterly, 1 and 4, barry of six argent and azure (Grey), 2 and 3, argent three boar’s head couped erect sable (Booth); second, azure, a cross moline argent (Bentinck).
Supporters: dexter, a unicorn rampant ermine and sinister a lion rampant double queued.
Motto: A Ma Puissance
Seat: Enville Hall, Staffordshire

He was the son of Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford (1715-1768) and Lady Mary Booth, dau. of Sir George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington. He married Lady Henrietta Cavendish-Bentinck, dau. of William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland and Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley.
His great-great-grandfather, Henry Grey, 2nd baron Grey of Groby, cr. Earl of Stamford in 1628, who died in 1673, was a Parliamentary General during the Civil Wars and the latter’s elder son, Thomas, Lord Grey of Groby (1623-1657) was a Regicide.
See, the 1st Earl of Stamford as Parliamentary General; Grey Family Papers

Monday, 10 December 2007

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute

John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, KG, PC (1713 – 1792)
3rd Viscount Kingarth, 5th Baronet Stuart, of Bute and 3rd Lord Mountstuart, Cumra and Inchmarnock

Arms: or a fess chequy argent and azure within a tressure flory counterflory gules.
Crest: a demi-lion rampant gules with motto scroll above.
Motto: Nobilis ira; Avito viret honore

Prime Minister of Great Britain (1762-1763) during the reign of king George III.
He was the son of James Stuart, 2nd Earl of Bute and Lady Anne Campbell, d. of Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll and Elizabeth Tollemache He married Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu, Baroness Mount Stuart of Wortley, d. and heiress of Edward Wortley-Montague, HM’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and the famous letter writer and poet Lady Mary Pierrepont Wortley Montagu (1689-1762). Both the 3rd Earl of Bute - a noted bibliophile, and his mother-in-law formed or inherited splendid libraries (see, Bute Collection at the National Library of Scotland).

Several members of this family had ex libris, namely, his great-grandsons John Chrichton-Stuart, KT, FRS, (1793-1848), 2nd Marquess of Bute, the Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley, PC, QC, (1805-1881) and his great-great-grandson, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, KT (1847 – 1900) (see post of 03-04-2007).,_3rd_Earl_of_Bute

Monday, 26 November 2007

Bookplates in Australia

The New Australian Bookplate Society, founded in Sydney, Australia, on October, 2006, launched its website. The society published a quarterly Newsletter for its members and some can be read on-line.
Our warm welcome to the New Australian Bookplate Society and to Prof. Dr. Mark Ferson its elected President.
This is the second bookplate society to be founded in Australia in recent years. The other is the Australian Bookplate Society, founded in Victoria, and a member of FISAE.
Australia had in the past century a very rich bookplate tradition namely through The Ex Libris Society of Australia (1922 - 1942). After a long period of eclipse, like it happened in many other countries, we are but happy to see that the flag is flying again.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Dispersal of a fine bookplate collection

The Bookplate Collection of Brian North Lee, FSA (1936-2007)

Collections, built during a lifetime with patience, cunningness and wit, in a never ending pursuit of the wanted and missing items, sometimes with sacrifices, and enriched by the collector’s research and eventually with items duly catalogued and archived, usually end up in Public Museums or Libraries – more or less hidden – or are sold in the market.
For other collectors a chance is then open to augment and improve his collection but in this case purchasing power and a bit of luck is paramount. But the collection will be inevitably dispersed, which is always sad to watch.
Brian North Lee books and bookplate collection met this fatal destiny.
Part of his fine bookplate collection was sold at Bonhams, at New Bond Street, on 13 Nov 2007, divided in lots 51-73 of the Auction Sale’s catalogue (see, The Bookplate Society website).
Especially rich in Jacobean and Chippendale British armorial bookplates, the collection was arranged for sale by albums, in some cases with more or less 500 items each, fetching prices which ranged from £ 6,200 - £ 450.
But the high point of the collection was lot 71 - «ROYALTY Seventeen albums, containing approximately 800 bookplates for members of the Royal family, British and European aristocracy and related figures» as described in Bonhams fine Catalogue. Fetching £ 6,200!
Another lot - with very sought after rare bookplates - was # 64 containing 350 Indian bookplates, was sold for £ 1,800.
Lot #65 AR containing bookplates and sketches by John Lawrence was sold at £ 1,400. (see, Sale #15232 at Bonhams on-line catalogue and sales result).

