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    The Rare Limited Edition in the Original Vellum Binding, Signed by Kay Nielsen

    [Kay Nielsen, illustrator]. [Peter Christen Asbjörnsen and Jörgen Ingebreksten Moe]. East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Old Tales from the North. Illustrated by Kay Nielsen. [London]: Hodder & Stoughton, [n.d., 1914].

    Edition de Luxe. Limited to 500 copies, of which this is number 45, signed by Kay Nielsen. Large quarto. [4], 206, [1, printer's imprint], [1, blank] pages. Twenty-five tipped-in color plates, with descriptive tissue guards. Numerous black and white text illustrations. Laid in is a notice of a Kay Nielsen exhibition of his watercolor drawings for illustrations in this book, held in 1914 at the Leicester Galleries in London.

    Original vellum over boards decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine, with two dark blue rules on front cover. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Pictorial endpapers in gold and black. Without the original silk ties. Vellum a bit soiled at fore-edges; spine darkened. Pages slightly toned. Top corner of front free endpaper creased. Bookplate of "The Master of Belhaven & Stenton" on front pastedown. An otherwise fine copy of a notoriously rare illustrated book, housed in a custom book-backed pull-off cloth box with polished calf spine, lettering and decorations stamped in brown.

    "As is noted in the preface to East of the Sun and West of the Moon, these folktales from the works of Asbjörnsen and Moe are by no means for the nursery. The Danish artist Nielsen, being thoroughly at home with the narrative tradition that they represent, was well equipped to present their strangeness and cruelty, as well as their humor and heroism. Though his drawings are highly decorative, they are nonetheless true illustrations. The contrast between Nielsen's bizarre style, filled with echoes of nineties' illustrators...and his primitive subject matter greatly enhances the piquancy of the book" (Ray). From the Estate of John McLaughlin.

    Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England, 333.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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