R Anning Bell Fairy Tales Art Nouveau 1st 1894 Beauty And The Beast Arts Crafts For Sale
*** - Jack the Giant-Killer & Beauty and the BeastIn the Banbury Cross Series prepared for children by Grace RhysIllustrated by R. Anning Bell First editionPublished by J.M. Dent & Co., London 1894
Small hardback, publisher’s original olive-green silk(?) with red ribbon ties, gilt decorations and lettering to upper board and spine, top edges gilt, other edges uncut, illustrated endpapers (two different designs, both printed in green), 12 full-page line drawings, 26 smaller illustrations, printed on laid paper, 82 pages. Approximate size 5.9 x 3.6 inches (14.9 x 9.2 cm). Printed by Turnbull and Spears, Edinburgh. Also issued in red cloth.This beautifully illustrated, diminutive title is the work of the British artist Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933), who studied in London and Paris, and later taught at the Glasgow School of Art and Royal College of Art, London.A noteworthy figure in both the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, Bell was – like Walter Crane, Laurence Housman or Charles Ricketts – interested in book design as a whole. His reputation as a leading illustrator of the era was established by his elegant version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, published by Dent in 1895. As John Russell Taylor writes, in The Art Nouveau Book in Britain: “Another illustrator of the period who manages to make each of his best books into a coherent artistic whole is Robert Anning Bell … his illustrative designs, from the two little volumes of fairy stories in Dent’s Banbury Cross series, The Sleeping Beauty and Jack the Giant Killer (both 1894) on, have a distinctive, and distinctly art nouveau, lightness and grace.”If many of Bell’s illustrations in Jack the Giant Killer & Beauty and the Beast are stylistically reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley’s designs, this is probably (as Haldane MacFall suggests in Aubrey Beardsley: The Man and his Work) because the two artists were keenly aware of each other’s work, influencing one another. It is interesting in this context to compare Anning Bell’s image of Jack the Giant-Killer holding up the severed head of the devil, with Beardsley’s famous drawing of Salome with the head of John the Baptist, from the same period.The Banbury Cross Series, published between 1894 and 1895, was a collection of twelve small volumes: beautifully produced, on high-quality paper and with lovely gilt-decorated bindings, all originally housed in a decorative presentation box. The books (which included fairy tales and nursery rhymes, as well as a version of Aesop’s Fables) were illustrated by leading artists of the day, including Robert Anning Bell, Alice Woodward, H. Granville Fell and Charles Robinson.A charming title, here in very clean condition.Condition Book complete and intact. Contents very clean. One corner crease, some nicks/short closed tears at upper and lower gutters, minor stretching between two pairs of gatherings, lower margins with a few small foxing spots, usual slight offsetting from print, uncut (protruding) edges with usual slight bumping, nicks and wear. Front endpapers with trace of previous owner’s pencilled name (erased), plus original bookseller’s pencilled price; free endpapers with usual offsetting/tanning, a little foxing. Top edges with slight tarnishing to gilt, other edges with slight foxing. Binding tight. Boards and spine as shown, including foxing, a little fraying and wear to corners; ribbon ties with usual creasing and wear.
Please see the many images below for details.One of several illustrated books I am listing this week.To see all my sales, please click here.
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Binding photographed (above) and scanned (below).
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R Anning Bell Fairy Tales Art Nouveau 1st 1894 Beauty And The Beast Arts Crafts: $33