London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1911. Item #01776
One of 100 Copies Printed on Japanese Vellum Signed by Edmund Dulac
A Unique Copy
In a Handsome, Unrecorded Variant Binding
[DULAC, Edmund, illustrator]. ANDERSEN, Hans [Christian]. Stories from Hans Andersen. With Illustrations by Edmund Dulac. London: Hodder & Stoughton, .
Edition de Luxe, limited to 100 numbered copies printed on Japanese Vellum and signed by the artist, this copy being no. 20. Large quarto (12 1/8 x 9 3/4 inches; 309 x 249 mm.). viii, 250,  pp. Mounted color frontispiece, with descriptive tissue guard printed in black, and twenty-seven mounted color plates (included in pagination). Plates framed with thick pale green line border and accompanied by guard leaves printed in pale green with stylized pineapples on the recto and border of snowflakes above descriptive caption on the verso. Text pages with pale green snowflake borders at top and bottom. All leaves framed with double pale green lines.
Original dark chocolate brown pigskin pictorially stamped with three-peacock design and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine, with Hodder & Stoughton gilt-stamped at spine foot. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Endpapers printed in pale green with repeated design of stylized peacocks. A stunning copy, unique, and arguably the finest copy of the De Luxe Edition.
The binding and endpapers do not conform to Hughey's description, and appear to be unique to this handsome copy. As she notes, the pigskin binding, ("brandy colour," not dark chocolate-brown, as here), should only have two thin gilt rules as frame, gilt lettering, date 1911 on spine, and white endpapers, not illustrated as here and in the trade edition. We contacted her for insight. Having seen only two copies of the Edition De Luxe, William Randolph Hearst's and another viewed at a Washington book fair, she reports:
"So, where does your copy fit in? And when was it bound? I tend to think it was done close to original printing time, November 1911. There were a lot of oddball copies done then...The title was sold very quickly - all sold by December 1911. The fact that your endpapers are paper available at the time [to the trade edition] tends to date it...It is possible that someone or firm had this done for your copy #20. Your copy's binding design on front cover is clearly an adaptation of the endpapers but I do not think by Dulac as it does not appear in any of his other editions of Hans Andersen's work. Someone may not have liked the plain cover..."
If that's the case, we'd like to thank them. This special copy is the better for it.