Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bookplate Special On Menu At Bonham's

by Stephen J. Gertz

For ? by Le Blon, 1625.

The bookplate collection of Arthur W. Dorling, one of the foremost collectors of bookplate art, will be auctioned at Bonham's on March 27, 2012 in two, huge lots.

For James Bertie, 1702.

The Dorling collection, alphabetically arranged and, for the most part, mounted in twenty-one volumes, includes the bookplates of Queen Victoria, William IV, Geroge III, Edward VII, and George V. 

For Decoy Press by Eric Gill c. 1930s.

Some of the other notable bookplates represented in the collection include those of actor David Garrick (2); Charles Dickens; Anthony Trollope; William Gladstone; Horace Walpole; and Edward Burne-Jones.


The total bookplates in the collection number approximately 9,000. All styles are represented in the collection, including Early Armorial, Jacobean, Chippendale and Bookpiles.

For Kenneth Rae, by Rex Whistler 1931.

The designers and engravers include  George W. Eve, C.W. Sherborn (approx. 80 examples);  Robert  Osmond (approx. 70); H.J. F. Badeley (32); Rex  Whistler (5); Muirhead Bone; E.E. Dorlong (15); Reynolds Stone (4); Eric Gill; Edward Gordon Craig; Stephen Gooden; Max Beerbohm; John Buckland Wright; J.E. Millias; H.M. Fincham; Mark Severin; Anatoli Kalashnikov; and others.

For Adelaide Lovingstone, c. late 17th C.

Highlights include two very early European plates (one French, signed Le Blon and dated 1625, the other German, dated 1605), and the celebrated bookplate of Sir Francis Fust containing the armorials of all his antecedents.

For Robert Day J.P. F.S.A., c. late 19th C.

This first lot is estimated to sell for £4,000 - £6,000 ($6,274 - $9,411).

For John Highlord, 1698.

The second lot, estimated at £1,500 - £2,000 ($2353 - $3,136), contains the remaining bookplates from the collection together with Dorling's reference library and bookplate-related correspondence. These bookplates total approximately 3,000 in number and features examples of all styles, including modern artists' samples. 

For Sophia Merrik Hoare, c. late 17th C., by Francesco Bartolozzi.

The second lot also  contains an album of erotic bookplates (thirty-two including Mark Severin's by John Buckland Wright, eight plates by Mark Severin and three by Anatolii Kalashnikov), two alphabeticized sequences of plates (one sequence contains 800 in four small plastic boxes), and several boxes of miscellaneous, unsorted and duplicate plates. It includes correspondence, research notes, reference books, related periodicals, and etc.

For David Garrick (1717-1779).

Arthur Dorling (1902-1984) lived his entire life in the Woodford area of Greater Manchester, U.K.. A keen local historian and amateur genealogist, his consuming passion was for bookplates.

For Sir Francis Fust, 1662.

He played an active part in The Bookplate Exchange Club from the early 1960s onwards and when, in 1972, The Bookplate Society was founded, Dorling was one of the first to join. 

For Granville Barker, by Max Beerbohm c. 1920.

Arthur Dorling's collection of bookplates and related material reflects his long involvement with The Society and his love of bookplates plates of all kinds. The plates are meticulously arranged with Dorling's preliminary notes on the history and collecting of bookplates, bibliographical information, and indexes of plates by artist.

This is one of the most spectacular bookplate collections to come to market in many a year. Collectors who, hitherto libris, do not look into it will, henceforth, be considered ex-libris.

All images courtesy of Bonham's, with our thanks.

12/01/2013: We are advised by Richard D'Apice of the Australian Heraldry Society that the date of the bookplate of Sir Francis Fust may have been designed to confuse posterity. It is the date upon which the baronetcy was granted to the 1st Baronet (Sir Francis being the 5th Baronet).
Of Related Interest:

Virginia Library Serves Up Bookplate Special.

The Man With The Bookplate Jones.

Authentic G. Washington Bookplate Comes To Auction.


 The Bookplate Society.

The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers.

The Australian Bookplate Society.

International Federation of Ex Libris Societies.

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