Wednesday, December 22, 2021

542. Ricketts's Publisher's Devices for Osgood, McIlvaine & Co. (7)

In November 1891 the first volume of The Bard of the Dimbovitza. Roumanian Folk-Songs appeared. Ricketts designed the title page, with a new publisher's mark, and the binding (both spine and front cover). A second volume followed in 1894.

Hélène Vacaresco, The Bard of the Dimbovitza. Second Series (1892):
spine design by Charles Ricketts (detail)

The ivory-coloured cloth cover displays three gilt ornaments of musical instruments with wheat stalks and swirls. Ricketts made two vignettes for the front cover, one of which is also printed in mirror image. They probably depict a lute and a violin, but do not strictly resemble specific Romanian string instruments. The spine has decorations of dots and heart-shaped ornaments. Two winged hearts are depicted at the top of the spine.

The device on the title page is a stylized version of the one on the front cover of Lord Arthur Savile's Crime & Other Stories.

Hélène Vacaresco, The Bard of the Dimbovitza (1891):
title page designed by Charles Ricketts

In addition to the letters 'O' and 'M', the year in roman numerals has now been added to the design. The ribbons have been retransformed to a pair of snakes.

This publisher's mark became widespread through reprints of volume 1 (1894), the publication of volume 2 (1892, and a reprint in 1897), after which the title passed to Harper & Brothers publishers in London. A 'new and enlarged edition' (2 parts in 1 volume) was published by Harper in 1902, while the same book also appeared at Scribner's in New York. In 1904 a reprint of both editions appeared. Each time, the roman numerals to the left and right of the publisher's mark were adapted.

Hélène Vacaresco, The Bard of the Dimbovitza (1892):
publisher's mark designed by Charles Ricketts

In 1908, Harper & Brother's in London published an edition. In 1911 and 1914, reprints announced as 'Complete Edition' appeared at Harper & Brother's, now based in both London and New York.

Hélène Vacaresco, The Bard of the Dimbovitza (New York, 1902)

From 1911 onwards, the year in the publisher's mark disappears.

Device No. IV
November 1891. 69 x 35 mm.
The Bard of the Dimbovitza. Roumanian Folk-Songs. Collected from the Peasants by 
Hélène Vacaresco. Title page. Printed in black.