FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY, OF H.G. WELLS’ FLOOR GAMES, HIS SCARCE CHILDREN’S BOOK ON IMAGINATIVE PLAY, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO MATHILDE MEYER, THE WELLS FAMILY NANNY, WITH AN ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH TIPPED IN AND AN ADDITIONAL SIGNATURE BY WELLS, ACCOMPANIED BY AN AUTOGRAPH SCORECARD IN WELLS’ HAND FROM A CARD GAME PLAYED BY WELLS, HIS WIFE, THE HOUSEKEEPER, AND MEYER, FEATURING TWO WONDERFUL ORIGINAL PENCIL SKETCHES BY WELLS
WELLS, H.G. Floor Games. WITH: Autograph scorecard featuring two original sketches. London: Frank Palmer, (1911). Small quarto, original blue cloth, mounted cover illustration. WITH: Single leaf of paper, measuring 6-1/2 by 8 inches, with pencil scorecard in Wells’ hand on one side and Wells’ original sketches in pencil on both sides. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8000.
First edition, presentation copy, of this wonderful children’s book on imaginative play and “floor games,” inscribed in the year of publication to the Wells family nanny: “Mathilde Meyer from H.G. Wells, very best wishes. Dec. 1911,” with photographic print tipped onto verso of frontispiece and pencil signature of H.G. Wells directly below, accompanied by a laid in autograph scorecard from a game of “Racing Down at Easton Globe” played by Wells and his family (including Meyer) written entirely in H.G. Wells’ hand, featuring elaborate original pencil sketches of a card game and a murder scene on recto and verso by Wells.
In this engaging work, H.G. Wells set out to show how toy soldiers, figurines, and other toys could be used to create imaginative games on the nursery floor. As the father of two boys, Wells was already an expert in the endeavor. Interestingly, the creative play ideas in this work were quickly adapted by psychotherapists for sand-play therapy, a non-verbal form of therapy used to help heal both children and adults. This copy is accompanied by an elaborate autograph scorecard written and drawn entirely in H.G. Wells’ hand. Wells, his second wife, Jane (designated “JW” on the scorecard), his housekeeper (“Mrs. C”), nanny Mathilde Meyer, and an additional person used it to play a game called “Racing Demon at Easton Globe.” The recto, beneath the scores, has a pencil sketch by Wells of a card game that he has captioned, “Card Sharpers at Work.” The verso has a humorously gory sketch of two men speaking French and staring down at man with a fatal head injury while a dog observes. With several half-tone photographic illustrations and marginal in-text illustrations by J.R. Sinclair. Without exceedingly rare original dust jacket. Sketch neatly captioned in red ink by Mathilde Meyer. Newspaper clippings about H.G. Wells Floor Games and newspaper pictures of his sons (and Meyer’s charges) tipped onto verso of table of contents and first section title, with a bit of red underlining to parts referring to nursery and the boys.
A fine copy with a wonderful association.