EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates

Known more generally as book plates, ex libris are prints, drawings or watercolors designed by artists to be inserted into the front of books to display ownership. Originally a mark of prestige and status in society, book plates emerged in the fifteenth century and usually bore the owner’s family coat of arms. An interest in ex libris collecting and societies began in the 19th century, by which time it was increasingly common for merchants, scholars and other professionals to commission these works from prominent artists. The compositions were created based on the person’s interests, career and accomplishments and often would include a play on his/her name. Fine book plates continue to be made today by contemporary artists both by commission and as a direct response to the book plate as an art form. Many take their inspiration from various historical ex libris motifs such as Greek myth, momento mori and Don Quixote and incorporate them into their own unique style others imagine their own themes more in line with the Modernist movements such as Symbolism and Abstract Expressionism. Each one lends its own distinct voice to the continuing dialogue and tradition of the ex libris.

 

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Art Nouveau Owl.  Ex Libris for Ida Schur. at Davidson Galleries

Walther Baedeker German (fI. early 20th)

Art Nouveau Owl. Ex Libris for Ida Schur.

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Woodcut
Year: ca. 1900
Signature: Signed in block
Size: 4-1/2 x 2-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31462
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Mourning Woman.  Ex Libris for Eduard Klampfl at Davidson Galleries

Franz Van Bayros Austrian (1866-1924)

Mourning Woman. Ex Libris for Eduard Klampfl

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: Late 19th - early 20th century
Size: 4-1/2 x 4 inches. Signed in the plate
Stock Number: 31412c
Price: $70

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Goethe, Kant, Schopenhauer. Ex Libris for Dr. Otto Kahn at Davidson Galleries

Franz Van Bayros Austrian (1866-1924)

Goethe, Kant, Schopenhauer. Ex Libris for Dr. Otto Kahn

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: Late 19th - early 20th century.
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 6-1/8 x 4-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31409c
Price: $70

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Geh! Weck ihn nicht auf, seinen wir froh, dass er einmal schl at Davidson Galleries

Franz Van Bayros Austrian (1866-1924)

Geh! Weck ihn nicht auf, seinen wir froh, dass er einmal schl

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: Late 19th - early 20th century
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 6-1/8 x 4-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31411c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Lovers on a Swing. Ex Libris for Helen and Emil Lemberov at Davidson Galleries

Franz Van Bayros Austrian (1866-1924)

Lovers on a Swing. Ex Libris for Helen and Emil Lemberov

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: Late 19th - early 20th century
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 4-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 31413c
Price: $75

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Woman with Owl.  Ex Libris for Dr. Toni Stichl. at Davidson Galleries

Franz Van Bayros Austrian (1866-1924)

Woman with Owl. Ex Libris for Dr. Toni Stichl.

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: Late 19th - early 20th century
Size: 6-1/8 x 5-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 31386c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Man Followed by Death.  Ex Libris for Dr. Josef Lenze at Davidson Galleries

Karl Blossfield German (1892-1975)

Man Followed by Death. Ex Libris for Dr. Josef Lenze

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1923
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate lower left
Size: 4-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31482c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Man with Devil by the Tail. Ex Libris for Dr. Josef Lenze at Davidson Galleries

Karl Blossfield German (1892-1975)

Man with Devil by the Tail. Ex Libris for Dr. Josef Lenze

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Year: 1922
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate lower left
Size: 5-3/4 x 4-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31484c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : La Vie est Dans la Femme et dans le Livre (Life is in Women and Books). Ex Libris for Leon Maillard at Davidson Galleries

Henri Boutet French (1851-1919)

La Vie est Dans la Femme et dans le Livre (Life is in Women and Books). Ex Libris for Leon Maillard

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Drypoint
Size: 5-3/8 x 3-3/8 inches
Condition: Toned
Stock Number: 29711c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Figures in Initials HK. Ex Libris for Hilde Kiel at Davidson Galleries

O. Beier

Figures in Initials HK. Ex Libris for Hilde Kiel

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1928
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 4-1/4 x 1-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 31481c
Price: $55

