Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Sarah Wyman Whitman

Followers of this blog may recall the earliest known SWW cover, on the 1880 edition of Verses by Susan Coolidge. See the August 28, 2009 entry. Additional examples of her work were posted January 21, 2010.

In 1891 Hawthorne’s Our Old Home was issued by The Riverside Press in a 2-volume limited edition, with 250 copies printed on Riverside Press watermarked paper, in a vellum binding with SWW design in gold.

Sarah Wyman Whitman
Our Old Home by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Riverside Press, 1891
The same design was used on the Houghton Holiday Edition that year, issued in red and in green silk, in a green paper dust jacket with a different design. This copy is green, with most of the dust jacket intact, and is in the original titled slipcase. The three medallions of Verses have morphed into flowers, and the sense of the overlapping medallions is kept with the leaves and vines in the background.

Houghton Holiday Edition, 1891 

Dust jacket
Houghton Holiday Edition, 1891

Slipcase (left), top of slipcase (right)

Her 1892 cover on Egypt by Martin Brimmer is a striking, elegant design, issued in gold-stamped vellum and brown-stamped suede variants. The suede was green when issued, but most copies have faded to taupe or brown.

 Sarah Wyman Whitman
Egypt by Martin Brimmer
Houghton, Mifflin and Company
The Riverside Press, Cambridge

The same edition in suede