Jane Patterson's bookplate designed by Robert Anning Bell, English, 1890s—Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Label with a printed design pasted inside the front cover of a book to identify its owner. It probably originated in Germany in the mid-15th century; the earliest extant dated bookplate (1516) is German. The earliest American example is dated 1749. Bookplate designs include portraits, views of libraries, and landscapes, as well as symbols of the owner's interests or occupation (e.g., military trophies, palettes), and, toward the end of the 19th century, nude figures.