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Ship on Waves.  Ex Libris for Francis Marion Crawford at Davidson Galleries

Henry Brokman American (fl. early 20th century)

Ship on Waves. Ex Libris for Francis Marion Crawford

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Size: 4-3/8 x 2-1/2 inches
Condition: Adhesive residue along top edge verso
Stock Number: 31476c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Skeleton Soldiers.  Ex Libris for G. Sabattini at Davidson Galleries

Sergio Burzi Italian (1901-1954)

Skeleton Soldiers. Ex Libris for G. Sabattini

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Block print
Signature: Signed in block bottom right
Size: 2-3/4 x 3-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31478c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Art Deco Nude at Davidson Galleries

Nikolay Domashenko Russian (b. 1946)

Art Deco Nude

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Hand-colored etching
Year: 1986
Edition : 11/100
Signature: Signed, dated and numbered in pencil
Size: 4-3/16 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31358
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Entrata Libera (Free Entry).  Ex Libris for Lombardo at Davidson Galleries

Peter Fingesten German (1916-1987)

Entrata Libera (Free Entry). Ex Libris for Lombardo

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Signature: Signed in pencil, monogram in plate
Size: 6-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 31490c
Price: $200

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Leda and the Swan. Ex Libris for Clotilde at Davidson Galleries

Michel Fingesten Czech/German (1884-1943)

Leda and the Swan. Ex Libris for Clotilde

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Soft-ground intaglio
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 6-1/8 x 6 inches
Stock Number: 31519c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Nunc Mihi Moz Aliis (Today Mine, Soon Somebody Else

Edwin Davis French American (1851-1906)

Nunc Mihi Moz Aliis (Today Mine, Soon Somebody Else's). Ex Libris for Edward Hale Bierstadt

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1894
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 2-3/4 x 2 inches
Stock Number: 31407c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Eve on a Chessboard. Ex Libris for Hilde Bauer at Davidson Galleries

Christian Hacker German (?-1940)

Eve on a Chessboard. Ex Libris for Hilde Bauer

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1927
Signature: Initialed and dated in the plate
Size: 6-1/4 x 5-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31488c
Price: $75

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Pirate with Books.  Ex Libris for Amy Ivers Truesdell at Davidson Galleries

Frederick Garrison Hall American (1878-1946)

Pirate with Books. Ex Libris for Amy Ivers Truesdell

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Lithograph
Year: 1904
Signature: Signed and dated in the stone
Size: 4 x 2-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31470
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Woman Holding Skull. Ex Libris for Dr. W. Has at Davidson Galleries

Ca. Horn

Woman Holding Skull. Ex Libris for Dr. W. Has

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Woodcut
Year: 2003
Signature: Signed in the block
Size: 3-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31379c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Excitent (Excite) at Davidson Galleries

Maurice Johnson and George Vertue British (1684-1798)

Excitent (Excite)

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Engraving on laid paper
Year: 1744
Size: 3-1/2 x 6 inches
Description: Ex Libris designed by the owner and engraved by George Vertue
Stock Number: 31385c
Price: $160

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Romulus and Remus with the She-Wolf. Ex Libris for Ing Frantisek Sara at Davidson Galleries

L.J. Kaspar

Romulus and Remus with the She-Wolf. Ex Libris for Ing Frantisek Sara

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Woodcut
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Signed in pencil, initialed in block
Size: 3-1/4 x 4-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31459c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Man with Arms Outstretched. Ex Libris for Gardner E. Bostedo at Davidson Galleries

Rockwell Kent American (1882-1971)

Man with Arms Outstretched. Ex Libris for Gardner E. Bostedo

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Wood engraving
Year: Early-mid 20th century
Size: 4-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31393c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Three Nudes Around a Fountain. Ex Libris for Dr. Ernst Schwarz at Davidson Galleries

Alois Kolb Austrian (1875-1942)

Three Nudes Around a Fountain. Ex Libris for Dr. Ernst Schwarz

Series: Ex Libris
Year: Etching. Signed in pencil
Size: 7-3/4 x 3-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 12589
Price: $125

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Two Lovers.  Ex Libris for Kniha Josefa Ficence. at Davidson Galleries

J. Kukavsky

Two Lovers. Ex Libris for Kniha Josefa Ficence.