Let's hope that those fine bookplates ended up in good hands.

Brian North Lee’s library in turn is being sold by Claude Cox who has issued an on-line Catalogue 178 - Summer 2007
Last issue of «The Bookplate Journal» [Vol. 5, Nº 2, Sept. 2007) has an Obituary, by Paul Latcham.
See, also our Brian North Lee - R.I.P.

Friday, 23 November 2007

4th Count of Paraty

D. Miguel de Noronha de Paiva Couceiro, 4th Count of Paraty (s. 21.12.1946), a Cavalry Officer in the Portuguese Army, Governor of Diu (India) was born at Cascais, in 1909, and died in Lisbon, in 1979.

Much interested in History, Heraldry and Calligraphy he drew several beautiful armorial ex libris, mostly on behalf of friends who appreciated his work. His bookplates, with the exception of the coloured one, designed with the collaboration of his friend the eminent heraldist Dr. Carlos da Silva Lopes, are much influenced by the calligraphic style, much practised in India.
Most of his heraldic bookplates were later engraved in steel, at the request of their owners, by another distinguished Portuguese artist - the engraver António Paes Ferreira, who is a master of the burin, making them little graphic masterpieces.

Dom Telmo de Bragança

Dom Telmo José Coelho de Bragança (1925-1985) Hotel manager, Ballet critic, a passionate bibliophile and bookplate lover, amateur photographer and a keen anglophile.

The bookplate is a burin on copper (C2) by Portuguese artist Paes Ferreira. It was adapted from a drawing by Painter Almada Negreiros (1893-1970) made in 1957, originally to illustrate the front cover of a special issue magazine dedicated to H.M. Queen Elizabeth I State Visit to Portugal (18-21 February 1957).
The motto - «Honni Soit Qui Mal Y Pense» was added alluding to H.M. as Sovereign of The Most Noble Order of the Garter.
On the 50th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s memorable State Visit, the Museum of the Portuguese Presidency of the Republic has set up an Exhibition (see,

Armorial bookplate, also a burin on copper by Paes Ferreira, after an XVIIIth c. engraving, with the arms of the Ducal House of Lafões, with an escutcheon with the arms of Bragança.

On Paes Ferreira see,

8th Earl of Albermale

Lieut.-Colonel Arnold Allan Cecil Keppel, 8th Earl of Albemarle CB, GCVO, TD, VD, JP (1858–1942), Viscount Bury

Seal armorial by

British soldier and Conservative politician, the son William Keppel, 7th Earl of Albemarle, and his wife Sophia Mary, daughter of Sir Allan Napier McNab, 1st Baronet. Lord Albemarle married Lady Gertrude Lucia, daughter of Wilbraham Egerton, 1st Earl Egerton, in 1881.
Published «Sketches in and Out of Parliament», Raphael Tuck & Sons.
Lord Albermale is the great-granduncle of H.R.H. Camila, Duchess of Cornwall and of Rothesay, married to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales
Sources: The Peerage -,_8th_Earl_of_Albemarle

Friday, 16 November 2007

Monday, 12 November 2007

Luigi, Duca di Cassano

Luigi Cassano Serra (b. 30.10.1747 - d. 21.10.1825), 4th Duke of Cassano, Marquess of Rivadebro.

