[VIENNA SECESSION] ANDERSEN, Hans Christian (author). [H. LEFLER and J. URBAN] (illustrators). Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. New York; Frederick A. Stokes Company. Circa 1912.
4to. Original white cloth-backed plain ivory-coloured boards with decorated dustwrapper printed to upper panel in colours and gilt; pp. , on fine coated stock; with a pretty Art Nouveau title-page in grey and gilt, oval chapter-headings in grey and burnt orange, and 12 fine and striking chromolithographed plates with opposing text pages, all with extravagant illuminated borders in grey and gilt, each boasting an original and unrepeated pattern; externally near fine with a small triangular light brown shadow (1.5cm) to top edge of upper cover, internally near-immaculate, unspotted, and uninscribed, protected by the attractive, price-clipped dustwrapper with overall toning, dusting and light marking, 2 short closed edge tears (1.5m) and 2 small triangular chips to top edge (1.5cm).
First U.S. edition of this selection of Andersen's tales with artwork by Lefler and Urban, printed in Vienna by M. Munk. The collection comprises, The Goloshes of Fortune; The Flying Trunk; The Princess on the Pea; The Snow Queen, The Nightingale; The Emperor's New Clothes; The Little Sea Maid; The Garden of Paradise; The Swineherd, and The Red Shoes.
The famous design partnership of Henrich Lefler and Joseph Urban became a force in art, architecture, and illustration at the turn of the last century.These two Austrian artists became, in fact, brothers-in-law. Lefler (1863-1919) and Urban (1872-1933) both studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. They met in 1892 and quickly realised the potential to combine their talents to good effect, becoming popularly known as 'The Twins' by their contemporaries.The former was an artist, illustrator, and designer who became a mural painter, theatrical and costume designer, and designer of financial warrants, banknotes and public events, such as the 1905 Schiller Festival Parade. The latter studied architecture, also at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and received his first architectural commission, to design the Abdin Palace in Cairo, at the tender age of nineteen. His distinguishing strengths were the innovative use of colour, a pointillist technique and a strong decorative line. Together they created some seminal works in the field of children's book design. Their style has been described as Secessionist-Art Nouveau - Symbolist and is an amalgam of different techniques which were current at the time including Pointillism and Divisionism with scattered dots of mixed colour which intensified the effects of light and colour and created 'chromo-luminism'. Their first major achievement in children's book illustration was a work called "Kling Klang Gloria" published in 1907. They were equally acclaimed for their two Märchen-Kalenders, or illustrated calendars, based on the fairy tales of Grimm (1905) and Andersen (1911). The artwork, in both cases, was subsequently issued together with text as a collection of fairy tales, as here.