Series: Ex Libris
Year: Lithograph
Size: 4 x 2-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 31471
Price: $40

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Devil with Books. Ex Libris for K Kroptova at Davidson Galleries

Eugenia Kuznetsova Russian (b. 1921)

Devil with Books. Ex Libris for K Kroptova

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Wood engraving
Size: 4-3/4 x 3-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31466
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : If you read this book to its end, bring it back from where it was lent, otherwise this farmer at Davidson Galleries

Burkhard Mangold Swiss (1873-1930)

If you read this book to its end, bring it back from where it was lent, otherwise this farmer

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Color Lithograph on laid paper
Year: 1906
Signature: Signed in pencil, monogram in stone
Size: 3-3/4 x 2-1/4 inches
Description: Artist stamp on verso, watermarked paper
Stock Number: 31461
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Le Metamorfosi. Ex Libris for Dr. Airoldi at Davidson Galleries

Alberto Martini Italian (1876-1954)

Le Metamorfosi. Ex Libris for Dr. Airoldi

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1945
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate lower left
Size: 4-1/4 x 2-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31483c
Price: $350

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Don Quixote. Ex Libris for Allan McClure at Davidson Galleries

W. Mattony

Don Quixote. Ex Libris for Allan McClure

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Woodcut
Year: 1930
Size: 4 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31468
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Per Tentar L

Raoul Dal Molin-Ferenzono Italian (1879-1946)

Per Tentar L'Ardua Porta del Mistero (To Attempt the Arduous Door of Mystery). Ex Libris for Gigi Raimondo

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Signature: Signed in pencil, monogram in plate
Size: 5-1/4 x 4 inches
Stock Number: 31487c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Winged Skull.  Ex Libris for Gigi Raimondo at Davidson Galleries

Raoul Dal Molin-Ferenzono Italian (1879-1946)

Winged Skull. Ex Libris for Gigi Raimondo

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1943
Signature: Signed in pencil, monogram in plate
Size: 6-5/8 x 4-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31489c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Three Workers. Ex Libris for Ernst Riedel at Davidson Galleries

Agnes Miller Parker Scottish (1895-1980)

Three Workers. Ex Libris for Ernst Riedel

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Wood engraving
Year: Before 1918
Signature: Signed in pencil
Size: 2-7/8 x 2-5/8 inches
Stock Number: 12596
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Lilies and Cattails in a Pond.  Ex Libris for Florence M. Hendershot at Davidson Galleries

Ralph M. Pearson American (1883-1958)

Lilies and Cattails in a Pond. Ex Libris for Florence M. Hendershot

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Signature: Signed in plate
Size: 5 x 2-1/8 inches
Stock Number: 17554
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Hawaiiana.  Ex Libris for D.T.F. at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Hawaiiana. Ex Libris for D.T.F.

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: ca. 1915
Size: 3-7/8 x 3-3/4 inches
Condition: Some foxing, mainly in margins
Stock Number: 31390c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Contemplative Man. Ex Libris for Ebert J. Botts at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Contemplative Man. Ex Libris for Ebert J. Botts

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Size: 5-1/8 x 3-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31391c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Artist and Palette. Ex Libris for the artist at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Artist and Palette. Ex Libris for the artist

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Wood engraving
Year: Early 20th century
Size: 2-3/4 x 2-1/4 inches
Stock Number: 31402c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Port of San Francisco, View of the Ferry Building. Ex Libris for Robert Sample Donaldson at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Port of San Francisco, View of the Ferry Building. Ex Libris for Robert Sample Donaldson

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1921
Signature: Initialed and dated in plate
Size: 2 x 2-1/4 inches
Condition: Some minor foxing
Stock Number: 31403c
Price: $65