(Gelli, p. 100
He was the son of Giuseppe Serra, (b. Genoa 21.5.1714, d. 1763) and of Laura Cassano, 3th Duchess of Cassano, Marquise of Rivadebro (b. Cassano 19.7.1723, d. Naples 22.9.1790).
He married, in Naples, in 17.6.1770, Giulia Carafa (b. 29-10-1755- d. 13-3-1841), dau. of Gennaro I Carafa Cantelmo Stuart (b. Naples 1-9-1715- d. 31-10-1767), 7th Prince of Roccella, Prince of the holy Roman Empire, 4th Duke of Bruzzano, 9th Marquess of Castelvetere, 3th Marquess of Brancalone, and 10th Count of Grotteria, and of his 2nd wife Principessa Teresa Carafa, 7th Duchess of Forli, 11th Duchess of Chiusa and Countess of Policastro, (b. Naples 17-4-1731 – d. 12-3-1804).
One of his sons Gennaro Serra was executed in 1799 for his involvement with the short lived pro-French Neapolitan Republic. Aftr the Restoration of the Bourbon King, the Duke and his family were exiled and went to live in Toscana and only returned to Naples in 1804.
By 1820 the Duke sold his library to Lord George John Spencer, KG PC FRS FSA, (1758 – 1834), who succeeded as 2nd Earl Spencer, in 1783, married to Lady Lavinia Bingham and brother of the famous Lady Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire. Apart from rebuilding of Althorp under Holland, he was an ardent bibliophile who owned on of the greatest and best private libraries in Europe.
His bibliomania led him to enrichen his family library with incunabula namely, by the acquisition of Count Reviczky’s library, in 1790, and three decades later, the Duke of Serra-Cassano Library, in Naples. The Spencer Library was sold in 1892, by the 5th Earl Spencer to Mrs. Ryland and is now at the John Rylands University Library.
See, Palazzo Serra di Cassano, in Naples, at

Line engraving by Raphael Sanzio Cavaliere Morghen (1758-1833)
«One of the greatest engravers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Raphael Morghen first received instruction from his father, Filippo Morghen (1730-1777), who himself was an accomplished engraver of mythological subjects and portraits. Filippo Morghen was quick to recognize the remarkable talents of his son and sent him to Rome to complete his studies under Volpato. Raphael Morghen published his first engraving at the tender age of twelve. By the age of twenty he had established himself as one of the leading engravers of Europe and received numerous commissions for his beautiful portraits and mythological and religious images.

During his career, Morghen both lived and worked in Naples, Rome and in Florence. In total he executed over two hundred and fifty-two original engravings after the art of such masters as Raphael, Titian, Bronzino, Correggio and Matteini. He was a member of Italy's most prestigious academies and of the French Institute. Morghen was also appointed the principle Professor of the Academy at Florence by the Grand Duke Ferdinand III (1793). From this position he influenced an entire generation of early nineteenth century engravers.» (from

Engraved fine portraits of Emma, Lady Hamilton and Lord George Byron (see,
Bibliography: Halsey, Frederic Robert, Raphael Morghen’s engraved works: being a descriptive catalogue of all the engravings of this master, the inscriptions given at full length, and the variations of the states precisely set forth, accompanied by biographical and other notes, with a life of the engraver. NY & London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1885.

Monday, 9 July 2007



KAMACHI SEIJI is an outstanding Japanese graphic artist who has engraved, since 1980, about 100 ex libris mostly using the etching technique.
His works were present at the Japanese Bookplate Exhibition that took place in Ortona (Italy) in 1999.
Kamachi Seiji has entered several international graphic arts or ex libris competitions and has been awarded several prizes recognizing his artistic merits and skills:
4th International miniature prints Exhibition (Seoul, KOREA)
1st International miniature print Biennal (NewYork, U.S.A)
4th International prints Biennal (Lubin, POLSKA) / Medals Prize Special Prize
1st International prints Biennal (Qingdao, CHINA) / Bronze Prize
Member of Japan Print Association he is also the superintendant of DOUMU PRINT ART STUDIO, in Tokyo.



Domu Print Art Studio (Japan)

Friday, 29 June 2007

The fate of Tippu Sultan's Library

Sultan Fateh Ali Tippu (1750-1799), Tippu Sultan, known also by the English as the Tiger of Mysore

He was the son of Haider Ali, ruler of Mysore and Fakhr-un-Nissa and died fighting the English, being considered a national hero in India for his long time struggle against the British colonial forces in India who aimed at subduing and eventually annex his states.
A capable administrator, poet and military leader and a devout Muslim, Tippu Sultan was an example of tolerance towards other religions, protecting Hindu temples and having built the first Christian church in Mysore.
Tippu Sultan died in battle defending his capital Srirangapattana.
Detailed biographies can be found at
The Sword of Tippu Sultan, by Dr. K. L. Kamat and in the Website dedicated to Tipu Sultan and at Wikipedia

Tippu Sultan left a splendid library rich in manuscripts and books on government, law, religion and the sciences which was plundered by the British army after his defeat at Srirangapattana (more... in Lost treasures - Seema Alavi - Assistant Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi).

