History of Medicine
Collectors not only paste their own bookplates in their books, they also frequently have copies made to trade with like-minded colleagues. Later, free of associations with their original owner, such bookplates become ephemeral objects. Artists commissioned to design bookplates will often include images related to their patron's interests. In the case of medical bookplates, such images usually include aspects of medical specialties - an operating scene for surgeons, an infant for pediatricians, etc. There are also many examples with a microscope, caduceus, or scalpel for physicians, a tooth for dentists, or a mortar and pestle for pharmacists.
The bookplate of Frederick G. Banting, a Nobel Prize winner for his discovery of the use of insulin in diabetes, featured a laboratory scene, and that of the movie actor, Jean Hersholt, who played a physician in a film on the Dionne quintuplets, displayed flags of his native and his adopted countries. Bookplates by well-known artists such as the Viennese Michael Fingesten, who made a number of examples for physicians and pharmacists, (one of which is shown) are especially prized.
This volume belongs to Prichard's Circulating Library,
Baltimore, c. 1870,
10.9 x 7.5 cm.
Dr. K. Schultz,
Die die dir zu rohkost raten Essen Selber Schweinbraten!,
colored lithograph by Michel Fingesten,
n.p., c. 1925,
12.4 x 10.3 cm.