Thomas Watson Ball was an art director at Harper's when this edition of Spun-Yarn was issued. He did use seahorses as a spine element a few years later on Light Freights, and there are some similarities with Ball's lettering styles, but there is not yet enough evidence to give this design a firm attribution. If you have seen any similar designs, please do comment.
by Morgan Robertson
The use of horizontal lines for water was not in itself new. For example, Margaret Armstrong used blue lines for Scribner's 1895 edition of Henry Van Dyke's Little Rivers.
[signed with MA monogram]
by Henry Van Dyke
Armstrong had previously done work for Harper's, but they did not allow her to use her monogram. Below is an example that is not in G&E *. It is clearly her work, both the lettering style and the design in gold and "silver" (white metal). Thanks to John Lehner for pointing it out:
The Christmas Hirelings
by M. E. Braddon
Illustrated by F. H. Townsend
Harper & Brothers, 1894
* Gullans, Charles and John Espey. Margaret Armstrong and American Trade Bindings. UCLA, 1991.