The Allies Fairy Book, signed by Arthur Rackham. Custom folder and slipcase.
London: William Heinemann. Very Good+ with no dust jacket. c.1916. Limited Signed Edition; First Printing. Hardcover.
These 13 collected tales represent the traditions of the Allied nations of World War I and, arguably, amount to uplifting, positive propaganda, possibly for the young and most certainly for their parents. English, "Scotch," Welsh, Irish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Siberian, and Belgian folk tales and "fairy" tales recount the meek besting the mighty and both people and the supernaturals working toward the common good. Fairies, elves, and their kin know no race or politics and adhere to their primitive law, "Be kind to those who are kind to you," as stated by Edmund Gosse in his wide-ranging Introduction.
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), one of leading decorative illustrators of the Edwardian period. Copy 181 of an edition of 500 and signed by Rackham on the limitation page. His 12, fantastic, color illustrations display the nature and 'character' of the characters. All are tipped in to dark, variegated brown, thin, cardstock leaves. The frontispiece is tipped in to the verso, all others to the recto. All are tissue guarded with a caption printed on the tissue. Rackham's monochrome vignette drawings begin and end each chapter with cuts interspersed.
Housed in a more modern, custom, 4-sided folder of cloth on boards, this folder fitting a quarter Morocco slipcase with raised bands and gilt titling to spine, else cloth. All cloth of the folder and slipcase is a close match to the book cloth.
This copy is the English issue with Heinemann in gilt at the spine tail. Rackham had a lucrative relationship with William Heinemann, releasing signed, limited editions followed by trade editions. In fine, smooth, blue buckram with gilt title and publisher to the spine. Gilt title, winged fairy, and winged demon on the front cover. Letterpress printed on laid paper at The Complete Press, West Norwood, London. Top edge trimmed and gilt, fore and tail are uncut. Pastedowns and endpapers, designed by Rackham, are patterned with frolicking fairies and flying swallows. Blue, silk ribbon marker. Though published in a quantity similar to other Rackham-signed limited editions, this title is oddly scarce. Tail fore corners bumped, some light rubbing at the hinges, light overall foxing to the free endpapers with a bit on the pastedowns, light dampstain at the tail of the front free endpaper and the next two leaves, a sliver of unobtrusive foxing along the fore edge of numerous pages. Light scuffing to the cloth of the rear cover. The slipcase has light rubbing to all edges, with wear to the head and tail of the leather. A very nice, presentable, VG+ copy in a custom folder and slipcase.; Color Illustrations; Large 8vo 9" - 10" tall; xxii,121, pages; Signed by Illustrator .