Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Edwin Davis French

John Page Woodbury (1894)

Herman Simon (Thomas Tyron del., E. D. French, sculp.)
Harvard College Library - Hohenzollern Colection (1904)


William Beverley Rogers (1902)

Mary Bryant Sprague (1904)

C. L. F. Robinson (Newport, Rhode Isl.) (1900)

Edwin Davis French (1851 - 1906)

According to Mary E. Oemisch, «Edwin Davis French began his artistic career in 1869, when he joined the Whiting Manufacturing Company as a silver engraver. He soon achieved eminence in this field, both as a craftsman and as a designer, During his years in New York City he became a leading figure in the Art Students' League, and later became a founding member and trustee of the American Fine Arts Society.
It was not until 1893 that French engraved his first bookplate: his sister-in-law had begun to form a small collection, and as a joke, French engraved a facetious plate and introduced it secretly into her files. When the hoax was discovered, the lady rightly demanded a serious plate in its stead, and the penitent brother-in-law obliged. Thus began the series of 250 ex libris which French made for American and European collectors, and he soon gave up his silver work to spend all his time on the new-found occupation» (in http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=2438.).

Bibliography:

Ira Hutchinson Brainerd, Edwin Davis French - A Memorial: His Life, His Art, New York: De Vinne Press, 1908
284 Bookplates engraved by Edwin Davis French, sold at auction monday feb'y 16, 1914, at heartman's auction room ... also a short list of other bookplates engraved by french, and a list of dealers and collectors Interested in bookplates, New York, C.E. Heartman, 1914
Catalogue Of The Engravings Issued By The Society Of Iconophiles of the City of NY…, New York: [Society of Iconophiles], 1908
Links:
Edwin Davis French papers, 1896-1906:
http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/collections_list.cfm/fuseaction/Collections.ViewCollection/CollectionID/10142/SIRISBibNumber/213069 http://www.portal-earte.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=1&operacao=ObrasAutores&autorId=66
The Helen Brainerd Lay Collection of bookplates by Edwin Davis French (she was the artist sister-in-law)
http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/mountholyoke/mshm280_main.html
Sara Eugenia Blake bookplate Collection late 18th century-mid 20th century
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/eresources/archives/collections/html/4079649.html
Miss Maud Motley collection of bookplates at the University of Rochester Library
http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=2438
French bookplate for the Grolier Club
http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~landc/bookplates/20_2_Grolier.htm
The Grolier Club Bookplate Collection
http://www.grolierclub.org/LibraryAMC.GCBookplates.htm

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