Wednesday, December 8, 2021

540. Ricketts's Publisher's Devices for Osgood, McIlvaine & Co. (5)

A new, elongated publisher's mark was drawn by Charles Ricketts for the cover of Oscar Wilde's collection of short stories, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime & Other Stories, published in July 1891.

Charles Ricketts,
publisher's mark for James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co:
Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime & Other Stories (1891)

Once again Ricketts has drawn the publisher's name, this time asymmetrically. The letters "O" and "M" added earlier by the publisher have now been incorporated into his design. To the left and right of the mark the letters are now in his own script, gracefully balancing between the curled ribbons.

It was printed in brown or red (both colours occur) on the salmon-coloured cover. This too is asymmetrical in design: the price (two shillings) is printed vertically along the left margin, the publisher's address on the bottom left, while the title and author's name are centred at the top in the same colour.

The hands and clouds (see the earlier publisher's marks) have been omitted.

Between the curves of the two crossed horns of plenty the changed caduceus has two pairs of wings, the lower pair mercurial in design, the upper pair now looks like the wings of a butterfly.

The snakes have been replaced by ribbons.

The leaping horse also features in some marks of the Wechel firm. (See my earlier blog.)

Device No. II
July 1891. 94 x 31 mm.
Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime & Other StoriesUpper cover. Printed in red or brown.