London: Blackie & Son Limited, 1908. Item #03034
With Fifty-Seven Color Illustrations
WAIN, Louis. Cat's Cradle. A Picture-Book for Little Folk. Cats by Louis Wain. Rhymes by May Byron. London: Blackie and Son Limited, .
First edition. Quarto (9 13/16 x 6 7/8 inches; 249 x 175 mm.).  pp. Eight full-page color (including one double-page) illustrations and forty-nine smaller color illustrations.
Original color pictorial stiff wrappers with original red silk tie, gray end-papers. Very minor rubbing to one corner, otherwise a near fine copy of this very fragile and precious little book.
A fine collection of favorites including: Jack Horner, Miss Muffet, Jack-in-the-Box, Santa Claws and Hey Diddle Diddle. The illustrations also include cats playing cricket, watching a magic lantern and playing 'Squib'.
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…although he was sometimes forced to draw dogs before he became well-known!” (Houfe, The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914).