Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Regarding Bookplates IV

These four labels are all from copper etched plates. The bitten lines and tone secured from intaglio lines and from wiping the plate give a delicacy not otherwise obtained. Quite different in character are the two heavily drawn printed plates. That of Edna Kircher is an allegorical design and portrays the ever-recurring difficulty into which men are innocently precipitated by the eternal woman who will not leave the gnarled old Tree of Knowledge alone. Beyond in the pleasant valley lie all vanities swept by clean winds of heaven. That faithful recorder of the joys and griefs of humanity, a book, appears in the design. The woodcut plate of the turtle and shield also has a tree for its major motif. Both these plates are designed to be printed from blocks.

Beginning with the Bruce plate more than twenty five years ago, Mr. Seymour has designed a considerable number of Ex Libris labels and his studio is seldom without several in process of etching or to be made for letter press printing. It is a pleasure to thus contribute in a small degree to the bibliophilic pleasures of a few who, having yielded to the seduction of books, have then plunged more deeply into the esoteric indulgence of “getting a bookplate”.

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