The Definitive Dwiggins no. 177 addendum no. 3—Ex Libris of Ella Grimes Rosemond
In preparing an upcoming talk on W.A. Dwiggins for the Hingham Historical Society I came across a bookplate that he designed for Ella Grimes Rosemond and immediately realized it belonged in the discussion about his use of rotunda (see The Definitive Dwiggins no. 177). In the 1974 Dwiggins Collection at the Boston Public Library, the bookplate is filed with other items labeled as “pre-Hingham,” a designation I never considered challenging until now. I had always assumed that Dwiggins designed it sometime during his years in Chicago. 
However in light of the examination of Dwiggins’ rotunda sketches in a small scrapbook, it now seems that the Rosemond bookplate—and one for Della Purdum Fordyce created at the same time—were designed in 1906 instead of 1901–1902. The first clue for this re-dating is the presence of capitals copied directly (e.g. second E, G,L, and R) or with slight modifications (first E) from Plate 87 in Alphabets Old and New by Lewis F. Day (London: B.T. Batsford, 1898). 
More significant is the existence of an undated—but annotated—proof of the Rosemond bookplate ganged with one for Fordyce. The note reads:
Engraver’s proof. Prints will be done shortly. Will make them up in holiday packages.
Hope you are well little ma,
your loving Billam 
In the past I interpreted this as a note written by Dwiggins from Chicago to his mother in Cambridge, Ohio. But now I think it was written from Hingham Center, Massachusetts. Evidence for this comes from the ornament of the Fordyce ex libris which shares the proof sheet with the Rosemond ex libris. It matches a “leaf” by Dwiggins that reads: “From / Will Dwiggins / Hingham Center / Mass. / [ornaments] / Book Design.” In both items the ornaments were drawn by Dwiggins in imitation of no. 13 of William Caslon’s Great Primer Flowers.  The roman capitals of the Fordyce bookplate are more mature and classical than those found in bookplates by Dwiggins from his Chicago days. Notably, he does not use U with a leg or the Greek Y prior to 1906. 
Dwiggins used two different signatures on these bookplates in order to maintain the tone of each: wd in textura for the Rosemond and roman D for the Fordyce. The latter appears on other works of his from 1900 through 1909, while a textura d can be found on several greeting cards published in 1907 (but possibly executed in late 1906). 
1. The Ella Grimes Rosemond bookplate is in the Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 34, Folder 8. Other bookplates in that folder and Folder 7 are clearly from 1901–1902, including one that is dated 1901.
2. The minuscules are textura with the exception of a s, b,and l which are rotunda, an ahistorical mix that Dwiggins consistently resorted to between 1906 and 1912. I have been unable to find a model for these letters. They stand out for their lack of fussiness, especially when compared to the texturas of such contemporaries as Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and Ralph Fletcher Seymour.
3. See the Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 34, Folder 8. Both Ella Grimes Rosemond (1860–1937) and Della Purdum Fordyce (1864–1942) were married to lawyers in Cambridge, Ohio.
4. The “leaf” is in the Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 37, Folder 20. Although ungummed, it is probably a mailing label from the period 1906–1907 when Dwiggins was futilely trying to establish himself as a “publisher of prints”. There is no complementary letterhead.
For the Caslon flowers see A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon, Letter-Founder to His Majesty (London: Galabin and Baker, 1785). This is the earliest instance of Dwiggins’ life-long love of Caslon’s flowers. See Caslon Flowers: An Appreciation by W.A. Dwiggins (New York: Advertisers Paper Mills, 1913).
5. These forms of U and Y can be found in the motto card “He is wisest who has the most caution…” by Walt Whitman. It is listed in A Catalogue of the Publications of Alfred Bartlett 1906 under the heading “Some Mottoes, Designed by Mr. Will Dwiggins and Printed under His Direction”. For contrast to the elegant roman capitals of this Fordyce bookplate see an earlier one Dwiggins designed for her c.1900 that is characterized by chunky roman capitals as well as one made at about the same time for Carrie Warner Okey. Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 41, Folders 7 and 8. The chunky capitals reflect the influence of illustrator Edward Penfield (1866–1925).
6. A survey of Dwiggins’ various signatures over time will be the subject of a future post.