New York: Harper & Brothers. Fair. 1925. Second Edition. Hardcover.  ff. pages; Oblong 4to, with pictorial boards backed with red cloth. Covers, paste-down endpapers, half title, title page, 12 text borders, and 12 full page plates by Rudolf Mates. This wonderful English translation of a traditional Czech folk tale [O kohoutkovi a slepicce] was made by Rafael D. Szalatnay of New York. It had been originally published in an identical format in 1925, in New York under the imprint: "Czechoslovak Art and Craft." Harper & Brothers published this edition (called "Second Edition") on the first leaf, a decorative half title page. Both these editions were printed in Czechoslovakia, as stated on the half titles. There are 13 unpaginated leaves: the half title with a frontispiece on the verso, a title page with the first page of text on its verso. For the remaining 11 leaves, text pages on the left hand side face full-page plates on the right hand side -- the final page of text is on the verso of the final leaf. Surviving copies of this charming illustrated book tend to show heavy wear and tear, and this copy is no exception. The covers show moderate staining around the edges, the first and last few leaves are detached and have some marginal tears and scrappiness (particularly the half title leaf). But it is complete and remains a vivid and striking example of book illustration -- practically a livre d'artiste by Rudolf Mates (1881 - 1966), who was a school teacher as well as an illustrator of great talent. He also published a 1929 book titled "A Forest Story" -- (by Josef Kozisek; translated by Rafael D. Szalatnay) with similar brilliant plates printed in super saturated colors in Czechoslovakia. For our Harper & Brothers version of "THe Cock and the Hen" -- See OCLC Number: 270109073 (5 locations only: Princeton, Morgan Library, Univ. Illinois Urbana, British Library, and Cambridge Univ. Library). . (Inventory #: 39818)
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