"The animal in question is a bear, sitting on a tree stump and is part of the heraldic coat of arms of the Bostock Family which would explain why Dr. Bostock would want this as a bookplate. The Bostock family adopted a simple shield of arms - a black shield with a silver horizontal band across the centre. In heraldic language Sable, a fess, humettee, argent. whilst the use of the horizontal band is very common, the fact that it is cut off before reaching the edges of the shield is rare in English heraldry, and is the only example in Cheshire. For a crest (the item born on top of the helmet) the family used a black bear's head, with a gold muzzle, sitting upon a yellow tree stump. The head has the appearance of having been torn off, and the tree stump the appearance of having been torn out of the ground. The crest forms something of a pun. The tree-stump is the 'stock' of a tree, and with the bear's head we have 'Bear-stock'".