London & New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., Item #03478
Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book in a Fine Morocco Binding
GREENAWAY, Kate. Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book. With verses by Mrs. Sale Barker. London & New York: Frederick Warne & Co., Ltd., [n.d.].
Later edition. Small square octavo (3 5/8 x 3 3/4 inches; 92 x 95 mm.). [iv], 128,  pp. Colored frontispiece, eleven full page color illustrations and numerous plain drawings in the text.
Bound ca. 1960 in full red crushed levant morocco, covers ruled in gilt, smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, gilt board-edges, decorative gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in the original fleece-lined, red cloth slipcase. Minimal fading to spine, otherwise very fine.
This lovely little book is in almanac form with blank lined pages opposite most of the illustrations.
"Throughout the autumn [0f 1880] Ruskin toured the continent, with Kate still on his mind …He returned to find her Birthday Book awaiting his criticism and wrote from Brantwood: 'Dear Miss Greenaway - I have just got home and find the lovely little book'… Punch congratulated her on her Birthday Book: 'A most dainty little work a really happy thought for Christmas'… To follow up the remarkable success of the Birthday Book, Evans wanted Kate to illustrate a selection of fifty favourite nursery rhymes, to be produced in a small format and called Mother Goose, or The Old Nursery Rhymes." (Rodney Engen. Kate Greenaway. A Biography, pp. 74 & 79).
Kate (Catherine) Greenaway (1846-1901) was an English Victorian artist and writer, known for her children's book illustrations. She received her education in graphic design and art between 1858 and 1871 from the Finsbury School of Art, the South Kensington School of Art, the Heatherley School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. She began her career designing for the burgeoning holiday card market, producing Christmas and Valentine's cards. In 1879 wood-block engraver and printer, Edmund Evans, printed Under the Window, an instant best-seller, which established her reputation. Her collaboration with Evans continued throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The depictions of children in imaginary 18th-century costumes in a Queen Anne style were extremely popular in England and internationally, sparking the Kate Greenaway style. Within a few years of the publication of Under the Window Greenaway's work was imitated in England, Germany and the United States.