Two Old Ladies, Two Foolish Fairies and a Tom Cat:
"May Be Regarded as the First Genuine 'Rackham'"
[RACKHAM, Arthur]. BROWNE, Maggie. Two Old Ladies, Two Foolish Fairies and a Tom Cat: The Surprising Adventures of Tuppy and Tue. London: Cassell: 1897.
First edition, first issue (with ads dated "6G-10.97") of the first book to have a Rackham illustration in full color. Octavo (7 x 5 in; 179 x 129 mm). 190, [2, adv.], [16, as catalogue] pp. Four color plates, including frontispiece with tissue guard, and nineteen black and white drawings.
Original green cloth, front cover pictorially stamped in gilt, spine lettered in gilt, original pale gray decorative endpapers, top edge gilt. Front hinge near invisibly repaired. Lower cover with faint damp stain but still a very good copy of a very scarce title. Ink signature on half-title dated 1898.
"ÖSome of Rackham's early books are a joy to handle, especially those which were reprints of stories and illustrations from magazines. In this category come the Two Old Ladies and the Zankiwank, and it is hard to say which of these may be regarded as the first genuine 'Rackham'. In some respects, the Two Old Ladies, Two Foolish Fairies and a Tom Cat of 1897 may be taken as the earliest book in a style which we would not recognize as being Rackham's. The frontispiece, from which the beautiful gold blocking of the binding is derived, we have already noted as the earliest example of Rackham in full color, and the quality of line within the book shows his work maturing both in sense of style and feeling for composition" (Gettings, p. 99).
"These same sheets were used for the 1904 edition...The use of the 1897 sheets in the 1904 edition may explain the comparative scarcity of the 1897 book" (Riall).
Latimore and Haskell p. 9. Riall p. 21.
(To order this item, or for more information, please call 818-222-4103)