Notes on Melvyn Jeremiah's Bookplate

For several centuries past those with serious collections of books have adopted the practice of pasting labels in the front of them to show that they form part of their library. This practice became so widespread, particularly in the nineteenth century, that a great variety of styles and examples, mostly heraldic, were produced. They usually made some allusion to the origin, interests or skills of the book-owner.

The collection of bookplates has become a fascination for a small number of enthusiasts, and in the United Kingdom they come together in The Bookplate Society to pursue their hobby. The attraction of bookplates to the more general population of book-owners remains, and modern artists produce some extremely attractive examples for today's bibliophiles.

I have a large collection of heraldry books, and it seemed appropriate to make up a bookplate of my own to identify them as part of my library. Accordingly I have produced the design which is reproduced below.

The central motif in the bookplate is the version of my arms drawn by Aleksandr Kurov. The four shields in the corners are (clockwise from top left): the arms of the City of London, of which I am a freeman; the arms of Wales, the land of my birth; the shield of The Heraldry Society, of which I am a Vice President and Honorary Fellow; and the arms of the Worshipful Company of Scriveners, of which I am a liveryman.

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