London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1924. Item #03687
1/500 Copies Signed by Kay Nielsen
Nielsen, Kay, illustrator. Andersen, Hans Christian. Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen. Illustrated by Kay Nielsen. London: Hodder and Stoughton, .
Limited to 500 copies numbered and signed by the artist, this being copy no. 242.
Large quarto (12 3/16 x 9 7/8 inches; 310 x 250 mm.). [x], 11-197, [3, blank] pp. Text with decorative borders and initials. Twelve mounted color plates with captioned tissue guards and numerous black and white text illustrations including seventeen full-page.
Publisher's vellum, front cover and spine pictorially stamped in gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut. On the lower edge of the front cover there is a small 1/4 inch abrasion to the vellum, otherwise this is a fine copy complete with the publisher's blue cloth dust jacket, spine pictorially stamped in gilt, and the original plain cream paper dust jacket (slightly worn at extremities).
Danish illustrator and designer Kay Nielsen (1886-1957) ?was drawn early on to fairy tales and illustrated many volumes for Hodder & Stoughton: In Powder and Crinoline (1913), East of the Sun, West of the Moon (1914), Hans Andersen?s Fairy Tales (drawings completed in 1912, but first published in 1924), Hansel and Gretel (1925), and Red Magic (Jonathan Cape, 1930), a collections of fairy tales from around the world. Nielsen?s designs unite strong linearity with delicate colouring? Characterized by a sense of two-dimensional flatness, Nielsen?s objects and people are highly stylized: foxglove blossoms hang in measured asymmetry; princes and princesses stand on improbably long legs; and their garments billow in gravity-defying parabolas. The power of his illustrations lies in his uncanny ability to retrieve a story?s emotional effect on its reader and to recreate it visually in two dimensions? (The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales).