Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Exlibris, In the Ruins of a City...

Hand-colored etching, signed in pencil E[rnst] Heig[enmoser], ca. 1945. 5.5 x 9.5cm.
Click to enlarge

I recently acquired this desolately charming bookplate for Hanns Heeren by Ernst Heig[enmoser]. The bookplate shows a group of bibliophiles looking at books amidst the ruins of a recently-ended war. The sign in the background says Ex-Libris Freunde, or Friends of Ex Libris, the book on the left Samm-lung Heeren (Collection Heeren, whose bookplate it is, and the books on the right have on them [Walter von] Zur Westen, [Friedrich] Warnecke, and [Richard] Braungart. All three published books illustrating artistic bookplates. Links with their names take one to online examples of some of these books.

Heigenmoser (1892-1963) was German painter, commercial artist, and industrial designer in Munich. Heeren (1893-1968) was a German librarian who became a military pilot serving in both World Wars, but more significantly was a composer of German "volkslieder" (folk music) extolling the virtues of heimat, wandering, the countryside... He was also apparently a collector of bookplates judging by other examples found during Google searches. Here some examples:

Karl Blossfeldt, 1920

Harry Corvers, 1955

Bruno da Osimo, 1956

Waltraud Weissenbach, n.d.

In a case of serendipity, today, two days later I received the journal below featuring an article by Ernst Collin entitled "Der schöne Bucheinband" (The Beautiful Bookbinding). As I am usually single minded I don't even know if I looked to see what other authors were mentioned and/or remembered whose bookplate I ordered. In flipping through the issue also found an article by Hanns Heeren of the bookplate above on "Künstlerische Neujahrswünsche" (Artist's New Years Greetings). Fun!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

To close, the iconic image of the Holland House library, bombed
out in 1940 during the Blitz. Compare with our first image.

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