Black Cat Bindery

Black Cat Bindery
Black Cat Bindery. Traditional Craft Bookbinders

Wednesday, 20 April 2016



We have had quite a lot of antiquarian books arrive in the bindery over the last few weeks. Mostly calf bindings and although beautiful, most in rather a sorry state. What we have noticed is that a few have had some lovely bookplates.
bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, "from the books of..."], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Simple typographical bookplates are termed "booklabels".
Bookplates typically bear a namemottodevicecoat-of-armscrestbadge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as "from the books of..." or "from the library of...", or in Latin, ex libris.... Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books.

Link to history on

As we like bookplates in general and always find them fascinating, I thought I would take some photos and post them on a blog

Ive done a little digging around on the internet a have come up with some info on a couple of them.
If anyone wants to add or know any further info just email me at and I can add it. I may also add more book plates as and when they land on our doorstep.

I did think it would be nice to produce some modern bookplates for newly married couples to mount in the front of wedding albums, photo albums, keepsake boxes and  guest books.

The de Burgh coat of arms A red cross on a gold shield above which is a seated and chained 'mountain cat'. Legend says that the red cross started with the first crusade. One story is that a de Burgh recovered a gold shield from a slain Saracen and marking a red cross on it with his own blood. Another story said that Richard I dipped his finger in the blood of a slain Saracen king, put a red cross on the gold shield of de Burgh, and said "for your bravery this will be your crest". The Cat is said to represent liberty and courage and is believed to be awarded for a de Burgh's courage and skill in battle during the crusades. The motto has varied between 'A cruce Salus' meaning 'salvation from the cross' which would have originated in the crusades or 'ung roy, ung foy, ung loy' which means 'one king, one faith, one law' and this would've originated when the family moved to Ireland.

Edward Heron-Allen FRS (1861–1943)

He was the fourth son of George Allen (1823–1911), a lawyer from London and Catherine Herring or Heron (b. 1830). He married 1stly, Marianna Lehamn, daughter of the artist Rudolf Lehmann. 
In 1903 he married 2ndly, Edith Emily (1872–1943), daughter of William Brown Pepler MD. 
The bookplate was thus made after 1903.~

A lawyer by profession, Edward Heron-Allen is one of those personalities difficult to define. A man of many talents and a vast range of interests, both in the arts and science, he dedicated much of his life to the study and writing on a wide variety of subjects – novels and short stories, chiromancy, the art of violin making, local history and archaeology, marine zoology (the chalk foraminifera), heraldry, bibliography, asparagus culture, the translation and study of Persian literature classics, and on oriental religions (Budhism and the Egyptian Nefer sign).
His literal prose translation of The Ruba'iyát of Omar Khayyám is still celebrated (see,
Info taken from

Thanks to a lovely customer two more bookplates were brought into the bindery to add to our new collection.

The  below bookplate shows arms of Trinity House with the motto “Trinitas in Unitate” (Three in One). The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond, known as Trinity House, has three core functions: it is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, responsible for the provision and maintenance of navigational aids, such as lighthouses, buoys, and maritime radio/satellite communication systems. Trinity House is also an official deep sea pilotage authority, providing expert navigators for ships trading in Northern European waters.

A rather nice library is depicted in this American bookplate owned by Arthur L' Fisher MD

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Print boxes, clamshell boxes & keepsake boxes

Below are a few examples of print boxes, clamshell boxes & keepsake boxes all made to measure.
We can produce a one off keepsake box to hold treasured items or batches of up to 50 boxes for USB's or photographic print collections. Bespoke lettering or company logos can be embossed in gold, silver or blind on the front, back or inside of your box.

More examples at
Please email us at if you have any queries regarding these presentation boxes