Sunday, October 18, 2009

Barking Bookplates II

No wonder the canine image has been chosen by so many booklovers for their plates – the dog is almost universally symbolic of protection, fidelity and duty, as well as companionship. Well-know bookplate designer and collector Edward Gordon Craig observed, “A bookplate is to a book what a collar is to a dog.” People who cherish both books and dogs are reluctant to part with either without promise of safe return.

While artistic value of bookplates had long been appreciated, it was not until just over a hundred years ago that plates moved from functional private ownership into the hands of collectors.

Today, societies of collectors exist in more than 50 countries, and Internet correspondence makes collecting easy. Most plates, including historic ones, can be purchased for under $10, making them a very affordable collectible. Distant friendships grow as one expands a collection, or focuses on a type, a theme or a breed.

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