This is an original ink drawing by David McNeely Stauffer (1845-1913). In addition to being a designer and engraver of bookplates, Stauffer was a civil engineer who worked for several railroads. He was also a prolific collector of early American engravings and wrote American Engravers upon Copper and Steel, a pioneering, multi-volume checklist that profiles over 700 artists and was published by the Grolier Club in 1907.
Stauffer’s drawing served as a bookplate design for William Livermore Kingman (b. 1842), who was also a railroad agent and a member of the Ex-Libris Society of London. The motto featured on this bookplate is from the preface to The Elements of Architecture, published by Sir Henry Wotton in 1624.
The Yale Bookplate Collection comprises an array of graphic works in addition to both archival and published materials. This drawing is part of the Collection of Original Artwork for Bookplate Designs (Call # BKP 131).