DELUXE LIMITED EDITION OF SMALL BEER, ONE OF ONLY 175 COPIES WITH AN ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR ILLUSTRATION BY LUDWIG BEMELMANS
BEMELMANS, Ludwig. Small Beer. New York: Viking, 1939. Octavo, original red cloth, pictorial endpapers, original slipcase. $1000.
Deluxe limited edition, number 157 of only 175 copies specially bound with an original watercolor illustration by Bemelmans.
The watercolor image, titled “Regimentsmusik” and illustrating a scene from the story “Putzi” in this work, depicts two uniform-clad musicians playing the timpani and tuba. “Ludwig Bemelmans was the original bad boy of the New York hotel/restaurant subculture, a waiter, busboy and restaurateur who ‘told all’ in a series of funny and true (or very nearly true) autobiographical accounts of backstairs folly, excess, borderline criminality and madness in the grande Hotel Splendide-a thinly disguised double for the author’s one-time employer, the Ritz Carlton” (Anthony Bourdain). Today, Bemelmans is better known as the writer and illustrator of the Madeline series of children’s books. This edition is preceded by the first edition published earlier the same year. Pomerance A39a(bis).
Faint soiling to front free endpaper and a bit of toning to spine of book. Light edge-wear to numbered slipcase. A beautiful about-fine copy. Very scarce.