Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Log In
lots of lots
Lot 8128
First Edition illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy. One of the first "large gift book" format editions.

"The Courtship of Miles Standish", by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with illustrations by H. (Howard) Chandler Christy, published by Bobbs Merrill Company, Indianapolis in 1903, the text is published "by special arrangement with Houghton & Mifflin, the sole authorized publisher's of Longfellow's works." All pages are decorated, 8 color plates and numerous sepia illustration.

In 1898, he provided a few illustrations to a serialized article on the Revolutionary War for "Scribner's Magazine". A few months later the magazine sent him and fellow artist, F.C. Yohn to Cuba to cover the Spanish American War. The young men were likely friends as Yohn was all of 23 at the time and a fellow Art Students League graduate. Christy met Teddy Roosevelt en-route and drew many illustrations of the soon-to-be-famous Rough Riders.

His illustrations for the 1897 "Hamlet" and for "The Lion" and "The Unicorn" in the August 1899 issue of Scribner's launched both his career and the notion of the Christy Girl. This was followed the same year by his book illustrations for Paul Leicester Ford's short story, "Wanted - A Matchmaker", with more of the same. It was their sensuality tightly wrapped in their overdressed respectability that made his women stand out. And they seemed somehow more approachable than their Gibson counterparts - equally sure of themselves, but not quite so remotely idealized. By 1899, Christy was a star.

The books were illustrated primarily in b&w, but as color printing became more prevalent, Christy's abilities with color were also very much in demand.

In 1903, with 'The Courtship of Miles Standish' in color and 'An Old Sweetheart' in photogravure, Christy helped inaugurate the gift book format. In 1906, he created 'The American Girls' and 'The Christy Girls'; in 1910 Sir Walter Scott's 'The Lady of the Lake' and Tennyson, 'The Princess' in 1911. Both were large-format, color-plate books with additional two-color illustrations throughout on every page.

Christy was one of the most popular artists in America. He was an occasional teacher at the best New York illustration schools: The Art Students League, Cooper Union, The New York School of Art and the Chase School that was founded by his early instructor.Christy was elected to the Society of illustrators Hall of Fame in 1980.

US: Priority (c 2-4 days) ------ $14.50
Canada: Priority (c 2-6 weeks) - $27.50
World: Priority (c2-8 weeks) --- $37.50


Hard boards, original embossed green cloth with past down illustration on the front board (the illustration has some edge damages: see picture); 7.1/2" x 10"; 153 pages printed on thick glossy coated paper, all pages are decorated with fine Art Nouveau designs; 42 sepia and color illustrations including 23 full-page sepia plates and 8 color plates, slightly bumped upper corner, a little wear, very good condition. [ksta]

Buyer's Premium

  • 0%

Longfellow, Courtship of Miles Standish, Christy ill.

Estimate $120 - $350Jul 03
Shipping & Payment
$15 shipping to contiguous United StatesAsk for international & combined shipping rates