October 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Jo Ann Reisler, Ltd.

Catalogue Review: Jo Ann Reisler, #87

From first sight of the cover, showing an original Margaret Tarrant watercolor of fairies ($10,000), it was impossible not to be bewitched by this delightful catalogue by Jo Ann Reisler. A fine mix of children's books and illustrated books, from old favorites to surprising finds, that manifest the good eye and decades of experience from this bookseller.

When we hear children's books, many of us tend to think first editions or signed editions of Seuss or Sendak, and while that kind of material is here, it's interesting to see books like Afternoon Tea, published in Boston in 1891. It's a book of eight black-and-white mounted photographs showing two children going through the afternoon tea ritual ($400).
The 1920 edition of The Scarlet Letter in the original publisher's pictorial cardboard box is another cool item ($350). The book itself contains thirty-one color plates and line drawings by Hugh Thomson. 

The early American children's books are all worth a long look. A hand-colored scripture alphabet from New York, circa 1830s ($2,000) and The History of Blue-Beard and Little Red Riding Hood printed by S. King with eight beautiful copper plates in 1828 ($1,800) are just two examples. 
Aside from books, I love the boxed set of paper dolls with a foldout room setting, all hand-colored lithography, probably German, and probably dating to 1850-1860 ($4,750). And a early English rebus of Peter the Pieman is a fantastic find ($300). 

It's a pleasure to browse this catalogue's 592 items, all in full-color on glossy paper. For collectors in this area, this one is worth keeping for reference.