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Ruffo di Calabria di Sinopoli Scilla – Identified as Fulco Giordano Antonio Ruffo, 8th Prince of Scilla (1773-1852)

March 6, 2011

[See the comment for identification.  Many thanks to Alvise.]  According to the web page “Arma dei Ruffo,” written by Giovanni Ruffo, the scallops and banner with motto “Omnia bene” distinguish the arms of the Ruffo di Calabria di Sinopoli Scilla branch of the family from other branches with similar arms.  Beyond that, I have been unable to identify these elaborate arms.

The bookplate is on the front pastedown of a Latin and Greek edition of Herodian’s Historiarum lib. VIII (Venetiis: In aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Asulani soceri, 1524) in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  There is a monogram “FR” stamped in gold on the spine, perhaps that of a Ruffo.  The binding is much later; a later signature “H. T. Fuller” appears on the front free endpaper.


Margaret Georgina (Poyntz), Countess Spencer (1737-1814)

March 5, 2011

The bookplate is on the front pastedown of a handsome folio Greek New Testament printed in Paris by Robert Estienne in 1550; the volume is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  Below it is the bookplate of Philip Hofer, the founder and chief benefactor of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts in the Houghton Library of Harvard University, but also a trustee of Smith College and donor to its library; the curator of rare books at Smith for many years, Ruth Mortimer (for whom the room is named), was the cataloguer of Hofer’s collections of 16th-century French and Italian illustrated books.  Hofer owned another copy of this edition, now in the Houghton Library, and described as no. 78 in Mortimer’s French catalogue.  The title page of this copy bears the signature of another owner, “R Tyrwhit”.

Philip Oldfield (personal communication) has identified the arms:  “they are the arms of Margaret Georgina (Poyntz), Countess Spencer (1737-1814), wife of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer, who died in 1783. The countess’s bookplate is Franks 27699. The arms are Spencer impaling Poyntz.”  As he points out, “If the shield on a coat of arms is a lozenge, then the bearer is always female, usually a widow.”

The later owner, Robert Tyrwhitt (1735-1817),is identified by a long pencil note on the front flyleaf as the author of Two Discourses on the Creation of All Things by Jesus Christ (1787).

Five scallops in a cartouche on ermine mantling with a crown (Van der Noot)

March 5, 2011
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This bookplate appears in a copy of Giovanni Battista Palatino’s Libro … nel qual s’insegna à scrivere ogni sorte lettera (In Roma: Per Antonio Blado, 1548) in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  A possible shelf-mark and an inscription (quotation?) are on the last leaf, which prints an emblem of a moth and flame surrounded by a quotation from Petrarca.  (To see other images from this copy, click on the bookplate.)

The five scallops on a gold background are repeated on the portions of mantling that fold inward on either side.  The use of a cartouche for the shield would imply that these are the arms of a lady; the ermine and crown denote a sovereign; all European, not English.

In a private communication, Roberto Rossi identifies the arms (five scallops as a cross) as those of one of the Van der Noot families of Belgium, and provides an image of the arms in a stained-glass window at the Abbaye de la Cambre (Ter Kameren) near Brussels.  Further search turns up the same arms in the woodcut title-page border of Jan van der Noot’s Theatrum, 1572; and in the printer’s mark of the early-16th-century Brussels printer Thomas van der Noot.

Courtesy of Roberto Rossi

From the Project Gutenberg EBook of Printers' Marks, by William Roberts

From a copy offered by Antiquariaat Forum and reproduced on their web site.

Graham (of Menteith?) Arms

February 27, 2011

[These arms had been mis-identified here as those of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham, of Ardoch (1852-1936), the Scottish politician and adventurer.  W. R. B. Cunninghame Graham of Gartmore has communicated the following correction, which he has kindly allowed me to post here.  The arms of the bookplate remain unidentified.]

These are not the arms of R B (Don Roberto) Cunninghame Graham. Nor are they the arms of the Graham Baronets of Gartmore (as I have the original matriculations of 1665 – Or, a crescent Gules in the centre of the shield and three escallops Or on a chief Sable) and of 1672 (quartered 1st & 4th, Or, a pale gules charged with a crescent argent, a chief sable with three escallops of the first; 2 & 3, Or, a fess chequay Azure & Argent, with a chevron gules in chief; in eschucheon the arms of Nova Scotia.

Nicol Graham of Gartmore matriculated arms in 1772 – effectively those of the Baronets, but without the arms of Nova Scotia and with the addition of supporters. These are the arms that Don Roberto inherited and passed on to his heir.

