FIRST EDITION OF THIS SPLENDID COLLECTION OF RHYMES ILLUSTRATED AND ARTISTICALLY INSCRIBED BY ALEXANDER CALDER
CALDER, Alexander. Three Young Rats and Other Rhymes. Drawings by Alexander Calder. Edited with Introduction by James Johnson Sweeney. New York: Curt Valentin, 1944. Folio, original half tan cloth and pictorial yellow boards, original dust jacket. $4200.
Limited first edition, one of only 760 copies, with a wonderful inscription with flourishes that fills almost the entire front free endpaper: "to Edward L. Fischer, Cordial Greetings from Alexander Calder, Jan. 1945."
Calder's 85 illustrations are as direct, delightful and disturbing as the nursery rhymes they depict. "Until comparatively recent times, little thought was given these 'trifles of the nursery'… That such trifles lasted any great time is surprising. But it is difficult to exaggerate the extreme tenacity of tradition in little things. Nothing is more remarkable than the way that a phrase or a custom will survive ages after its original significance has been forgotten" (Introduction). Contemporary exhibition catalogue laid in.
Occasional foxing. Sun-toning along edges and spine of fragile dust jacket. A near-fine copy, most desirable inscribed.