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Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates
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Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Endlessly diverse and appealing, bookplates (also called ex libris, Latin for "from the books of") are small decorative labels to be pasted inside a book's cover to express personal ownership. Originating in their modern printed form in 16th-century Germany, where books were highly valuable and treasured, bookplates became an art form practiced by artists across Europe and...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Yale University Press
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Bought it for the pictures. It was worth it. It's only about 50-60 bookplates, but each gets its own page with a brief description of its circumstances. There's a fair variety here.

The happy surprise in this book is the introduction and bibliography. The former is a concise and yet deep introduction to the subject generally. It also points toward further reading, as does the end material.

And yet, I smirk a bit. It really does seem a bit meta to have journals and societies and catalogs and books...more
Provides history and examples of ex libris.
Bookplates are prints, dwgs, or watercolors inserted into the front of books to display ownership.

1st produced in last quarter of 15th century.
Inspiration for them derives from medieval practice of including portraits or other means of ID at the front of illuminated Books of Hours (prayer books) to indicate their ownership.

1440 Gutenberg invented movable type, nevertheless early books were very precious and prestigious items. after Gutenberg's death in...more
By no means an authoritative source, but a great glimpse on the beautiful, rich history of bookplates.
This was a little gem. These days I really only use the dedicated bookplates for Bookcrossing purposes, but as a child I had some wonderful Puffin Club bookplates. Plenty of visual jokes and some beautiful, skilled work. There's a stag's head which seems to come off the page with every bit as much life as something which would normally need 3D spex and a rat which the book owner had explicitly asked not to have but which the maker said 'crept in when I wasn't looking' It's quite inspirational fo...more
I'm always very interested in history but who knew there was so much information regarding the history of bookplates? I was quite interested in how people valued books so much they added bookplates in to show ownership and pride over their books. Lots of beautiful images of old bookplates reside in this book :)
A nice little book of bookplates, mostly old, with short biographies of both the artist and the owner of the plate. Many include references to the owner's profession, interests, etc., which the author points out. Now I want to carve a linoleum block and make my own.
Rachel Lail
Not much to read in this book, but plenty of lovely pictures of bookplates. I think the Lail library might have to acquire an official bookplate now!
I would never dream of doing this to my books but it was interesting to learn the (potted) history of book plates.
It could have been so much more.
Kduncan marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2014
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Ashley Trotter marked it as to-read
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