The Venetian Series, 1910 – 1913

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.

None of the seven volumes of this series was reprinted, a rare occurrence with Mosher (see “The Bibelot Series”), all the more unusual since to modern readers these volumes in their brightly decorated wrappers are as delightful to look at as they are to read. Cabinet boxes containing three books were also available at no additional cost.

Each volume was printed in old-style Roman, within rules, on Van Gelder paper and on Japan vellum (the print run was not specified) and measured 150 mm x 125 mm. Each book was “done up in eighteenth century Italian paper wrappers, with colored designs, and glazed tissue envelope [glassine].” The simple decoration on the title page consists of the title and date printed in red and a stylized anchor.

The common thread is evident here: all volumes deal with Italian themes, with the odd exception of The Sphinx by Oscar Wilde.

  1. A MASQUE OF DEAD FLORENTINES, Maurice Hewlett. Printed for and Published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine, MDCCCCXI.
    45 pp., Venetian 4, Hatch 542.

    The author’s Quattrocentisteria, the tale of Boticelli and Simonetta, was widely popular at the turn of the century, and Mosher published four editions in the Brocade Series and three in the Vest Pocket Series, none so gaily clad as this little morality play about Death’s victory over the grandeur that was the Quattrocento.

    The Renaissance atmosphere is reinforced by the delicate rules enclosing the text and by the decoration of the cover label.