The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I haven't posted new plates in a while. It's not because I'm not finding them it's more because I'm adding so many to the collection that I have to be selective or drown out my other posts.

Here's a few recent additions.

First this Esther Nelson plate found in an 1889 Bound volume of Baily's Magazine, London.

I like the graceful curves and the white-on-black scratchboard effect.

Next this skeleton flautist plate belonging to Bob and Mary Sullivan, found in a DIY book from 1938.

Skeletons would be a fun and fruitful bookplate theme to collect.

Next two plates from my soon to be Mother-in-Law and a faithful reader of this blog (who keeps putting little red stars on my visitors' map in far-flung parts of the globe).

Her personal plate...

which I'll let her describe:
Diana huntress was made for me by my Canadian godmother about 1946. She was from Scotland and was spending the summer of 1939 in Toronto on a student exchange before she started the Glasgow School of Art in Sept 39. I always thought the bookplates were very cool and loved pasting them into my books until some nasty kid saw them and made a big fuss about having naked ladies in my books, so I stopped using them I suppose that is why I have a stack of unused ones.
and this plate from her father-in-law, Charles Summers Stevenson who was the first American doctor to enter Nagasaki post bomb.

Charles was featured in the PBS Documentary "Mission of Mercy" and was the first American doctor to enter Nagasaki with the intention of treating survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb. He went in on a tender off his ship which was anchored out in the bay off Nagasaki with 2 orderlies and a sack of sulfa drugs (which were cutting edge at the time). He said it was unlike any thing he could have ever imagined and he realized in short order that there was basically nothing he could do despite all the best drugs that he had with him. Years later he joined Physicians for Social Responsibility on the strength of his experiences.

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