I will take the opportunity to deal a little with the bookplate of our late member Dr. Jean Mennerat (for Jean Mennerat see our former birthday greetings 2005 and 2007 as well as our obituary):



Mrs Masthoff has contacted the French artist Gilles Erny who had prepared the copper engraving for Jean Mennerat and this way learned some informative details about this ex-libris. Generally the bookplate reflects Dr. Mennerat’s profession and his varied private passions: The Aesculapian staff with the snake is well-known as a symbol of the medical profession, the chess board with the curved lateral branch can be interpreted as a microscope while the head of the microscope is partly concealed by an ancient Egyptian female head (Pharaoh) whose headdress (crown – an attribute of Kings and Queens only) is again modified by a chess pattern. A plausible explanation for this head would be that it adverts to the old Egyptian medicine which is regarded as the beginning of medical science.
The head-on approaching biplane refers to the fact that Mennerat was an enthusiastic pilot, and the stars in the upper part of the bookplate bear witness to his interest in astronomy. A number of books underneath the chess board (= microscope stage) is self-evident (Mennerat’s bibliophily); the fungi (bottom left) which represent - besides animals and plants - an independent realm, as well as the fossil (ammonite) depicted on the right may indicate further fields of interest. Whether the ammonite is also intended as a hidden hint at the Pharaonic empire has to remain unsettled (an etymological connection: Am[m]on was the Greek / Roman name for the Egyptian sun-god Amun-Re, see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammoniten). Beyond question, a fascinating bookplate with interesting details to discover and to discuss.



Dieter Stüber closes both eyes while library director Bernhard Köster
flirts with Mrs. Masthoff. Click to enlarge.



You may enjoy 26 further photographs in this gallery!


(Press) articles on the event:

PS (22/03/2013): Eva Masthoff has also reported about the exhibition in the "Mitteilungen" of the German ex-libris Society, available online as PDF: Mitteilungen 2013 – 1, see p. 17f.

PS (19/05/2013): Irene Stock wrote an article on the exhibition ("Schachausstellung in der Stadtbücherei lockt 3000 Besucher") in Lokallust Haltern am See, issue 05.2013, p. 22f.


Ralf Binnewirtz




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