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : And All I Ask Is A Tall Ship And A Star To Steer Her By. Ex Libris for Helen J. Stearns at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

And All I Ask Is A Tall Ship And A Star To Steer Her By. Ex Libris for Helen J. Stearns

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Size: 4-1/4 x 2-1/3 inches
Stock Number: 31406c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Ship on a River.  Ex Libris for Musgrave at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Ship on a River. Ex Libris for Musgrave

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Initialed in the plate
Size: 2-3/4 x 4-1/2 inches
Stock Number: 31394c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Ship Seen Through Arch.  Ex Libris for Charles Stuart Cushing at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Ship Seen Through Arch. Ex Libris for Charles Stuart Cushing

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Initialed in the plate
Size: 5-1/2 x 2-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31395c
Price: $55

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Ship with Cross.  Ex Libris for James Francis Kieb at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Ship with Cross. Ex Libris for James Francis Kieb

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1920
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate
Size: 4 x 2-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31397c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Ship in a Storm.  Ex Libris for Alonzo Gartley at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Ship in a Storm. Ex Libris for Alonzo Gartley

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Initialed in the plate
Size: 3-1/2 x 2-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31398c
Price: $55

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Sailboat with Egyptian Columns.  Ex Libris for Ca.W.Ca. Deering at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Sailboat with Egyptian Columns. Ex Libris for Ca.W.Ca. Deering

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century.
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 3-1/2 x 2-7/8 inches
Stock Number: 31399c
Price: $55

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Shipyard (By the Name of Atherton).  Ex Libris for Chas. H. Atherton at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Shipyard (By the Name of Atherton). Ex Libris for Chas. H. Atherton

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Size: 4 x 3 inches
Condition: Some minor foxing in the margin
Stock Number: 31400c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Armchair and Hearth.  Ex Libris for Laura Hubbell Hoeber at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Armchair and Hearth. Ex Libris for Laura Hubbell Hoeber

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 4-1/4 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31401c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Running Zebra.  Ex Libris for Connie M. Guion at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Running Zebra. Ex Libris for Connie M. Guion

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Signature: Initialed in plate
Size: 3-1/2 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31404c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Pan with Ship.  Ex Libris for John and Alice Poole at Davidson Galleries

Horatio Nelson Poole American (1884-1949)

Pan with Ship. Ex Libris for John and Alice Poole

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: Early 20th century
Size: 4 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31405c
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Construction Site.  Ex Libris for the artist at Davidson Galleries

Max Schnabel German (1903-1986)

Construction Site. Ex Libris for the artist

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 20th century
Size: 2-1/4 x 2-3/4 inches
Stock Number: 12598
Price: $50

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Flores Curat Deus (God Takes Care of the Flowers). Ex Libris for Lord Battersea at Davidson Galleries

Charles William Sherborn British (1831-1912)

Flores Curat Deus (God Takes Care of the Flowers). Ex Libris for Lord Battersea

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching
Year: 1893
Signature: Signed and dated in the plate
Size: 4 x 3 inches
Stock Number: 31414c
SOLD

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Homo de Humo (Man of the Earth).  Ex Libris for M.I. Lombardo at Davidson Galleries

Enrico Vannuccini Italian (1900-1990)

Homo de Humo (Man of the Earth). Ex Libris for M.I. Lombardo

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching on laid paper
Year: 1939
Signature: Signed and dated in pencil lower right, signed in the plate.
Size: 3-7/8 x 5-3/8 inches
Condition: Tape residue verso
Stock Number: 31474c
Price: $325

EX LIBRIS: Antique Book Plates : Winged Victories. Ex Libris for Rear Admiral Ernest Milton Pace at Davidson Galleries

Enrico Vannuccini Italian (1900-1990)

Winged Victories. Ex Libris for Rear Admiral Ernest Milton Pace

Series: Ex Libris
Medium: Etching on laid paper
Signature: Signed in the plate
Size: 5 x 3-1/2 inches
Condition: Tape residue verso
Stock Number: 31475c
Price: $200