‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon:
Old Tales from the North’.
[From Sir George W. Dasent’s selection.]
Publisher’s red cloth with gilt illustration to upper board, gilt lettering to spine, top edges gilt, 24 tipped-in colour plates, 25 line drawings (including two repeats), decorative title page, 10 illustrated tailpieces (same design repeating, variously cropped), 284 pages, 23.7 x 16.2 cm.
First edition in this format and binding, circa 1923 (undated) .
In Hodder & Stoughton’s Golden Series of Colour Books.
This is an early edition of Kay Nielsen’s masterpiece ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’, with 24 superb tipped-in colour plates. First published in 1914 – a large, magnificent volume, with lavish production values – ‘East of the Sun’ is widely regarded as a tour de force of the illustrator’s art, and remains among the most sought-after books of the era.
With its stylized and highly original blending of Art Nouveau, Oriental and North European influences, Nielsen’s jewel-like imagery provides a unique accompaniment to the fifteen Norwegian folk and fairy tales in the book (selected from Asbjörnsen and Moe’s famous ‘Norske Folkeeventyr’). Seamlessly combined in his work are influences from, among others, Leon Bakst and the Ballets Russes, from the Swedish illustrator John Bauer, from Japanese prints (including Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’), and from Aubrey Beardsley. Certain images in the book also bring to mind ‘Die Nibelungen’: the 1909 masterpiece of Austrian artist Carl Otto Czeschka, a member of the Vienna Secession; as well as the Russian fairy-tale illustrations of Ivan Bilibin.
Note that this edition was issued in three different bindings – the red-cloth version here being the rarest and best of the three (the other two having lower production values, without the gilt page edges and gilt cover design). I can see only one other copy of this red-cloth variant currently for sale online.
A lovely copy, with the contents very well preserved for age.
East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Blue Belt, Prince Lindworm, The Lassie and her Godmother, The Husband who was to mind the House, The Lad who went to the North Wind, The Three Princesses of Whiteland, Soria Moria Castle, The Giant who had no Heart in his Body, The Princess on the Glass Hill, The Widow’s Son, The Three Billy-goats Gruff, The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain, The Cat on the Dovrefell, One’s own Children are always Prettiest. With Preface.
Contents very clean overall, with no owner inscriptions. Plates fine, without creases or tears. A few pale smudges, a few tiny marks, foxing to first and last few leaves, and around stitches, occasional foxing spot elsewhere, eight pairs of gatherings stretched. Endpapers with usual foxing/offsetting; hinges with a few small tears. Binding almost tight. Edges of page block with soiling, a little foxing (foxing intruding slightly into some margins); gilt top edges with a little scratching. Boards and spine with discoloration and marks as shown, rubbing/slight wear to extremities, bumping to head and foot of spine; lower board with tiny nick to top edge.
Note: The second plate in the book is attached not to its own captioned mount (which is empty apart from the caption), but to a blank page immediately afterwards (both pages being included in the pagination of the book). This is normal for this edition, being a design flaw common to all three above-mentioned reissues.
- Anzahl der Bücher
- Illustriert, Jugendstil, Kinderbücher, Literatur
- Autor/ Illustrator
- Kay Nielsen (illustrator)
- East of the Sun and West of the Moon
- Sehr gut
- Erscheinungsjahr (ältestes Objekt)
- Erstausgabe in diesem Format
- Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London
- Gebundene Ausgabe
- Kay Nielsens Meisterwerk, tipped in plate- Illustration