Ex libris collection of Jansen-Ebing
EX LIBRIS COLLECTION OF JANSEN-EBING
The Museum Meermanno owns a diverse ex libris collection, one of the biggest in the world. In total it has over 330,000 book plates that have been acquired since 1929 by purchase or donation. The collection is all the more interesting as it comprises not only ex libris but also design sketches, wood blocks, plates, proofs, variants, reference works and correspondence.
The core of the collection was brought together by famous collectors in this field, among whom were J. F. Verster, Johan J. Schwenke and Eugène Strens. In 1995 another impressive collection, that belonging to the publisher Johan H.A. Jansen (1913-1992) and his wife Hillegonde Jansen-Ebing, was added to it.
The Jansen-Ebing couple had worked on their collection for well over 54 years. Among ex libris collectors it is common practice to buy entire collections in one go, but Jansen and his wife collected the ex libris one by one, on average 1,500 examples a year. All their acquisitions were fixed onto green-grey cardboard mounts and filed away in cardboard slip-cases. These slip-cases were arranged by the artist’s country of origin. Special portfolios were made for the most important artists.
Jansen and his wife collected special themes, including royal ex libris and those featuring illustrations of Don Quixote and Till Eulenspiegel. Also well represented are early German ex libris from the period 1490-1600, historical English ex libris from the years 1600-1880, European ex libris from the period 1895-1925 and ex libris from Czechoslovakia during the second half of the 20th century. In all, the couple brought together well over 80,000 book plates which were made accessible by means of a card index (this also moved to the museum).
Anyone wanting to know what the ex libris of, for instance, Hitler, Mussolini or Chamberlain looks like, should come and have a look here.