The Love Sonnets Of Proteus, Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen. Published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, ME, 1904. First Printing of Limited Edition of 100 copies printed on Japan vellum. “This is Number 1” (1 is inked). Old World Series. 12mo up to 7½” tall. 152 pages. Stiff card covers with yapped edges; brown titles within illustrative border front; brown titles spine. Crease lower front card and tiny fold upper right corner. Protected in gray plain wrapper with hand written title on front flap. Contents are in beautiful condition without marks, tears or folds and binding is tight; detached ribbon bookmark laid in.
American publisher, Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) contribution to American fine press is immense. With a focus on ‘minimalism and elegance’ he published 730 books (including sixty-one private printings and commissions) plus thirty-one catalogues, and 240 issues (plus two indexes) of his magazine, The Bibelot. He was a “pioneer in the making of beautiful and inexpensive reprints of not-easily-accessible masterpieces of literature”. Thomas Moscher copies can be quite rare as the numbers produced were small, and many copies are held in private libraries and galleries.
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, (1840 -1922) was an English poet, explorer, diplomat, sportsman, horse-breeder and politician best known for his elegant erotic verse and his expression of anti-imperialism. He was married to Lady Anne Noel, Lord Byron’s granddaughter. One of the ‘Eminent Victorians’ he was a friend of Gladstone and Balfour, William Morris and Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and William Butler Yeats. He was also known for ‘an infinite capacity for falling in love’ and his affairs with prominent women included Thomas Bird Mosher’s wife. 002585 $220