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Bookplates, Masonic

Masonic Bookplates, by J. Hugo Tatsch and Winwood Prescott (The Masonic Bibliophiles; Cedar Rapids, Ia. ; 1928), lays down the accepted rules for a correct and (by connoisseurs) acceptable Masonic Ex Libris, or bookplate. Taking it for granted that a skilled artist will draw or paint it, and that it will be well engraved, the two authors advise: first, that the Mason who is to use it shall include in it only such emblems and symbols as represent the Rite (or Rites) to which he belongs ; second, that it be "personalized" by including in the design something to represent his own vocation, avocation, hobby, special interest, etc. Shute, who wrote and published the first book on architecture ever to be printed in England, is said to have been also the first engraver in England. After the Grand Lodge was formed in 1717 a long line of famous engravers were active members of the Craft; John Pine, William Hogarth, Francesco Bartolozzi, John Baptist Cipriani, Benjamin and John Cole, and our American Grand Master, inventor of a new process of engraving, Paul Revere. Their work, and especially their Masonic designs, should be studied by Masonic bookplate engravers. A Grand Lodge usually employs its own coat-of-arms in its bookplate. Pine was the first to make an engraved list of Lodges. (See also Book Plates and Their Value, J. H. Slater, Henry Grant; 1898. In addition to collectors' prices it contains a history of the development of Ex Libris art. Some publishers spell ''bookplate'' as one word, others as two. The Tatsch and Prescott volume contains a full bibliography. Ex Libris Lodge, No. 3765, was founded . in London, 1915, by bookplate enthusiasts.)

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