Sir John Vanbrugh, Plays, 2 vols. [Center owns v. 1 only]
London : Printed for J. Tonson, and J. Watts; and for J. Darby, A. Bettesworth, and F. Clay; in trust for Richard, James, and Bethel Wellington, MDCCXXX .
Contemporary calf, 12mo
Here we have an early twentieth-century plate depicting a pastoral scene. The bookplate was designed by Edwin Davis French (1851-1906), one of the most important bookplate designers of the nineteenth century. This plate is signed 1906 (I think, it may read "1900"), and considering its late date it is likely this is one of the last plates French designed.
"Nathan T. Porter, Jr." is most likely Nathan Todd Porter, Jr., a New York businessman born in Brooklyn on December 5, 1867. He attended high school in Montclair, NJ, and graduated from Yale in the class of 1890. According to the 1907 edition of Who's who in New York City and State, Porter was a "dry goods commission merchant," and ran the firm Porter Brothers and Company with his brother Thomas Wyman Porter.
The Elizabeth Club at Yale University owns several early printed playbooks with Porter's bookplates. See Stephen Parks, The Elizabethan Club at Yale University and its Library (New Haven: Yale University, 1986), 51, 74, 82, 108, 117, 120.
|A Paris : Chez la vefue Claude de Monstr’oeil, ruë S. Iean de Latran, & en sa |
boutique en la Court du Palais au Nom de Iesvs, M. DC. X .
Contemporary limp vellum binding
The Latin quote on this bookplate is from Lucretius, De rerum natura,
Book I, ll. 927-8. In the Rolfe Humphries translation of 1968, the lines
read: "I come to fountains / Completely undefiled, I drink their waters, /
Delight myself by gathering new flowers." The lines metaphorically link
flowers, clear fountains (of the muses), and, of course, books.
Katherine Theresa Butler (1883-1950) wrote a two-volume History of
French Literature (London: Methuen, 1923), and at the time of its
publication was Director of Studies in Modern and Medieval Languages
at Girton College, Cambridge.