Bookplates are small size graphic works that booklovers place inside the cover of their books and includes images about different topics and the name of the owner. It is like the card or the deed of a book. A bookplate, also known as “Ex-libris” introduces its owner, glorifies it and warns the person who borrowed the book to return it. Besides being a sign of property, an indicator of ownership, it has a function of preventing the book from being stolen. Its lexical meaning is …’s book, belongs to … library or from …’s library.
Bookplate is an important tool of communication. Even though it was created as a graphic of need, they are authentic works of art created with aesthetic concerns. It brings the art to hands of people, inside the books and evokes its captivating warmth. This branch of art which has a very long history, also draws attention with its property of carrying the historical features to the present day and it is used as a trade object between artist and collectors.
[pullquote3 align=”center” ]First and oldest example of the bookplate is presumed to be made on a light blue tile in B.C. 1400, which belongs to the library of Amenhotep III and that these tiles are attached to wooden chests that are used to preserve papyrus rolls.
First and oldest example of the bookplate is presumed to be made on a light blue tile in B.C. 1400, which belongs to the library of Amenhotep III and that these tiles are attached to wooden chests that are used to preserve papyrus rolls.
Bookplates are actually created with the invention of press. In the beginning, highly valuable manuscript books were possessed only by churches and princes. With the help of press, low level eupatrid and educated middle class had the opportunity to possess them. Thereby, books lost their property of being single copies, and in order to protect them from being stolen and being lost, necessity of a specific sign of property is born.
It is known that first bookplates were used in South Germany in 15. Century. One of these bookplates is the 19 cm long one, which is created for the German priest Johannes Knabenberg known as “Igler” and it has a picture of a hedgehog biting a flower in the prairie. In the 16. Century, bookplates that became widespread with the increase in the number of books could be seen not only in Germany, but also in other European countries. Famous artists like Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Lucas Cranach (1472-1553), Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Kaethe Kolwitz (1867-1945), Emil Nolde (1867-1956), Paul Klee (1879-1940, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Oscar Kokoschka (1888-1980) made bookplates for the important statesmen, scientists and their relatives of that time.
If we look at the bookplate artists of the present, we can see artists like Jury Borovitsky from Russia, Peter Augustovic from Slovakia, Karol Felix from Czechoslovakia, Robert Jancovic, Anneke Kuyper from Netherlands, Ettore Antonini from Italy, Antonio Grimaldi with his gravures, Jean Marcel Bertrand from France, Mark Severin from Belgium, Gerard Gaudaen, Frank Ivo Van Damme, Emiel Hoorne, Ryszard Tobianski from Poland, Miroslav Houra from Czechoslovakia, Arkady Pugachevsky from Ukrainian with his high reliefs, Marcel Hascic from Czechoslovakia, Vladimir Gazovic from Slovakia with his Lithography, Kurt Herman from Belgium with his computer designs and Wim Zwiers from Holland.