Knave of Hearts, The
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925. Item #05407
Maxfield Parrish Illustrates "The Knave of Hearts”
PARRISH, Maxfield, illustrator. SAUNDERS, Louise. The Knave of Hearts. With Pictures by Maxfield Parrish. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
First edition. Large quarto (13 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches; 350 x 292 mm.). , 46, , [3, blank] pp. Color frontispiece (included in pagination), with tissue guard, thirteen full-page color illustrations (printed on rectos only), nine colored text illustrations and small circular Scribners logo /tailpiece at end, all printed on heavy stock paper.
Original black cloth with color pictorial label on front cover. Color pictorial endpapers. A few thin scratches on front cover pictorial label, otherwise a near fine copy. Ink name and date "Mary Barton Christmas 1930" on 'This is the Book of' page.
“Not until 1920 did [Parrish] agree to illustrate what was to become one of the most valuable children’s books ever published, Louise Saunders’s Knave of Hearts. Saunders was the wife of Maxwell Perkins, the editor of Scribner’s. They summered in Cornish, New Hampshire, and were friends with the Parrishes. In a letter to J.H. Chapin of Scribner’s, Parrish wrote on October 24, 1920: ‘The reason I wanted to illustrate the Knave of Hearts was on account of the bully opportunity it gives for a very good time making the pictures. Imagination could run riot, not bound down by the period, just good fun and all sorts of things. You must understand all this layout to be in gorgeous color. The landscapes back of the figures in the cover lining—a very beautiful affair illuminated by a golden late afternoon sun: castles, waterfall, rocks and mountains.’ Parrish relished working three years on the twenty-six paintings for Knave of Hearts. He built an elaborate castle model in his fully equipped workroom to use in the illustrations for the book… Many of the fixtures in the illustrations show handcrafted items from the Parrish household, such as elaborate hinges and a wonderful clocklike affair… that Parrish had built to let him know when the main house ran out of well water… Knave of Hearts, published in October 1925, was printed in rich colors on heavy coated paper. The illustrations were the highest quality reproductions that could be printed” (Alma Gilbert, Maxfield Parrish: The Masterworks, pp. 49-52).