Publishers’ Bindings: book designer monograms & initials

This page was originally intended for our own internal purposes, however we think it may have a larger appeal. A huge amount of this was done in conjunction with Rachelle Markley of Crooked House Books & Paper, who specializes in these bindings; several of these images & notes also came from “Binder Finder” John Lehner, whose knowledge on the subject is much deeper than anything we aspire to. A few others who have helped or supplied images, missing names, etc.: Richard Cady (of Richard Cady Rare Books), Sid Huttner whose Lucile Project is the probably the most famous and inspiring website for publishers’ bindings. All mistakes are 100% mine (Scott Givens.)

This is a “living” document, meaning we will constantly be updating it, so bookmark it for future reference. (Last updated 10/16/2019.)

These initials are to help us quickly identify artists & designers of books who have their initials on the design but are not otherwise credited. Alphabetical by last initial; however some monograms are unclear as to which letter is the last one, so check each letter if the first try doesn’t work. For further resources about these designers or others, please see the link list at bottom.

Micromanaging for employees: Please list designer whenever known. If a monogram is not on the front panel, please also check the spine panel, or even rear if decorated. Please upload a photo of the book to ABE listing.

 

E.B.A.: Ethel Belle Appel 

M.A. Margaret Armstrong (See also Alice Morse for a conjoined AM). 

T.A. or J.A:  see  Amy Sacker. This monogram is hers–> 

B.: Seymour Ball (see also below) (This is attributed to him from The Jungle Pirates by Miller. Scribner, 1925.) 

B.: Elisha Brown Bird (note the bird shape under the B) (see also above & below) 

B.: Will Bradley (see also above) 

A.B.: Alice Ball, wife & collaborator of Thomas Watson Ball (this attribution is from Richard Minsky) (see also below) 

A.B.: Aubrey Beardsley (you’ll need to click on the picture to expand it, and sorry about the bad lighting.) 

A.B.: Alfred Brennan (see also above) 

G.W.B.: George Willard Bonte (click to expand) (Browsers’ employees–this dude’s work is cool, please let Scott know if you have one.) 

Box-in-C: possibly see Eric Pape

C.: Earl Stetson Crawford 

C: Thomas Maitland Cleland 

A.C.: A. Castaigne [Dancing & Dancers of Today by Caroline Caffin; Dodd Mead 1912.] 

E.W.C.: Evelyn Clark 

F.B.C.: Frances B. Comstock

D: Edmund Dulac (he would normally also do the illustrations & be credited) Edmund Dulac

D.D.: Decorative Designers, their most common design; an experimental design that’s more round (John Lehner says he only knows of two examples of it); and an example of the uncommon unhooked DD  

E.M.D.: possibly Evangeline Danielle (attribution by The Met) 

H.V.D.: Henry Van Dyke 

E.: Ernest Haskell 

A.E.: Adelaide Everhart 

C. & R.E.: Clifford and Rosemary Ellis (oops, I seem to have misplaced the image! I’ll find it again…)

E.E.: Edward B. Edwards  

G.W.E.: George Wharton Edwards 

F: Charles Buckles Falls  (C. B. Falls also signed as a black square, apparently!) 

G.: Porter Garnett (see also below) 

 

G.: Frederick W. Gookin (see also above & below) 

G.: Frederick C. Gordon (see also above & below) 

G: Frederick Goudy (see also above) 

F.W.G.: Frederick W. Gookin (see also above) 

O.L.G.: Olive Lothrop Grover 

 

H: Frank Hazenplug (this and the next “H” monogram are similar, so try to find the title in one of the online databases if you’re not sure. Holloway worked for Lippincott and Hazenplug worked for Herbert S. Stone.) 

H: Edward Stratton Holloway (see also above) 

H: see also Theodore B. Hapgood (TBH)

A.H.: Alberta Hall (mostly Rand McNally) 

G.H.: George Washington Hood George Washington Hood

G.W.H.: George Washington Hood 

M.H.: Mabel Harlow (see another possibility in the questions section, below) 

T.B.H.: Theodore B. Hapgood 

A.I.: Adrian J. Iorio  

W.J.: William James Jordan 

K.: Louis Mapes Bunnell Keeler

R.K.: Reginald L. Knowles (this is from the spine of the Everyman’s Library series) 

D.P.L.: Dorothy P. Lathrop (she would normally also be the illustrator) Dorothy P Lathrop

F.L.: Frederick Lowenheim (but see below) 

F.L.: Florence Lundberg (but see above–Lundberg’s usually in circle?) 

J. L.: John Leighton (mid-19th century) 

A.M.: Alice Cordelia Morse (I think usually joined, but many separated)  

T.M.: Thomas Buford Meteard 

McC.: Griselda M. McClure 

B.McM.: Blanche McManus 

P.N. Peter Newell

E.P.: Eric Pape. 

F.P.: Florence Pearl England Nosworthy 

F.P.: Frederick Polley (see also above) 

M.L.P.: Marion L. Peabody. 

U.P.: University Press Cambridge. I’ve never seen a printer before, but this is from a binding designed by Mabel Harlow (her monogram also on the binding.) 

