Arthur Rackham illustrated books
Arthur Rackham's originality and much loved Golden Age illustrated books and first editions define him as one of the most influential sought after British book illustrators.
His pen and ink drawings and use of watercolour work perfectly with their fairy story and fantasy subjects to convey the spirit as well as marvels and allurements of each story. Over each drawing, he would painstakingly work layer after layer of transparent watercolour glaze, a technique associated more with classical painting than modern illustration. His angular and highly detailed works are inspired by the early 16th-century German artists Albrecht Dürer and Albrecht Altdorfer and his contemporaries Aubrey Beardsley, George Cruikshank, Randolph Caldecott.
By the early 1900s, he and his Edwardian contemporaries utilised the new colour printing techniques to use subtle tints and muted tones to represent age and timelessness. Rackham's imaginative eye saw all forms with the eyes of childhood and created a world that was half reassuring and half frightening.
Collect Arthur Rackham Illustrated First Editions & Works on Paper
First edition thus; 4to (280 x 230 mm); fifty mounted coloured plates with captioned tissue-guards including tipped-in frontispiece (lacking one tissue-guard to illustration opposite p. 38), a further seven black & white plates and 12 black & white illustrations within text, neat gift inscription to blank second front, free endpaper, slight toning to margins of text leaves, else very good; publisher's green cloth gilt, faded and worn, more so to the spine, mild mottling to endpapers, printed dust-jacket, spine darkened, lightly dust-soiled and chipped with losses to spine extremities but otherwise sound.£1,250
First edition thus; 4to (245 x 195 mm; 123 colour plates with captioned tissue guards and 25 black & white illustrations by Arthur Rackham; publisher's green cloth, gilt, illustrated endpapers (toned), top edge gilt, a few small marks to cloth, spine ends bumped, otherwise very good and internally fine.£150
Large-paper edition, number 40 of 560 copies, signed by Rackham, 4to., xix, (blank), 549, (blank)pp., 24 tipped-in colour plates with captioned tissue guards, 12 tinted plates, and 66 black & white drawings within the text, pictorial endpapers, browning to half-title and limitation leaf, otherwise near-fine, publisher's full vellum gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, as published, original silk ties, slight age-toning, otherwise a near-fine copy.£1,400
Limited edition, number 547 of 575 copies, signed by Rackham, 4to., illustrated with 16 tipped-in colour plates vignette line drawings by Rackham, publisher's quarter vellum over pictorial paper boards gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, a age-toning and a few spots to plain endpapers, neat ink ownership to front free one, binding with usual toning, dent to upper edge of upper board, else very-good plus.£950
Limited edition, number 476 of 600 copies signed by Rackham, 4to. (29,5 x 24cm), 206pp., 24 full-page colour illustrations, 16 of which tipped-in, captioned tissue-guards, 20 black and white drawings, pictorial end-papers, publisher's cream cloth gilt, pictorial vignette to upper cover, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, a few marks, spine darkened with two small stains, otherwise good and internally fine.£1,500
8vo. (25 x 18cm), 4 full-page colour illustrations, 16 black-and-white drawings in the text, original light blue cloth, light wear, original blue dust jacket, a very good copy.£300