Item #33330933 The Little Ape; & Other Stories. Ralph Holbrook Keen, John Austen, Illustrations.
The Little Ape; & Other Stories
The Little Ape; & Other Stories
The Little Ape; & Other Stories

The Little Ape; & Other Stories

London: Hendersons, (1921). Austen, John. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo size, 68 pp., signed by both Keen and Austen on the half-title. Very good. Item #33330933

John Archibald Austen (1886-1948), whose style initally was "much influenced by Aubrey Beardsley" became a highly prolific illustrator. He would eventually illustrate approximately eighteen books, with his work finding favour: "His line is always graceful, his drawings vivacious and spirited, very skilful in its arrangement of blacks and whites, and his composition rightly balances..." (n.b., quotes from Horne, p. 80).

"The Little Ape" was Austen's first published work, unaccountably scarce in the marketplace; as of this writing, we see only two copies online, neither signed by Austen (as is this copy). This was the first book to be illustrated by Austen, and already showed his promise as an illustration artist.

The stories included are: "The Little Ape", "The Judgment", "The Friend", "Block B", "Lolette", "An Unpleasant Incident", and "The Dance of Death".

___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full gold cloth over boards, the Austen title page illustration on the front board in black, black lettering and a small image of a skull on the spine, the Austen tailpiece illustration on the back board, in addition to the title page and tailpiece there are four full-page black-and-white plates by Austen; octavo size (8 3/8" by 6 3/4"), pagination: [1-10] 11-68.

___CONDITION: A solid very good copy, the cloth relatively unworn (although with light overall dustiness), straight corners with minimal rubbing, and a strong, square text block with solid hinges; a prior owner gift inscription (from 1932) at the top corner of the front pastedown, the endpapers toned, and with foxing and some light soil throughout (the four plates clean with just a few light spots of foxing). Even with its faults, still a special volume signed by both the author and artist.

___CITATIONS: Horne, Alan; "The Dictionary of 20th Century British Book Illustrators"; and Baumgarten, Artist, pp. 15 and 16.

___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.

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Price: $500.00