MAXFIELD PARRISH'S CELEBRATED KNAVE OF HEARTS
(PARRISH, Maxfield) SAUNDERS, Louise. The Knave of Hearts. Racine, Wisconsin: Artists and Writers Guild, (1925). Large square quarto, spiral binding with limp pictorial boards. $850.
Second edition (first edition of the spiral-bound format), published the same year as the first, of Parrish’s last book commission, lavishly illustrated with 23 vibrant paintings.
Parrish wanted 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). When Scribner's published the book in 1925 in an oversized and expensive format, it failed. Parrish, however, "turned defeat into victory by selling the original paintings to collectors for $50 thousand," and Scribner's sold reproduction rights to the Artists and Writers Guild for this edition. This second edition contains all the illustrations from the first save "Romance," which appeared on the first edition's endpapers. "The Knave of Hearts, in both editions, remains the most collectable and valuable title in the Parrish pantheon" (Stephen R. Pastore).
A charming copy in near-fine condition.