A Sampling of Other Useful Sources

Amphora – A Second Collection of Prose and Verse Chosen by the Editor of The Bibelot. Portland, Maine: The Mosher Press, 1926.

The second Amphora is meant to be a companion piece to the first one published in 1912, and contains ten contributions by Mosher. The several tributes to Mosher include the sonnet “October, in Memory of Thomas Bird Mosher” by Thomas Jones; a dedication “To Thomas Bird Mosher” by Spencer Miller, Jr.; a tribute entitled “Forewords” by John L. Foley; another tribute “A Golden String” written by Christopher Morley; and a character sketch of Mosher entitled “Aldi Discipulus Americanus” written by Frederick A. Pottle.

Bishop, Philip. R. “Thomas Bird Mosher-Publishing Prince … or Pirate?” BIBLIO – The Magazine for Collectors of Books, Manuscripts, and Ephemera. Vol. 2, No. 7. Eugene, Oregon: Aster Publishing Corporation, July 1997, pp. 38 – 45.

The front cover call-outs advertise the article inside as “The Princely Picaroon of Publishing.” This illustrated article presents a general overview of Mosher’s life, motivations, publishing program, and selling techniques. Two sidebars present the current retail market prices for key Mosher imprints, and sources for additional information on the Mosher Press.

Crichton, Laurie W. Book Decoration in America 1890-1910. A Guide to an Exhibition by Laurie W. Crichton. Revised by Wayne G. Hammond [and] Robert L. Volz. Williamstown, MA: Chapin Library, Williams College, 1979, pp. 17-18, 45-47, and plates on pp. 73-74.

Crichton’s book is a most useful reference. While generally a reliable work on book design of the period, Crichton omits the cover designer of Mimes and missed the clear reference Mosher gives to the designer of the pictorial frontispiece and the two headband illustrations (plus a tail-piece) in Aucassin & Nicolete. Both of these designers were easily identified from Mosher’s own readily available sources. Mosher’s 1901 A list of Books… provides the cover designer’s name for Mimes: Earl Stetson Crawford. With regard to the Old World Aucassin & Nicolete, the designer’s “PH” monogram is cited in Crichton, but there is no further identification. The information on the designer is found in Mosher’s own explanation of the monogram as standing for P. Jacomb Hood (see his “Note” on the verso of the half-title).

Strouse, Norman H. The Passionate Pirate. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1964.

The contents of this first and still only biography of Mosher in book form includes the following chapters: Seafarer, Pirate, Publisher, Anthologist, Bibliophile, and Aldus of the XIX Century. A Checklist (by series) appears at the end of this book. For a review of this biography, see James Moran’s review in The Black Art. Vol. 3, No. 3. London: Published by James Moran (Printed by Thomas Rae Ltd-Scotland), 1964/65, front cover and pp. 81-83.

Thompson, Susan Otis. American Book Design and William Morris. Foreword by Jean-François Vilain. London: The British Library, and New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1996 (reprint of the original R.R. Bowker Company edition of 1977).

The standard discussion on printing around the time Mosher published, with an excellent chapter entitled “Thomas Bird Mosher: The Aesthetic Pirate,” pp. 190-197. The foreword mentions or discusses Mosher on pp. xix, xx, xxv-xxvi. Mosher is also mentioned as one of three influences on Will Ransom (p. 135). There are a few corrections to Thompson’s section on Mosher. On page 194 she mentions “the Hatch bibliography reveals nineteen titles by Morris…” This is a little misleading. There were fifteen titles published, but when factoring in the duplication between series, one comes up with a total of nineteen books. On p. 195, line 9, one should read “eighth” rather than “seventh.” Also on page 194 she mentions there were “seven Kelmscott Press books in Mosher’s personal library.” Subsequent research reveals there were at least fourteen Kelmscotts on his shelves. Lastly, Thompson notes on p. 195 that Mosher used Jenson type as a text face at least once, on George Meredith: a Tribute by J. M. Barrie. In actuality Mosher used it as a text face on at least four other occasions: Hand and Soul, Empedocles on Etna, and on In Praise of Omar. Together these are rather small corrections compared to the overall strength of the original chapter nestled within a “classic” on American book design.