London: Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd., 1914. Item #03113
A Scarce Rare Book That Dost Contain
Delightful Illustrations by Louis Wain
The Cat Obsessed Artist Who Went Insane
[WAIN, Louis, illustrator]. VREDENBURG, Edric. “Tinker, Tailor.” Stories by Edric Vredenburg. Illustrated by Louis Wain. London: Raphael Tuck & Sons, [n.d., 1914].
First edition. Small quarto (9 1/2 x 7 1/4 in; 242 x 185 mm). 136, [4, ads] pp. Twelve color plates (including frontispiece) and numerous black and white text illustrations.
Original quarter brown cloth over beveled brown boards. Front cover pictorially stamped and lettered in black and white with laid-on color plate. Spine lettered in black. Corners and spine ends a little rubbed, inner front hinge expertly strengthened, some minor marginal soiling to some leaves. Still a very good copy.
One of the rarest of all Wain-illustrated books, the cat-master's delightful take on a tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, gentleman, apothecary, ploughboy, thief.
At the end of the last 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 Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914 ) .