FIRST EDITION OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN HUNT, ONE OF VOJTECH KUBASTA'S SCARCEST POP-UP BOOKS, FEATURING A DOUBLE-PAGE POP-UP OF AN INDIAN CAMP PREPARING FOR A BISON HUNT
KUBASTA, Vojtech. The American Indian Hunt. London: Bancroft, . Folio (9 by 13 inches), staple-bound as issued, original half red cloth, original pictorial paper wrappers; pp. 8 and double-page pop-up. $950.
First edition of Kubasta's striking American Indian Hunt pop-up book, featuring an eight-page story ("The Day of the Bison Hunt") and a vibrant, double-page, folio pop-up of an Indian camp, in original pictorial wrappers depicting an Indian chief.
This wonderful pop-up book includes an eight-page story and an extremely large pop-up (17-3/4 by 12-1/2 by 10-3/4 inches) about an American Indian father and son who join a neighboring tribe's bison hunt after a storm diverts them from a fishing trip. "Kubasta's talent as a graphic artist was to combine a robust graphic style of great charm and humor with a puppet-master's flair for story-telling in three dimensions" (John Michael Dawson). "His distinctive bold and colorful figures, as seen in this work, became increasingly popular. After the Czech publishing industry was nationalized in 1948, Kubasta began creating advertising materials for Czech products abroad that included three-dimensional cards for items such as Pilsner beer, porcelain and sewing machines. Beginning in the 1950s, he developed elaborate paper construction crèches annually each Christmas season… His beautifully designed and intricate pop-ups were later produced from the 1960s-1980s worldwide and became the inspiration for the revival of the pop-up book industry in America" (Stephen Van Dyke, Smithsonian Libraries). "Kubasta's faux-naif style with a Bohemian flavor is somewhat exotic to an American eye" (Ellen G.K. Rubin), and "today, original editions of his illustrations and books are sought after by collectors from around the world" (James A. Findlay). Kubasta's works were all printed in Czechoslovakia using a special pre-war press at the state-run company, Artia Prague. They were then published for various markets, including the British one, as here. Montanaro, 592.
Interior generally fine, single tape repair to otherwise intact pop-up and moveables, only minor wear mostly to board extremities. A lovely copy in near-fine condition.