My step son Declan is 21 and I wanted to give him something to mark the occasion. He is a country boy who loves country persuits such as fishing and shooting and although I am in two minds about giving pictures as presents, I thought I would do him something connected with his interests so I have designed a bookplate. I have done various bookplates in the past. They are an old fashioned idea that should not be allowed to die out. You stick them in the front of your books to identify them as your own. There is a long tradition of Artists doing them and they are not all just crests and heraldry; people have had nudes and all sorts of exciting things done for them.
Declan’s bookplate shows the following: the arch at Fonthill, where his father lives, him mounted on his hunter, the view of Fonthill House in the Park, a lurcher and a hare, a salmon, a fishing rod, a shotgun, a Cessna, the type of plane he leaned to fly, a game bag, a stags head, mounted, a map of Islay, a place he loves and where his family have property, a map of Africa, where he went on his gap-year.
William Hogarth, Aubrey Beardsley, Rex Whistler and John Piper all designed wonderful bookplates. I aspire to join them.