Oct 20, 2011
To celebrate the upcoming release of Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure we’ve been working with the book’s creator- leading manga artist, Hoshino Yukinobu- to produce some exclusive Professor Munakata themed bookplates.
Hoping to offer a small run of bookplate prints for Professor Munakata readers, imagine our delight when 200 individually signed and drawn bookplates arrived from Japan! As well as his signature, every bookplate which Hoshino Yukinobu created also features an individual, hand-drawn image of Professor Munakata – making each plate a unique work of art direct from one of Japan’s most celebrated artists.
These exclusive bookplates will be available to pick up along with your copy of Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure at the British Museum manga event on 25 November.
Read more about Hoshino Yukinobu’s work in our last blog post or read the rest of this entry for some fascinating facts about the history of bookplates, as explored in our illustrated introduction to the subject: Ex Libris: The Art of Bookplates.
- Bookplates are prints, drawings or watercolours designed by professional and amateur artists to be inserted into the front of books to display ownership. They are sometimes known as ex libris, from the Latin for ‘from the books of’
- Bookplates were first produced in the last quarter of the fifteenth century. The inspiration for making them derives from the medieval practice of including portraits or other means of identification at the front of illuminated Books of Hours (prayer books) to indicate their ownership
- Early bookplates nearly always depicted the owners’ coats of arms, often treated in a highly decorative way. At a time when lineage was very important, a coat of arms provided the identification not only of the first owner but of the family within which ownership of the book would descend through inheritance
- Although armorial bookplates continued to be made in large numbers, the market for bookplates extended in the nineteenth century to include the middle classes, who did not necessarily have coats of arms- with the mid-nineteenth century heralding the advent of the fully pictorial bookplate. The images chosen for these plates often reflected the owner’s life and interests, and express the intimate connection that people held with their books at that time
Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure is available to pre-order now from the British Museum shop online.