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Herbert MacNair (1868 - 1955)

Lot 12: James Herbert MacNair


September 23, 1998
, United Kingdom

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Book Plate, 1896 Signed J. HERBERT. MCNAIR INV.DEL; inscribed JOHN TURNBULL KNOX HIS BOOK THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE NOURISHED BY MIDDLE EARTH BREATHED ON BY HEAVENLY DEW FLOURISHED A TREE OF WORTH FLOURISHED AND GREW; etching, mounted on board 33/4in. (9.5cm.) high LITERATURE See: Thomas Howarth, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and The Modern Movement, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1977, p. 19 Jude Burkhauser, Glasgow Girls, Women in Art and Design 1880-1920, Canongate, Edinburgh, 1990, p. 105 for illustrations of similar bookplates NOTES "the book-plate...was designed by MacNair for John Turnbull Knox; in it there is a falcon-the Knox crest-hovering above the tree of knowledge which enfolds in its branches the spirits of art and poetry, represented by two sad female figures with long flowing tresses. The two spirits hold in their hands rose-buds which appear as cherub heads, and lilies, emblems of painting and sculpture. The heads embraced by the falcon's wings are breathing the dew of inspiration which falls on the tree of knowledge from above...This example, with the Conversazione Programme, recaptures admirably the atmosphere of subtle erotic symbolism that pervaded the last decade of the nineteenth century." Howarth, op.cit. pp. 19-20.

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Decorative Arts and Ceramics

September 23, 1998, 12:00 AM EST

, United Kingdom