Fables of Aesop
First edition thus, with fifty drawings by Alexander Calder, 1/665 copies. Original white cloth backed cream boards, blue dust jacket, red three-sided slipcase. Paris, Harrison of Paris. 1931
Harrison of Paris was established in 1930, just as the effects of the Wall Street Crash were making themselves felt in Europe. This might have felt like an inauspicious moment to start a small English-language printing press in France but Barbara Harrison and her partner, Monroe Wheeler, were not to be put off. Over four years they produced 14 beautifully-printed books.
Fables of Aesop is illustrated by Alexander Calder in the style of the wire sculptures he was creating at the time (he didn't start making his "mobiles", for which he is best known now, until the following year). Monroe Wheeler, who designed the book, chose to print it on characterful Auvergne paper, named for the region in which it was still being made "just as in 1326". The pale blue dust jacket was made from "discarded blue aprons worn for years by the Auvergne schoolchildren" (Ford, Published in Paris).
This copy is inscribed by Monroe Wheeler to a Mrs Nissan on the colophon page. An excellent copy in a worn slipcase, dust jacket reinforced with tape to verso at hinges, small hole in the front free endpaper.
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