Faux armorial bookplate – an enigma

Found - a bookplate or possibly heraldic design for a coat of arms. Among some bookplates and ephemera but printed rather than engraved, perhaps clipped from a printed item (nothing on the back) and measuring six inches square. Possibly a jokey faux armourial design for a bookplate. I have seen other comic designs on these lines.  The words 'Thingummy ad Nauseam' point at its satirical intention.

I am not sure when people started saying 'Thingummy' for people whose names they had forgotten, or for people who were annoyingly ubiquitous but this design is almost certainly from the 20th century. Bookplates often sum up the interests and pastimes of the collector - in this case it would be drawing, possibly ornithology, deer stalking, coffee drinking, Olympic sports... The flying carpet might indicate an interest in travel, possibly eastern...the bird (a white ostrich or an egret?) wearing specs and holding a pen could mean an interest in literature - along with a wastepaper basket full of discarded papers. The design to the right of the cup could be part of a jigsaw puzzle..

2 thoughts on “Faux armorial bookplate – an enigma

  1. Mumpsimus

    That jigsaw-puzzle pattern is an actual heraldic thing. It's called "Nebuly" or "Barry Nebuly."

    I don't know about the bird on the rug, but the rest of it suggests Disillusioned Bureaucrat. Maybe that's red tape tied around the pens.

  2. admin Post author

    Many thanks Mumpsimus, I thought that pattern would have a name – Barry Nebuly… You're interpretation seems right; it may have been satirising or having a poke at ('ad Nauseam') one particular annoyingly ubiquitous person, possibly in an office (Thingummy)


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