Note: The following catalogue list, with minor alterations, is taken from Vilain and Bishop’s Thomas Bird Mosher and the Art of the Book (Philadelphia: F. A Davis, 1992), pp. 11-54, with the kind permission of the publisher. Cross references to the illustrations which appear in the book have been eliminated.
As the title indicates, the content of these slim books had already appeared in Mosher’s little magazine, the equally slim The Bibelot. Twelve volumes were printed under this rubric, all on Japan vellum, in various print runs: 25 copies for Vols. I through 6 and 8, 35 copies for Vols. 9 and 11, and 50 copies for Vols. 7 and 12. Strouse noted that the purpose of this series was vague (although six of the twelve books were written by Morris and a seventh was Mackail’s William Morris: An Address ); he cited ingenuously Mosher’s statement in the 1904 catalogue that “to the collector of first edition in separate book form they make an irresistible appeal.” The purpose of the series becomes clear, especially in light of the price of these books (from $3.00 to $5.00) and of Mosher’s announcement that the books were not to be reprinted: It is a marketing strategy.
Each volume measured 155 mm x 115 mm and was bound in Japan vellum.
- THE STORY OF THE UNKNOWN CHURCH AND OTHER TALES, William Morris. Portland, Maine, Thomas B. Mosher, Mdccccij.
76 pp., Reprints from the Bibelot 11, Hatch 222. Of 35 copies only 30 were for sale, and this is number 25.
One of Morris’s early works, published in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine in 1856, this medieval English romance receives a surprising but pleasing Aesthetic treatment in this restrained little volume. The title and date on the title page are the only touch of color, and the only decorations are the double dolphin logo, the sober two-line capitals, and two modest fleurons.