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[BKARTS] Monogram finishing tools



Late to the dance---  A year ago, before I subscribed,
Bob Roberts enquired about identifying the original
owners of several monogram finishing tools. Most
replies assumed that the tools were book-owner
monograms.

It is, however, quite possible that these were binder
signatures. I have seen several American bindings from
the first half of the 20th century with monograms in
the usual signature location (front or back tail
turn-in), and identifiable on other grounds to a
binder whose initials fit. Two bindings, with two
sizes of the same monogram, were by the great Peter
Franck; one was by Rosa G. Taussig (a California
teacher before 1920); and a number were by Hazel Dreis
(including at least some copies of the Grabhorn Leaves
of Grass). I have not seen or heard of signature
monograms outside this time and place; and the use of
this form of signature seems in keeping with the
artistic aspirations of these binders (all, for
instance, were early members of the Guild of Book
Workers). Can anybody add more names to this list?

I would say that a good first-approximation
distinction between owners' and binders' monograms
would be size. A binder's monogram would probably be
under 1/4" high to fit onto the tail turn-in; an
owner's monogram would be much larger (say 1/2" high
minimum) in order to be visible on the cover. If the
tools are of the binder's-tool size, then a good place
to start hunting for the owners would be in the Guild
of Book Workers Membership Lists.

Tom Conroy


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