I love this cover type and art. It seems totally of its time, in the same way that the ornate curlicued typography of the various jars and cans I've posted in the past represents the time in printing history of those objects.
Looking at all this printed stuff over time I see how, without knowing it, preferences for composition (and negative space) have seeded in my own mind, often with two vastly different historical notions ending side by side (and perhaps not coexisting well at all).
If you find yourself in a "antiques" mall, find some printed matter to cast your eyes over. Even a large collection of National Geographic will tell you much about how printing and typography and visual tastes change over time. Some really great designs grew out of printing limitations that many designers never face today. And every age has its excesses. They are just differently expressed.