The quarterings of the arms above are Graham (1 & 4) and Stewart Earls of Menteith (fess chequay) and Strathern (chevron), not Labalmondiere (an alias adopted by Cunninghame Graham’s wife, who was born Caroline Horsfall (see Jean Cunninghame Graham’s “Gaucho Laird” or Anne Taylor’s “People’s Laird”). This quartering is common among Menteith Grahams (eg Glenny, Duchray, etc).

I have recently registered my arms (inherited from my late Grandfather – Adm Sir Angus Cunninghame Graham (see Burke’s Landed Gentry 1952) – who was Don Roberto’s heir) which differ from those of Don Roberto only in that the arms of Cunninghame, Earl of Glencairn have been substituted for the Stewart Earldoms of Menteith and Strathern in the 3rd quarter (

— W R B Cunninghame Graham of Gartmore

The bookplate is found on the front pastedown of each of the three volumes of a copy of Edward Ward’s The History of the Grand Rebellion (London: Printed for J. Morphew, 1713) in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton Massachusetts.  For other owners of the volume, see the preceding post, “Badge of an Earl of Derby.”

Badge of an Earl of Derby (family name Stanley)

February 26, 2011

This badge appears on the front covers of all three volumes of a copy of Edward Ward’s The History of the Grand Rebellion (London: Printed for J. Morphew, 1713) in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Massachusetts.  The crown is that of an earl; the garter and motto indicate that he was an officer of the Order of the Garter.

The badge has been identified by Farley Katz as the result of my query posted on the CERL provenance web site.  It is that of one of the Earls of Derby (whose family name is Stanley); the 13th and 14th earls were Knights of the Garter, installed 1839 and 1859, respectively; the 13th earl seems the most likely candidate, based on the probable date of the binding.  Both were named Edward Smith-Stanley.  David Shaw, on the CERL provenance site, suggests that the James Stanley who signed the title page of volume 2 (see below) was likely the 10th Earl of Derby (1664-1736), based on the date of publication of the book.

Further information has been provided on the CERL site by Philip Oldfield, who is at work on a data base of British armorial binding stamps.  He writes:

This is the stamp of a 19th century Earl of Derby. The stamp is very similar to that used by Edward Geoffrey Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby (1799-1869). The dimensions of his stamp are 44 x 28 mm. What are the dimension of this stamp?  [42.5 x 27.5 mm]  Beneath the eagle is a chapeau, or cap of maintenance turned up ermine.  The eagle and child crest is based an old family legend (of which there are two versions), as reported by Farley Katz. However, is the eagle protecting the child or preying upon it? This has always puzzled me. There are a lot of pubs in south Lancashire named “The Eagle and Child”.  Although there was a sale of the library at Knowsley Hall in 1954, there are still quite a lot of books there, including several belonging to the 14th Earl.  The signature of J. Stanley is most probably James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby (1664-1736).

The curious image of an eagle and child is explained thus, as quoted from Katz’s post on the CERL site:

The crest illustrated by Barrington

“Those Stanleys once had a very bad ancestor who had an illegitimate child and, like any right thinking Englishman of the time, abandoned the child in an eagle’s nest. The eagle, however, had other thoughts and raised the child as his own, leading to his eventual adoption and reconciliation. See Archibald Barrington, M.D., Familiar Introduction to Heraldry, Explaining in a Series of Lectures the Principles of the Science, etc. London: H. G. Bohn, 1848. (On GoogleBooks). Page 92. Image on page 217 (Plate B1): ‘[The crest] of the Earl of Derby is still more striking ; it is shewn at B 1, and is thus blazoned : “On a chapeau, gu., turned up, erm., an eagle, wings endorsed, or, feeding an infant in its nest, ppr., swaddled, az., banded of the third.” This crest is that of the Lathams, now represented by the Stanleys, and is said to have been assumed on account of one of their ancestors having abandoned and exposed an illegitimate son in an eagle’s nest, and the eagle having nurtured and fed him. From this extraordinary circumstance, his father was induced to take him again and to adopt him as his heir.'”

A somewhat different version of the legend is given in John Seacombe’s History of the House of Stanley (text of the 1793 edition on-line). In this version, the supposedly childless and elderly father arranged for the child to be placed in the eagle’s nest and “discovered” by a faithful retainer, allowing him to adopt the child without having to acknowledge paternity.

Each volume also contains an armorial bookplate without a name, apparently unrelated and the subject of the next post, as well as the signature of James Stanley (in volume 2 only) and a pictorial bookplate of Norman J. Dennis.

The crest also appears on an armorial bookplate in the Mortimer Rare Book Room’s collections, that of Edward John Stanley, the second Baron Stanley (1802-1869), in a copy of the 1491 edition of Tibullus, Catullus, and Propertius printed in Venice by Bonetus Locatellus for Octavianus Scotus.