WHARTON, Edith and PARRISH, Maxfield
Italian Villas and Their Gardens with Autograph Letters Signed
NY, Century, 1904. The first and only edition of this nonfiction volume, heavily illustrated with photographs, drawings, and 26 full-color plates by Maxfield Parrish. This copy has a three-page autograph letter signed from Edith Wharton tipped in, written to Mrs. Sage, who, along with her husband, were friends of Maxfield Parrish and collectors of his paintings. Wharton's letter is a gracious response: apparently Mrs. Sage had indicated that Wharton's book had been a great help to her and that she was sending Wharton a Piranesi etching of Villa d'Este as a thank you. Also tipped-in is a two-page autograph letter signed from Parrish, written in his elegant, calligraphic hand, and referring to four of his paintings from the Eugene Field children's book, Poems of Childhood, that the Sages own and that Scribner's wanted permission to reproduce. The Field book was the first publication in which Parrish's paintings were reproduced in full color. One of the paintings mentioned, Wynken, Blynken and Nod, sold recently at Sotheby's for $845,000. This copy of Italian Villas and Their Gardens has been extra-illustrated, presumably by Mrs. Sage, with images of various Italian villas, including a large image of Villa d'Este on the front free endpaper and another on the verso of the Parrish illustration of it in the body of the text. The owner's small, tasteful bookplate adorns the front pastedown. A unique copy of this beautiful book, with a history of personal connections to the author and illustrator and subject matter. [#026911] $10,000
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.