Ex Libris of the BSI

It was to the Geneva graphic designer Hélène Hantz (1877-1963) that the Sino-International Library entrusted, in unknown circumstances, the drawing of its Ex Libris.

Symbolizing the rapprochement made by the BSI in Geneva between China and the West, the illustration represents four notebooks bound in the Chinese style, placed on a book bound in the Western style (codex). The stack is surmounted by the coat of arms of the City and Canton of Geneva and the twelve-rayed sun, emblem of the Republic of China.

The letters B.S.I. appear above the Geneva coat of arms, while the Chinese name of the institution: 中國國際圖書館 [Zhongguo guoji tushuguan] is caligraphed vertically on the right side.

A very talented graphic designer, Hélène Hantz was the daughter of Georges Hantz, born in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1946 and died in Geneva in 1920. Also a designer of many bookplates, Georges Hantz composed in 1905 the wonderful example below “For my dear daughter Hélène”.

Ex-libris Hélène Hantz. Cabinet d’arts graphiques des Musées d’art et d’histoire, Genève, don Louis Noir, Clair-Lise Noir-Balmas et Michel Balmas.

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