Title-page Stamps

in the collection of early editions of the works of Frédéric Chopin
in the University of Chicago Library

In this online catalog the term “title-page stamp” refers to an inked or embossed impression on a score’s title page. Here the term is restricted to stamps with the name of the score’s publisher or dealer. The impression is almost always made manually and usually in black or blue ink.

The purpose of this section is to present an overview of the title-page stamps that are found in the Chopin Collection. The discussion is both descriptive and quantitative, but it does not attempt to draw general conclusions about the subject beyond what can be inferred from this Collection.

Further details are given in the six sub-sections that are accessible from the links below. The first two links provide a census of the various types of stamps (Stamp populations) and a table giving statistical information about the dimensions and country of origin the 53 distinct designs found among the publisher stamps (Stamp designs). The next four links provide photographic reproductions (Gallery of stamps). French, German, and English publisher stamps are included, and also a selection of dealer stamps.

This section is based on Appendix 8 (“Title-page stamps”) of the 2003 edition of the Chopin print catalog. Since that time the number of scores in the Chopin Collection has grown by about 25 percent. Although the stamp data and discussion have not yet been updated for the online catalog, the general view of the Collection’s title-page stamps is not likely to be changed significantly by updating.

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Survey of stamp properties
Stamp populations [3-page PDF, 95 KB]
Stamp designs [3-page PDF, 115 KB]
Gallery of stamp images
French publishers [3-page PDF, 3.0 MB]
German publishers [2-page PDF, 2.7 MB]
English publishers [1-page PDF, 1.1 MB]
Dealers and agents [1-page PDF, 1.3 MB]
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