Irish Fairy Tales [Signed Limited]
London: Macmillan, 1920. x, 318 pages. 9-1/8 by 11-1/4 inches. Stephens, an Irish novelist, specialized in retelling traditional fairy tales, and this is his most popular work. This collection includes ten stories, including several in the Fenian Cycle about the mythical hero, Fionn mac Cumhaill.
This first edition is notable for the 16 color plates contributed by Arthur Rackham, each mounted on paper and protected by tissue guards. A lovely illustrated edition, here limited to 520 copies signed by Rackham (there was also a trade edition). The book cost three guineas in 1920--about $12, when the typical price for a hardcover books was $2. ISBN: 281AIB1043905.
First edition (first printing). A very good hardcover copy; lacking the rare dust jacket (this copy had its jacket for a long time, and the spine is darkened a bit at the base where the jacket was chipped). Bound in quarter vellum paper and plain paper-covered boards, stamped in gilt. Bookplate designed by Arthur Nelson Macdonald for Benedict Erstein on front pastedown. Signed by Rackham, as issued, on a preliminary page.
This copy has some chipping and a bit of loss at the spine ends. The lower corners are worn; the hinges are starting to crack and have been neatly strengthened with Japanese tissue. [JSP01; JSP04]