Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122b

Book Plate

1894 (made)
Artist/Maker

Object Type
This object is a bookplate, a small print designed to be pasted inside a book to mark ownership. They were often printed Ex Libris (Latin for 'from the library of') followed by the owner's name. This one is an engraving, that is a print taken from a metal plate in which the lines have been incised by a tool called a burin.

People
Charles W. Sherborn attended the Government School of Drawing and Design at Somerset House and trained as a goldsmith, both in London and abroad. From 1881, however, he specialised in designing and engraving bookplates, producing over 400 examples. He was a founder member and later Vice-President of the Ex Libris Society (founded 1891) which promoted the art of bookplates as well as providing a forum for collectors. Sherborn was inspired by 16th-century German engravers such as Dürer and the 'Little Masters' and was credited with single-handedly reviving and enlivening traditional armorial bookplates. He was also a founder member of the Society of Painter Etchers, in 1884.

Ownership & Use
Bookplates were specially commissioned by individuals to identify their books. The earliest bookplates, from the 15th century, and books themselves, were only owned by the very wealthy. It was only in the 19th century that book ownership became more widespread.

Subjects Depicted
The presence of books implies that the owners are well-read but this is further re-enforced by symbols, for example the lamp of knowledge, a Roman Imperial bust signifying a knowledge of the Antique and the owl, symbolising wisdom.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraved or etched, ink on paper
Brief Description
Bookplate of Curt and Lilli Sobernheim from 6 bookplates mounted together
Dimensions
  • Height: 11cm
  • Width: 8cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 16/08/1999 by DJ
Marks and Inscriptions
Lettered with 'C.W.S. 1894'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: BOOKPLATES
1893-1894
The number of books produced in the 19th century increased dramatically thanks to new methods of printing and binding. Public and private libraries frequently commissioned bookplates to identify their books. These six bookplates were designed by Charles William Sherborn (1831-1912), a major designer of artistic bookplates, who worked in London. He drew inspiration from earlier bookplates and from historic ornament.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by C. Davis Sherborn
Object history
Charles William Sherborn (1831-1912)
Summary
Object Type
This object is a bookplate, a small print designed to be pasted inside a book to mark ownership. They were often printed Ex Libris (Latin for 'from the library of') followed by the owner's name. This one is an engraving, that is a print taken from a metal plate in which the lines have been incised by a tool called a burin.

People
Charles W. Sherborn attended the Government School of Drawing and Design at Somerset House and trained as a goldsmith, both in London and abroad. From 1881, however, he specialised in designing and engraving bookplates, producing over 400 examples. He was a founder member and later Vice-President of the Ex Libris Society (founded 1891) which promoted the art of bookplates as well as providing a forum for collectors. Sherborn was inspired by 16th-century German engravers such as Dürer and the 'Little Masters' and was credited with single-handedly reviving and enlivening traditional armorial bookplates. He was also a founder member of the Society of Painter Etchers, in 1884.

Ownership & Use
Bookplates were specially commissioned by individuals to identify their books. The earliest bookplates, from the 15th century, and books themselves, were only owned by the very wealthy. It was only in the 19th century that book ownership became more widespread.

Subjects Depicted
The presence of books implies that the owners are well-read but this is further re-enforced by symbols, for example the lamp of knowledge, a Roman Imperial bust signifying a knowledge of the Antique and the owl, symbolising wisdom.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1912, London, Printed for His Majesty’s Stationery Office 1913
Collection
Accession Number
E.2155-1912

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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