Description

    Edition de Luxe, with Nineteen Color Plates by Walter Crane

    [Walter Crane, illustrator]. Nathaniel Hawthorne. A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys. With Sixty Designs by Walter Crane. [Boston: Houghton Mifflin & Company] Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1893.

    Edition de Luxe (the first trade edition was published in 1892). Limited to 250 numbered copies on large paper (this copy being Number 44). Quarto (9.5625 x 6.6875 inches; 242 x 170 mm.). [2, blank], x, 210, [2, blank] pp. Sixty designs by Walter Crane, including decorative head- and tail-pieces printed in colors, an added color-printed title, and nineteen color-printed plates mounted on leaves of Japanese vellum ruled and captioned in gold, with tissue guards. Title printed in red and black. With a printed slip tipped in following the front free endpaper: "The tissue papers are left in the books only as a temporary protection to the colored plates, and may be removed at pleasure."

    Original publisher's embossed parchment over boards. Front cover and spine decoratively lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Decorative endpapers in gold and white. Minor rubbing to spine extremities, three-quarter-inch split to front joint and three-inch split to rear joint. Occasional minor soiling. Otherwise a near fine copy. In the original publisher's green linen dust wrapper decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine (dust wrapper with light wear to corners and spines extremities, some minor soiling, and short split to rear joint at top edge). Housed in a dark blue cloth clamshell case lettered in gilt on spine.

    "In October, 1891, Walter Crane left with his family for a tour through the United States, which proved productive of many works, in painting as well as in book-illustration. Thus a 'Wonderbook for Boys and Girls' was published first by Messrs. Houghton and Mifflin, the Riverside Press, and afterwards reissued in London by Messrs. Osgood and McIlvaine. The drawings for this book, which are done in bright colours and reproduced by lithography, were executed during a stay in Florida, 'in a little timber house in the woods; the oleander in bloom, and the beautiful red bird of those regions flitting about, but-as a counterpoise to these attractions-a temperature of over eighty degrees!' It is on occasions like this that the practice of drawing everything from memory is turned to good account-when the artist has to rely on his knowledge of form and of archæological detail, when he is far away from reference libraries and from the paraphernalia of his studio, when it is next to impossible to procure historical costumes or models. It is almost impossible to believe that such drawings as 'Bellerphon slays the Chimæra,' or 'The Stranger (Hermes) appearing to Midas,' or 'Hercules and the Old Man of the Sea,' were done under these adverse circumstances" (Konody, pp. 65-68).

    Browne, p. 93. Clark A18.10.b. Massé, p. 44. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England, 248 (1892 first trade edition only).


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