It is also known that «Tipu used to put his signature and stamp on every book he read. Most of the books in his library bore his signature and stamp. He used to put his signatures in an artistic and intricate style. First, he used Tipu Sultan as his name ‘Nabi Malik’. According to Kirk Patrick, the British supervisor of the library appointed by the Company, his wittings were superior to others and exceptionally lucid and compact» (quoted from

On the whereabouts of Tipu Sultan’s library, see:
«Oriental & India Office Collections (OIOC) section of the British Library in London - The nucleus of the collection itself was from the private Library of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, who had built it from the treasures of various Indian rulers conquered by himself and his father Hyder Ali. After the British defeated Tipu Sultan, this library of 2000 manuscripts was divided between the Cambridge and Oxford Universities in Britain and the College of Fort William in Calcutta. Meanwhile Robert Orme, the historiographer of the East India Company had collected a large number of manuscripts, books and letters during his career and requested the East India Company to create ‘a repository for Oriental Writings.» (quoted from;
A Guide to Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu Manuscript Libraries in India, by Omar Khalidi - Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and
Towards a database of the Arabic manuscripts in The British Library: a case history, Colin F. Baker, The British Library, London, United Kingdom.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Elisa Hensler, countess of Edla

Elisa Frederika Hensler – Countess of Edla, (1836-1929)

Famous soprano born in Switzerland of German origins, daughter of Jean Conrad Hensler and Josefa Hechelbacher who married, in 1869, as his second wife, Ferdinand (1816-1885), prince of Saxe-Courg-Gotha, widow of Queen D. Maria II of Portugal.

Elisa Hensler who lived in her youth in the USA was a highly cultivated woman with a keen interest in music, sculpture, ceramics, architecture and gardening.

She arrived to Portugal with her mother as a member of the Laneuville Opera Company in 1860, having sung at an Oporto Theater and then invited to sing at the Real Teatro de S. Carlos, in Lisbon. Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was enchanted by her voice and beauty and soon fell in love with her. He had a house built for her within the Pena Park, known as the Countess’ Chalet, which was completed in 1869, the year she married King Ferdinand.

By 1869, they married at the former Quinta of Gérard de Visme, at Benfica, near Lisbon. Before the morganatic marriage, Ferdinand's cousin - Ernest II, duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had awarded Elisa Hensler the title of Countess of Edla.
Ferdinand a notable patron of the Arts who had bought the ruins of a convent in Sintra and had a Palace built there, known as the Pena Palace, left all his fortune to the Countess of Edla forcing the government to make a deal with her in order to acquire the Palace.

She had a valuable library and used the bookplate posted above, probably made by a German artist. Many of her books were bought by a Portuguese bibliophile and others were left to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

For a remarkable on-line photo gallery of Pena Palace see,

Monday, 11 June 2007

Prof. Hasip Pektas (Turkey)

Two recent bookplates created by Prof. Hasip Pektas from Turkey.
He is a Professor at Hacettepe University, Faculty of Fine Arts, apart from being a graphic artist and has been responsible for the widespread of ex libris contemporary movement in Turkey.
With several articles and books published on ex libris both in Turkey and in specialised Journals of several Ex Libris Societies, his work has been shown in more than two dozen exhibitions.
He is also the President of the Ankara Ex-libris Society and Hacettepe Art Museum.

Both ex libris are in CGD and made in 2006.

CGD is a wonderful modern means for the creation and reproduction of bookplates avoiding the great expense involved in traditional engraving and printing methods.

Fig 1

For my books on the Ottoman History and Culture, the ex libris represents music and belly dancing and the monogram (Turga) of the Sultan.

Fig. 2

Represents Sahmaran «the Queen of Snakes» - a mythological legendary figure with human head and the body of a snake.

