I have love affair for vintage children's books and it's something that keeps developing and growing. I love finding old annuals and colourful children's story books with whimsical and innocent illustrations. Often it will be a books illustrations that capture my heart and imagination before the story itself.
I know I'm certainly not the only one that feels this way after doing a recent vintage fair where I sold a lot of vintage children's books to people who shared a similar love, or were wanting to add an old childhood favourite to their shelves again.
As a result I have been replenishing our vintage children's book levels with some wonderful rare and collectible books, which I've been eager to share with you.
My most favourite new find is this incredible 1949 copy of Orlando the Marmalade Cat - His Silver Wedding by Kathleen Hale. If you are unaware of Hale she was an incredible talent of her time born in 1898 (dying at 101 years of age) who delighted coloured starved children of the war years with her enchanting tales of the Orlando the Marmalade Cat. Hale pushed the envelope at the time with her use of techniques and colour lithography which ultimately set a new standard for illustrated children's books.
Her stories, characters and wit throughout her stories were often reflective of elements and people within her life. Kathleen was described as being part of an old English art tradition of mild bohemianism and modest bloodymindedness. She once confessed and said that she broke all the rules of decent behaviour.
When it came to literary counterparts she was not a fan of Enid Blyton nicknaming her "the Pied Bligther" and she would never read Blyton's stories to her own children, due to her despise of Enid's value judgements within her stories and didn't much approve of her writing style either.
I'm certainly a fan of Enid Blyton as many are, but I'm always a fan of rule breakers and non-conformist as well and I'm utterly intrigued with the life of Kathleen Hale, and I'm currently searching for a copy of her biography.
With only sixteen Orlando the Marmalade Cat books ever written and illustrated by Kathleen Hale, her bold illustrations of their time, make her books very collectible and valuable. Seriously how can they not be, she changed the expectation of illustrations for children's books, her images pull you into another world.
Labels: Everything Vintage, Vintage Finds