New York: Brentano's, . Clarke, Harry. First Edition. Hardcover. First American edition, quarto size, 320 pp. Near fine. Item #16060608
Hans Christian Andersen's (1805-1875) "Fairy Tales" have been beloved by both children and adults ever since they were first published, with some tales appearing as early as 1835. Often containing a moral story clothed in fantasy, but less dark than the Grimms' tales, they have been translated into 125 different languages and many of the stories have been adapted to stage and screen. One only has to give the names for the stories to infuse our minds: Thumbelina, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen, and many more.
This version is illustrated by Irish artist Harry Clarke (1890-1931), who was apprenticed to his father, the head of a large firm of stained glass artists, in 1906. An accomplished glass artist whose work can be seen in both secular and religious settings, Clarke's illustrations can be compared to that of Aubrey Beardsley, Kay Nielson, and Edmund Dulac, taken up during the tail end of what was considered the Golden Age of Illustration; his work is often imbued with a sinister atmosphere also exemplified by Beardsley. "Fairy Tales. . ." was published shortly before Clarke's career-making work for Edgar Allan Poe's "Tales of Mystery and Imagination"; the highly detailed drawings take on an almost psychedelic quality, far ahead of their time, and their eerie beauty still fascinates today.
___DESCRIPTION: Full original grey cloth titled and illustrated in black to the front board and spine, with an oval-cut paper illustration mounted to the front board, a small decoration on the rear board, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges uncut, vignette on the half-title page, frontispiece one of sixteen mounted colour plates with captioned tissue guards, illustrated title page, twenty-four full-page black and white illustrations, additional head and tail pieces throughout, some signatures still unopened; quarto size (11.25" by 8"), pagination: [1-8] 9-319 , first American edition from English sheets, printed at The Complete Press, West Norwood.
___CONDITION: A near fine copy, the cloth binding on the boards is clean and unrubbed, the corners are straight and also unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, internally bright and complete, and free of prior owner markings; some professional restoration to the front hinge, a bit of sunning and slight soiling to the spine, and due to rough opening of signatures a bit of loss to the outer margin on the leaf for pp. 41-42 (not obscuring text or illustrations), overall a beautiful bright copy.
___CITATIONS: Baumgarten, Artist pg. 47; Houfe p. 92.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.