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A Collection of Masonic Bookplates or Ex-Libris by Brother Jens Rusch

A Collection of Masonic Bookplates or Ex-Libris 

Masonic bookplate bookplates are probably the rarest of all genres. This collection belonging to Brother Jens Rusch of 
http://freimaurer-wiki.de/index.php/Freimaurer-Exlibris
is therefore a small but valuable selection.  Formerly it was reserved for monastery libraries to declare ownership. In these specimens there are also the official bookplate of UGLE- library. The
following is a detailed definition from Wikipedia.

A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, “from the books of…”], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed ‘booklabels’.

The earliest known marks of ownership of books or documents date from the reign of Amenophis III in Egypt (1391-1353). However, in their modern form, they evolved from simple inscriptions in books which were common in Europe in the Middle Ages, when various other forms of “librarianship” became widespread (such as the use of class-marks, call-numbers, or shelfmarks). The earliest known examples of printed bookplates are German, and date from the 15th century. One of the best known is a small hand-coloured woodcut representing a shield of arms supported by an angel, which was pasted into books presented to the Carthusian monastery of Buxheim by Brother Hildebrand Brandenburg of Biberach, about the year 1480—the date being fixed by that of the recorded gift. The woodcut, in imitation of similar devices in old manuscripts, is hand-painted. An example of this bookplate can be found in the Farber Archives of Brandeis University[1] . In France the most ancient ex-libris as yet discovered is that of one Jean Bertaud de la Tour-Blanche, the date of which is 1529.

Study and collection

Bookplates are very often of high interest (and of a value often far greater than the odd volume in which they are found
affixed), either as specimens of bygone decorative fashion or as personal relics of well-known people. However the value attached to book plates, otherwise than as an object of purely personal interest, is comparatively modern.

The study of and the taste for collecting bookplates hardly date farther back than the year 1860. The first real impetus
was given by the appearance of A Guide to the Study of Book-Plates (Ex-Libris), by Lord de Tabley (then the Hon. J. Leicester Warren M.A.) in 1880 (published in London by John Pearson of 46 Pall Mall). This work, highly interesting from many
points of view, established what is now accepted as the general classification of styles of British ex-libris: early armorial (i.e., previous to Restoration, 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 is 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, &c. Since then the literature on the subject has grown considerably.

Societies of collectors were founded, first in England in 1891, then in Germany and France, and later in the United States,
most of them issuing a journal or archives: The Journal of the Ex-libris Society (London), the Archives de la Société française de collectionneurs d’ex-libris (Paris), both of these monthlies; the Ex-libris Zeitschrift (Berlin), a quarterly.

In 1901-1903 the British Museum published the catalog of the 35,000 bookplates collected by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks
(1826-97).

Bookplates, of which there are probably far more than a million extant examples worldwide, have become objects of collection. One of the first known English collectors was a Miss Maria Jenkins of Clifton, Bristol, who was active in the field during the second quarter of the 19th century. Her bookplates were later incorporated into the collection of 
Joseph Jackson Howard
.  Some collectors attempt to acquire plates of all kinds (for example, the collection of Irene Dwen Andrews Pace, now at Yale University, comprising 250,000 items). Other collectors prefer to concentrate on bookplates in special fields—for example, coats of arms, pictures of ships, erotic plates, chess pieces, legal symbols, scientific instruments, signed plates, proof-plates, dated plates, plates of celebrities, or designs by certain artists.

 

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