Monday, January 2, 2017

Original Robin Jacques illustration for "A Book of Dragons"

Here's a beauty. It's the original version of an illustration that Robin Jacques created for Ruth Manning-Sanders' A Book of Dragons. That book was first published by Methuen in 1964 in the United Kingdom. My personal copy is the E.P. Dutton hardcover, which was published in the United States in 1965. This illustration does not appear in my E.P. Dutton edition.

I believe — and this is pure, potentially-poppycock speculation on my part — that this image was first created and used exclusively for the Methuen paperback edition of A Book of Dragons, which was published circa 1977. That cover is shown at right. You can see that it's a cropped version of Jacques' original illustration and that it has been colored differently.

Regardless of when Jacques drew this and when and where it has been published, the illustration is gorgeous.

And it's for sale.

Now all you need to do is win Powerball.

This original piece of artwork is being offered by Blackwell's Rare Books for £1,750. As of this morning, that would be about $2,150.

Here is Blackwell's description of the item:
"ink drawing with water-colouring in blue, pink and yellow, 21 x 19.5 cm (image size 16 x 17cm approx) residue of adhesive tape and blue paint dab on verso, stored in envelope, excellent condition"
So, the image itself is only 16 centimeters wide, which is about 6.3 inches. That gives you a sense of how much incredible detail Jacques, who used the stippling technique, was able to pack into his illustrations.

This illustration should be framed and hung in a children's library, preferably next to a whole shelf of Manning-Sanders fairy-tale books. I think it would surely inspire new generations of children to read, dream, imagine and create.

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