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.