Thursday, 31 December 2009

History of the Countryside by Margaret & Alexander Potter, published by Penguin Books Ltd, 1940s?

Don't know which of the two authors is the illustrator but I suspect they both had a go. Very interesting work - somewhat naive but charming and informative. The text is quite relevant to what is happening today to the countryside and all the environmental issues stemming from it! The most unusual interpretation of the Penguin logo ever!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas Books by Charles Dickens (published by Chapman & Hall Ltd, London, no date)

"The Haunted Man"

"The Battle Of Life"

"The Cricket On The Hearth"

"The Chimes"

"The Chimes"

"A Christmas Carol"

Five Christmas stories by Dickens with 2-3 illustrations each - no name for the artist. Great Victorian character drawings, lots of details and atmosphere.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Golf Book(1932) Illustrated by Frank Reynolds

Unfortunately I haven't got the whole book - just a page from it which came framed as artwork(!) A well-known 20th Century British illustrator - the original illustrations can fetch up to £1000 or more if you are lucky enough to own one.

Born in London in 1876 and studied at Heatherley's School of Art. Worked for The London Illustrated News and Punch Magazine (I've got several Punch cartoons by him published during the First World War which I will post in the near future). After the war he became the Art Editor of the magazine until 1930.

Examples of his book illustrations are included in "The Golf Book"(1932) - where I believe these pictures came from - "Off To The Pictures"(1937) and "Hamish Mc Duff"(1937). Reynolds died in 1953.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Prince Of The House Of David, published by George Routledge and Sons, London (date and illustrator unknown)

Even though I'm not a great fan of religious imagery these etchings are so well crafted and elegant. No mention of the artist in the book - again.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

"Arabella Of The Merry-Go-Round" by Lois Maloy, published by Charles Scribner's Sons 1935

Very unusual illustrations by Lois Maloy in this book. The style is art deco of the 1930's of course but there are some wonderful qualities in the charcoal drawings and very strong compositions. Even though the children's faces are stylized, the policeman, the barber and balloon man are excellent.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Drinks Ads

More drinks ads to bring us into the Christmas spirit. This one's from 1948.
And these from the (early) sixties.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Story Land (published by Paul Hamlyn, London 1960)

This book is a compilation of children's stories by various authors and illustrators, some dating back a couple of decades prior to this publication. This is the wonderful work of Mary Blair who has had such a huge influence on generations of illustrators and designers to this day. I much prefer this work to the illustrations she produced for Disney - less stylized and richer in colours and content. She had such a gift in creating simple, strong shapes that are so descriptive and playful. There are many other interesting illustrators in this volume (Richard Scarry and Aurelius Battaglia for example) which I must post in the future - once I get the time to scan them first...

Friday, 4 December 2009

1940's Adverts

Two great ads from the "Geographical Magazine", July 1948. Beautiful, elaborate illustrations - the Guinness one more suitable for children than the alcohol consumer I would have thought!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Mr. Bear Goes To Sea by Chizuko Kuratomi, illustrated by Kozo Kakimoto (published 1967)

I could spend hours looking at all the lovable characters in this book. Just simple shapes but so well observed and balanced. It's a shame that the colours in my copy of the book (1978 edition) are not showing as well but still brilliant work. There is much narrative, playfulness and humour in every picture (note the carrot on the flag!). There is also reference to impressionism in the way the reflexions in the sea are portrayed which creates atmosphere and certain nostalgia.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Pearl (John Steinbeck - originally published by W. Heinemann 1948) Illustrations by Vera Jarman

Very strong graphic b&w illustrations by Vera Jarman in this book. Love the simplicity in the lines and form. Atmospheric and eloquent.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Cookery Books Covers

These booklets were published by HM Government in 1945, aiming to educate the public how to use all types of food correctly - and without any waste! In those days, there was an actual Ministry of Food (the publisher of these books) concerned with the health of the nation that had just suffered so much in the war. No need for advice against junk food as there was none! Very concise, practical, easy to follow and full of hints and valuable information that many modern cook books leave out. A far cry from the sensational books by all the celebrity chefs surrounding us today. And the design looks cool too!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Biscuit Shapes

Yes, this isn't from a book - just the cover of a metal biscuit shapes box passed on from my mum's kitchen utensils collection. Classic sixties(?). Cute.