London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1906. Item #04360
First Trade Edition of Arthur Rackham’s “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens”
In a Superb Inlaid Binding by Bayntun Rivière
BAYNTUN-RIVIÈRE, binder. RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator. BARRIE, J.M. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (From “The Little White Bird”). With Drawings by Arthur Rackham. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1906.
First trade edition. Quarto (9 5/8 x 7 1/8 inches; 244 x 182 mm.). xii, 125,  pp. Color frontispiece and forty-nine color plates (collected at the end of the text) mounted on heavy brown paper, with descriptive tissue guards. Four black and white drawings (two on the title and one each on p. 1 and p. 14).
Superbly bound by Bayntun (Rivière) of Bath (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in) in full red crushed levant morocco. Front cover elaborately decorated with a wide green morocco border with inlaid ochre flowers with intertwining gilt stems, surrounding a remarkable inlaid and onlaid design in multi-colored, textured morocco of the front cover and title-page design of Peter Pan riding on a Goat. Lower cover with identical wide green morocco border with inlaid ochre flowers with intertwining gilt stems, surrounding a superb inlaid multi-colored rectangular panel in a superb mosaic design. Spine with five gilt decorated raised bands, with inlaid ochre flowers, elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments on two green morocco labels. Gilt board-edges and elaborate gilt turn-ins. Cockerel liners and endleaves. Original printed endpapers with Peter Pan's Map of Kensington Gardens bound in at end. Housed in a fleece-lined half red morocco clamshell case, spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt.
An absolutely stunning example of Bayntun Rivière at their very best.
J.M. Barrie’s novel The Little White Bird (1902) “contains the first sketches for Peter Pan. The narrator is ‘a gentle, whimsical, lonely old bachelor’, an author by profession, whose ambition is to have a son. He meets a penniless young couple whose own son David becomes a substitute in his affections. He explains to David that ‘all children in our part of London were once birds in the Kensington Gardens; and that the reason there are bars on nursery windows and a tall fender by the fire is because very little people sometimes forget that they no longer have wings, and try to fly away through the window or up the chimney.’ The central chapters of the book tell the story of one such child, Peter Pan, who ‘escaped from being a human when he was seven days old…and flew back to the Kensington Gardens’…The Peter Pan chapters of The Little White Bird were re-issued in 1906 as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, with colour plates by Arthur Rackham; this was the book which first made Rackham’s work famous. It should not be confused with Peter and Wendy (1911), Barrie’s novelization of the play Peter Pan” (The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature).
Latimore and Haskell, p. 27. Riall, p. 74.