London / New York: Ernest Nister / E.P. Dutton, 1894. Item #02501
With An Early Unrecorded Illustration By Louis Wain
[WAIN, Louis, illustrator]. [WEATHERLY, Fred E. and Clifton Bingham, text]. Picture Pages For Little Folks of All Ages. London / New York: Ernest Nister / E.P. Dutton, .
First edition. Large quarto (12 x 9 5/8 in;,303 x 242 mm).  pp. Chromolithograph and black and white illustrations throughout. Printed in Bavaria.
Quarter blue cloth over chromolithographed pictorial glazed boards. Neat gift inscription dated 1895. A stunning copy with only the slightest hint of wear at corners.
Page 10 contains a chromolithograph ("Mr. Milkman") that while unsigned (see below) is clearly by Louis Wain at an early stage of his career and is thus far unrecorded. While others illustrated cats (and imitated Wain) no one's cats were quite like Wain's cats, who invariably possess an unmistakable, slightly insane gleam in their eyes.
Ernest Nister (1842-1909) "produced more than five hundred mostly undated illustrated books for children, but from the 1890s the firm's production was almost exclusively toy or movable books and Nister introduced many new mechanical techniques… The illustrations in Nister's books—typically featuring affluent, well- dressed, cheerful children at play—were produced by many different artists. The artist's name, however, was often either dropped or missing, while the signature of Nister, as lithographer, was usually found somewhere on the work—thus leading to confusion about attribution. Nister frequently reused illustrations, occasionally adding picture elements that were not in the original work." (The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature).
At the end of the nineteenth century, Louis Wain (1860-1939), the Edwardian cat artist who went mad, became a household name as an illustrator of cats, whom he depicted in all sorts of activities, from skating and playing cricket to driving motor cars, attending dances, and playing musical instruments. “He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves” (H.G. Wells).
“From 1883, Wain began to draw cats as they had never been drawn before, cats in humorous guises, in human situations, but always beautifully handled…[a]lthough he was sometimes forced to draw dogs before he became well-known!” (Houfe, The Dictionary of British Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914).
"The Hogarth of cat life" (Punch).
Not in Dale.