First American Edition of a Fantasy Classic, in the Scarce Original Dust JacketWilliam M. Timlin. The Ship That Sailed To Mars, A Fantasy. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, .
First American edition (250 copies were distributed in America from the 2,000 copies printed in Britain). Royal quarto. Unpaginated. Forty-eight plates containing calligraphic text and forty-eight full-color illustrated plates; all plates mounted - on rectos only - on heavy gray paper. Timlin wrote the book and provided the calligraphy and illustrations.
Publisher's quarter parchment vellum over gray paper boards. Front stamped in dark gray. Backstrip with elaborate gilt titles and decoration. Lightly rubbed extremities with some toning to backstrip. Small spot of soiling to front board near fore-edge. Minor toning to endpapers and page edges. Interior clean with bright plates. Scarce dust jacket is printed in black on front and gilt on spine. Rubbed and worn with chipping and numerous small tears. Front fold is split six inches beginning at bottom edge and front panel has a related crease line. Housed in a custom pull-off box. A near fine book in a very good example of the dust jacket. From the Estate of John McLaughlin.
Dalby, The Golden Age of Children's Book Illustration. Weinberg, Biographical Dictionary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
More Information: Acclaimed as both "the most beautiful and valuable science fiction book published this century" (Weinberg) and "a masterpiece ... the most original beautiful children's book of the 1920s" (Dalby), The Ship That Sailed to Mars was originally intended only as a diversion for William Timlin's young son. After two years of intense effort, the work had grown to a book-length illustrated fantasy story. Timlin, an English-born architect who was reared in South Africa, submitted the illustrations along with his own hand-lettered text to the British publisher George G. Harrap. Harrap was delighted with Timlin's work and published the book without typesetting, presenting the impressive calligraphy as an aesthetic element as important to the beauty of the book as the illustrations. The book is regarded as a fantasy classic, and Timlin's lovely illustrations are often favorably compared to Arthur Rackham.
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