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Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
ABCDE Association Belge (X645), 1910,
Framed (ref: 454)
The original zinc lithographic plate
9 x 7 in. (23 x 18 cm)
Provenance: Count William de Belleroche
Exh: The Old Matsukata Collection, Kobe, Japan, 1989, Cat B-21(and Ill). Lit and Ill: Dominique Marechal, Frank Brangwyn: Collection Catalogue, Bruges, 1987, p190. According to Marechal the plate was made for the 'Association belge des Ex-Libris' of the Musee du Livre, Brussels.
Brangwyn designed over 130 bookplates for friends and colleagues both in the UK and abroad (notably France and Italy), the light-hearted designs being a pun on the owner’s name or apparently relating to the owner’s occupation or interest, although the meaning of some remains obscure. The ex-libris were produced in a variety of media – as etchings, woodcuts and lithographs. Many, but not all, were reproduced in Bookplates by Frank Brangwyn RA, compiled by E Hesketh Hubbard and Eden Phillpotts in 1920.
Brangwyn sent William de Belleroche this zinc plate as a Christmas card.
When one considers the volume and large scale of work Brangwyn was commissioned to produce, it is delightful to discover that he was prepared to spend time working on small individual tokens for associates. The craft probably appealed to Brangwyn because bookplates were considered at the time to be a product of democracy and afforded evidence of the spread of education.
The following selection of bookplates is placed in date order. The number in brackets following the title of each Brangwyn work indicates the number by which the work is identified in the Catalogue Raisonne.
We are grateful to Libby Horner for assistance.