Sunday 28 July 2013

Armorial Bookplates sold for £1.12 each.

I have been following with interest the sale, on Ebay, of an album of armorial bookplates. With a starting price of just 99p (It was always going to sell for far more than that) the album was described as "Ex Libris Album 135 x Bookplates C19th Early C20th British & American".

The vendor described it as an album (10" x 8") of approx. 135 Bookplates dating mainly from 19th & early 20th Centuries. The album belonged to one Edith Oldham 1855-1946 and seems to have been handed down to F. Oldham with the date 1962 on the inside front cover. The album is broken and the contents range from poor to good condition with many old sellotape stains and several plates with missing corners. The bookplates were said to be thought to originate from the UK with a proportion from the USA plus the odd European example. They consist of armorial designs and later pictorial images.


With seven bidders making ten bids the hammer fell at £148.77 plus £4.50 UK delivery. Assuming that the winning bidder resides in the UK that makes an average price of £1.12 per bookplate. I wonder if it was purchased by a dealer who will now split them up and offer them for sale individually?

Thursday 25 July 2013

Bookplate exchanges

I have today received a number of bookplates (as part of an exchange) from Pierre Daniel De Losada Y Marth, Madrigal Heraldo de Arms De Castilla Y Leon. Included in the package were a number of Losada bookplates executed by Chirac, 1992, Zdenko Alexy, 1992, Zdenko Alexy, 1992 and Agry 1984. Here is but one of the plates, the remainder can be found in the The Cheshire Heraldry Gallery.

Losada Bookplate

Sunday 7 July 2013

William Henry Bellot F.R.C.S.E. Surgeon Royal Cheshire Militia

This is the bookplate (in my personal collection) of William Henry Bellot F.R.C.S.E. Surgeon Royal Cheshire Militia. William was gazetted 5th October 1852 as receiving a commission signed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County palatine of Chester; William Henry Bellot, gent, to be surgeon.

William Henry Bellot F.R.C.S.E. Surgeon Royal Cheshire Malitia.

This bookplate is incorrectly described in the Rylands collection as being parted per fess Gules and Argent.

“Description: The Bellot Family coat of arms. The blazoning is as follows: The shield is parted per fess, the upper armorial is red and the lower silver. Three cinquefoil flowers appear in chief across the upper armorial. Underneath appears the motto 'Spes Me Sustentat'.

The Visitations of 1663 describe this coat as being Argent, on a chief Gules three cinquefoils of the field [Bellot] and Daniel King, in his Kinderton Roll tricks them as Bellot (Bellet) Argent, on a chief Gules three cinquefoils pierced of the field.

Here he is using the motto Spes Me Sustenat (Hope Sustains Me) and this motto is also used in the bookplate of a number of books in the Rylands Library “Bellot Collection” where other bookplates bearing an alternative motto ‘Toujours Bellot’ (Always Pretty) can be found.


Image from the Rylands Library “Bellot Collection” where other bookplates bearing an alternative motto ‘Toujours Bellot’ (Always Pretty) can be found.

Monday 1 July 2013


I came across this advertisement this morning in a local government journal and it resurrected my feelings of unease about the lackadaisical way in which the ownership and use of arms is treated in England; I couldn't help thinking (once again) that this simply would not be tolerated in Scotland.

These are the arms of the Earl of Derby and are certainly not the arms of any town council. Sadly and with much regret in 1984, the then Garter King of Arms declined to ask the Court to rule against the assumption of unauthorised arms by a local authority, doubting whether the precedents would give jurisdiction (A New Dictionary of Heraldry (1987) Stephen Friar p 63).

[quote from Wiki] Hence, although the Law of Arms undoubtedly remains part of the law of England, and although the Court of Chivalry in theory exists as a forum in which it may be enforced, there is difficulty in enforcing the law in practice (a point made in Re Croxon, Croxon v Ferrers [1904] Ch 252, Kekewich J). The absence of a practical remedy for the illegal usurpation of arms in the law of England does not mean that there are no rights infringed, merely that it not within the jurisdiction of the common law Courts to act and the Court which is so empowered does not now sit.

Armorial bearings are incorporeal and impartible hereditaments, inalienable, and descendable according to the law of arms. Generally speaking (there have been very rare examples of patents in which the arms are granted to descend with some different limitation), this means they are inherited by the issue (male and female) in the male line of the grantee, though they can be inherited as quarterings by the sons of an heraldic heiress, where there is no surviving male heir, provided her issue also have a right to bear arms in their own male line. [End Quote]


A free heraldry symposium courtesy of the Yorkshire Heraldry Society

 The Yorkshire Heraldry Society will be hosting a free heraldry symposium on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Bradford Grammar School. You can do...

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