Philadelphia: C. W. Beck, Jr., The Beck Engraving Co., From the Art Press of S. H. Burbank & Co., 1902.
First and Only Edition. Elephant folio, 14 x 20 inches. The enormously scarce and arguably the finest children's calendar ever printed with comparable color images in the U.S. in the 20th Century. Printed on fine coated paper by the the eminent Charles W. Beck, the finest color printer of his day in the US, who only five years later was the first to make four-color plates which became the industry standard. These renowned illustrations, three by Jessie Willcox Smith and four by Elizabeth Shippen Green (including the cover), along with twelve smaller color drawings as panels, by each artist, are among the most decorative and interpretive ever rendered by an American illustrator. The full-page illustrations form the images for "The Book of the Child," which was published by Stokes in 1903. Both were issued very nearly the same time, and records do not clearly indicate which came out first, the calendar or the book. It is clear that Beck had the copyright in 1902, which is given on the cover page of the calendar, which is also given on the copyright page of Stokes' "Book of the Child." The production of the illustrations for the book were documented by Smith, giving details on live modeling, staging, props needed to keep the children still, etc. The process of color printing by Beck was cutting edge, employing a chemotype process which was invented by one of Beck's parent companies in 1894. A wonderfully preserved copy near fine, with two holes at the top of each page where ribbons were once used to hold the calendar together (per publisher). Occasional crease marks and minor unobtrusive tears. Housed in a large cloth folder (over boards), by a former owner, from: "People of Dickens, Drawn by C. D. Gibson." A lasting rarity.
Price: $3,250.00 Item #4157