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Illustrated children’s books the big story at PBA Galleries Nov. 2

Dr. Seuss, ‘And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street,’ first edition of Dr. Seuss’s first book for children, Vanguard Press, 1937. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. PBA Galleries image


SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, Nov. 2, PBA Galleries will offer more than 550 lots of illustrated books, including a generous amount of children’s literature. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The first section of the sale features works illustrated by many of the most desired names of the golden era of book illustration and beyond. Harry Clarke, Edmund Dulac, Kay Neilsen, Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Arthur Rackham and Willy Pogany are all represented.

More than 40 first editions illustrated by Dr. Seuss are also offered, along with scores of other fine illustrated works for children and adults from the 18th through the 21st centuries.

The second section of the sale includes a wide variety of genres, from early printed books to the fine presses of the 20th century, finely bound books and sets, fore-edge paintings, a selection of jazz ephemera, 19th century medical works with chromolithograph plates, large selections from the Perishable Press, the Book Club of California and more.

The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Harry Clarke with 40 plates, 10 of which are color with printed tissue guards, plus numerous decorative elements and tail-pieces, is Clarke’s rarest work. Signed by the illustrator at the limitation, this work represents Clark’s first foray into book illustration. He worked for three years on these illustrations after receiving the commission from Harrap. Clarke is beloved for his intricate and faintly disturbing imagery and is an important figure in Irish Arts & Crafts both for his book illustration and stained glass (est. $3,000 – $5,000).


One of Harry Clarke’s illustrations from his limited edition of ‘Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen’s, rare book is signed by the artist. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. PBA Galleries image


Other featured illustrated books include the first issue of Dr. Seuss’ And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street, his first book for children and one of many Dr. Seuss first editions offered (est. $3,000 – $5,000); a matched set of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung (below) illustrated by Arthur Rackham, part of a large collection of Rackham limited editions (est. $2,500 – $3,500); and Maxfield Parrish’s most desired book, The Knave of Hearts with 11 full-page plates and nine large color illustrations, certainly a high point of American book illustration (est. $1,000 – $1,500).


An illustration by Arthur Rackham from ‘The Ring of the Nibelung,’ first Rackham Edition, published by William Heinemann, London, 1910, two volumes, contains 64 tipped-in color plates, No. 986 of 1,150 copies. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. PBA Galleries image


A number of original hand-painted animation cels from the Jackson Five television cartoon series of the 1970s will highlight the sale. These include an unusually wide-frame cel of Michael Jackson being mobbed by fairy maidens (est. $2,000 – $3,000); a lot of two cels, one of which is a rare cel of Diana Ross, whose only appearance was in the premier episode (est. $600 – $900); and few lots of cels with the five brothers, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.


Original cel from the ‘Jackson Five’ animated television program, showing the brothers, Michael, Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine performing. Estimate: $600-$900. PBA Galleries image


Additional highlights of the sale are Gammer Gurton’s Garland, the 1810 first complete collected edition of songs and verses for children and includes the first appearances of Little Bo-peep and Humpty Dumpty (est. $2,000 – $3,000); the first important book on garden design, The Theory and Practice of Gardening by John James illustrated with 32 fine engraved plates (est. $2,000 – $3,000); a remarkable and fascinating late 19th-century manuscript catalog of the personal library of Scottish merchant John Cruickshank (est. $1,000 – $1,500); and the rare Perishable Press publication of Toby Olson’s Fishing, perhaps the rarest book of the press and part of a collection of the press in the sale (est. $2,000 – $3,000).

The sale will begin Thursday at 11 a.m.

For more information, please contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or


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