Saturday, February 5, 2011

LEFT INSIDE: Ned Guymon's Skull & Claw Bookplate

One of the interesting sideline hobbies that arose from my obsessive and never ending book collecting is my interest in bookplates.  I started researching the artists, the companies that produced them and sometimes the name on the bookplate itself. In addition to bookplates I have started an odd ephemera collection that consists of items used as unusual bookmarks or were just left in a book and forgotten.  That collection so far includes receipts, bus transfers, postcards, theater tickets, photos, a 1954 car registration, a cruise ship menu, and even a photostat of someone's Social Security card.

This is the beginning of a monthly look at those items.  I'm starting with perhaps the most "famous" item - the bookplate of prominent detective fiction collector E. T. (Ned) Guymon.  For more about Mr. Guymon's collection And his place in the world of detective fiction bibliomania you can visit Bowling Green State University's Browne Library of Popular Culture by clicking here.

Several years ago when I was reshelving this bookplate fell out of one of my many mystery novels. Only recently have I started making notes on what book the various objects came in.  Unfortunately, this one comes from a time when I wasn't making those notes. I pride myself on an excellent memory, but try as I might I just don't know what book this was in.

I did a Google search on "Ned Guymon bookplate" to see just who he was and, strangely, the first hit I got was a photo of a Ph.D. candidate with a tattoo based on this bookplate. I don't understand why someone would want this permanently inked into their skin. But hell I don't understand the fascination with tattoos these days anyway.


  1. Hi John, Ned Guymon was my grandfather! I can assure you he did not have a tattoo! I love your post. Do you still have the bookplate? If you want to know anything more about him let me know.

    1. I do have a few questions, Ally. All I know is that he was most likely fairly prominent in the antiquarian book world as a collector. Was his interest in mystery and detective fiction only? Or was it more science fiction/fantasy/ supernatural? I can't remember the book where I found this bookplate. His name used to show up a lot in book collecting circles ages ago...I vaguely recall. Anyway... Don't know if you'll ever see this. So most likely my questions will remain unanswered. I tried to find your email on your blog and Google Plus page, but no luck.