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2006-06, 350, Bookplates, Mark Ferson, Notes and Queries

Notes & Queries: Bookplates of Lena Cohn in Das kleine Schmetterlingsbuch

THE ARTICLE by Brian Taylor on the illustrated Insel-Bücherei books and their influence on the King Penguin designs, which appeared in the June 2005 issue of Biblionews (pp 43-72), made reference to his copy of No 213, Das kleine Schmetterlingsbuch (1934). Brian, you may recall, observed that this copy bore a bookseller’s label from the city of Haifa in what is now Israel, and that he had, in recent years, acquired it in the Berkelouw Book Barn in Berrima.

It had originally belonged to Lena Cohn and was marked by her bookplate, dated 1947 and depicting a Mediterranean scene, possibly representing Palestine (Figure 1). He seemed anxious to see the bookplate faintly visible beneath the 1947 design, and subsequently allowed me to steam both bookplates off the book’s inside front cover. The older bookplate is lettered in German “Dies Buch gehört Lena Cohn” (This book belongs to …); it depicts a violin-playing, apparently busking cherub beside a vase of flowers and an upside-down top hat, on which is perched a song bird who seems to be accompanying the violinist (Figure 2).



It is most likely that Lena brought her packet of bookplates with her to Palestine in the 1930s, and pasted one into Das kleine Schmetterlingsbuch, then later pasted her 1947 design over it. I would welcome hearing from anyone who may know more about Lena Cohn.

Mark Ferson



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