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bookplate, label pasted in a book to indicate ownership, also called ex libris [Lat.,=from the books of]. The bookplate is usually of paper on which heraldic or other designs are engraved or printed. The earliest printed bookplates date from c.1480 in Germany. Dürer and Holbein designed and engraved a number of bookplates. A Stephen Daye bookplate of 1642 may have been among the first printed in North America; the John Cotton plate of 1674 certainly was. Paul Revere was well known for his bookplate engravings, as was Nathaniel Hurd. The practice of designing bookplates flourished throughout the 18th and 19th cent. Fine examples are still being produced mainly for collectors and connoisseurs by a number of graphic artists including Richard Horton and John DePol.


See J. B. L. Warren (Lord De Tabley), Guide to the Study of Bookplates (1880); W. Hamilton, Dated Book-Plates (1895); E. J. Kavanagh, ed., Bookplates (1966); C. D. Allen, American Bookplates (1895, repr. 1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also ex libris), a label pasted inside a book’s binding or cover, bearing the name of the book’s owner. Bookplates have been quite common since the beginning of book printing. They have been popular in Russia since the early 18th century. Until the 19th century, the name of the book’s owner was customarily tooled on the binding or spine of the book, along with an ex libris; because such work was expensive to execute, when books were first published for the general public the paper bookplate became preferred.

The simplest bookplates bore only the owner’s name, sometimes accompanied by a motto. Later they were ornamented with the owner’s coat of arms (16th–18th centuries) or elaborate monograms. Pictorial bookplates, especially popular in the 20th century, depict landscapes, architectural motifs, and various emblems suggesting the owner’s tastes or profession.

Pictorial bookplates are engraved on copper, wood, or linoleum. Occasionally they are zincographed or lithographed. From the 16th to 18th centuries, many outstanding artists designed bookplates, including A. Dürer and H. Holbein the Younger.

Miniature compositions for bookplates, employing the effects of various graphic techniques, have been designed by many Soviet graphic artists, including A. I. Kravchenko, D. I. Mitrokhin, P. Ia. Pavlinov, and V. A. Favorskii.


Minaev, E., and S. Fortinskii. Ekslibris. Moscow, 1970.
Ivenskii, S. G. Mastera russkogo ekslibrisa. Leningrad, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A commemorative book plate will be placed at the beginning of each book, recognizing Phi Kappa Phi for its donation.
Phi Kappa Phi then will purchase the books and put book plates in them identifying the student who chose the book as well as the Phi Kappa Phi name and logo.
"We also have two signed JK Rowling book plates to put inside your book to give away.
His first article 'Some Australian book plates' was published in the May-June 1905 issue of Art and Architecture.
It would be an oversight not to praise the wealth of variety in the ninety pages of illustrations--photographs, drawings, book plates, holographs of letters--without which no book on Morris is complete.
I have used pond life-themed book plates and pressed leaves in my bathroom, butterflies clipped from a poster on my bathroom door and book pages and illustrations from my favourite book (The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury) on some distinctly 1970s tiles in my kitchen.
The family's hobbies are reflected in another room, which boasts an astonishingly varied collection of magic lanterns as well as stamps and unique book plates belonging to the children.
Family baker Warburtons has donated the books for children to keep and read at home, and has provided them with a book box, bookmark, book plates and stickers.
Jennifer Joyce, author of new book Plates To Share, is a confirmed fan of mezze, traditionally served in Lebanon and Syria and the ultimate finger food.
Also included are a book of ideas, a fiction and non-fiction booklist for children and parents, a set of illustrated book plates, coloured pencils, pencil sharpener and an A4 colouring pad.