Home | Resources | Services | Hosting | Publications | Collaboration | Joining CERL | About CERL |

This is an old revision of the document!

Can you help?

The Can You Help Database is temporarily unavailable

The Can-You-Help? databases that CERL offered to help to identify a book plate, a binding stamp, a library label or stamp, or to read and identify an owner's inscription, is temporarily unavailable. A new service, created in the context of the CERL Provenance Digital Archive (hosted by Arkyves), will be available shortly. CERL intends to migrate the images previously posted on the Can-You-Help? database to the new CERL Provenance Digital Archive environment.

Old provenance queries

The original queries submitted to the CERL web site up to November 2009 can be viewed below. CERL aims to migrate queries posted between December 2009 - August 2018 to the new CERL Provence Digital Archive.

!!Go to Problems solved!!

Please help to identify the following former owners:

Click on image to enlarge Description Further information Contact
18 October 2009
Click for larger image Identification of binding stamp, possibly French or Italian. The two works in the volume are printed by Aldus.Petro Bembo, Gli Asolani (1515) bound with Jacopo Sannazaro, Arcadia (1514).Bella Neyman
12 October 2009
Click for larger imageThe distinctive gold tooling at the top of the armorial shield is known as a “Capo d'Angio” (in French: “Chef d'Anjou”) – a chief of allegiance that was associated with the Guelphs.The binding itself is Roman (it was bound by the so-called “Enigmatic Binder” (see Count Viani Tolomei, “Un atelier de reliure à Rome au XVIIe siècle: l'atelier dit `Enigmatique'” in: Bulletin du Bibliophile 1993, no. 2, pp. 322-343).Michael Laird
Michael Laird Rare Books
P.O. Box 299
Lockhart, TX,

Pietro Giacomo Bacci Aretino, Vita di S. Filippo Neri Fiorentino Fondatore della Congregatione dell' Oratorio (Rome, 1646).
12 October 2009
Click for larger imageBook plate found in a German travel book printed in 1774.Bernhard Wirth (Universitaetsbibliothek, Frankfurt am Main) points to similar emblems in Prussian regimental standards, c. 1700.Annelen Ottermann,
Abteilungsleiterin Handschriften, Rara, Alte Drucke,
Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek, Mainz
24 September 2009
Whose bookplate is this, showing a bird, with the initials “AFOn the front pastedown of a copy of the Cuala Press edition of Poems by Lionel Johnson, edited by William Butler Yeats (1904)?Tim Johns
James Cummins Bookseller
699 Madison Avenue
New York
24 September 2009
Temple West, early 19th cent.Details needed concerning the former owner of two bindings of sheet music, chiefly glees, catches, rounds, etc. from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Watermark on binder's flyleaf “J Whatman 1813.”
“T. West Esqr.” lettered in gilt on binding cover label, apparently of the West family of Twickenham, which included Gilbert West, d. 1756, Temple West, d. 1757, and Temple West, d. 1783.Stephen H. Cape
Lilly Library
Indiana University
21 September 2009
Click for larger imageEB (or BE) monogram stamped on a2r of a copy of Isidorus Hispalensis, Etymologiae (Venice: Peter Löslein, 1483).
The curved parts of the B end in curls that enter the counters.
In the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, MassachusettsJohn Lancaster
Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library
10 September 2009
Click for larger imageJoseph Fenton (1565/70–1634) was a London surgeon.
Items from his substantial library are easily identified by his signature, usually accompanied by his motto 'Sustine abstine', or an alternative motto 'Sors mea mors' and a number, often in a rectangle, at the top of the title page.
Many volumes were acquired by Sir Hans Sloane and are now in the British Library. (see http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/sloane, where over 300 Fenton items are listed).Sloane did not acquire the whole library and I am interested in locating Fenton books in other collections. I would be particularly interested to know if they have manuscript annotations.

Alison Walker
British Library, London
7 September 2009
Click for larger imageArms stamped on both covers of Palmerino d'Oliva, Venice, Tramezino, 1552.

Related arms (engraved) are printed on the front free endpaper of the volume (see below).
The book is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library John Lancaster
Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library
Click for larger imageNot exactly a bookplate, these arms are printed on one leaf of a bifolium that was used as endpapers; the arms are on the recto of the front free endpaper.
They are related to the gilt-stamped arms on the cover of the volume (above).
On Palmerino d'Oliva, Venice, Tramezino, 1552.

