London: Greening & Co., Ltd. Arranged and printed by Bemrose & Sons Limited. Near Fine. With very scarce original dust jacket! Oblong 4to. 29 by 45 cm. Unpaginated, 27 pages -- after title page, two or four pages per nursery rhyme, one with the verse, the facing page, with the peerless Crombie color illustration, and two pages of promotion for Brown & Polson's flour. The nursery rhymes are among the most familiar: Simple Simon, of course, The Queen of Hearts, Little Jack Horner, Little Tom Tucker, Pat-a-Cake, Georgie Porgie, King Pippin's Hall, Girls and Boys Come Out to Play, and Hot-Cross Buns. The Crombie illustrations are within the aesthetic movement tradition, or Queen Anne-style, as also associated with Walter Crane or more loosely, William Morris or the contemporary of Crombie, Maxfield Parrish. They generally have a Medievalist feel to them, as is very appropriate with an ancient tradition stretching back to a vague mythical past of kings, queens, knights and pages as so many nursery rhymes do, although a few of the illustrations evoke the more recent Georgian or Regency past. The book is unusual inasmuch as it appears to have been issued by a food processing company as a promotion of sorts -- we do not think the ad in the back is an incidental insert. As evidence of this is that Brown & Polson held the copyright to the illustrations -- they all have fine lettered captions underneath to this effect. While we have come across this book from time to time, we have never seen the dust jacket before! Ours is also overall a beautiful copy, exception some soiling on the cloth spine, mostly from the rusting of the staples used in binding the text block seeping through, and two tiny pinprick holes on the rear of this cloth strip. The title page has light foxing; otherwise, we would say pristine. The dust jacket is dampstained and chipped but nonetheless essentially intact. Crombie was a commercial and editorial artist, best known today for his illustrations for "The Rules of Golf" and its sequel, "The Rules of Cricket".
(Inventory #: 005106)
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