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Dear John:

Hello John! Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

I recently came across a first edition of “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht & Charles McArthur at a thrift store for a few bucks —- lucky me! No dust jacket, but it’s in fairly good condition, so of some modest value.

What intrigues me is a bookplate on the front free end page. It’s not completely glued down, only at the top. 7”H x 4.5”W No name or “ex libris”. Just this terrific image:

I’m guessing that these are meant to be the letters “P” and “R” spelled out in the rattlesnake’s loops. Or perhaps meant to be a “B”? I’m charmed by the little head with glasses!

I’d love to discover that this copy belonged to someone of note, of course, but I have no idea of where to go from here. If you can point me into a direction to explore, I’d appreciate it.

An intriguing mystery!

Mary M.

John Replies:

Hi Mary.

Intriguing. My guess is that it is a custom bookplate made for a collector. It is doubtful that it is of any intrinsic value.

Best, John

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