The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Bookplates

"John Lynch II and III" bookplate with the popular reading-under-a-tree theme. Found in Gladstone by Philip Magnus (John Murray, 1960)

"Phyllis F. Saperstein": a lonely windswept plate found in The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (Blue Ribbon, 1928)

"Harriet and George Wasserman" bookplate. Found in The Complete Stories of Maupassant (Blue Rubbon, 1940) An interesting expressionistic naval scene. I like how the negative white space makes up the fish and the slash of light across the sail.

A Harriet Wasserman was the agent of Saul Bellow and wrote a memoir about her life with him. Can't say if this is her plate but it's a good possibility.

Two children's plates. First this generic but nicely colored bookworm plate belonging to "Irene Cole":

And lastly this custom-designed plate belonging to "Van Santvoord Merle-Smith" found in Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims by Addison (Page, Boston 1924). A beautiful plate with red highlights features Alice and the Rabbit, Santa Claus, and (I'm guessing) the Wizard of Oz.

The illustrator's style seems very familiar (particularly the mountains). I wonder if the "Z" on the ship's flag and the "OV" on the knight's standard comprise a signature?

Van Santvoord Merle-Smith was an aid to General George Patton from the end of WWII until Patton's death and was the subject of the biography Big All the Way Through.

If only everyone were this easy to Google.


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the little man on the bookplate belonging to "Van Santvoord Merle-Smith" is Dr.Doolittle, not the Wizard of Oz.

Julia Merle-Smith said...

I'm one of Van Merle-Smith's many grandchildren. I was google-ing his name for some family history and found your site. Thanks for putting his book plate up, I've never seen it before. My e-mail is I'd love to get the original or a copy.
Thanks, Julia Merle-Smith

Anonymous said...

Hello! I am also related to Van S. Merle-Smith, a nephew (hello, Julia!), and the 'little man' noted by Anonymous is, indeed, Dr. Doolittle. The 'Z' on the flag probably stands for Zandvoort, the Dutch town the family was named for, not sure about the oV on the knight's pennant! I'm emailing you a related drawing you might find interesting if you like bookplates.

Evan Stover

Anonymous said...

I have that bookworm bookplate in one of my childhood books from the 1950's- only with my name of course

Trowby Brockman said...

From the mother of two Merle-Smith grandchildren: The Z is most likely for Zaidee Van Santvoord Merle-Smith, Van's Grandmother. She was the daughter of Alfred Van Santvoord who ran the Hudson River Day Line. The family used to say " The boat goes when Zaidee Zez zo."