London: Constable & Co., 1909. First edition. One of approximately thirty copies of the deluxe limited edition that were reserved for presentation. This one signed and dated November 23, 1909. Also included is a letter from Rackham on stationary with his address in green font: "16, Chalcot Gardens, South Hampstead. N.W." "26 Aug. '09 | Dear Sir, A few years ago you bought a drawing of mine (of an old woman with horses behind - ) that had been reproduced in black & white as an illustration to Grimm's Fairy Tales. I am now bringing out another edition with the illustrations better reproduced, & in colours and am writing to ask whether you will be so kind as to lend the original drawing, so that fresh reproductions can be made. The publishers (Messrs. Constable & Co.) will be glad to send you a copy of the edition de luxe of the book when it comes out in the autumn, & I need hardly say that every care will be taken of the drawing which will be insured for whatever value you place on it. If you will be so very kind as to lend it to us, I will see that it is returned as soon as the new reproduction has been made which will probably take about 3 weeks. [unintelligible closing] Arthur Rackham." On a separate piece of stationary is: "with Mr. Arthur Rackham's Compliments & thanks," also in Rackham's hand. An official "Certificate of Posting" is tipped onto a blank side of the stationary. Unfortunately, the original artwork that formed the basis of the request is not included with the book. Nonetheless, Rackham's ink is plentiful and the association is interesting. The vellum covers are generally soiled and it is lacking the silk ties. Internally, the book is in excellent condition and complete with all 40 color illustrations tipped in.
The collection of classic fairy tales, brought to life by one of the world’s most foremost book illustrators. The Brothers Grimm collection of stories was first published in 1812, with 86 stories. The Brothers collected their tales from numerous sources, from paupers to aristocrats, and then edited and rewrote the stories as they were anthologizing them.
Arthur Rackham was one of the great illustrators of the early 20th century, a period which is referred to as the “golden age” in British book design. His works were produced in both limited and mass market editions as there was a large market for ornately illustrated books before the First World War. Rackham used a unique style, thought to mix European and East Asian influences, that involved both pen and India Ink as well as watercolor. His work was displayed all over Europe – and received awards at International Exhibitions in Milan and Barcelona and Rackham would influence heavily many illustrators, especially those of children’s books, who came after him. "Rackham's illustrations to Grimm, Hans Andersen or Poe show him at his most imaginative and observant of human nature, while his gnomes, fairies and gnarled anthropomorphic trees in Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens or A Midsummer Night's Dream represent his more fantastic side.... He was - and remains - a soloist in front of an orchestra, a player with the responsibility to interpret and add a personal lustre to great works with variations of infinite subtlety and grace." ["Arthur Rackham: A Life with Illustration," by James Hamilton, Pavilion Books, Ltd., London, 1990] (Item #1143)
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