Artist website

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Dogs in Ex Libris

L. Stroganov (Russia) (C3,C5)

E. Tihanovich (Russia), C3

Evy Haskove (CZ), C3

S. Kirnitskiy, (UK) (C4,C7)

David Bekker, (UK) C3
R. Kopylov (Russia) X2

Antoni Boada (Sp)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Elly de Koster

C3, hand couloured, 2007, Opus #473

English Cocker Spaniels in a new bookplate by Dutch Artist Elly de Koster, made on behalf of a Cocker Spaniel lover and breeder and intended for the books on dogs.
Artist with a rare sensibility and ability to draw animals (birds, cats, reptiles, butterflies, swans, owls etc.) she captured in this work one of the main features of the English Cocker Spaniel - the affectionate eye expression, typical of the breed.


Elly de Koster website

Friday, 18 May 2007

The American Dering Family Bookplates and N. Hurd

Thomas Dering (1720-1785), a Boston merchant, was the son of Henry E. Dering (1684-1750), from Boston, and his wife Elizabeth Packer, daughter of Thomas Packer, of Portsmouth - a merchant, physician, judge and member of the King's Council.
His grandfather was Henry Dering I (1639 - 1717), born England, in co. Dorsetshire, and immigrated to America circa 1660, living at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, married 2ndly, in 1676, Elizabeth Mitchelson, daughter of Edward Mitchelson.

Thomas Dering married in 1756 Mary Sylvester (1725–1794), born at Southold, Long Island, daughter of Brinley Sylvester, of Shelter Island, and granddaughter of Nathaniel Sylvester[1].
Dering was a patriot, a supporter of the Declaration of Independence, member of the convention that approved New York's first state constitution and a member of the Congress of the independent United States of America.
Nathaniel Hurd (1730-1777) engraved a bookplate for Thomas Dering - dated 1749 – which was thought as being the first signed and dated bookplate made by an American artist, both by Charles Dexter Allen[2] (Allen #219), who also considered it very rare, already in 1895, and by W. Hamilton[3].

However, Thomas Dering used two other bookplates. One, bearing a crest on a circular ring with the date «17___» (Allen #220), which according to Dexter Allen «resembles the work of Hurd somewhat». Hollis French, S. B. – the authority on N. Hurd – in turn, considered it as «…very crude, but it is decidedly in Hurd’s early manner, though unsigned»[4].

The other bookplate (below), somewhat bigger, is an armorial pictorial with supporters, also signed by N. Hurd, not referred by Allen in his standard reference work, but described by Hollis French who said it was believed to be older then the dated plate.
Seemingly, this bookplate is extremely rare, Hollis referring only one specimen acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of New York [5].

Thomas’ son Henry Packer Dering, of Sag Harbor (1763-1822) - a collector of customs, postmaster and military storekeeper in Sag Harbor, Long Island, used his father’s bookplate, signed and dated by Hurd, after having it altered to fill in his name: Henry P. Dering [6].
This, most probably, occurred after his father’s death in 1785. The bookplate must have been unknown to Charles Dexter Allen since he did not include it in his list of early American bookplates [7].

The original N. Hurd dated plate was yet to be used by another member of the Dering Family in the first quarter of the XIX c., a grandson of Thomas Dering!

Nicoll Havens Dering [8] (1794-1867) from Utica, Oneida Co., New York, the son of General Sylvester Dering (1759-1820), the elder brother of Henry P. Dering, and Esther Sarah Havens, also used the Hurd plate of his grandfather Thomas with the name altered: Nicoll H. Dering (Allen #218).

But again, it seems Nicoll H. Dering used another bookplate also not listed by Dexter Allen. According to Hollis French it is the same Thomas Dering plate, in the third state, with date, name and signature erased. The new name was re-engraved in modern lettering [9] (not show).

