"ONE OF THE GREATEST OF AMERICAN ILLUSTRATED BOOKS": FIRST EDITION OF THE KNAVE OF HEARTS, ILLUSTRATED BY MAXFIELD PARRISH
SAUNDERS, Louise. The Knave of Hearts. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925. Folio, original black cloth, mounted cover illustration, pictorial endpapers. $4000.
First edition of "one of the greatest of American illustrated books" (Porter, 84), the last and most lavish children's book illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, with mounted cover design, pictorial endpapers, 14 full-page color plates, and nine in-text color illustrations.
By 1900, Maxfield Parrish had become "recognized as one of America's most successful artists, achieving national popularity for his distinctively elegant style, detailed backgrounds and glowing colors" (Dalby, 42). He agreed to illustrate his friend Saunders' play "on account of the bully opportunity it gives for a very good time making the pictures. Imagination could run riot, bound down by no period, just good fun and all sorts of things" (Yount, 86-88). Without very scarce original glassine or box. Yount, 86-91. Silvey, 507.
Slight marginal soiling to frontispiece, scattered foxing and soiling (mainly marginal) to text, light wear to cloth and cover illustration. A near-fine copy.