One hardly even sees a bookmark anymore, let alone a bookplate (neither Apple nor Kindle seems to have figured this one out yet). But do take a look at the Web site Dark Roasted Blend, which has curated some of the finer examples of bookplate art through the ages.
Also known as ex libris (Latin for “from the books of”), these highly decorative, and often quite beautiful bookplates usually had a name, crest or some motif that related back to its owner. There’s Charles de Gaulle’s, which bears the Cross of Lorraine (symbol of the Free French Forces of WWII); George Washington’s, which sports his family’s coat of arms; Jack London’s, which, quite appropriately, features a wolf’s head; and Sigmund Freud’s, adorned by a nude figure (of course!). And be sure to look at the stylized image favored by Greta Garbo. Can we bring these back, please?
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