New York: George H. Doran Company, 1924. Item #04358
A Near Fine Copy
Of The First American Trade Edition
[Nielsen, Kay, illustrator]. Andersen, Hans Christian. Fairy Tales by Hans Andersen. Illustrated by Kay Nielsen. New York: George H. Doran Comapny, .
First American trade edition. Quarto (11 1/8 x 8 9/16 in; 282 x 217 mm.). 280, , [3, blank] pp. Twelve mounted color plates with captioned tissue guards and numerous black and white text illustrations (seventeen full-page) and decorative borders and initials.
Publisher's black cloth over boards, front cover with pictorial label printed in silver, orange and black, spine pictorially decorated in silver, pictorial endpapers printed in gray. Minimal rubbing to silver decoration on spine otherwise a bright and near fine copy.
“In an attempt to reinvigorate the market for gift books after the war, Hodder & Stoughton resumed the publishing of Kay Nielsen’s books, though on a more modest scale. In 1924 they published a work that Nielsen had begun in 1912, Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales, including sixteen stories illustrated with twelve watercolors. Nielsen returned to London, and in 1925 his final book for Hodder & Stoughton, Hansel and Gretel, appeared with twelve color plates” (Susan E. Meyer, A Treasury of the Great Children’s Book Illustrators, p. 206).
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).