Eric Thake 'Bookplate for Clive Stephen'

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The popular practice of labelling and adorning one’s beloved books with bookplates has almost been lost to history. In the early 20th century, members of the Australian Ex Libris Society would assign iconic artists with the task of creating personal tags that could be fixed onto the inside cover or first pages of their books.

Eric Thake, known for his bold printmaking and distinct ability to sympathise with humanity through his images, was a popular choice for Australian bibliophiles. A member of the Ex Libris Society himself, the artist shared a love for literature that inspired great care when producing bookplates for his fellow members. He would draw a strong Soviet woman for the pioneering female politician, a Bower bird for the avid collector or a studious monk for the historian.

Thake was known to sketch whenever an idea presented itself and in this urgency, was happy to mark whatever paper was handy, including blank pages in library books. Creating bookplates was therefore a natural progression for the artist. These highly collectable bookplates, found in state and national institutions alike, are a rare find for bibliophiles or collectors with an interest in Australian printmaking of the interwar period.

Eric THAKE (1904 - 1982)
'Bookplate for Clive Stephen' 1931
woodcut on paper
Image Size: 9 x 7 cm
Dimensions: 9 x 7 cm
Signed: Unsigned
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Impressions of this work are at the; National Gallery of Australia, accession number: 83.3358; National Gallery of Victoria, accession number: P34-1973; and the Art Gallery of South Australia, accession number: 20045G16.
Condition:Very Good: Describes a work of art's image as Excellent, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear to paper or frame. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to the paint surface.
(c) The Artist or Assignee