Perhaps the Most Desirable Copy of a Mosher Press Book in Existence


(Portland, Maine: Printed by Thomas B. Mosher and Emilié Grigsby, 1899). 232 x 198 mm. (9 1/8 x 7 1/2"). [19] leaves. No. 8 OF 10 COPIES PRINTED ON VELLUM.

Original limp vellum, yapp edges, (renewed) ties, flat spine with vertical gilt titling. Housed in a green linen chemise and matching morocco-backed slipcase. FRONT FREE ENDPAPER WITH THE ENGRAVED BOOKPLATE OF THOMAS B. MOSHER; front pastedown with morocco bookplate of Henry W. Poor and engraved bookplate of "Omariana" collector Herman M. Schroeter. Limitations page unsigned, no doubt because this was the copy Mosher intended to keep. Bishop 337. Naturally occurring variations in the color and grain of the vellum, mild offsetting to endleaves from ties, otherwise A CHOICE COPY with no signs of use.

From the publisher's personal library and one of just 10 printed on vellum, this copy of the limited deluxe edition of the classic Persian poem is surely one of the most desirable copies of a Mosher Press book in existence. "The Rubaiyat" was one of Mosher's favorite titles; Bishop lists 26 separate printings done by the press, of which the present version is far and away the most luxurious and desirable: of the Mosher "Rubaiyat" issues, just 20 copies (out of several thousand books total) were printed on vellum, and only our edition was set by hand (the other vellum printing, Bishop 336, was a photo-lithographic facsimile). One of just three persons whose collaboration with Mosher is noted in a colophon or title page, Grigsby (1879-1964) is described by Bishop as "one of the most beautiful and mysterious women in the world." The shrewd "ward" (read "mistress") of street-car baron and art collector Charles Yerkes, she used this intimate connection to build up an impressive portfolio of investments and real estate--all in her own name--as well as collections of art, jewelry, and books, including many private press and finely bound volumes. When her benefactor died, Grigsby sold her New York mansion and moved to London, where she rapidly rose to a notable elevation as a glittering hostess. This copy was later in the library of Henry W. Poor (1844-1915), a financier and publisher whose firm was a forerunner of Standard and Poor's. The website of the Mosher Press notes that "Poor owned many Mosher books, most of them copies from very limited editions, printed on pure Roman vellum." When his impressive library sold at auction in 1908-09, it brought in more than $200,000, a record at the time for an American collection.

Add to Cart Price: $11,000.00

PJP Catalog: BOS19BF.058