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Arms stamped on the binding of Caroline Powys' diaries

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These arms are stamped on the front of the book "Passages from the diaries of Mrs Philip Lybbe Powys" edited by Emily Climenson and published by Longmans in 1899.

Here's the stamp that printed those arms:

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The size is 65 mm wide by 77 mm high.

This stamp was found and purchased by a dealer around 1975 in Scotland. It is clearly the original used to stamp these books and is marked "Knights & Cottrell" who, from old sale catalogues on the internet, appear to have been bookbinders and made many such stamps. The dealer kept it for some 40 years until an accidental contact brought it to my attention and I then purchased it.

The fact that it had this bookbinder's name on the stamp shows that it was made for the publication of the book in 1899.

It could have been a stamp used for the entries in Burke's "Landed Gentry" series. But I have copies of most of those entries and none of the Powys-Lybbe entries have a coat of arms with them. So this stamp could only have been made and used for the Diaries.

The question is how this stamp got into the hands of the original vendor in Scotland. This depends on who owned the stamp after its manufacture. If it was the bookbinder then it would have been sold off after the closure of the firm. If it was the family, it would have been kept and not thrown away, for instance I still have a seal with the same arms which would have been of that period or before; it might then have been stolen in one of the many burglaries suffered by my father, or even his father. Take your pick!

Finally I have inverted the picture of the stamp and turned it left to right to give a 3D image, so that you can see it is the same as the book:

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(Click on the picture for a larger one)

The arms themselves:

  • The stamp does not include the motto printed on the book. Possibly the binders did not know what the motto was and added a spare one from around their workshop, possibly someone had decided to change the motto but anyway mottoes are not part of English heraldry.
  • These are were the correct arms of Powys with Powys in the No 1 quarter and were the arms in use even though the name had been changed, by royal licence organised by the College of Arms, in 1863.
  • In 1907 the arms were updated by my grandfather and the College had to put Lybbe in the No 1 quarter as Lybbe was the last part of the new surname (so that his by then late grandfather could, in 1863, call himself Mr Lybbe and his lady Mrs Lybbe to distinguish themselves from his wife Mrs Powys who had been deserted.)
  • At the exemplification for and after the 1907 royal licence, the College included in the painted arms, but not in the text, this motto "Parta Tueri" which had in fact been used 100 years previously,
  • The crests have changed slightly over the years, Lybbe particularly which in the 1574 visitation had the embowed arm in (chain) mail and carrying a halberd, in this stamp had the arm in armour carrying an inverted sword and in the 1907 exemplification the arm had chain mail again and carrying an erect spear:
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