[London]: , 1897. Item #03836
Nicnack Rides on the back of the Unicorn
RACKHAM, Arthur, artist. "Never had traveller a better Steed" [London], 1897.
Original pen-and-ink drawing, signed "A Rackham '97" on lower right-hand corner, for the drawing illustrating A.E. Bonser's The Treasure at the end of the Rainbow, (pp. 717-727). The drawing is titled by Arthur Rackham in the lower left-hand corner "The Treasure at the end of the Rainbow/Never had traveller a better Steed."
Image size: 8 7/8 x 10 1/2 inches; 225 x 266 mm. Matted, framed and glazed.
The drawing appears on p. 723 in the St. Nicholas Magazine. London, Frederick Warne & Co., 1898. In St. Nicholas the drawing is titled "They approached the Mountains of the Moon, and saw the lofty summits".
""Nicnack," said the Phenix, peeping over the edge,--- for it was indeed the royal bird,--"is that you? I have been expecting your visit. You can help me, and I can help you. I am short of cinnamon sticks. Down where you stand you can see over yonder a grove of the spice. The unicorn will take you to it. Please get me some; and," the Phenix added thoughtfully, "while you are about it, you might bring three straight young palm-trees." Down climbed Nicnack; off he sped on the unicorn's back, and soon returned with the spice and palms. "Thank you, Nicnack," said the Phenix; "but you're tired, so sit down and rest, and tell me what you saw in Fairyland. You see, I know a good deal about you already." Nicnack was more than astonished; but he frankly told the Phenix of his adorable Princess, and how he hoped to win her by finding the Treasure at the End of the Rainbow."
In this pen and ink drawing, Rackham depicts a sense of urgency in how he draws Nicnack riding like the wind on his unicorn. His cape and his feathered hat are billowing out behind him. In the foreground a rabbit, looking scared runs out of the way of the hooves of the unicorn. The mountainous landscape is rugged with rocks in the foreground. Not typical of a Rackham drawing, but still full of detail and movement - a skill that Rackham uses to great effect.