Booksellers labels; an always surprising, never boring collectors item

The charm of boekhandelszegels (booksellers labels)
Collecting is in human’s blood. At a young age, most children start to collect all sort of things, sometimes humoured by their parents or other children, but also while observing things and discovering the variety of one item, they got the urge to get more of it, and start collecting.
The same way I started about 16 years ago to collect those (mostly) tiny labels that used to be pasted into books when sold, in different colours, various shapes and sizes.
I will never forget: On a May morning in 2001, I was browsing through the old books on the bookshelves and suddenly discovered a delicately designed embossed circular label, dented all around it like a postage stamp. It was the label of steam printer and publisher D. van Sijn & Sons in Rotterdam. After carefully removing it from the book, I got my first label, which I like to share with you below:

R'dam -Sijn van, D & Zoon

note [D. van Sijn appeared to be Dirk van Sijn, born July 4th 1815 who established his publishing and printing company on October 13th 1855 at the Gedempte Bierhaven 27-29/Oranjestraat 2 in Rotterdam. (https://rotterdam.voorouder.nl/getperson.php?personID=I20833&tree=voorouders)  
One of his sons (Hermanus (Herman) born November 11th 1853 succeeded his father in the company, followed by his son, and grandson. The building burned to the ground during World War II (the German bombing on May 14th 1940, after which the Netherlands capitulated. I do not know where the company was housed during or after the war, but October 13th 1955, D. van Sijn & Sons celebrated their 100 years jubilee.] 
  Back to collecting which soon got a snowball effect, because the one thing led to another. After searching all available books in the (parental) house for more labels, I  visited the (then existing) antiquarian bookshops, local second hand (book) market. The standholder started keeping books with labels aside. (I can still miss that man, because nor the bookshops, nor the bookstand are longer there).
April 2006 I subscribed to a Dutch magazine about book collecting and bookish ephemera which advertised for another publication, which offered backdated issues. One issue was about boekhandelszegeltjes  (booksellers labels) and so I had to have it. Finally via this issue I discovered several books about this collectors item, amongst with was a huge detailed work written by an Austrian collector. I contacted the publisher, bought the book as a birthday gift for myself, and got the personal address of the author. That was the beginning of a long range of correspondence exchanges, with him and other collectors.
Once in a while we still correspond and exchange labels, although my collection stll is not in any proportion to his or others. I owe a lot to these fellow collectors in the beginning stage of my collection. Some of them collected for decades and already had a huge collection. They were so generous to give me more than I could offer them. (Sometimes, I now do the same towards other -beginning- collectors to get them started. I now by experience, it encourages people.)
I wrote all this not to boast about it, but to give an example of how a collection can start, shaped and grow through the years, with help from fate, and help from others. The moment you least expect something out of it, it will come your way.
Maybe I did stir anyone’s interest in this always surprising and never boring hobby of collecting book trade labels or bookbinders labels? 
Anyone who has more  information about the Dutch (Rotterdam) steam printing and publishing company D. van Sijn & Zonen is welcome to comment, as well as other images of labels from the company) 
To translate this text, click on menu 2017-04-11_112743  (above left) scroll down and choose your language via google translator.
Advertisements