The book is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library
John Lancaster
Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library
18 August 2009
Click for larger imageInscription on the verso of the front free endpaper of Charles Rogers's translation of Dante's Inferno (London, 1782).
“W. Cotton” is William Cotton (1794–1863), whose grandfather was Rogers's brother-in-law.
But who is “JD”?
The book is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Mass. USAJohn Lancaster
Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library
Christopher Edwards tentatively identifies “JD” as John Disney (1779–1857); Disney's papers are held at Dr Williams’s Library, London (closed at present).
Maureen Attrill (Keeper of Art, Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, UK) suggests Rev. James Dallaway, topographical writer (1763–1834), who was a friend of William Cotton.
19 July 2009
Click for larger imageIdentification the book stamp of a European ducal (?) library on flyleaf.Arabia, seu Arabum vicinarumq[ue] gentium Orientalium leges, ritus, sacri et profani mores, instituta et historia, Amsterdam, Jan Jansson, 1633.John Lancaster
(Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, Amherst, Mass.)
16 July 2009
Sum Barnardi Hampton eiusque amicorum

Hast[e] not to[o] hastely
Books with the inscription and/or motto of Barnard Hampton, mid-16th-century clerk to the Privy Council. Dennis Rhodes has so far traced five books which belonged to Hampton's library.Please send further examples of books with Barnard Hampton's signature or motto to
on behalf of Dennis Rhodes.
14 July 2009
Bibliotheca WindhagianaThe library of the mid-17th-century Austrian aristocrat Johann Joachim Entzmüller (1600–1678), Freiherr von und zu Windhag, which was later given to the University Library in Vienna in 1787. Dennis Rhodes has traced over 30 books which once belonged to this important collection.

Dennis Rhodes, ‘Bibliotheca Windhagiana’, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 2009, p.307–312.
Please send further examples of books from the Bibliotheca Windhagiana to
on behalf of Dennis Rhodes.

Dr Klaus Graf has discovered a number of additional items from the Bibliotheca Windhagiana at http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/5866759.
29 June 2009
Click for larger imageCan anyone identify the Discalced Carmelite house in this inscription?
Ex libris conuentus carmelites_query.jpg
Carmelit. discalceat
L'histoire ethiopique de Heliodore, Paris, Toussaincts du Bray, 1609.francesca.galligan@ouls.ox.ac.uk, Bodleian Library, Oxford
Chris Coppens suggests Haughton-le-Skene (Nottinghamshire, England) but David Shaw thinks that this Carmelite house was no longer in existence when the book was printed (1609).
12 May 2009
Click for larger image Click for larger imageTwo armorial shields with lions and thistles, from two Aquinas editions, Catena aurea, Rome: Sweynheym & Pannartz, 1470 and Quaestiones de xii quodlibet, Rome: G. Lauer, c. 1470 in the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum, Den Haag.Photos from Vroege boekdrukkunst uit Italie, Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum (1987) afb. 6 and 9.
The arms are 'azure, in chief a lion’s head guardant or, from its mouth three thistles proper inverted'.
The same arms appear on vol. 2 of the Sweynheym and Pannartz Jerome, Rome 1468, in the British Library (C.13.e.2).

Martin Davies
1 April 2009
Click for larger image
complete image
Can you identify this library stamp from the following book?

Rodrigo de Zamorano, Compendia de la arte de navegar, Sevilla: Andrea Pescioni, 1581.
Search for “Zamorano” on the catalogue:
Middle Temple Library, London
Renae Satterley
26 February 2009
624 MSN Aukt.
Nn 6/8 06.

(pencil note in an incunable at the Stadtarchiv Olpe)
Can you help to identify the auction house which sold this book, probably in August 1906 (“8 06”)Johannes de Turrecremata, Quaestiones…, Köln: Petrus in Altis de Olpe, 23. August 1478 Thomas Wilhelmi
13 February 2009
Click for larger image Blind-stamped binding dated 1598 with the initials FSMA (or ESMA) Late 13th-century Psalter.
Continental binding?
Morten Dahl
4 December 2008
Bibliotheca Parchensis:
Research on the present location of incunables from the library of Park Abbey near Leuven
Bibliotheca ParchensisChristian Coppens
We can display your query here. David Shaw

Problems solved

Description Further information Contact Solved
17 October 2009 5 May 2010
Click for complete imageIdentification requested for this armorial binding on a book of 1627 purchased in Innsbruck.

