Thursday, 15 October 2015

When Book Lovers Guarded Their Prized Possessions With Tiny Artworks

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Before the reign of e-books, streaming content, and information stored in a mythical 'cloud,' people stockpiled hardcovered paper objects full of written words. Of those educated persons who maintained personal libraries of their favorite tomes, the more affluent sometimes commissioned unique, artist-designed bookplates, which were affixed inside the book’s cover to make its allegiances clear.

From its earliest days, the bookplate, also known as ex-libris (Latin, 'from the books of...'), was a status symbol, expressing the individuality of a book's owner as much as preventing theft. Like a carefully curated home library, the imagery of a custom bookplate spoke to a person's favorite subjects, hobbies, or values.

(thanks Hunter

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