The dark side of bookplates

Not everyone likes cheerful bookplates. Sure, we have designs that have inspirational verses or pleasing landscapes, but some people prefer bookplates that will ensure their books are returned, even if by threat. Design A124

One customer ordered our design A124, which is a rather serene scene by renowned artist Rockwell Kent first printed by the Antioch Bookplate Company in the 1950s, and included a stern reprimand from the Old Testament: “The wicked borrow and do not return. Psalm 37:21”.

Another included this incredibly explicit warning in our border design, B254:

“For him that stealeth a Book from this Library,
let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.
Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted.
Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy
and let there be no sur-cease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution.
Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not,
and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment,
let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.”

After hearing about these bookplates, my son suggested I start a line of bookplates with a dark and morbid theme. As we’re approaching Halloween, this seems like the perfect time to ponder such ideas. What do you think? Would that be appealing?


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