Walter Crane - Beauty and the Beast Picture Book. With 15 chromolithographic plates + special new artwork - 1901

Walter Crane - Beauty and the Beast Picture Book. With 15 chromolithographic plates + special new artwork - 1901
Littérature, Livres illustrés, Livres pour enfants, L'artisanat - Quantité : 1 - 'Grande série': copie uniquement dans le monde - Livre

‘Beauty and the Beast Picture Book: Containing Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, and The Hind in the Wood: With Eighteen Coloured Pictures by Walter Crane: Engraved & Printed by Edmund Evans.’

Publisher’s green pictorial cloth with black designs to boards and spine, decorative endpapers (printed in green), 15 colour plates (including 3 double page; 18 colour pages in total), each story individually paginated (with 6 text pages per story, each with separate pictorial title page in green and red, plus double-page endpaper illustration in green), main title page in red and black, 28.1 x 23.1 cm.

‘Large series’; first edition thus, 1901 (undated).

Date according to British Library.
With Foreword by Walter Crane, dated September 1900.

This rare Walter Crane title features some of his most beautiful fantasy images, superbly printed by the pioneering engraver Edmund Evans. The colour plates are accompanied by a set of completey new designs, specially commissioned from Crane by the publisher John Lane, who between 1895 and 1910 reprinted 35 of Crane's celebrated ‘Toy Books’ (including the three fairy tales in this volume, originally published between 1874 and 1875).

As Stalker and Beare note in their bibliography of Crane's Toy Books (‘IBIS Journal 3’, 2009), the John Lane reissues were printed from the original blocks, but with a larger page size, and with new cover designs and endpapers. Similarly to the original books, the Lane reprints were issued both as single titles and in collected volumes (as here). Each of these collected volumes included not only the cover and endpaper designs from the individual titles featured within, but also its own new cover and endpapers – as well as a specially written preface by Crane.

A lovely Crane title, exceptionally scarce in any condition (here very well preserved for age). I can see no other copy currently for sale online.

¶ Walter Crane (1845-1915) had a major impact on the design and illustration of children’s books in the Victorian era. A member of the Arts and Crafts movement, he shared the Pre-Raphaelites’ enthusiasm for medieval design and Renaissance art, and was strongly influenced by Japanese prints, with their bold outlines and flat, brilliant colours. His so-called Toy Books – including the three brought together in this volume – played a significant part in his early career. As Philip Dombowsky writes (Library, National Gallery of Canada): “A turning point in Crane’s career came in 1863, when he was introduced to the printer and wood engraver Edmund Evans (1826-1905), a pioneer in colour printing … in 1865 the two began collaborating on a series of sixpenny toy-books of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Engraved and printed in colour, the series became highly successful and established Crane as the most popular illustrator of children’s books in England. Crane and Evans produced two or three toy-books each year from 1865 until 1876. As the series grew, the books became more sophisticated, both in printing and design.”

Contents crisp, very clean. Usual age-toning to paper (including offsetting from plates), foxing to first and last leaf, and to some upper margins, two or three pairs of gatherings stretched. Endpapers with usual offsetting/foxing, plus original bookseller’s label (Galignani Library, Rue de Rivoli, Paris). Top of page block with foxing (intruding into some margins). Binding slightly loose, with a little splaying/bowing, slight lean. Boards and spine with discoloration and marks as shown, a little bumping, rubbing and wear to extremities (including nick to one edge).

Informations du lot
Nombre de livres
L'artisanat, Littérature, Livres illustrés, Livres pour enfants
Auteur/ Illustrateur
Walter Crane
Titre du livre
Beauty and the Beast Picture Book. With 15 chromolithographic plates + special new artwork
Très bon état
Année de publication de l’ouvrage le plus ancien
1ère édition dans ce format
Langue originale
John Lane, The Bodley Head, London
Couverture rigide
'Grande série': copie uniquement dans le monde
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