First U.S. Rackham trade edition of the Washington Irving classic, “Rip Van Winkle,” featuring 51 magnificent color illustrations by Arthur Rackham, considered by many to be the greatest illustrator of the 20th century. It was published by Doubleday, Page & Co. of New York, counterpart to the edition published by Heinemann in London, size 4to. In this edition, the plates are interspersed throughout the text, rather than gathered at the back, and each is protected by captioned tissue guards. The book has its original green cloth binding, with gold gilt – illustration and lettering – on the front board and gold gilt to the tops of the pages. This was the first major work with Rackham illustrations, and was hugely successful in England and in the United States.
The condition is near very good. There is wear to the cloth at the extremities, and foxing to the pages preceding the title page and following the last illustration. One of the illustrations is beginning to pull away from the binding. The illustrations are exceptionally clean and bright.
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Irving, “Rip Van Winkle,” Arthur Rackham Illus., First U.S. Rackham Trade Edition, Doubleday, Page & Co., c.1905