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    Hans Christian Andersen. Eventyr, Fortalte For Børn. Copenhagen: C. A. Reitzel, 1835. First printing of the first edition of Hans Christian Andersen's first "Fairy Tales Told for Children." Presentation copy, inscribed in ink on the half-title: "til den lille Peter Koch. / fra hans store Ven / H.C. Andersen" (To the small Peter Koch from his big friend H. C. Andersen). Sixteenmo (132 x 92 mm). [iii], 61 pages. Textually complete and with the very rare half-title, but lacking the final page at the end detailing the contents. Lacking the original wrappers, now preserved inside a folding cloth protective sleeve. Half-title somewhat toned, a few chips and spots, minor foxing throughout, other scattered stains; minor wrinkling to corners. Signed and inscribed in ink on the half-title, lower right corner of half-title refreshed, just touching signature. There is a faint pencil sketch on the half-title incorporating the word "Eventyr" within an architectural structure, likely by H. C. Andersen (see Kjeld Heltoft's "Hans Christian Andersen as an Artist" for similar sketches made during his 1834 travel to Rome, pages 54-59). Despite cosmetic wear, a very good copy of Hans Christian Andersen's first "Fairy Tales Told for Children," with an excellent association.

    The first edition, first printing of Hans Christian Andersen's first "Fairy Tales Told for Children," as originally published (on 8 May 1835) in its first issue as a small pamphlet selling for 24 skilling (about 8 cents). It contains four stories: "Fyrtøiet" (The Tinder Box), "Lille Claus og Store Claus" (Little Claus and Big Claus), "Prindsessen paa Ærten" (The Princess on the Pea), and "Den lille Idas Blomster" (Little Ida's Flowers). Based on publishing practices at the time, one can conjecture there were printed somewhere between 300 to 500 copies. Two additional pamphlets followed in December 1835 and April 1837, whereupon the three booklets were re-issued as a single bound volume with a general title page, a contents sheet for all three groups of tales, and a preface.

    In the experience of Justin Schiller and his associates, this is one of only three separate first edition pamphlets (and the only copy from the first series 1835-1837) to be offered for sale in the past forty years.

    Peter Koch (1832-1907) was the three-year-old son of Jørgen Hansen Koch (architect, professor, and court official) and his wife Ida Wulff (whose father was Denmark's premier translator of Shakespeare, and who had helped Andersen in 1822 by advising him on his tragedy "Alfsol"). Andersen's friendship with the Wulff and Koch families continued to the end of his life.

    Nielsen 266; Hersholt (page 23) and PMM 299 detail only the bound collection of the first three pamphlets with its 1837-dated general title page.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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