Eric Thake bookplate for John Gartner. Bower birds are well known for decorating their nests with collected objects. In what he considered one of his best designs, Eric Thake uses a bower bird to symbolise the activities of an avid book collector.
If Eric Thake (1904-82) is not a household name in Australian art, it's probably because he did not produce the large oil paintings that hang on museum walls for decades, imprinting themselves on the minds of succeeding generations. Instead, he preferred to work on a small scale producing prints, drawings, watercolours, bookplates and photographs. His paintings, which are mostly held in private collections, are also small and intimate often displaying a shy, sly sense of humour.
Eric Thake bookplate for Jean Daley. Jean Daley was a prominent Victorian labor activist and a vigorous debater. This plate won Eric Thake an honourable mention at an international bookplate exhibition in Los Angeles in 1930
Eric Thake bookplate for Ted Mayman. One of Eric Thake's favourite views - from the interior of a bush pub looking out through a lettered window which typically featured the words 'Pub' or 'Saloon' in reverse. Here, it is the name of his friend Ted Mayman. 1971
Eric Thake bookplate for Polly Pyke. This bookplate commemorates a journey made by Pollie Pyke across the Andes. the journey is represented by a llama and a steam train struggling around the steep mountains.