FIRST EDITION OF CHARLOTTE AND THE WHITE HORSE, 1955, THE FIRST BOOK WITH COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS BY MAURICE SENDAK, FROM THE COLLECTION OF SENDAK'S CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
KRAUSS, Ruth and SENDAK, Maurice. Charlotte and The White Horse. [New York]: Harper & Brothers, (1955). 12mo, original half black cloth, pictorial paper boards, patterned endpapers, original dust jacket. $750.
First edition of this mid-century children's book about a little girl and her horse, Milky Way, the first book to be color-illustrated by Maurice Sendak. From the collection of Sendak's close friend and neighbor.
"In Charlotte and the White Horse… creamy pages frame Sendak's softly lit illustrations of a girl who convinces her father to keep a wobbly legged horse and cares for him until he can stand on his own" (Publishers Weekly). Hanrahan A18. The former owner of this book 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). 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.
Book very nearly fine, dust jacket near-fine with a few small spots of soiling and mild toning to extremities. A lovely copy. Scarce.