from the Collection of the
Translated from the German by Lucy Crane.
Publisher’s dark-blue cloth with gilt rules to upper board, gilt lettering and rules to spine, page edges untrimmed, 12 b/w plates (including frontispiece and illustrated title page with tissue guard), 160 line drawings (including headpieces, tailpieces, decorative initials and vignettes), printed in dark brown throughout, x / 269 pages, 25.2 x 16 cm.
First Crane edition.
One of 250 ‘large paper’ copies.
Ray 246, p. 153; Massé p. 33.
Exceptionally rare deluxe ‘large paper’ edition of Walter Crane's fairy-tale masterpiece – a key work of the Victorian era, and an important precursor of Andrew Lang’s famous ‘coloured’ fairy books (whose illustrator, H.J. Ford, was influenced by Crane).
While the deluxe edition has no limitation statement as such, Gordon Ray notes (in his bibliographic study ‘The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914’) that the “250 copies of this handsome volume sold out on publication”. The deluxe form is in fact so scarce that Gertrude Massé, in her standard bibliography of Crane first editions, is unable to provide a description, confirming only the existence of the book.
Note that the deluxe edition is much larger than the trade edition, with generous margins to the pages. The paper is likewise much finer, and both text and illustrations are printed in dark brown, for a richer effect.
A member of the Arts and Crafts movement, Walter Crane (1845-1915) had a major impact on the design and illustration of children’s books in the Victorian era. With its 172 beautiful and inventive drawings, and harmonious page layouts, Crane’s version of the Brothers Grimm – including 52 fairy tales translated by his sister Lucy – clearly reflects his belief in the importance of decorative art, and the unity of design in book illustration. Ray concludes that this is “perhaps the best of Crane’s more ambitious works. The book is a triumph in his characteristic mode of decoration, yet its designs, even the headpieces and initial letters, remain true illustrations.”
One of Crane's most desirable works, virtually unknown in this deluxe form. I can see no other copy currently for sale online.
The Rabbit’s Bride, Six Soldiers of Fortune, Clever Grethel, The Death of the Hen, Hans in Luck, The Goose Girl, The Raven, The Frog Prince, Cat and Mouse in Partnership, The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats, Faithful John, The Wonderful Musician, The Twelve Brothers, The Vagabonds, The Brother and Sister, Rapunzel, The Three Little Men in the Wood, The Three Spinsters, Hansel and Grethel, The White Snake, The Straw, the Coal and the Bean, The Fisherman and his Wife, The Gallant Tailor, Aschenputtel, The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage, Mother Hulda, Little Red Cap, The Bremen Town Musicians, Prudent Hans, Clever Else, The Table, the Ass and the Stick, Tom Thumb, How Mrs Fox Married Again, The Elves, The Robber Bridegroom, Mr Korbes, Tom Thumb’s Travels, The Almond Tree, Old Sultan, The Six Swans, The Sleeping Beauty, King Thrushbeard, Snow-White, The Knapsack, the Hat and the Horn, Rumpelstiltskin, Roland, The Golden Bird, The Dog and the Sparrow, Fred and Kate, The Little Farmer, The Queen Bee, The Golden Goose.
Contents complete. Usual foxing/offsetting to title page, frontispiece and tissue guard (tissue with browning), foxing to plates (mostly affecting only margins and gutters), light foxing/offsetting to pages adjoining plates, two hinges stretched, ten short closed tears, one longer tear to gutter, two leaves clumsily opened (with small tears to upper edge), some light creasing, occasional smudging/finger-marking (mostly pale; several pages more heavily affected), a few small stains, untrimmed (exposed) edges and corners dusty, with usual bumping, browning, creasing, nicks and wear. Endpapers plus first and last page with usual foxing/offsetting; front pastedown with armorial bookplate of George Edmonstone McLeod. Edges of page block with foxing. Binding somewhat loose, with lean. Boards and spine with scratching, discoloration and marks as shown, bumping, rubbing and wear to extremities; cloth worn through to corners, and with tears to joints plus foot of spine (with glue repairs); head of spine with slight loss.
- Number of Books
- Children's books, Illustrated, Literature
- Author/ Illustrator
- Brothers Grimm / Walter Crane (illustrator)
- Book Title
- Household Stories [fairy tales]. Deluxe edition; only 250 copies
- Publication year oldest item
- 1st Edition Thus
- Original language
- Macmillan & Co., London
- Binding/ Material
- Limited edition
- Number of pages
- 25.2×16 cm