The specimen shown (above) though has a motto added – Sola Nobilitas Virtus – with the name inscribed below, looking as a modern engraving copying the old Hurd’s plate.
It was referred by Holis French as being in the bookplate collection of the «American Antiquarian Society» [10].
Henry Packer Dering had at least a son - Henry Thomas (Tom) Dering (1796-1854) who, in 1842, was appointed collector of the customs for the district and inspector of the revenue for the port of Sag Harbor, in the State of New York, and several daughters. It is not clear why the plate came into the hands of his cousin Nicoll H. Dering.
Little is known about the arms in these bookplates and the right to use them.
Nathaniel Hurd (1730-1777) was an engraver and silversmith [11] who worked in gold and silver for a chosen clientele. Allen considered Hurd the best American early engraver and dedicated him an extensive entry in his reference book and publishing a list of bookplates signed by the artist and another of plates attributed to him but unsigned [12].
Hurd, a patriot in the American Revolution, was portrayed by John Singleton Copley [13] in informal clothes in a painting which is now at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
His engraving tools, according to Allen and were left by will to his nephew John Mason Furnass (1763 - 1804), a painter and engraver of Boston, Mass., who also made bookplates, namely for Eli Forbes [14].
Anyway, three generations of Derings used the same N. Hurd plate as a bookplate apart from other bookplates not listed by Allen but referred by French Hollis.
All these bookplates are exceptional or very rare specimens and very seldom found in known bookplate collections.
Apparently, one of Thomas Dering’s dated bookplate existed in the collections of Richard B. Coutant, sold at an auction in 1859 [15] and in the famous Bailley Bookplate Collection, now at the New York Metropolitan Museum fo Art [16].

We were fortunate to be helped by Mr. Matt Thomas a descendant of Sarah Dering, sister of Thomas Dering, who confirmed that according to Family correspondence (1898) the majority of the few plates then in existence belonged to members of the Dering family.

We would like to thank Mr. Matt Thomas for the information provided and for permission to reproduce the Dering bookplates which he most kindly provided.

[1] Nathaniel Sylvester (d. 1680) was a sugar merchant born in England who immigrated to America to Newport and being afterwards the founder of the town of Shelter Island (circa 1652). He married Grissell Brinley, daughter of Thomas Brinley, keeper of the accounts for both Charles I and Charles II. The Sylvesters are said to have been Royalists fleeing from Cromwell’s rule in England (source

[2] American Bookplate: A Guide to their Study (with a Bibliography by E. N. Hewins) Reprint of the 1895 ed. New York : Hacker Art Books, 1968; the bookplate is also discussed by Downs, Joseph, A Quillwork Hatchment, in «The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin», Vol. 33, No. 12 (Dec., 1938), pp. 267-268.

[3] In Dated Book-Plates (Ex Libris) With A Treatise On Their Origin And Development, 1st ed. London : A. & C. Black, 1895

[4] The Bookplates of Nathaniel Hurd (1730-1777), in «Year Book 1940-41», The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers», Washington DC, 1942, p. 31

[5] Ibidem, p. 31

[6] Hollis French, ibidem, p.32; see, also Lewis Jaffe’s Blog

[7] According to Hollis French, writing in 1939, Charles Dexter Allen only listed 28 bookplates signed by Hurd and 14 attributed to him, but the number amounts to 55 bookplates not counting the varieties or states, ibidem, p.20.

[8] I wonder if the portrait of a Nicoll Dering by Daniel Huntington donated to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the first decade of the last century by Sylvester Dering (II) was of our bearer?

[9] See, Hollis French, ibidem, p. 32-33

[10] Ibidem, pp.33

[11] French, Hollis (foreword by Kathryn C. Buhler) Jacob Hurd and His Sons Nathaniel & Benjamin: Silversmiths 1702-1781, 1st ed.,Boston, MA, The Walpole Society, 1939; reprint, Da Capo Press, New York, 1972; Patricia E. Kane, Nathaniel Hurd: The Life of a Colonial Silversmith and Engraver, «Porticus», 20, (2001):8-17

[12] ibidem, pp. 104-116

[13] See post by J. L. Bell at his Blog Boston 1755

[14] See also, article by David Bosse, 'To Promote Useful Knowledge': "An Accurate Map of the Four New England States" by John Norman and John Coles, in «Imago Mundi», Vol. 52, 2000 (2000), pp. 143-157

[15] [Catalogue] The extensive collection of bookplates formed by the late dr. Richard b. Coutant, sale no. 1859 - october 10th 1924, at The Anderson Galleries, The Anderson Galleries, New York, 1924

[16] Ivins, Jr., William M., The Baillie Collection of Bookplates, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 15, No. 11 (Nov., 1920), pp. 246-248 see. (