Collection of Bookplates by an Armenian Artist
A collection of 84 different bookplates designed by Armenian artist, Gourguen Khounountz.
(Armenian Bookplate Design) Khounountz, Gourguen [1892-1976].
[Armenia & Sweden: 1930 - 1960?].
Many of the bookplates have text in Cyrillic though a few are printed in. Roman script. In addition to these 84 loose bookplates, there are 50 loose duplicates, and three small scrapbooks (2 oblong octavo volumes measuring 6-1/4 inches high by 9-1/4 inches wide, and one duodecimo volume measuring 4-1/2 inches high by 4 inches wide) into which are mounted even more copies of these bookplates. Collection of Bookplates by an Armenian Artist. Generally in very good condition. Item #231958
A UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL COLLECTION OF BOOKPLATES FORMED BY THE ARTIST HIMSELF. Born in Choucha [Shusha], Gourguen Khounountz[1892-1976] fought in World War I. As a college student, he was made an officer in the Russian army. His family recounts his extraordinary bravery and devotion to his men while fighting on the Turkish front. "He was like Christ in flesh; cared for his young subordinates as if they were family. He led them on the attack, sword raised high, up front. He survived, but with a total paralysis of his right side ... . Never a word of complaint-on the contrary, cheerful, happy to have survived Hell on Earth." Gourguen Khounountz emigrated to Sweden after his injury where he became a successful self-taught artist. Khounountz and his artistic siblings were profiled in the magazine "Soviet Armenia" in May 1985
Khounoutz's unusual bookplates display a wide variety of styles and influences over several decades, frequently combining elements of traditional Russian iconic woodblock art, with Art Deco, "modernist" design, and frequent touches of the purely mythical and fantastic. They include a bookplate for Hagelin with a vignette depicting a wizard struck by a beam of light from a fiery altar above the image of a Sphinx and the Star of David. Others with Roman script include a beautifully delicate windswept plain for "Hildur och Albert Koersner"; a bookplate for the "National Musei Bibliotek"; others are for "Alexandre Petrokovsky", "Brigit Herzog"; "Axel Lagrelius"; "Carl E. Ekman"; 'Johannischus Bibliotek". A small bookplate for Sven Froberg delicately depicts a tree lined stream. Several images are bold and encompass Gothic metaphysical scenes while others are more fantastical and delicate. Some plates are of a simple classic design with tasteful typography, and yet others depict buildings or gentle pastoral scenes. A few of the plates are annotated in pencil on the verso, usually in Cyrillic; some are dated. A beautiful color plate depicting houses behind stone fortifications, rising upon a steep hill as if stacked one on the other, is annotated in French on the recto "La Ville ou je suis ne" ("the town where I was born"). A goodly number of the bookplates are for Armenian clients, as well as the predominantly Russian, Swedish, and occasional French owners.