We are very excited about our beautiful new stock! We have new prints from some of your old favourites like Flower Fairies
and Winnie the Pooh
, as well as prints from illustrators we haven't stocked before.
Like Arthur Packham
and Harry Clarke
, Kay Nielsen was popular at the start of the twentieth century, the 'Golden Age of Illustration', and illustrated various well-known as well as little-known fairy tales. His work is unique, a little bit dark, and very beautiful. We are delighted to have in stock some prints from East of the Sun and West of the Moon
, a book of Scandinavian fairy tales, including these two from the Norweigan fairy tale 'The Lassie and her Godmother'. It tells of a girl sent away by her foster mother for opening three doors in the house forbidden to her. Out of one of these doors had popped the moon...
Out of the others had popped a star and the sun. Before being sent away in disgrace, the girl had been given the choice by her foster mother to be either able to speak and be ugly or be mute and beautiful. She chose the latter before running away into the woods and climbing up a tree to sleep. A prince saw her reflection in the water...
...and took her as his wife, ignoring his mother's plea that she may be a witch as she can't speak. When the prince and princess have a child, the foster mother takes it while the couple are sleeping, and smears the princess's mouth with blood, hence reinforcing the prince's mother's belief as it appears the princess has eaten the child and may indeed be a witch. The prince doesn't lose faith in his wife however, even when the same thing happens to two more children. A dark tale, but thankfully all is righted in the end. The foster mother wanted to punish the princess three times, to get revenge on the fact that she had opened three doors forbidden to her. The princess's speech is restored and the children are returned to their parents.
We also have in stock Kay Nielsen's vivid depiction of the better-known tale, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves'.
Another illustrator of the Golden Age, Edmund Dulac produced probably the most magnificent depiction of 'The Princess and the Pea' that we have yet seen. The detail in the bed, the curtains and of course in the multiple mattresses is stunning, and the princess's frustration after a sleepless night is captured beautifully.
Jessie M King
For any Oscar Wilde fans out there, we have a beautiful Jessie M King print taken from 'The Fisherman and his Soul' in the book A House of Pomegranates. The tale is a sad love story between a young fisherman and a beautiful mermaid. He loves her so much he parts with his soul for her, and to try tempt him back, his soul promises to bring him to a beautiful maiden who had a veil of gauze over her face and dances beautifully with naked feet...
The fisherman agrees to go, but only if he can return to his mermaid after a day. Alas, his soul tricks him as there is no maiden and a man can only be separated from his soul once. Unfortunately there is no 'happy ever after' here: the fisherman is never reunited with his mermaid and dies of a broken heart.
Perhaps the least known of all our prints, but certainly one of the most interesting, is this image, entitled 'Bother the Gnat' by Duncan Carse. As far as we know, it was produced as a stand alone image, not one created for a book or a story. This makes it all the more intriguing. Beautiful.
And now to more familiar (and perhaps happier!) characters. Due to the huge demand for our Pooh's Favourite Day
print before Christmas, we went ahead and ordered more Pooh prints containing words of wisdom from the bear himself.
Know anyone turning six this year? This is the perfect present...
We love Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. Did you know that she modelled her fairies on children attending her sister's school? Her illustrations are gorgeous portraits of real children, fused with her love of nature and fairies. They are timeless images and make beautiful gifts for any child or fairy enthusiast!
The Red Clover Fairy
The Lavender Fairy
The Lilac Fairy
The Willow Fairy
The Beechnut Fairy
And lastly , if you love Flower Fairies, you might like The Magic Mirror by American illustrator Helen Jacobs too.