London/New York: Ernest Nister/E.P. Dutton, . First edition. Quarter blue cloth over chromolithographed pictorial glazed boards. Neat gift inscription dated 1895. A stunning copy with only the slightest hint of wear at corners. Chromolithograph and black and white illustrations throughout. Printed in Bavaria.
Ernest Nister (1842-1909) "produced more than five hundred mostly undated illustrated books for children, but from the 1890s the firm's production was almost exclusively toy or movable books and Nister introduced many new mechanical techniques… The illustrations in Nister's books—typically featuring affluent, well- dressed, cheerful children at play—were produced by many different artists. The artist's name, however, was often either dropped or missing, while the signature of Nister, as lithographer, was usually found somewhere on the work—thus leading to confusion about attribution. Nister frequently reused illustrations, occasionally adding picture elements that were not in the original work" (The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature). Page 10 contains a chromolithograph (Mr. Milkman) that while unsigned (see below) is clearly by Louis Wain at an early stage of his career and is thus far unrecorded. While others illustrated cats (and imitated Wain) no one's cats were quite like Wain's cats, who invariably possess an unmistakable, slightly insane gleam in their eyes.
Not in Dale. (Item #3811)