Click for larger image of stamp
Matthaeus Rader S.J., Ad. M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libros omnes, plenis commentariis, nouo studio confectis, Moguntiae : sumptibus Ioannis Kinckii, bibliop. Colon. : excudebat Hermannus Meresius, 1627.Roberto RossiDavid Pearson has identified the Arms of A.-B. Hinlopin of Amsterdam. The same arms can found on a Bookplate at the University of Virginia Library, shelfmark Gordon 1600.M44.
18 August 2009 21 October 2009
Click for larger image Title-page inscription : “Coll. Nobil. Neap.”,
On the title page of Lodovico Domenichi's Dialoghi (Venice: Giolito, 1562).
Is this the Jesuit college at Naples?
The book is in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College Library, Northampton, Mass. USAJohn Lancaster
Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library
Chris Coppens confirms that this is the Collegio dei Nobili in Naples
23 September 2009 12 October 2009
Click for larger imageEngraved bookplate with the name M. de Lançon and the motto Fortitudine et charitate in Antoine Godeau, Histoire de l'eglise (Paris, 1678).
The title page has the ownership inscription “J de pouilly De Lancon”.
The motto is that of the noble family Mensdorff-Pouilly from Lorraine.
Internet searches suggest that the owner is Jacques Pouilly de Lançon who served as mestre de camp (colonel) in the Royal Navarre cavalry regiment in 1672/1.
Annelen Ottermann,
Abteilungsleiterin Handschriften, Rara, Alte Drucke,
Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek, Mainz
Has anyone encountered further examples of this bookplate in their collections?
1 April 2009 21 July 2009
front board: Click for larger image back board: Click for larger imageAre these binding stamps from a prize binding?
Johann Friedrich Burg, Chrestomathia patristica Graeca, Vratislaviae: Apud Joannem Jacobum Kornium, 1742-1756
Chris Coppens identifies the arms of Frederick II of Prussia (1712–1786), probably Poznan-related, and notes that the binder applied the stamp with the keys upside-down.Goran Proot

Catalogue entry:
Historical Collections, University Library, Antwerp
The arms identified by Chris Coppens.

Not yet confirmed as a prize binding.
4 April 2009 14 June 2009
Click for larger image 1472 Latin Bible printed by Peter Schoeffer in Mainz.
Pigskin binding with a gilt, armorial stamp (episcopal or abbatial) with 'I. I. G. P. S.'
The stamp is apparently as recorded by Walsh, Harvard (15th Century Books) no. 810 in a copy of Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea [Nuremberg: Georg Stuchs, 1 October 1488]. Anthony Tedeschi
Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand
I. I. G. P. S. has been identified in a collective effort by Klaus Graf, Manfred Huiskes and Bernd-Christoph Kämper (Archivalia) as Johann Joseph Glätzl, Propst zu Sternberg, mid-18th century
4 April 2009 5 April 2009
Click for larger image Harleian style binding.
Coat of arms very similar to that of Henrietta Cavendish Harley (1694-1755)
Book of Common Prayer, London, 1687
Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Leipzig

Image of whole cover
Bettina Rüdiger

Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum
Philip Oldfield (University of Toronto Library) confirms that these are the arms of Henrietta Harley. He is creating a database of British armorial bindings, based on work commenced by the late John Morris.
5 February 2009 1 April 2009
Click for larger image royal or ducal book stamp?Middle Temple Library, London Renae Satterley Identified by John Goldfinch:
book stamp from the library of the Earls of Guilford, probably Frederick North, 5th Earl.
See the Guilford Project at the British Library.
9 February 2009 13 February 2009
Click for larger image armorial binding stamp.
A. Du Chesne, Historiae Normannorum scriptores antiqui. Paris, 1619.
From the library of William Somner.
Paly of 6 or and az. a canton erm. A crescent for diff. Impaled.

Canterbury Cathedral
David Shaw Tobias Abeloff identifies the arms of Sir Thomas Shirley from Woodfield's Ordinary of British Armorial Bookbindings, page 55.

See also: D. Pearson, Provenance Research, pl. 4.6.
9 February 2009 10 February 2009
Click for larger image red velvet binding with blind-stamped arms of a Cardinal Book of Hours, Paris, 1500 Marieke van DelftIdentified by Chris Coppens:
The binding is from François de Mamez (d. 1648), canon and cantor at Ypres (Ieper).
See de Jonghe d'Ardoye, Havenith & Dansaert, Armorial belge du bibliophile, I, p.271.
25 January 2009 5 February 2009
book stamp on title page:

Identified from Bibliotheksstempel (Berlin, 1998) p. 64, no. 1
Mendham Collection, Canterbury Cathedral Library.

Title page
David ShawThis stamp was put on books from libraries of secularised religious houses in the Dillingen area c.1830 before their incorporation in the Studienbibliothek Dillingen or disposal as duplicates.
Identified by Chris Coppens via the Provenienz discussion list.
7 December 2008
armorial binding stamp of a (French?) cardinal.Canterbury CathedralDavid ShawCardinal Charles-Maurice Le Tellier (1671-1710) (information from Nicolas Malais)
Four examples in red morocco (British Library)
7 December 2008 30 December 2008
armorial book stamp (Welsh?)Canterbury CathedralDavid Shaw Philip Oldfield identifies this as the arms of the city of Rotterdam.
“Dutch arms appear frequently on prize books bound in vellum.”
Same stamp in St John's College, Cambridge.
We can display your query here. David Shaw
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience from it.
 resources/provenance/can_you_help.1538393760.txt.gz · Last modified: 2018/10/01 13:36 by lefferts



Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0 Driven by DokuWiki