London: Constable & Co. Ltd, 1919. Item #03941
“Never did Old Poems Appear so Gayly Bedecked than Some British Ballads…"
RACKHAM, Arthur. Some British Ballads. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: Constable & Co. Ltd, n.d. .
Limited to 575 numbered and signed copies by the artist, this being copy no. 137.
Quarto (10 7/16 x 8 5/8 inches; 265 x 218 mm.). Sixteen full color tipped-in plates with tissue guards lettered in red, twenty-four black and white drawings.
Bound ca. 1960 by Bayntun (Rivière) in full red crushed levant morocco, covers decoratively bordered in gilt with gilt corner-pieces. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, cockerel end-papers, all edges gilt. Neat ink inscription on front blank leaf. Corners very slightly bumped otherwise a near fine copy in a handsome binding.
"Several of the Ballads in this book are based on the great work of Francis James Child…" (Note)
"Few of Mr Rackham's work have been more consistently impressed with charm and beauty than his illustrations in colour to Some British Ballads. In them he pictures a succession of fascinating heroines habited in quaint and picturesque costumes, amid surroundings which, though belonging to no definite place or period, are always appropriate and congruous. His heroes are hardly less charming than his heroines, and the scenes in which they are represented constitute a series of fascinating and delightful pictures ... one must feel grateful to Mr Rackham for giving us the prettiest picture book of the season" (The Connoisseur, Vol. LVI, 1920).
“Never did old poems appear so gayly bedecked than Some British Ballads, which Arthur Rackham has gorgeously illustrated with 16 paintings… It is hard to decide which the more attractive feature of this book—Mr. Rackham’s paintings or the ballads themselves” (New York Times).
"No more effective inspiration for the gifted brush of Arthur Rackham could be found than these popular old ballads. Handsomely printed and bound, this magnificent work should appeal to all" (The Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 1920).
Haskell and Latimore p. 50; Riall, p. 137.