Arthur Rackham’s <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens</i>

Arthur Rackham’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

In 1906 legendary illustrator Arthur Rackham was commissioned to illustrate J. M. Barrie’s prequel to his play Peter Pan. The standard edition features 10 original illustrations, but there was also a very limited edition with 40 additional illustrations which is now extremely rare. Remarkably the tipped in plates are included as an appendix to the regular book consisting of nothing …


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Art Fonts

Art Fonts

Art fonts (sometimes called “dingbats”) have their origins in early printers ornaments or artistic marginalia used to fill space on a page and break up large blocks of type. Traditionally these ornaments took the form of floral or geometric designs, and were inserted when the page was set, just like letter type.


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Walter Crane Decorations Mini-Package

Walter Crane Decorations Mini-Package

Even when writing essays on socialism and the philosophy of art, Walter Crane was incapable of resisting an opportunity to add some decoration. In his book The Claims of Decorative Art, Crane embellished each chapter with an intricate decorative header featuring neoclassical and mythological scenes in his usual meticulous and detailed style.We’ve taken all of the decorations from the book …


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Odyssey – Illustrated by W. Heath Robinson

Odyssey – Illustrated by W. Heath Robinson

W. Heath Robinson was an artist of the first half of the 20th century who started his career as a book illustrator and produced many fantasy and fairytale illustrations, including illustrating Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies. Later in his career he became a cartoonist producing humorous cartoons of fanciful weapons during the World Wars. One of his little known works …


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Goblin Market by Margaret Tarrant

Goblin Market by Margaret Tarrant

Margaret Tarrant was a notable English children’s book illustrator of the early 20th century. She is best known for her fairy illustrations, published in books like The Forest Fairies, The Pond Fairies, and The Twilight Fairies from the publishing wing of the Medici Society. Although it had already been illustrated by several popular illustrators, like Arthur Rackham, Tarrant was called …


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Illuminated Initials from Early Manuscripts

Illuminated Initials from Early Manuscripts

In the mid-19th century Owen Jones undertook to catalog historic design and decoration in phenomenal detail and with exacting thoroughness in a series of beautifully illustrated books. The most famous of these is his Grammar of Ornament, which provides an overview of design and ornament from ancient times to the Renaissance. His next most notable work on historic design is …


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Eastlake Design Sampler

Eastlake Design Sampler

When we were renovating our house I discovered ornamental brass fixtures for the doors designed by Charles Eastlake.  So I went shopping and found antique Eastlake hinges and knobs for all the doors. Charles Locke Eastlake (1836–1906) was the greatest British Arts and Crafts designer in the period after William Morris.  Like Morris he combined principles of art and decoration …


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Walter Crane’s <i>The Shepheard’s Calender</i>

Walter Crane’s The Shepheard’s Calender

Another of Walter Crane’s interesting decorated books is his edition of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Shepheard’s Calender. It’s not as well known as Spenser’s The Faerie Queen which Crane also illustrated, but it has excellent illustrations and a particularly outstanding set of emblems with latin mottos which accompany the main illustrations. It also has a great frontispiece, decorative endpapers …


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The Illiad – Illustrated by W. Heath Robinson

The Illiad – Illustrated by W. Heath Robinson

W. Heath Robinson was one of the most popular and successful illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th century, known for his ability to draw and paint in distinctly different styles and for his unique drawings of complex fantastical machinery and for his topical cartoons. We have recently started actively adding Robinson works to our library (we also have …


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Charles Robinson – Illustrations for Perrault

Charles Robinson – Illustrations for Perrault

We’re always acquiring classic books illustrated by great artists. One who we’ve recently started adding to our collection is early 20th century illustrator Charles Robinson. Robinson was the brother of illustrator and cartoonist W. H. Robinson and his father and another brother were also illustrators. Robinson is best known for his fairytale illustrations and his illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. …


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Paul Woodroffe – Songs from Shakespeare

Paul Woodroffe – Songs from Shakespeare

In the early 20th century there was a real boom in the market for high end books with a corresponding increase in the work of contemporary illustrators. The most famous artist to emerge in this period was Arthur Rackham, but he was joined by many others like William Russell Flint, Eleanor Brickdale and Frank Brangwyn, some of whom were incredibly …


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The Art of Eleanor Brickdale

The Art of Eleanor Brickdale

Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale was one of the great illustrators of the later Victorian era, even though she is not as well known as some of her male contemporaries. She was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites like Waterhouse and Millais, and studied with Lord Leighton. Her work also shows the influence of the Art Nouveau period and even the Impressionists, but …


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<i>American Beauties</i> by Harrison Fisher

American Beauties by Harrison Fisher

This is something very different from our usual offerings, but it caught my eye at a rare book store and I just couldn’t resist it. American Beauties was published in 1909 and takes its theme from the popular show rose of the same name. It’s an example of a particular kind of illustrated book which was popular in the late …


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McMurtrie Historic Borders

McMurtrie Historic Borders

If you liked our Elizabethan Fonts you need some historic borders to go with them and we have just the thing. In the 1920s Douglas C. McMurtrie published a great collection of historic woodcut borders dating from the 15th century to the 19th century. It includes elaborate decorative pieces in a number of styles and includes great examples by William …


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Old French Nursery Songs Illustrated by Anne Anderson

Our latest mini-package is a collection of illustrations by early 20th century illustrator Anne Anderson. We had an opportunity to acquire a number of her illustrated books for children from an estate sale and the first we’ve processed is “Old French Nursery Songs” which we are making available as an introduction to her art. She is a less well-known illustrator, …


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Textures and Patterns

One of the first areas we branched out into after starting out exclusively with fonts, was an early package of interesting textures and background patterns. These were graphic resources we originally designed for use in various print projects – some of them pretty peculiar – which we thought were potentially useful to other designers for their projects. The problem we …


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