Monthly Archives: February 2014

Ex libris under the Californian sun

My fellow HGRG committee member Natalie Cox is currently undertaking a research fellowship at the Huntington Library in California. Natalie was kind enough to call up the Huntington’s copies of Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa to check for indicators of provenance. Both copies of the book contain what appear to be contemporary bookplates, although I will need to dig a little deeper to attribute them properly.

Unidentified Ex Libris

Unidentified Ex Libris. The Huntington Library, call number 355653.

The bookplate in call number 355653 is listed in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s John Starr Stewart Ex Libris Collection, but does not contain an attribution.

John Coore's Ex Libris

John Coore’s Ex Libris. The Huntington Library, call number 357106.

Although the bookplate pasted into call number 357106 makes quite clear that the book belonged to one John Coore, it is not immediately apparent which John Coore this is. One possibility (assuming he was a contemporary owner of the book) is that he is the John Coore who built Ivy House in Golders Hill, where Anna Pavlova (the famous ballerina) later lived. Clearly more digging will have to be done to separate conjecture from likelihood.

Meeting the descendants

Deirdre Grieve at Glasgow Cathedral

Deirdre Grieve at Glasgow Cathedral.

I was fortunate today to meet up in Glasgow with the great, great, great, great grandniece of William Macintosh, Deirdre Grieve, and her son Dorian. Deirdre has for some time been interested in William Macintosh, from whose sister she is descended, and has done some fantastic genealogical research. Deirdre, Dorian, and I were able to share some snippets and stories before visiting the grave of William’s brother, George, and George’s son Charles (the eponymous inventor of the Macintosh waterproofing process), in the grounds of Glasgow Cathedral.

George Macintosh (1739–1807). Glasgow Museums.

George Macintosh (1739–1807). Glasgow Museums.

George Macintosh was a successful industrialist who owned a large cudbear dying works in Glasgow, which operated for more than three quarters of a century from the 1770s. George and his wife, Mary (née Moore), are commemorated on their son’s gravestone. The inscription reads

Here is interred,
Charles Macintosh.
Campsie, and Dunchattan.
And Fellow of the
Royal Society of London.
Son of George Macintosh,
and Mary Moore,
both also here interred,
and the great grandson
of the last Provost
John Anderson of Douhill.
Born 1766. Died, 1843.

Deirdre’s neighbour, who joined us later to chat about William Macintosh, is Nigel Leask, Regius Chair of English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow.