WONDERFUL PROMOTIONAL MOCK-UP OF SENDAK'S NUTCRACKER, INSCRIBED BY HIM TO A CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
SENDAK, Maurice and HOFFMANN, E.T.A. Promotional mock-up ["Nutcracker"]. (New York: Crown, 1984). Slim quarto, staple-bound as issued, original pictorial paper wrappers; pp. 14, with original pictorial envelope. $650.
Original 14-page promotional mock-up (uncorrected proofs / non-consecutive pages) of Maurice Sendak's version of a holiday classic, inscribed on the title page in the year of publication to a close friend and neighbor: "For Elizabeth—from Maurice—Jul '84."
This is a promotional mock-up for one of Sendak's loveliest books. Sendak's version of the Nutcracker preserves the compelling vision of Hoffman's classic Christmas tale (written in 1816). Sendak created the sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet performance in 1983. This mock-up includes information about the projected size, cost, etc. of the book, as well as information about point-of-purchase promotional initiatives such as a "Christmas Window Blitz" for bookstores and an author tour. This promotional mock-up in wrappers appears to have been released simultaneously with (and with the same content as) a cloth-bound, jacketed promotional dummy that also included 45 blank pages. Hanrahan A121 (note). The former owner of this inscribed mock-up was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing). In inscriptions, Betty is often referred to as "Elizabeth"; Sendak felt that her name was "common" and didn't suit her. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, limited edition books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.