Despite a pronounced plate mark, the lie of the ink on this print suggests an offset method was used. The design itself has a distinct pen and ink feel. This particular plate is cited in a checklist in William Colgate’s work, The Bookplates of Leslie Victor Smith, as intaglio. According to Colgate, Smith worked predominantly in engraving or zinc etching (relief halftone), however, the appearance of this plate seems to indicate that another printing method was used.
Black ink on cream paper. White ivy border over stippled black background. Names of John Gordon McIntosh and Wilhelmina Morris McIntosh inscribed on facing pages of book, behind which is a lit torch whose rays span out from the center of the plate. The text of the plate is on a scroll which is woven around a lyre, a symbol of harmony.
“The / LIBRARY/ of the / McINTOSH MEMORIAL / GALLERY” “John / Gordon / McIntosh” “Wilhelmina / Morris / McIntosh” “MUSIC / IS THE POETRY OF THE AIR” “LESLIE VICTOR SMITH ‘42”
The McIntosh Gallery is part of the University of Western Ontario and is the second oldest art gallery in Canada. Opened in 1942, it was built with a bequest from the estate of local art collector Wilhelmina Morris McIntosh in honour of her late husband John Gordon McIntosh. Its permanent collection, as of 2009, held 3000 items dating from the early 19th-century to the present. The artist of the bookplate, Leslie Victor Smith, was born in Simcoe, Ontario in 1880. One the most accomplished Canadian bookplate artists, Smith exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Art from 1908 to 1913; this bookplate was made in 1942, toward the end of his career. Smith was a bookplate collector as well as creator, and his own collection reached 17,000 items. As a bookplate artist, Smith is known for his tasteful, compact and precise designs and his willingness to collaborate with his clients. Smith died in 1952. As cited above, this bookplate is listed in a checklist available in "The Bookplates of Leslie Victor Smith" by William Colgate. A photocopy of the original Colgate publication may be consulted in Rare Books and Special Collections, UBC Library. For more information on the Thomas Murray Collection, see: http://www.library.ubc.ca/spcoll/murray/default.html