W Heath Robinson illustrated books
Browse our fine collection of W Heath Robinson illustrated books and first editions including The Goblins and Professor Branestawm.
The popular illustrator and cartoonist William Heath Robinson is more famous for his drawings of very complicated, absurd machines which were intended to achieve simple objectives, but he is a noted children's book illustrator whose work included, The Arabian Nights, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Charles Kingsley’s Water Babies.
The Adventures of Uncle Lubin is thought to be the start of his career drawing unlikely machines. In Britain, the term ‘Heath Robinson’ entered the language during World War One to describe any unnecessarily complex and implausible machine. The term was also often linked to temporary fixes which used creativity, ingenuity and whatever materials came to hand (e.g. string) and was popular during World War Two when, due to rationing, things had to be mended with whatever was available.
First edition; 4to; limited to 500 numbered copies, signed by the artist, 30 tipped-in colour plates by W. Heath Robinson, some very light, occasional spotting to preliminary pages; publisher's full vellum, front cover pictorially stamped in dark green, red, and gilt and lettered in gilt and spine similarly decorated, lacking ribbon ties, top edge gilt, others untrimmed as published, a few minor marks and age-toning otherwise very good to near-fine.£1,500
First trade edition; 4to; frontispiece and 15 colour plates with captioned tissues guards and 126 black and white illustrations throughout by W. Heath Robinson, light spotting to endpapers and extreme edges, else very good; publisher's blue cloth gilt, the upper cover mounted with a pictorial plate, age-toned, bumped on spine ends and a little rubbed, otherwise a decent copy.£475