Recording the Work and Beliefs of Key Pre-Raphaelite Figures, One of Just 25 Copies Printed by Mosher on Japanese Vellum


(Portland, Maine: Thomas B. Mosher, 1898). 236 x 160 mm. (9 3/8 x 6 1/4"). xxx, [2], 224 pp., [9] leaves (one blank, plus ads). First American Edition and the first reprint of this publication. (Bishop) No. 6 OF 25 COPIES PRINTED ON JAPANESE VELLUM AND SIGNED BY THOMAS MOSHER (there were also 450 regular copies on Van Gelder; four copies on vellum; and 25 copies on Japanese vellum for the Guild of Women Binders).

An unusual publisher's binding of plain beige stiff paper boards with an uncovered spine, the whole in original cream paper wrappers imprinted with a light green honeysuckle border on the front panel and lettering on the panel and spine. WITH torn but mostly surviving ORIGINAL GLASSINE. Housed in a brown cloth chemise and matching brown morocco-backed slipcase with raised bands and gilt lettering. With woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, one facsimile leaf, and four plates (one double-page, three with tissue guards). With small laid-in card noting that "The honeysuckle border on wrapper was designed and cut by Charles Ricketts, and is taken from . . . The Poems of John Suckling, London: The Vale Press, 1896." Bishop 132; Ransom 284. ◆Light soiling, some wear to bottom edges and corners (as expected), a couple very short tears to wrapper, one or two trivial thumb smudges internally, but quite an excellent copy, the original insubstantial binding remarkably well preserved, and the contents in nearly pristine condition.

Originally issued as a periodical in 1850 and reprinted here in its entirety by the eminent American publisher Thomas Mosher, this work contains poetry, essays, and art by members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their circle. Edited by William Michael Rossetti, "The Germ" included contributions from his brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti (under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyn), John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, James Collison, Thomas Woolner, and others. Although the publication was not a financial success (it lasted for only four issues), it is considered an important, early document recording the work and beliefs of key figures in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Of private press publisher Thomas B. Mosher (1852-1923), Blumenthal says that he was "the first American to have established a sustained program . . . of splendid literary output in consistently felicitous typographic form." The books he produced between 1891 and 1923 were characterized by "fine paper, good workmanship, and an unassuming and quiet typographic elegance." Copies like ours--being one of just 25 signed and printed on Japanese vellum--are very seldom seen for sale in any shape, let alone the sturdy and pleasing condition seen here.

Price: $1,600.00