London: Hodder and Stoughton, . Nielsen, Kay. First Edition. Hardcover. First trade edition, quarto size, 197 pp., in original dust jacket. Near fine / very good +. Item #18100201
The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) 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 behind the fantasy, they have been translated into 125 different languages, and many of the stories have been adapted to screen and stage. "Fairy Tales" contains such endearing stories such as "The Hardy Tin Soldier", "The Snow Queen", and "The Nightingale", which are still read and cherished today.
Andersen's stories are here enhanced by the illustrations of Kay Nielsen (1886-1957), a Danish book illustrator and painter who provided illustrations for many compilations of fairy tales and whose work was considered equal to that of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. He was largely forgotten until the 1970s when his gouaches for the unpublished "A Thousand and One Nights" were collected into a book, and is likely best-known today for his illustrations for "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". His illustrations are heavily influenced by the work of Aubrey Beardsley as well as the Art Deco movement and the ornate patterns of Middle Eastern art. In "Fairy Tales", he provides both black-and-white and full-colour illustrations, which resplendently capture the spirit of Andersen's tales and the forlorn magic of the characters.
___DESCRIPTION: Full green cloth patterned as silk moire, gilt illustration and lettering inside ruled border on the front board, gilt lettering and illustration on the spine, pictorial endpapers in tan and white, frontispiece a full-colour illustration by Kay Nielsen tipped in with lettered tissue guard, title page with black line drawing, twelve full-colour illustrations by Nielsen throughout, each tipped into a debossed print area and all with lettered tissue guards, black-and-white illustrations by Nielsen throughout, vintage bookseller's ticket "John Howell Importer San Francisco" on the rear paste-down endpaper; quarto size (11.25" by 8.75"), pagination: [1-10] 11-197. In the original pictorial paper dust jacket with blue illustration and lettering (matching the front board of the book) on the front panel and blue lettering and illustration on the spine, including the original price of "25s net".
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, all illustrations present as called for; some bumping to the head and tail of the spine, the bottom front corner bumped, and a prior owner name and date written in pen on the front free endpaper; note that a professional restorer has re-sewn the text block, which is now tight and square. The dust jacket is very good plus, complete, with light scattered soiling, light overall edge wear, and a small (one-eighth-inch) closed tear to the head of the spine (with no loss of text). Overall a truly remarkable example of an outstanding book of fairy tales.
___CITATIONS: Baumgarten, Artist p. 146; Houfe p. 243.
___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.