Ex erotic libris. Since ancient times, human beings have had the need to mark what is their property, including books.

The Latin phrase, Ex libris, can be translated as «from the books of», and refers to property brands, such as the stamp, label or stamp, which is usually placed on the back of a book to identify it.

Normally, the speech has been accompanied by the name of the owner or the library to which it belongs.

As it is known, the first antecedent that exists of EX libris is a plate of baked clay and enameled on a papyrus that belonged to the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III.

In the Middle Ages the practice of marking books was extended. These are produced by hand, requiring a lot of time and money for their production.

Given this situation, a book represented power and wealth among the churches and convents that had titles between their shelves, so marking them became transcendental.

And so, religious institutions took advantage of their power over the population to add messages that discouraged the theft of books.

Here one of the most curious examples of a book found in the Daigoji temple in Japan and reads as follows:

«Stealing this book closes the doors of Heaven, and destroying it opens those of Hell. Whoever takes this book without permission will be punished by all the gods of Japan.»


It is with the invention of the printing press, the work of Gutenberg, that the nobility acceded to the books, taking advantage of the Ex libris to make clear their power and status, placing in them their shield and name.

Then, taking advantage of an incipient bourgeois class that enjoyed patronage, the great illustrators of books of the time also designed the brands for the nobility.

These BOOKPLATE evolved to draw figures alluding to the content of books, drawings, illustrations and references to the owner or his philosophical thinking.

It is then, with the great boom of books in the nineteenth century, that property brands or BOOKPLATE became even more important.

Some of the most used techniques were woodcut, chalcography, lithography, screen printing and photogravure.

At present, the vast majority is designed by computer or by hand, and stamped with rubber stamps.

The Frederikshavn Art Museum and the Bookplates collection, together have more than 450 thousand illustrations, is the largest collection of Ex libris in the world.

They have among their collection pieces that date from the nineteenth century, to those products of digital technology.

Its large library, available On Line, offers an approach to the history of property brands in books or Bookplate.

It should also be noted that the collection offers a special section for the erotic Bookplate, these reflect the culture of eroticism led to illustration.


With a high graphic content, the Bookplate show fantasy and fetish around sexual organs and erogenous areas, lesbian acts and multiple philias.

The books, which surely belong to erotic titles or that are the result of the illustrator’s imagination, show the deepest drives of the human being.

These same that would be worthy of study for the father of psychoanalysis

Corpses that have sex with women, females with two asses, women riding winged penises or heraldic shields in honor of the penis.

These are some of the most extravagant images that we can find among the erotic Bookplate.

Ejemplo de Exlibris erótico
Ejemplo de Ex libris erótico

The diversity of Bookplate, as well as the illustrators, is so varied that it deserves time and space to consult the human eroticism seen from the brands owned by the books.

sellos eroticos
Muestra de Ex Libris Erótico

We share a series of Bookplate, belonging to the Frederikshavn Art Museum collection and the eponymous collection, you can also check its entirety at this address (

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