Thursday, June 29, 2017

Edward Bawden Illustrates Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang is best remembered for his Fairy Books. Twelve books of fairy stories each distinguished by being given a colour in both title and binding, illustrated profusely and elaborately guilt stamped with versions of those illustrations on the cloth boards. I recently saw a rather glorious collection of all the fairy books at a bookfair and tweeted this photograph. He didn't stop there, Lang was prolific and all of it in a very high Victorian style.

So it was something of a surprise to see his name on a mid-Twentieth Century paperback from Faber and Faber with a distinctly "mid-twen-cen" cover design. But I was curious, so I picked it up and discovered that it was in fact illustrated quite heavily by none other than Edward Bawden. I think these have a rather uncharacteristic air of slight surrealism about them, a touch of lunacy in places. They are for the most part recognisable as being very Edward Bawden but there is an rough edge to these not often seen in his work.

Monday, June 19, 2017

John S Barrington at Auction

John S Barrington is a fascinating figure, a photographer, publisher, and artist, who has featured on Front Free Endpaper a number of times before in quite some detail. These images, along with numerous others are for sale in ten days time, in the 29th, as lots 99 and 100 in Bloomsbury's Erotica Sale. The whole catalogue is worth a skim through, but obviously not while at work!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Dreams of Space

For many years now I have been following a blog called "Dreams of Space". It's a collection of "Non-fiction children's space flight stuff 1945-1975" which, as someone who appreciates a good collection, I thought was a brilliant way of setting limits (which is rule number one of starting a collection of anything) whilst keeping a great open field. Not only is the blog visually stimulating it is also fascinating to see the effort to depict space before we knew much about space. Anyway, when I found this book Worlds in Space by Martin Caidin in 1954 illustrated by Fred L Wolff, I couldn't help myself!

Monday, June 05, 2017

Barry Wilkinson Illustrates A Boat and Bax by Roger Collinson

As regular readers will know I am a big fan of this style of pen and ink illustration seen in children's books in particular through the 1950s to the 1970s. I still haven't come up with a suitable single word to describe the style but it was very widespread and then basically disappeared in the 1980s as publishers dropped the idea of illustrated children's books for any other than your actual 'picture books'.

All the interior illustrations here (not the cover) are by Barry Wilkinson. He was a Yorkshire born artist who studied locally in Dewsbury Art School and then found himself at The Royal College of Art after his war service. He worked in a variety of media as a 'commercial artist' including work as a stained glass designer. He is probably best known for taking over the illustrations of the Paddington Bear books from Peggy Fortnum.

He has featured here on FFEP before.

A Portrait of Otto

Those of you who follow the fortunes of Albert Wainwright's work in the markets may have already seen this portrait of his young friend Otto which was sold at Dreweatts at the end of march. The relationship between Albert and Otto was the subject of a number of his diaries and sketchbooks, some of which I published back in 2013 as Albert and Otto: Albert Wainwright's Visual Diary of Love in the 20s.

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