McBLAIR, Robert. A Modern Version of the Night Before Christmas. New York: The Press of the Woolly Whale. 1932.
7.75 x 3.75 inches, in shape of cocktail shaker; brushed aluminium boards, hinged at bottom; pp. 10, silver paper; boards a trifle rubbed, near fine.
First and only edition, produced privately as a Christmas gift from Mr and Mrs Melbert B. Cary. The text is a satirical poem based on the classic Christmas Eve verse by Clement Clarke Moore. In this Prohibition-era version, St Nicholas is a bootlegger and his sack is full of booze. This is an extraordinary production and a great example of the work of the Press of the Woolly Whale.
Melbert B. Cary Jr. was a graphic designer who founded the Press of the Woolly Whale to produce limited editions of undiscovered texts that he found interesting, rather than the established classics usually issued by private presses. He favoured exciting typefaces that he imported from the continent and illustrations by artists including Fritz Kredel, whom he helped to emigrate from Germany to the United States. The collection of playing cards that he built up with his wife Mary Flagler Cary is now housed at the Beinecke Library in Yale, while his incredible 20,000 volume library on the history and practice of printing is at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Only 11 copies found in libraries worldwide.