London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1908. First edition. Publisher's original quarter straw cloth over pictorial paper boards. Beveled edges. Clipped photo of Dulac mounted to front flyleaf. Minor surface rubbing to front board with loss of a few letters of illustrators name, otherwise a near fine copy. Slim quarto (10 1/2 x 8 1/4 in; 268 x 208 mm). Unpaginated. Twenty-four full color plates on glossy paper, with limerick verses, to rectos only. Title page vignette. Illustrated endpapers.
Accompanied by an Autograph Letter Signed from Dulac to Edward Cahen dated March 2, 1918 in reference to powdered gold pigment used for illustration background color. Dulac and Cahen (a metallurgist, mineralist, and paint manufacturer) had exchanged earlier letters on the subject. It is thought that gold pigment was in short supply during the WWI and still difficult to acquire. With transmittal envelope dated February 12, 1918 tipped-in to rear.
The note reads in full:
"Dear Mr. Cahen:
Excuse hasty note. I have been very busy & worried lately. Thence apparent negligence. Forgive me. No. I do not mind an initial expense. I said before that I would not expect you to be out of pocket, in addition to a ton of time on my account.
A thousand thanks for your kindness. Yours,
Why is the gold brown"
The work of the two on this book was a success. "The rollicking figures that illustrate Dulac's alphabet book are, with those of Arabian Nights, among the most delightful of his book pictures. His work here shows his most individual style, his own way of doing things when unhampered by the limitations of a story or of a publisher... seldom did Dulac fail to tuck some whimsy into his book pictures, but the comic style which he launched... achieved sure triumph in the Lyrics" (Hughey).
Hughey 18. (Item #3626)