London and New York: Frederick Warne, [N. D.]. Squarish 8vo, (8), 11-55, (1) pp. Original quarter cloth with pictorial paper-covered boards, decorated endpapers; profusely illustrated throughout in color by means of facsimiles framing the text. Missing front free endpaper. Very good. Reprint of 1887 first edition. Engraved and printed in colors by Edmund Evans. A beautifully and whimsically illustrated volume that is a delight to both parents and children, with each of the fables condensed to fit half a page to one page, surrounded by a color illustration. Crane is one of the most important children’s book illustrators of all time, his work showing the influence of his interest in classical antiquity, as well as Japanese color printing techniques (which were just arriving in Europe at the time he was active). From Mahony, Latimer and Folmsbee:
“The use of flat, almost primitive colors, bold, black outline drawn with a sure stroke, an ever-present sense of design, were all characteristics of Crane’s work from beginning to end...” (p. 56).
The text for this volume was written in large part by Crane’s old master, W. J. Linton, who sent the manuscript to him from the US, where Linton lived at the time (Mahony, Latimer and Folmsbee, p. 64). Item #104403