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Aesopus [Aesop]; Edward J. Detmold, illus.  The fables of Aesop. New York: Hodder & Stoughton (pr. by Henry Stone & Son, Ltd.), 1909. Folio (31.5 cm, 12.4"). [160] pp.; 25 col. plts.

First edition, American issue. Detmold and his twin brother Maurice were child prodigies of such striking talent that they were exhibiting at the Royal Academy by the age of 13; prior to Maurice's untimely death in 1908, the two collaborated on a number of much-beloved watercolors and etchings, including illustrations for Pictures from Birdland and Kipling's Jungle Book. The present production, Edward's first solo effort after his brother's demise, was so successful that there were several reprints and facsimile editions — this example is the 1909 first limited edition, being => numbered copy 19 of only 100 printed for the United States at the same time as the London limited edition.
        These brief renditions of the fables were largely taken from Sir Roger L'Estrange's translation, with a few drawn from the Rev. G.F. Townsend's version; Detmold illustrated them with => 25 mounted, color-printed plates beautifully combining both Japanese and Victorian influences. The work is printed in "silver" ink.
        Binding: Publisher's brown pigskin, front cover with gilt-stamped eagle vignette bearing Detmold's monogram, spine with gilt-stamped title, back cover with gilt-stamped beetle. Top edges gilt, lower and fore-edges deckle.

Not in Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England. Binding as above, spine darkened and showing shelfwear, corners and spine extremities rubbed with minor refurbishing. Three plates each with one crease, likely done prior to or during mounting, with creases showing faint imprints on surrounding leaves. => A true classic, here in a handsome copy of a very uncommon issue.  (38872)   Please RESHELVE This.

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