Portrait bookplate – one of the oldest types of book characters – appeared after the stamp. The first engraved bookplate is considered the emblem of the knight Bernhardt von Rohrbach, made in 1460 by the German engraver Bartel Schön. The portrait ex-libris was not long in coming; the earliest surviving portrait ex-libris was made in 1498 for the Basel Bishop of Limberger. It is not necessary to doubt the time of appearance of this bookplate, it shows the date of its creation, no date was indicated on any of its predecessors.
The origin of portraiture dates back to ancient times. The oldest known attempt to portray a human face has 27 millennia, it was discovered in the cave of Villoner near the French city of Angouleme in the department of Charente. The word “portrait” originates from the outdated French word portraire – to write off someone’s image. The first who proposed to use the term “portrait” exclusively for “depicting a (concrete) human being” was the French art historian and official court historian of King Louis XIV Andre Felibien. Continue reading
Cardboard – the most common and affordable material, the cheapest and most convenient for work. There are many different types of cardboard with various properties. The best is Bristol, made from the best varieties of white paper. A good cardboard is prepared from waste paper, hemp is gray or black. The most loose cardboard is made from straw and has a yellowish color. There are many different grades of this material with different properties and all of it is suitable for engraving. Cardboard thickness must be at least 2 mm. For engraving, it is best to use cardboard 5 mm thick, very durable with a smooth surface. Consider two types of printing on cardboard: letterpress and intaglio. Continue reading
The story of the bookplate gives us an example of an amazing, but fairly common metamorphosis. Born as an ordinary utilitarian owner’s signature, the bookplate turned into an independent section of artistic printed graphics, as well as into a collectible. Something similar happened with postcards, stamps, labels, posters …
The first books were unusually expensive, their possession was comparable by today’s standards with the possession of a representative car, so leaving the owner’s signature in the book was absolutely natural. Conventional signatures gradually evolved into font compositions, and began to grow into various decorations. And since the owners of the books were mainly titled people, instead of the owner’s signature, his coat of arms appeared. To reproduce complex compositions, it became necessary to create printed forms, Continue reading