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Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  68 Ratings  ·  13 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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(showing 1-30 of 271)
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Feb 06, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it
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
Sep 11, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
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
Frederic Gleach
Feb 21, 2016 Frederic Gleach rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, visual-culture
The bookplates are very well reproduced, but what gives this book an extra star is the outstanding commentary that accompanies the plates. Information mainly on the artists, but also sometimes on those who commissioned the plates. Anyone who loves books and book-history will likely appreciate this one.
Jul 15, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
By no means an authoritative source, but a great glimpse on the beautiful, rich history of bookplates.
Aug 05, 2015 Troy rated it really liked it
A good sourcebook for my current artsy obssession.
Feb 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
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
Apr 20, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
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 :)
Dec 26, 2015 KC rated it really liked it
I loved reading this small book and looking at all of the bookplates. Hopkinson does a nice job of explaining the history of bookplates, including the punning and symbology that shows up in many of the plates. Definitely recommend to anyone interested in the subject
May 22, 2012 Lizzie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, read-in-2012
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
Jun 13, 2012 Rachel Lail rated it liked it
Shelves: lail-library
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!
Jan 19, 2012 Martyn rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I would never dream of doing this to my books but it was interesting to learn the (potted) history of book plates.
Jun 07, 2013 Stacey rated it it was ok
It could have been so much more.
James Payne
Sep 22, 2012 James Payne rated it liked it
Just OK.
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