Heradic Bookplate, late 19th c.

Belonging to the library of Prince James of Trinidad

Bookplate of Baron Harden-Hickey, Prince of Trinidad
Bookplate of Baron Harden-Hickey, Prince of Trinidad

Bookplate description

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Heraldic bookplate of Baron Harden Hickey. The engraved bookplate is affixed to the inside cover of a book on the history of caricature in the Middle Ages, which befits Harden-Hickey as founder and editor of the satirical illustrated magazine Le Triboulet whose the anti-republican and pro-monarchist caricatures were so antagonistic that they landed Harden-Hickey numerous lawsuits, duels, and even short imprisonment. They might have also been the unstated reason he was deported from France in 1880.

Harden-Hickey was created a Baron of the Papal Nobility for his pamphlets in defense of the Catholic Church, which he would later denounce after his conversion to Theosophy and Buddhism. As he assumed the dignity of Prince of Trinidad 1893, this bookplate would presumably precede that date but follow the book’s printing in 1875—although after becoming a Prince he was still occasionally referenced to as both Baron and Prince.

The large depiction of Haden-Hickey’s armorial achievement located under his printed name presents a shield quartering two arms repeated diagonally for balance. The design on the upper right canton (the dexter chief) holds the place of honor. Resting on the shield is a barred helmet which denotes, in English heraldry, the status of a peer (titled noble). On the helmet is a coronet of rank with five pearls. The crest is a horseshoe between two wings, the supporters are two griffins, and the motto below reads honour without honours. The artist’s signature denotes that the arms were etched by Richard Barabandy (born Riccardo Barabandi) an Italian illustrator and lithographer who collaborated with Le Triboulet and other Parisian periodicals. 

It is unknown whether the arms were granted by or registered with a heraldic authority.

Book information

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  • Title: Histoire de la caricature au moyen âge et sous la Renaissance deuxième édition très augmenté
  • Author: Champfleury (1821-1889) 
  • Publisher: E. Dentu (Paris)
  • Publication date: 1875
  • Language: French
  • Pages:  351 pp.
  • Link: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k205843r.texteImage

Medium & Techniques

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Printed paper


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  • Bookplate: W 4.25 in (10.8 cm) x H 4 in (10.2 cm)
  • Book: W 4.5 in (11.4 cm) x H 7 in (17.8 cm) 

People involved

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Acquired from Joëlle Teboulf (Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, France)