16 November 2010

They don't make bookplates like these anymore

Earlier today I downloaded an 1897 monograph* about the land snail genus Pomatias from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The book from which the pdf copy had been made was at the Mollusk Library of the National Museum of Natural History in DC. The opening pages of the book have 2 bookplates.

The 1st one belonged to William Healey Dall (1845-1927). He was the Curator of Mollusks at the NMNH for several years in the early 20th century. I have seen his bookplates in many books at the Mollusk Library.

Dall's bookplate features a land snail, a chiton, a couple of marine gastropods, a scallop and a squid, covering the major mollusk groups.

On the next page of the book is the bookplate of John Brooks Henderson (1826-1913). Henderson was a senator from Missouri. He also studied mollusks and even published papers on them. Politicians like him are nonexistent these days.

Henderson's bookplate is founded on several marine shells, including what seem to be scallops and cowries. Above them Poseidon, the god of the sea, and yes, with curvaceous hips, is rising out of the waters wearing his crown. His trident is in his right hand, while in his left he is lifting up what undoubtedly is a Tridacna gigas shell.

This was apparently the book #247 in Henderson's library. Dall probably inherited it from Henderson. After his death, it went to the Mollusk Library.

*Wagner, A. J. 1897. Monographie der Gattung Pomatias Studer.


Anonymous said...

In the top (W.H. Dall) bookplate, the thing on the upper left below "1902" is supposed to be a (rather unlikely-looking) scaphopod. It's next to what I assume is Lobatus gigas, the queen conch. In any case it certainly is a cool bookplate, and I am jealous, but on the other hand Dall deserved a good one!

Susan J. Hewitt

Kazimir Majorinc said...

Poseidon looks like Statue of liberty.