Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain; To Philip From His Father

First Edition
"One of the Most Significant Picture Books of the Age"

ARDIZZONE, Edward. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain. To Philip From His Father. London - New York - Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1936.

First edition. Folio (12 7/8 x 9 in; 328 x 228 mm). Forty-four color offset lithographed illustrations. Text and illustrations to rectos only.

Color offset lithographed boards and dust jacket. A bit of edgewear. Otherwise near fine in like dust jacket.

"Edward Jeffery Irving Ardizzone (1900–1979), artist and writer, was born on 16 October 1900 in Haiphong, French Indo-China…Ardizzone became a naturalized Englishman in 1922… He attended Bernard Meninsky's evening classes at the Westminster School of Art, devoting his weekends to painting. In 1926, following a gift of £500 from his father, he gave up his job to concentrate upon a career as a professional artist…

"In the years up to 1939 Ardizzone worked hard as both painter and graphic artist. In a series of one-man shows, first at the Bloomsbury Gallery and then at the Leger Galleries, his very personal, domestic vision received considerable praise. Working chiefly in his favourite medium of watercolour, but also in oils and lithography…he celebrated the local life of his quarter of London, Maida Vale: recreations in its parks and along the Regent's Canal, the bonhomie of its pubs and its night-life. He brought to these scenes a mixture of affection, wit, and gentle satire which places him firmly in the tradition of Thomas Rowlandson.

"Ardizzone's deep appreciation of the values of narrative art is reflected… in his illustrations… and picture books which he wrote and illustrated himself. The first of these, Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936), arose from stories told to his own family. It draws on memories of the harbour at Ipswich and upon his liking for ships and the sea, and in its bold integration of word and picture it stands out as one of the most significant picture books of the age. (It was, too, an early example of colour offset lithography. Its spacious folios were printed in the United States, where the text was hand-lettered by Grace Allen Hogarth, an editor at the Oxford University Press New York office.) The complete colour draft of this first book is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London" (Brian Alderson, ‘Ardizzone, Edward Jeffery Irving (1900–1979)’, rev. Judy Taylor, Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography).

"In size, appearance and quality, both of printing and colour reproduction…an attractiveness…never wholly recaptured in…subsequent editions" (White, Gabriel. Edward Ardizzone. Artist and Illustrator, p. 134). Item #01283

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