Antioch Bookplate Designs

Bookplate Ink is fortunate to have inherited hundreds of bookplate designs that originated with the Antioch Company, originally the Antioch Bookplate Company. Many of these designs were out of print for years.

Originally, the Antioch Bookplate Company specialized in printing personalized bookplates for its customers, promising to keep the designs on file for future printing.

S200

Design S200

As the company grew, they added designs, some handpicked by owner Earnest Morgan. An example is this Viennese “Scherenschnitte” design, S200.

Scherenschnitte is a papercutting art form which has been popular for many years. Arthur Morgan, president of Antioch College in the 1930s, brought this swan design home from a trip to Europe. His son, Earnest Morgan, a co-founder of the Antioch Bookplate Company, incorporated it as a bookplate.

As the company added new designs, older less popular bookplates were taken out of print. In the 1980s, Antioch expanded into the wholesale market, printing non-personalized bookplates to be sold in bookstores. At this time, Bookplate Ink took over the service of personalizing Antioch bookplates. Originally, we only printed the most popular designs. Over the years, however, it has become apparent that a wide range of the older designs have been important to people and we have made them available again.

E176

Design E176

Many people who write Bookplate Ink have been using a particular Antioch design for years. One such person ordered design E176, a classic and popular design combining books on a shelf and a ship in the background. This design was created from a steel engraving originally done by Bank Gordon for the Etchcraft Company. It was introduced by the  Antioch Bookplate Company in the late 1950s. The customer ordering E176 wrote that that he had been using this bookplate since 1964 and is grateful we’re still printing it.

Another customer, ordering design B213, wrote,

Dear Karen,
I have been using this bookplate for decades, and was distraught when Antioch Bookplates Company vanished.  I’m very happy that you are continuing the tradition.  I will eagerly await my supply of your bookplates.
Regards,
Alan

These types of notes make my day. It is so rewarding to know that we are providing a product that has been a part of peoples’ lives for so many years. And while people are thankful to receive their personalized bookplates, I’m thankful that I am able to carry on this wonderful tradition. I will be writing more about the history of Antioch bookplates in future blogs. You can also read more in the “About Us” section of our website, bookplateink.com.

12 comments on “Antioch Bookplate Designs

  1. Maureen Neylon says:

    Looking for old Antioch bookplate. Has Irish currach.

  2. Jozell Rexroat says:

    I had a box of book plates that I just gave away the last one. I would like to purchase more. It goes like this..
    I shall pass through
    this world but once.
    Any good therefore…..

    Familiar?

    Do you know how I can purchase more?

  3. Linda Ritter says:

    Hi,

    I have a box of Antioch bookplates that I purchased long ago…can’t recall when. The text reads:

    “I enjoy sharing my books as I do my friends, asking only that you treat them well and see them safely home.”

    The words are written on a white scroll, surrounded by a border of grape leaves with what looks like a genie’s lamp centered below.

    Are these still available? What is the cost and, how does one order? Thank you for any info you can provide.

    • bookplateink says:

      Thanks for writing, Linda! That text is attributed to Ernest Morgan, the founder of Antioch Bookplate Company. We have a design that is similar to the one you described, which you can see at http://www.bookplateink.com/index.php/store/color/c113.html. It is basically a color version of the one you are describing. If you like this one, you can order on our website. If you want the bookplate exactly as you have it now, we should be able to do that also. It would be helpful if you can send a photo or scan of it to info@bookplateink.com because there have been several versions of that design. Thank you! Karen

  4. Marilyn Watson says:

    I found a box of your bookplates in an auction purchase. I have no idea how old these are or the value. Picture on the front of the box is of a little girl on a sandy beach, written in the sand is MY BOOK. I would appreciate any information.

    • bookplateink says:

      Thank you for writing. I really couldn’t tell you the value of these bookplates, but I do have a catalog from 1963 in which they were introduced. I don’t know how many years they were printed, but they have been out of print for quite a long time. If I can get more information, I will let you know.

  5. Karin says:

    I loved the blog Karen, great job!

  6. Susan says:

    I love to give books to my grandchildren…and try to give them bookplates for a first birthday or Christmas so they will know which books are in their own special library. Thank you for making such lovely designs available.

    • bookplateink says:

      Thank you so much for writing, Susan. We have a fair amount of customers that order bookplates for their grandchildren. Such a wonderful idea! You are encouraging your grandchildren to read and to really value the books they own.

  7. SIL says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. Everything I wanted to know about bookplates but scared to ask! Love it.

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