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BOO K-P BATES position by the side of the predominantly architectural urn. From the beginning of the 19 th century, until comparatively recent days, no special style of decoration seems to have established itself. The immense majority of examples display a plain shield of arms with motto on a scroll below, and crest on a fillet above. Of late years, however, a rapid impetus appears to have been given to the designing of ex-libris ; a new era, in fact, has begun for the book-plate, one of great interest. The main styles of decoration (and these, other data being absent, must always in the case of old examples remain the criteria of date) have already been noticed. It is, however, necessary to point out that certain styles of composition were also prevalent at certain periods. Many of the older plates (like the majority of the most modern ones) were essentially pictorial. Of this kind the best defined English genus may be recalled : the “ Library

Pig. 6.—Book-plate of William Hewer, 1699. Interior ”—a term which explains itself—and “Book-piles,” exemplified by the ex-libris (Fig. 6) of W. Hewer (Samuel Pepys’s secretary). We have also many “ Portrait-plates,” of which, perhaps, the most notable are those of Samuel Pepys himself and of John Gibbs, the architect; “Allegories,” such as were engraved by Hogarth, Bartolozzi, Pine, and George Yertue; “Landscape-plates,” by wood engravers of the Bewick school (see Plate), &c. In most of these the armorial element plays but a secondary part. Concerning the taste for collecting book-plates, it may be said that it originated in England. The first impetus was given to it by the appearance of the Guide by the late Lord de Tabley (then the Hon. Leicester Warren) in 1880. This work, highly interesting from many points of view, established what is now accepted as the general classification of “styles” : “Early Armorial” (i.e., previous to Bestoration, exemplified by the Nicholas Bacon plate) ; “ Jacobean,” a somewhat misleading term, but distinctly understood to include the heavy decorative manner of the Restoration, Queen Anne, and early Georgian days (the Lansanor plate, Fig. 5, is typically “ Jacobean ”) ; “ Chippendale ” (the style above described as Rococo, tolerably well represented by the French plate of Convers) ; “ Wreath and Ribbon,” belonging to the period described as that of the “ Urn,” etc. Since then the literature on the subject has grown considerably. Societies of collectors have


been founded, first in England, then in Germany and France, and in the United States, most of them issuing a “ Journal ” or “ Archives : ” The Journal of the Ex-libris Society (A. and C. Black, London), the Archives de la societe frangaise de collectionneurs diex-libris (Paris), both of these monthlies; the Ex-libris Zeitschrift, Berlin, a quarterly. Much has been written for and against book-plate collecting. If, on the one hand, the more enthusiastic “ ex-librists ” (for such a word has actually been coined) have made the somewhat ridiculous claim of “ science ” for “ ex-librisme,” the bitter animadversion, on the other, of a certain class of intolerant bibliophiles upon the “vandalism” of removing book-plates from old books has at times been rather extravagant. Book-plates are undoubtedly very often of high interest (and of a value often far greater than the odd volume in wdnch they are found affixed), either as specimens of bygone decorative fashion or as personal relics of well-known personages. There can be no question, for instance, that engravings or designs by artists such as Holbein and Dtirer and the “Little Masters” of Germany, by Eisen, Gravelot, Chodowiecki, or Gribelin; by W. Marshall, Faithorne, David Loggan, Sir Robert Strange, Piranesi; by Hogarth, Cipriani, Bartolozzi, Sherwin, Henshaw, Hewitt, or Bewick and his imitators; or, to come to modern times, that the occasional examples traced to the handicraft of Thomas Stothard, Thackeray, Millais, Maclise, Bell Scott, T. G. Jackson, Walter Crane, Caldecott, Stacy Marks, Edwin Abbey, Kate Greenaway, Gordon Browne, Herbert Railton, Aubrey Beardsley, Alfred Parsons, D. Y. Cameron, Paul Avril— there can indeed be no doubt that these things are worth collecting. Until the advent of the new^ taste the devising of bookplates was almost invariably left to the routine skill of the ■heraldic stationer. Of late years the composition of personal book-tokens has become recognized as a minor branch of a higher art, and there has come into fashion an entirely new class of designs which, for all their wonderful variety, bear as unmistakable a character as that of the most definite “ styles ” of bygone days. Broadly speaking, it may be said that the purely heraldic element tends to become subsidiary and the allegorical or symbohe to assert itself more strongly. Among modern English artists who have more specially paid attention to the devising of book-plates and have produced admirable designs, may be mentioned C. W. Sherborn, G. W. Eve, Robert Anning Bell, J. D. Batten, Erat Harrison, J. Forbes Nixon, Charles Ricketts, John Yinycomb, John Leighton, and the late Warrington Hogg. The development in various directions of “ process ” work, by facilitating and cheapening the reproduction of beautiful and elaborate designs, has no doubt helped much to popularize the book-plate—a thing which in older days was almost invariably restricted to ancestral libraries or to collections otherwise important. Thus the great majority of modern plates are reproduced by “ process.” There are, however, a few artists left who devote to book-plates their skill with the graver. Some of the work they produce challenges comparison with the finest productions of bygone engravers. Of these the best known are C. W. Sherborn (see Plate) and G. W. Eve in England, and in America E. D. French of New York City (see Plate). The process work which it has been necessary here to employ in reproducing book-plates of this kind cannot render justice to the exquisiteness of their treatment. The curious in the matter of book-plate composition will find it treated in the various volumes of the Exlibris Series (London : George Bell and Sons); and almost every other item of information in the following works :— Poulet-Malassis. Les Ex-Libris Frangais. Paris, 1875.— S. IL — 39