Here is the link to Lew’s blog:

In the last few blogs Lew has been discussing storage and presentation options available to collectors of bookplates. I sent him these because they are quite unique, in that the collection remains in it’s early 1800 storage system. Leather covered boxes made in the shape of a book volume with tooled and gilt rubbed spines – all five similar and the sixth a version from later on in the 19th century.

Here’s a bookplate from the Vatican – Pope Gregory XV – dated 1621. A Continental engraving with coloured features with quilled annotation. Just one of the nearly 900 plates from three generations of McKenzie bookplate collectors. My (almost retired) friend and antique dealer in Sydney, Bruce McLeod bought the collection in Trinidad in the 1950’s from the estate of the third owner, an American named Alexander W. McKenzie of Columbus, Ohio – Lew’s research details this in the blog. I’ll also scan and drop in the nice piece of paper ephemera, the receipt for the collection. Bruce offered me the collection in its entirety in 2006 saying he had kept it in tact all his dealing life and he selected me as its next protector – remembering we don’t actually own things we are just custodians for our lifetime, it seems.

April 9 2008 – Update 1: for Lewis Jaffe, here’s another of my favourite plates from the collection, that of the earliest dated Thomas Bewick engraved plate:

April 11 2008 – Update 2: Dear Lew, finding the earlier owners of the collection has been hard to pin down. First, there are numerous envelopes with letters and bookplate folders from turn-of-the-century bookplate collectors and book sellers on both sides of the Atlantic. I’ll start with Thomas Thorp, second hand bookseller at 109–110 High Street Guildford to A. W. MacKenzie Esq. Receipts for French bookplates sent to Mrs Alexander MacKenzie, 33 North Ohio Avenue, City. In exchange cards from Eva Lewis, she exchanged the Musical ex-libris of Arthur Robinson Stone, etched and signed by George M. White of Salem, Mass 1887. An exchange card and slips from Leroy Truman Goble, Press Club, Chicago USA. Letter requesting an impression from the collector – Harry A. Fowler, Kansas City USA. Card request from Charles O. Cornelius, collector, Boston Mass. USA. Two presentation cards with plates engraved by Mr Arthur Engler, from Mr Herman M. Schroeter, member American Bookplate Society 1913. Envelope and card from the collector, W. C. Readio. Envelope and letter to Mrs Fred (Dorothy) Hubbard with requests and bookplate paybacks from 61 Park Avenue NYC USA. A letter in an envelope, unsent with A. W. MacKenzie’s card, two plates of a Columbia University Club Library (* you can have one of these) and an old blueprint of a bookplate entitled – Deschler. A letter from the collector, W. F. Hobson. Exchange card from Harold S. Loeb, Philadelphia, USA. A few different exchange cards from Dr Joseph C. Egbert, Wayne, Penna. USA. Lovely card and letter and exchange plates from Margaret Kearsley, Detroit Mich. USA.

Second, as far as the MacKenzies go here’s the earliest plate, slipped in between the first plate and the cover in book #1. George Richard Mackarness MA . . . and finally there are lists of MacKenzie bookplates made at different times, ‘from the catalogue of British and American Bookplates in the British Library starting with Jacobean Armorials’ [ #19268 – (Mackenzie) The most Honble Kenneth, Marquis and Earl of Seafort, Viscount of Fortrose, Lord Mackenzie and kintail, and Baron of Ardelfe. (Succeeded 1740 as 6th Earl and 3rd Marqess; died 1761. Arms. Mackenzie quartering Kennett) ] . . . also a penciled list numbering another 56 bookplates of MacKenzie from another source kept together.

Now I’m working back through the plates and presentation cards getting them in sequence by their numbers. And finally, there are updated pencil annotations with price updates dating around 1900 before A. W. MacKenzie owns the collection, with these I’m scanning for a name or a giveaway. Will keep you posted!


April 16 2008 – Update 3: Dear Lew, Lucky me, I went to book 7 which has the early 20th c plates and found the plate matching the Harold S. Loeb folded plate request. The one plate drawn by Hubert Wilm of Munich (1912). Here’s the card, the plate and a detail of the plate.

The graphic is after an autograph of Mark Twain sent to Loeb by Twain . . . and we know that Harold S. Loeb was one of the editors of the important Literary Journal – ‘broom’, where he published the early works of Cowley, Stein, Millay, Crane and Cummings. Harold Loeb also achieved lasting literary notoriety where he became the model for the character, Robert Cohen in Hemmingway’s ‘ the sun also rises’ – an important memoir of the 1920’s. Lew, I selected this one for you as you are from Philly. What’s more there’s another 900 bookplates to research (and scan).