1789-Dated Federal Period, New York Society Library, Allegorical Bookplate, Designed and Copper Plate Engraved by Peter Rushton Maverick, Choice Very Fine.The Library's second Bookplate that is highly ornate in its classic design. This wonderful original Engraved Bookplate measures 3.75” x 5.5" printed in rich black on laid period paper. It is bold, sharply printed and attractive. Used with serial number 552, some removable old stamp hinges on its blank reverse does not distract from its lovely eye appeal. This famous classic “Allegorical” design Bookplate of the New York Society Library (first founded in 1754) was Designed and Engraved by Peter Maverick who was a well-known New York engraver and New York Society Library member. This Copper Plate Engraving depicts a Native American Indian Warrior kneeling on the floor of a Library and discarding his tomahawk as he receives a book from Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, with the motto: "Emollit Mores." Engraved signature for Maverick in bottom right margin. Very scarce and a premium example. For reference See: Allen #615, Dr. Eno. catalog #459, American Society of Bookplates 1959/60 pg. 54.
Peter Rushton Maverick was a well-known New York engraver (a contemporary of Gallaudet) and New York Society Library member; he engraved illustrations for books, and engraved booksplates for several library members.
The Library's second bookplate differs tremendously from the first, which relied on the visual language of antiquity and learned western culture to tie the early American Library (and by extension, its membership) to European civilization.
This second plate addresses the American continent and its cultural and geographic distance from Europe more directly by depicting a Native American kneeling in front of Minerva, exchanging his hatchet for a book; the Library's seal features a condensed version of the same design.