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CALDECOTT, RANDOLPH - R. Caldecott's Picture Books

Title: R. Caldecott's Picture Books
Description: London: George Routledge & Sons, 1878. A Fine and Complete First Edition Set of all Sixteeen Randolph Caldecott 'Toy Books' Finely bound ca. 1900 in the 'Harlequin' Style by Rivière & Son CALDECOTT, Randolph. R. Caldecott's Picture Books. [Engraved by Edmund Evans]. London: George Routledge & Sons. A complete first edition set of the sixteeen toy books. Sixteen volumes bound in four, all complete with their heavy-stock color pictorial paper wrappers. Titles from front wrappers. Volume I: The House that Jack Built (1878), The Diverting History of John Gilpin (1878), The Mad Dog (1879), The Babes in the Woods (1879). Volume II: The Three Jovial Huntsmen (1880), Sing a Song for Sixpence (1880), The Queen of Hearts (1881), The Farmer's Boy (1881). Volume III: The Milkmaid (1882), Hey Diddle Diddle and Baby Bunting (1882), A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go (1883), The Fox Jumps over the Parson's Gate (1883). Volume IV: Come Lasses and Lads (1884), Ride a-Cock Horse to Banbury Cross & A Farmer Went Trotting upon His Grey Mare (1884), An Elegy on the Glory of her Sex Mrs. Mary Blaize (1885), and The Great Panjandrum Himself (1885). Quarto and oblong quarto (9 x 8 inches; 228 x 203 mm.). and (7 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches; 200 x 235 mm.). The first eight titles each 32 pp. including covers (with the exception of The Queen of Hearts which has 32 pp. + covers); The second eight titles all with 24 pp. + covers. With color and line drawing illustrations throughout by Caldecott. Handsomely bound ca. 1900 by Rivière & Son in 'Harlequin Style'. Full red, brown, green and dark blue morocco. Covers with elaborate gilt frames, spines with five raised bands decoratively panelld and lettered in gilt in compartments, double gilt-ruled board edges, quadruple gilt-ruled turn-ins, various colored coated end-papers. Some mild rubbing to extremities, otherwise a fine set. A pencil note on a rear blank leaf in the back of the first volume reads: "4 vols. 1st. Edition bought of Maggs Bros, 109 Strand, London, Sept. 27. 1911 @ £10. 19s. 6d." "Caldecott's toy books, though still priced at a shilling, are more elaborate than those in Crane's series. Able to count from the first on a sale of 10,000 copies, Evans eliminated blank pages by supplying nine colored illustrations, many black and white drawings, and more text.. The reasons for Caldecott's success are apparent in the initial volumes of the series. The animals in The House That Jack Built of 1878 could not be improved. And the delicious humor of John Gilpin of the same year is perfectly conveyed through the artist's rendering of the staid dignity of this elderly linen draper during his quiet preparations for a day of pleasure, the grim tenacity with which he adheres to his runaway horse, the enthusiastic interest that the whole countryside takes in his wild ride, and the good humor he displays during moments of relief from adversity" (Ray). "When the children look at Randolph Caldecott's picture books they turn the pages very slowly. Each page tells a story, first in the action, then in the characters and, finally, in the little details that children love to linger over. Their eyes turn occasionally to the words on the opposite page, but only for a moment. Then they go back to the pictures. Often the poem or the nursery rhyme that is illustrated is known to them; but Randolph Caldecott's interpretation of that rhyme is a new and delightful adventure" (Davis, p. 7). It is very difficult to assemble all sixteen titles and much more so in this kind of condition. Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) was an English artist and illustrator, born in Chester, UK. The Caldecott Medal was named in his honor. He exercised his art chiefly in book illustrations. His abilities as an artist were promptly and generously recognized by the Royal Academy. Caldecott greatly influenced illustration of children's books during the nineteenth century. Two "Picture Books" illustrated by him, priced at a shilling each, were published every Christmas for eight years between 1878 and 1885. Davis, Randolph Caldecott, p. 45. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England, 250. .

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Price: US$ 2250.00 Seller: David Brass Rare Books (ABAA/ILAB)
- Book number: 04551


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