A.R.: Amy Carol Rand (see also below) 

A.R.: Amy Richards (see also above) 

R.R.: Rome K. Richardson (see also Rachael Robinson below) 

R.R.: Rachael Robinson Elmer (see also Rome Richardson above)

S.: Walter King Stone 

A.M.S.: Amy Maria Sacker Amy Maria Sacker

B.S.: Bertha Stuart (or see below) 

B.S.: F. Berkeley Smith (but see above) 

H.S.: Henry Sandham (see also below) 

H.S.: Herman George Scheffauer (see also above) 

J.A.S.: Julius Adolph Schweinfurth (click for full image) 

J.W.S.: Julia Ward Richards

R.S.: Rudolph Schaeffer 

W.E.B.S.: William Edward Bloomfield Starkweather 

A.A.T.: Albert Angus Turbayne (also portrayed as scarab/beetle) 

H.T.: Hugh Thompson (he would normally also be the illustrator of the book.) 

V.: Elihu Vedder 

A.W.: Addie Warner White [9/25/19–Browsers’ staff: this is from the Vachel Lindsay book “The Congo”, check stock for copies of this & rest of Lindsay collection.] 

E.W.: Eola Willis 

S.W.: Sarah Whitman. (Browsers’ employees–please inform Scott of any VG or better examples of her bindings; they may be needed for the collection we are building.)  

SHAPES:

Just a box: see C.B. Falls

Three-pronged thing: See Thomas Meteyard

Weird vaguely “oriental” thing: see Alfred Turbayne

Blobby thing: see Herman Scheffauer

Target-like circle: see Olive Lothrop Grover

Tripod: see Adrian J. Iorio

Circles: See “E” for Ernest Haskell

Beetle: see Albert Turbayne

 

We’re looking for further information on these binding designers & their monograms:

 

 

A. (From Lucille Project, Pathfinder Publishing) 

Edwin Austin Abbey (looking for monogram)

E.H.B. [from Sweet Danger. Wilcox. M.A. Donohue, 1902.]

Thomas Watson Ball (looking for monogram: only two known monograms per John Lehner, a Harper’s Spanish-American War compilation, and a book called “The Million” (Dodd, Mead) — both are signed TWB)

Albert D. Blashfield (looking for monogram)

Horace James Bradley (looking for monogram)

X.C. (or C.X.?) [If Youth But Knew, by Agnes & Egerton Castle; Macmillan, 1906.] Lehner sent me the following email: “C with an X inside for Macmillan is the infamous unknown designer for last 50 plus years. G&E had no idea. I have a bunch which I call C-Boxed-X as the X is frequently in a box OR  just lines at top and bottom, so it looks like an hour glass. Your splodgy monogram may have the horizontal lines.” The second image (red) is from a D. Appletons publication of Reptiles by McVickar.  

Joseph Cummings Chase (looking for monogram)

Fanny Y. Cory (looking for monogram)

H.D.? H.P.? [The Book of Good Counsels. Browne & Arnold. Scribners, 1893.] 

E.L.F.

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (looking for monogram)

Lizbeth Bullock Humphrey (looking for monogram)

H. [Honourable Mr. Tawnish, Little Brown 1913. Of the two “H”s above, this cover looks more like Hazenplug, but not enough to be certain] 

G.R.H. (or G.R.N.?) [The Charlatan. Buchanan & Murray. Neely, 1895. Nice swirly waves on cover design.] 

M.H. (H.M.?) Possibly another version of Mabel Harlow? 

S.H

W.H.: [Rubaiyat, R.F. Fenno, 1898] (see below??)  

W.S. Hadaway (looking for monogram: could it be the W.H. above?)

A. Hilgenreiner (looking for monogram)

Jessie M. King (looking for monogram–remind me to look at the Quinn shelf!)

Orson Lowell. 

Harry B. Matthews (looking for monogram)

G.R.N.? See G.R.H.

O.O.? O.C.?: (see “E” Ernest Haskell–sideways?) 

Mary E. Phillips (looking for monogram)

Maurice Brazil Prendergast (looking for monogram)

R.R. (A.R.?) (F.R.?) 

Ethel Reed (looking for monogram, here’s lettering of her signature) 

Bruce Rogers (looking for monogram–I might have this on Frankel shelf 3b or 3c.)

S. in box sans serif [from “Johnnie Courteau”. Drummond. Putnam’s 1901.] 

S. serif [from “Ruthless Rhymes for heartless Homes. Graham. R.H. Russell, 1902.] 

S. calligraphic at slight angle. [from Language of Music (Play School Series). Wilson-Dorrett. World Book Company, 1921.]

D.S. (from Lucile Project, Lupton Melville edition.) 

Julius Schweinfurth (looking for monogram)

Charles Sheeler (looking for monogram)

G.A.T.? (from Lucile Project site, Lupton Daisy 16mo) 

Henry Thayer (looking for monogram)

Lee Thayer (looking for monogram if separate from Decorative Designers work)

F.W. (F.T.W.? W.T.F.? – hahaha) [Blind Fate by Mrs. Alexander. F.M. Lupton ca 1880s. UNC has another Lupton binding with this monogram that they list as F.W.] 

Charles Lewis Wrenn (looking for monogram.)

Squiggle? [Prisoners of fortune, by R. Smith. L.C. Page, 1907] 

 

 

 

 

These websites are excellent references:

Publishers' Bindings Online
The Art of American Book Covers
Henry Altemus Company – Home

Searchable database (by title, author, etc. Might have the book you’re looking for.)

CONTENTdm

http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/search/collection/tb1

 

Publishers bindings began to disappear when dust jackets became more decorative and were more likely to be kept by the reader instead of discarded. They were all but a memory until the ebook started to become a consistent part of the reading landscape. Publishers have lately seemed to have a renewed interest in making beautiful books, and it’s interesting to see a whole new, young generation of readers really paying attention to the design of books they buy, whether old or new.

–Scott

 

c p.17 a r-p. 20