Wednesday 29 July 2015

Gerald Lysaght Bookplate for sale at £100

I have only recently become familiar with the world of armorial bookplates and have embarked upon a small and growing collection of my own however, some desirable plates are, I confess, way beyond my purse.

Presently for sale on Ebay is the bookplate of Gerald Lysaght, a major backer of the tragic 1921 - 22 Shackelton/Rowett expedition. It is an attractive plate in its own right but no doubt the history behind its owner has prompted a buy it now price of £100; this is too rich for my meager budget.

If my memory serves me correctly, one of these plates (possibly even this one) was included in an auction held by the Bookplate Society a few years ago with a guide price of £10. It is likely to have gone for far more than £10 and I remember being tempted then but feeling, even at that price, that it was likely to be too expensive for me! It looks as though I'm going to have to confine my collecting to the also-rans.

Saturday 25 July 2015

An unfortunate new armorial hybrid created by "Shrewsbury university".

You would think that if anyone is going understand the principles behind a science it would be a university but, regrettably when it comes to business (and nowadays, it does seem that universities are forced to become streamlined businesses) even these institutions leave their academic brains at home and hand the marketing of their brand to bright young things who, of course, know best. I beg to differ.

When The University of Chester and Shropshire Council got together to establish The University Centre Shrewsbury "to increase Higher Education prospects and offer a vibrant and rounded student experience" they also created an unfortunate armorial hybrid which is really a logo attempting to pass itself off as a "crest" [sic].  Someone came up with the bright idea of "combining" a portion of the arms of  The University of Chester with the armorial bearings of the Town Council of Shrewsbury (despite the fact that this is a Shropshire Council initiative, they still took the arms of the town and not the Shropshire arms).

As a logo I don't suppose it's too bad however, I have absolutely no doubt that whoever created it wanted it to be heraldic or at least heraldic in nature and many will indeed believe that it is a "coat of arms" so if you want a coat of arms, why not actually have a coat of arms? In terms of the science of heraldry something resembling a shield which is dissected in the middle by a wavy line with the top half floating above the bottom half  isn't and can't be an heraldic shield. If it were actually one piece (joined together) it would be considered to be truly heraldic but the fact is that it isn't!

If someone recreated something in any other field of science there would be some professor or other looking over their shoulder pointing out the fact that they completely ballsed up the formula. I have a completely novel idea; if someone wants to create something heraldic, why not consult someone who knows something about it?

Friday 24 July 2015


Facebook's ability to decide what one likes and doesn't like never ceases to amuse me. I noticed today (never really bothered to look before) that there is a section called "Suggested Groups" and apparently FB considers that I may wish to join a group called Friends of The Rothschilds & Rockefellers. It would seem that this particular group, of which I have no interest whatsoever, has some 3'387 Members! Why I would want to join a group of "Friends" of these particular people I have absolutely no idea. Sycophants Anonymous might be a more more appropriate title.

Set in Stone

When a prominent political party commissioned an eight foot tall stone tablet (which is by now quite redundant), it prompted me to make enquiries on having my own heraldic carving. It's now well into production and I thought I'd share a progress report with my reader.

Next stage some detail to be included. (Carving commissioned through a Hamish Bell).

Thursday 9 July 2015

John Twemlow of Hatherton (and Grangerisation)

My reader will be aware that I have in my collection a Victorian Copper Medal of the Walgherton Female Friendly Society commissioned by the patron John Twemlow of Hatherton.   But there is also a wealth of material once belonging to this gentleman in Chetham's Library.

Chetham's copy of Guillim (a book familiar to most heraldry addicts) once belonged to Twemlow and, as they describe it, he must have had plenty of time on his hands as he hand painted all of the illustrations in the book (this is actually not uncommon as most copies of the book seem to have the illustrations hand coloured). The library has a full description of Twemlow's Guillim which has been subjected to the process known as Grangerisation (after the Rev James Granger). This practice, which became popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is also known as  ‘extra illustration’ and is essentially where the owner of a book dismantles and rebinds it to include prints, drawings, maps or even photographs. Mr Twemlow’s selection includes mainly family portraits (including Hector and Silvia his dogs) and images of the ancestral home and land.

Portrait of John Twemlow courtesy of Chetham's Library

Hector and Silvia Courtesy of Chetham's Library.

Cheshire Heraldry Society 2015/16 Lecture Season

If you are interested in Cheshire and Heraldry then we hope the Society's programme will have something to take your attention. Please join us at any of our talks this autumn and spring (details below) if you can. In the summer we go on outings to places of heraldic interest.

Our programme for 2015/15 is:

Sept 26th 2015The Regalia of Ashton Court Leet. Martin Goldstraw J.P., F.S.A. Scot.
Oct 17th 2015Heraldry at Aldermaston. John Titterton F.S.A.
Nov 21st 2015The heraldry at Thrumpton Hall, Notts. Mr. Vic Taylor.
Jan 16th 2016Grants of Arms by 'Private' Individuals in  England and Wales c.1300-1450. Adrian Ailes F.S.A., F.H.S.
Feb 20th 2016Aspects of Wiltshire Heraldry. Steve Slater F.H.S. *
March 20th 2016Ockwells Manor. John Titterton F.S.A.
Apr 16th 2015Annual General Meeting.

Further details along with venue and times can be found on the Society's web page.

Anthony Gosselin Trower Bookplate

I received a very pleasant surprise in the post this morning from Steve Slater who had been sent a number of bookplates from the family of a Mr. A. G. Trower of Stanstead Bury near Ware in Hertfordshire; apparently the family have been there for a couple of centuries. Although far removed from Cheshire, Steve thought that I might like one of the bookplates for my collection; how right he was. Thank you very much Steve (and Mr. Trower's son).

College of Arms Newsletter April 2024

 The latest College of Arms Newsletter for April 2024 is now online .

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